Master of Arts in Psychology, Criminology and Justice Studies

Master of Arts in Psychology, Criminology and Justice Studies


(All courses are 3 credits)


ORG 6499 Cultural Diversity & Individual Differences
This course provides a systematic review of the wide range of cultures and individual differences and the ways in which cultural mores, ethnocentrism, and factors such as matters of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, customs and cultures impact behavior of the individual themselves and of those around them. Through this course, students better understand themselves and others, in terms of perceptions and behaviors.

PSY 5130 Life Span Development
This course surveys the major theoretical perspectives on life span development from conception through late adulthood. Developmental processes related to physical, cognitive, moral, and emotional functions are reviewed as well as societal and cultural aspects of development.

PSY 5420 Principles of Social Psychology
This course provides an introduction and overview of the principles and theories of social psychology. The course includes exploration of behavior in groups, group impacts on individual behavior and the ways in which organizational rules and norms impact behavior. Constructs of social psychology, including social influence, social thinking, and attitude formation are covered and related to sociological and psychological research.

PSY 6290 Learning Theory & Behavioral Applications 
This course surveys traditional areas of learning theory, including classical and instrumental conditioning paradigms, motivation, reinforcement variables, stimulus discrimination, generalization and transfer, habituation, and memory. Also reviewed are models of social learning theory, modeling, and behavioral rehearsal. Behavioral approaches to therapy that focus on modifying specific, observable behaviors, using the principles of learning theory such as systematic desensitization, cognitive-behavioral approaches, and dialectical behavioral therapy.

RES 5240 Applied Research Methods
This course involves the study of research design, and the quantitative and qualitative methods that can be used in addressing research questions. Students will be introduced to social scientific inquiry and the research design process, as well as some of the most common quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Through the process of critiquing research articles, students will learn how to determine the appropriate use of research design, recognize errors and biases in conducting research, and communicate the methods and results of particular studies.

RES 5400 Understanding, Interpreting, & Applying Statistical Concepts
This course teaches students how to critically analyze, interpret, and apply statistical concepts to research in education and the social sciences. The focus is on a quantitative approach to the concepts and methods of statistical inference. Topics include sampling, frequency distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing, and probability. Statistical analyses covered include correlation, regression, t-tests, nonparametric tests, and Analysis of Variance. Basic research design issues are also addressed focusing on selecting data analysis techniques to appropriately address research questions and to apply the concepts covered to various psychological problems and realistic situations. Emphasis is on developing skills in interpreting statistical results presented in research articles. 

ORG 6520 Professional Ethics, Standards of Practice & Law
This course is a study of the ethical and legal issues confronting practicing professionals. Topics related to ethics, standards of practice, and professional conduct are explored. Students learn principles of ethical decision-making, standards for human and animal use in research, and standards of care specified by state and federal laws. Emphasis is placed on exploration of the emotional impact that major ethical and legal dilemmas have on decision-making. Students also examine the professional code of ethics for their professional discipline.

ORG 5571 Traditional Criminological Theories  
This course introduces students to traditional theories of crime to facilitate an understanding of the causes of criminal behavior. Emphasis will be placed on the origins of traditional, interdisciplinary, and theoretical frameworks as they relate to delinquency, deviant behavior, and other types of crime. Specific types of criminal behavior will be used to explain and evaluate the various theories. Additionally, issues concerning societal problems will be discussed in relation to divergent theoretical views.

ORG 5574 Criminal Justice Organizations & their Functions  
In this course, the criminal justice process and its components are examined. Students will become familiar with the different organizations that the justice system comprises. The complexity of criminal justice processes functioning as a dynamic system of interrelated yet separate parts will also be studied. In addition, students will be introduced to the distinctions between the adult criminal justice and the juvenile justice system to gain an understanding of the different ways in which offenders are dealt with in each system.

ORG 6570 Victimology: Theory, Research & Policy  
To broaden the student's understanding of criminal events, this course explores the impact of crime on victims, both in relation to the criminal event itself as well as its aftermath, when criminal justice agencies become involved. The student is also introduced to various viewpoints on trauma effects of victimization, responses to victimization, and media intervention. In addition, the course examines the role and participation of victims in the processing of criminal cases.

ORG 6572 Law Enforcement & Communities  
This course introduces students to traditional policing strategies as well as to new movements and trends in policing. The role of communities in policing, the interaction of police with communities, and their collective impact on the effectiveness of policing strategies will be examined. In addition, the range of possible consequences related to various policing strategies used in communities will be covered.

ORG 6580 Correctional Philosophies & Strategies  
This course introduces students to the various theoretical, philosophical, and historical foundations for the punishment of offenders. Theoretical perspectives will be linked to strategies developed to deal with offenders. Further, the rationale behind these linkages will be explained and analyzed from a historical perspective. Students will be required to perform a critical examination to compare the relative merits and drawbacks of each philosophical approach and to assess how these approaches affect the ways in which offenders are dealt with in society.

ORG 6574 Law & Society*
In this course students explore the links between the application of law and its impact on society. Major course topics include how laws are developed, the evolution of the legal system, and the impact society has on the creation and changing of laws. The ways in which the law plays a role in creating social change will also be analyzed. Additionally, constitutional issues that guide and constrain criminal processes will be addressed. Prerequisite: completion of all required coursework.

Total credits 39

*This course may not be transferred in.

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