Criminology M.A.

Program Description

The MA in Criminology program at UWG is designed to provide the background necessary for criminal justice practice and/or to prepare students for doctoral study and work in academic settings. It is offered with two tracks. The Criminal Justice Administration track addresses issues of crime and criminal justice within a framework that emphasizes theory and research and their implications for criminal justice policy and practice. The Crime and Social Justice track trains students in understanding and applying theory and research in academic settings. Both curricula are grounded in the social, behavioral, and natural sciences. Students admitted to the program choose a plan of study that best matches their practical and academic interests.

The MA in Criminology program is the only master's program of its kind in the state of Georgia. It is conceived widely to include the study of crime, justice, law, and society. The Department of Criminology recognizes the value of diverse methodological and theoretical approaches and encourages their complementary use and integration. Its faculty members represent broad and varied backgrounds in working with the criminal justice system, dealing with offenders and victims, and conducting research on a wide range of issues.

Learning Objectives

  • Apply research methodology and systematic analysis within the context of criminology
  • Apply a broad range of knowledge about criminology to ethically and competently evaluate the development, monitoring, and analysis of policy and practice in major areas of criminology
  • Demonstrate a broad understanding of theories of crime and justice by critically evaluating theoretical frameworks in conducting analyses

Mission Statement

The faculty of the Criminology Graduate Program are committed to providing students with an educational experience that will enable them to live, learn, and work in a culturally diverse world. Our goal is to assist students in the development of criminological knowledge, skills, and abilities that not only enrich students but optimizes their ability to successfully function within evolving professional fields. Our program provides high quality instruction that encourages faculty-student collaboration and facilitates opportunities for student research. Our mission is to prepare students for a variety of professional careers, further academic study, and lives of active citizenship.

Financial Opportunities

Financial opportunities are available through Graduate Research Assistantships, student loans, and campus employment (usually part-time). For information on Graduate Research Assistantships, contact the Director of Graduate Studies. For information on student loans, visit the Office of Financial Aid HERE. For information on employment opportunities, visit Human Resources HERE.

Admission Requirements

For admission to the program, a student is expected to have a bachelor's degree in criminology, criminal justice, or another social or behavioral science. However, other complimentary degrees may be considered. Students can be admitted without the expected degree with the stipulation that selected undergraduate and/or graduate-level courses must be completed. Applicants for graduate study in criminology must meet the College of Social Science's requirements and: 

  • Obtain three strong letters of recommendation
  • Submit a 750-word intellectual autobiography including reasons for seeking the degree
  • Have a minimum overall 2.50 GPA

Degree Requirements

Both tracks require a core of four courses: CRIM 6000: Principles of Criminology, CRIM 6003: Applied Statistics in Criminology, CRIM 6010: Theories of Crime & Justice, and CRIM 6013: Social Research. (For a full listing of courses, see the Graduate Catalog). Both tracks have a list of approved courses for completion of the degree. Students accepted into the program may choose either the Thesis or Comprehensive Exam option. Under the thesis option, a student must complete a minimum of 30 hours of coursework and 6 hours of thesis. Under the comprehensive exam option, a student must complete a minimum of 36 hours of coursework and a comprehensive exam is required.

To download and view a copy of our Graduate Student Review Policy, please click HERE.

Applying to the Graduate Program

To apply to the MA in Criminology program, and receive more information on graduate admissions and studies, please visit the Graduate Studies website HERE. For more information on the MA in Criminology program, please contact Dr. Mai Naito, Director of Graduate Studies: Pafford 221; (678) 839-5160; mail to: