Criminology Program to Offer New Grad Degree

UT Dallas will launch a new master of science degree in justice administration and leadership beginning this fall.

Jim Marquart

Dr. James Marquart

The School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences’ criminology program received approval this spring from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to offer the new degree. Dr. James Marquart, the director of criminology who will soon take over as dean of EPPS, said he expects the degree to attract 20 to 25 new students a year.

“This innovative degree program blends policy analysis and key management skills,” he said.

The new MS is intended to prepare a new generation of leaders to manage and administer criminal justice and other social service organizations. It will include an integrated curriculum that focuses on organizational behavior, organizational change, policy analysis, research design and program evaluation, and conflict resolution to prepare students for leadership positions, Marquart said.

The master’s program will combine online courses and discussion groups, as well as traditional classroom and field work. Criminology now offers a bachelor of arts in criminology, a master of science in criminology, a PhD in criminology and a graduate certificate in crime and justice analysis.

Criminologists study why people commit crimes, why crime rates vary from region to region and year to year, and how communities can respond to crime and prevent it from happening.

Texas consistently ranks toward the top in number of crimes committed and number of people in state prisons. But it does not have a large number of research-focused graduate programs in criminology. The new master’s degree, in development for several years, is meant to partially remedy that deficiency.

Marquart said he expects the graduates of the new master’s program to work for municipalities as they try to deter crime and deal with its consequences. He also predicts some graduates will become instructors at universities and colleges, training the next generation of criminal justice experts.

Applicants do not have to have an undergraduate degree in criminology or a related field, but they should have a passing grade in an undergraduate statistics course or they would be admitted conditionally for one semester during which they would fulfill that prerequisite. A grade point average of at least a 3.2 is also required, and a combined verbal and quantitative Graduate Records Examination score of 1,200 is recommended for acceptance. For more information, contact Remona McLain.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].