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2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin

College of Criminology and Criminal Justice


Dean: Thomas G. Blomberg; Director of Undergraduate Studies, Criminology and Criminal Justice: Patricia Warren; Director of Graduate Studies, Criminology and Criminal Justice: Carter Hay

The Florida State University College of Criminology and Criminal Justice is the oldest doctoral program in the field and is one of the world's foremost centers of scholarship and teaching related to problems of crime and the administration of justice.

The College is home to some of the nation's premiere scholars in criminology and criminal justice. Some of the areas of research for which faculty are well known include biosocial criminology, corrections, courts, juvenile justice, victimology, gun control, self-control and crime, urbanization and crime, and fear of crime. FSU has historically led the nation in funding for research on education and delinquency. The faculty are among the best in the nation in terms of scholarly productivity, and PhD graduates from FSU have a very high level of publication in scholarly journals.

The Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research boasts $13 million in externally funded research projects, and conducts ground-breaking research that promotes evidence-based policy-making and practice at state and national levels. It also provides unique hands-on research opportunities for graduate students.

College faculty serve as Editor or Co-Editor for the journals Criminology and Public Policy, the two official journals of the American Society of Criminology. Additionally, the College owns and produces the Journal of Drug Issues, a premier international journal for the study of illegal drugs and drug policy.

The graduate programs emphasize the importance of scientifically rigorous research that advances the knowledge of the discipline and informs public policy. The master's program prepares students for an administrative or research career in the criminal justice system and other related areas. The doctoral program trains individuals as critical scholars and prepares them for a career of teaching and research or for a higher-level research or administrative career in the criminal justice system.

The College of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers graduate degree programs leading to the Master of Science (MS), Master of Arts (MA), and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. In addition to the criminology degree programs, joint graduate pathways are offered in public administration and social work. For the most current information, go to the College's Website at

Scholarships, Awards, and Financial Aid

Each year the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers a number of assistantships to incoming and continuing graduate students with excellent academic records. Assistantships require thirteen to twenty hours of work per week. Work commitments vary by salary and job assignments and include teaching and research appointments in the College and research appointments at the Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research. Tuition waivers are included as part of these awards. Only full-time students are eligible for these awards.

In addition to these awards, the College offers the Robert L. Clark Scholarship, Jerry A. and Caroline S. Glass Scholarship Award, Eugene and Rosalind Czajkowski Scholarship, Joe Harris Memorial Teaching Fellowship, Ernest Kearns Ponce De Leon Memorial Scholarship, Richard Rachin Fellowship, and the Gordon P. Waldo Fellowship. These awards are made on an annual basis but may be continued for a second year and carry no work assignment. Students interested in these awards should apply through the Office of the Dean, College of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

There are other University-wide fellowships that students may apply for through The Graduate School.

Admission Requirements

All regular requirements of the University must be met. The College of Criminology and Criminal Justice will exercise discretion in admitting students from among those who meet the minimum criteria specified below.

Applications for Fall and Spring semesters are accepted, though admission in Fall is recommended. To receive full consideration for admission and funding, application materials must be received by January 15th. Applications for Fall are accepted until July 1st and for Spring until November 1st. No applications are accepted for Summer admission to our campus program.

Master's Program

Applicants must submit evidence of a completed baccalaureate degree, a verbal and quantitative Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score, transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate study, three letters of reference from persons familiar with their academic performance and potential, and a personal statement between 300 and 500 words in length. A minimum undergraduate upper-division grade point average (GPA) of 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) is required for admission. Most students accepted into our program have GRE scores between 148 and 160 on both the verbal and quantitative tests.

Doctoral Program

Doctoral students may be admitted either upon completion of their baccalaureate degree, or upon completion of a master's degree (MA or MS). Those entering the program with only a bachelor's degree must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5, and must maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher throughout the master's coursework. Those entering with a master's degree must submit evidence of a completed degree program, a copy of their thesis or equivalent research paper, and must have a 3.5 cumulative GPA for their master's coursework.

Degree Requirements

All Graduate Students

All regular requirements of the University must be met.

Students pursuing the doctorate degree must achieve a grade of "B" (3.0) or better in each of the following required courses: CCJ 5109, CCJ 5285, CCJ 5606, CCJ 5705, and CCJ 5706. Approved equivalent courses from other programs may be substituted for the above. Master's degree students must achieve a grade of "C" (2.0) or better in all required courses. All students must maintain a 3.0 GPA.

In addition to those courses required for the master's degree, all doctoral students must complete CCJ 5740, CCJ 6065, and any two of the following three research methods courses with a minimum grade of "B" (3.0) or better: CCJ 5707, CCJ 5709, and CCJ 6741r.

Master of Science (MS)

Students pursuing the Master of Science degree must satisfy the requirements listed above for all graduate students and may take one of the three following program options:

  1. Successful completion of thirty-three semester hours of coursework; this option does not qualify a student for application to the doctoral program;
  2. Successful completion of twenty-four semester hours of coursework and a minimum of six hours of credit for an original thesis; this option includes an oral thesis defense; or
  3. Successful completion of twenty-seven semester hours of coursework and six semester hours on a master's area paper; this option may include an oral defense of the area paper at the discretion of the student's supervisory committee.

In each of these options, there must be a minimum of twenty-four semester hours earned within the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice. This includes coursework, thesis, or area paper. Twenty-one of the hours must be graded hours.

The College of Criminology and Criminal Justice features Web-based courses that permit graduate students to earn a master's degree without coming to campus. Additional information about this opportunity is available at:

Master of Arts (MA)

Students studying for the Master of Arts degree may follow any of the three Master of Science options. Please note, though, that the MA comprises the additional requirements that coursework must include at least six graduate semester hours of humanities credit, and that the student must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language as determined by University criteria.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Students pursuing the PhD must satisfy the requirements listed above for all graduate students. The sufficiency of additional coursework is determined by the student's supervisory committee. PhD students must also fulfill the Scholarly Engagement requirement. Doctoral students should interact with faculty and peers in ways that may include enrolling in courses; attending seminars, symposia, and conferences; engaging in collaborative study and research beyond the university campus; and utilizing the library, laboratories, and other facilities provided by the University. Qualification for PhD candidacy is established upon the passing of written comprehensive examinations in two areas: 1) theory and 2) research methods and statistics. The theory and methods exams are graded by college-wide committees.

A dissertation prospectus must be approved by the student's supervisory committee after the passing of comprehensive examinations. A minimum of twenty-four semester hours of dissertation credits will be earned by all doctoral students. Completion and successful oral defense of the dissertation will lead to the awarding of the PhD.