Criminal Justice Sciences
The criminal justice graduate program at Illinois State can help you take your career to the next level.
As a student in our program, you'll sharpen and further develop your skills. You'll also get a deeper perspective of the criminal justice field.
Our program is designed to give you the tools you need to advance in the field and be a stand out for competitive positions. The theories and principles we cover in the classroom can be applied to your current or future role in the field.
Overall, you'll gain a better understanding of policing, courts, and corrections. We study how each entity functions and operates. We also examine how they relate to each other, society, and the world.
Classes in our graduate program are small. This lets you work closely with other professionals and students. You'll engage in meaningful discussions on all the challenges and interesting topics in the criminal justice arena. This gives you a unique academic experience and introduces you to different perspectives.
Point of Pride
The criminal justice sciences graduate program includes a diverse student body. With a mixture of criminal justice practitioners and individuals who plan to pursue doctoral studies, everyone brings unique perspectives to the program.
Discover what life as a Illinois State graduate student is like with an Online Graduate Student Information Session.
University Admission Requirements
A student applying to a master's program must:
- have earned a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a college or university that is accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association, or do so within one academic year
- present unofficial transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. The unofficial transcript should be easily readable and clearly indicate degree(s) awarded, courses and course grades for each term. If accepted, official transcripts can be emailed from the university to GraduateAdmissions@IllinoisState.edu or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Illinois State University, Graduate School, 209 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 4040, Normal, IL 61790-4040.
International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.
Additional Program Admission Requirements
To be considered for this program you must meet the following requirements.
You must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for either the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework or any previous work in a master's program.
Submit a goal state that includes the following information:
- Your background
- Your computer/technology skills
- Rationale for pursuing a master’s degree in criminal justice
- Long-term career goals
- Your top three research interests in the field of Criminal Justice Sciences
Upload your current resume to the online application system. Include any prior research or teaching skills.
Letters of Recommendation
If you are not a graduate of Illinois State’s Criminal Justice Sciences undergraduate program, you must submit two letters of recommendation to the Department of Criminal Justice Sciences.
- Fall (August) Term — March 15
- Spring (January) Term — October 15
The University provides graduate assistantships as a means of financial support. They are intended as a way to facilitate a student's progress to degree while providing important professional development.
To be eligible for an assistantship a student must, generally,
- be admitted unconditionally as a degree-seeking student into a graduate academic program, or have a minimum of 120 undergraduate hours if in an integrated degree program
- be in good-standing
- be enrolled full-time (typically at least 9 credit hours during the fall or spring semesters, or at least 6 hours during the summer session).
Graduate assistants receive
- monthly wages paid in the form of either a stipend or an hourly wage
- a waiver for 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
- a waiver for up to 12 credit hours of tuition for the summer term immediately following a fall or spring appointment
See Student Accounts for information on tuition and fees. Funding for graduate students is available from several different sources. Students who have been admitted from contiguous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.
We offer tuition waivers to students who show promise for success and have not received a fellowship or other funding awards. Waivers cover tuition only. Recipients are responsible for any fees.
Tuition waivers are subject to funding availability. An email will be sent to all graduate students from the graduate coordinator prior to each deadline stating whether applications are being accepted. No more than three thesis audit hours can be covered by tuition waivers.
To be considered for a tuition waiver, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be admitted as a student in the CJS master's program and be in good standing
- Be a full or part-time student for the semester applied for
- Have a 3.0 graduate GPA or if newly admitted, a 2.8 cumulative GOA for the last 60 hours of your undergraduate degree
How to Apply
- Complete the University's Graduate School application.
- Write a written statement that addresses:
- Your reason for applying based on your academic performance
- Progress in the program
- Financial need
Fall consideration: August 20
Spring consideration: January 20
Summer consideration: May 20