Criminology and Criminal Justice, MS

School of Criminology & Criminal Justice, College of Public Affairs & Community Service

Vision Statement

The Master of Science degree in criminology and criminal justice is a 36 hour program (11 classes and a capstone course) designed to meet the needs of professionals who are dedicated to a career in criminal justice. This educational opportunity is offered in a flexible online format, or alternatively through on-campus evening classes. Full-time students can complete the degree in 18 months; part-time students may choose to pursue the degree at a slower pace.

Program Contact Information

Mark Foxall, PhD, CJM, Master of Science Program Coordinator
School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
College of Public Affairs & Community Service (CPACS) - 218 

Bobbie Niess, Academic Program Support
School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS) - 218

Program Website

Other Program Related Information

Fast Track

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice has developed a Fast Track program for highly qualified and motivated students providing the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in an accelerated time frame. With Fast Track, students may count up to 9 graduate hours toward the completion of their undergraduate program as well as the graduate degree program.

Program Specifics:

  • This program is available for undergraduate students pursuing any of the following:
    • BS in Criminology or Criminal Justice on either the UNO or UNL campuses
    • Double-major at UNO with a BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice as either the primary or secondary major
    • BMS with a concentration in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Students must have completed no less than 75 undergraduate hours.
  • Students must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.5.
  • Students must complete the Fast Track Approval form and obtain all signatures and submit to the Office of Graduate Studies prior to first enrollment in a graduate course.
  • Students will work with their undergraduate advisor to register for the graduate courses.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduate coursework to remain in good standing.
  • Students remain undergraduates until they meet all the requirements for the undergraduate degree and are eligible for all rights and privileges granted undergraduate status including financial aid.
  • Near the end of the undergraduate program, formal application to the graduate program is required. The application fee will be waived, the applicant will need to contact the Office of Graduate Studies for a fee waiver code.
    • Admission to Fast Track does NOT guarantee admission to the graduate program. Successful completion of the graduate courses will be a significant consideration during the evaluation of admission to the MA or MS in Criminology and Criminal Justice.
    • The admit term must be after the completion term of the undergraduate degree.

Special Note: Eligible undergraduate students may enroll in any 8000-level CRCJ course approved by the SCCJ program.


General Application Requirements and Admission Criteria

Program-Specific Requirements

Application Deadlines (Spring 2024, Summer 2024 and Fall 2024)

Applications for this program are accepted on a rolling basis. All materials must be submitted prior to the beginning of the semester in which the student has elected to begin coursework.

Other Requirements

  • English Language Proficiency: Applicants are required to have a command of oral and written English. Those who do not hold a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from the United States, OR a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from a predetermined country on the waiver list, must meet the minimum language proficiency score requirement in order to be considered for admission.
    • Internet-based TOEFL: 95 with a minimum of 21 in all four areas, IELTS: 7.5 (8.0+ preferred), PTE: 76, Duolingo: 115
      • All English as a second language students are required to take a proficiency assessment examination at UNO upon admission, which will be used to determine if further assistance is required
  • Statement of Purpose: One page discussing reasons for pursuing a graduate degree, interests in the field, and career goals for the future
  • Resume
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required, the recommendation requests are generated from your online application.  These recommendations should be from professional and academic sources who are directly familiar with your skills and experience. At least one reference should be from an immediate professional supervisor. If you have graduated from an academic program within the past two years, it is suggested that at least one reference should be from a faculty member who can speak directly to your academic preparation for graduate social work education. References from family members, family friends, personal friends, personal therapists, or other non-professional/academic sources will not be scored.
  • Unconditional Admission:
    • Possession of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Applicant has at least a 3.0 GPA (average of “B”) overall in the last two years of undergraduate work
    • At least 15 credit hours of criminal justice courses or related courses that meet the requirements of the current school undergraduate curriculum, including a basic statistics course, a research methods course, an introductory criminal justice course, a criminology course, and a criminal justice or criminology diversity course.
  • Provisional Admission:
    • Applicant must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution (if the institution is non-accredited, 15 credit hours of graduate course work at UNO must be successfully completed before the student is eligible for unconditional admission)
    • Applicant has not completed all of the undergraduate prerequisite course requirements for unconditional admission to graduate study
    • Applicant has no less than a 2.75 overall GPA in the last two years of undergraduate work and not less than a 2.75 GPA in the undergraduate major.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses
Elective Courses
Select nine hours of CRCJ courses at the 8000 level9
Open Electives9
Select nine hours of advisor approved courses as described below.
Capstone Course
Total Credits36

Open Electives

In consultation with advisors, students will select three courses in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice or any related field such as public administration, social work, counseling or urban studies. Any course from any field at the 8000 level can count toward open elective hours. 

NOTE: Students are encouraged to take their open elective courses in the form of a graduate minor or concentrated in a single field. Graduate minor programs generally all require 9 credit hours to complete and will be noted on students final transcripts.

Exit Requirements


Capstone course is offered in the fall and spring semesters.  Once all required coursework has been completed, the student can register to take the capstone course.  The course will require students to engage in a problem-solving project involving group work, which culminates in a written report and oral presentation.