of Justice

Master of Science

About This Program

Program Purpose

The Master of Science in Administration of Justice is dedicated to the creation of a pool of scholarly practitioners who are poised to pursue careers or enhance their current positions in a variety of criminal justice professions. Graduates are provided the necessary skills to succeed in both the public and private sectors as upper-level management decision-makers. The program provides the theoretical, methodological, and practical knowledge needed to pursue a degree beyond the master’s level. The degree has been developed in close consultation with the professional practitioners in the field and weaves the themes of scholarship, professional experience, ethics, and technology into the courses to meet the goals and objectives of the program.

Program Design

The Master of Science in Administration of Justice is designed to meet the educational needs of emerging managers and scholars who will be challenged by the many complex issues in criminal justice and private sector settings in the future. Emphasis is placed on producing scholarly practitioners who have the theoretical, operational, and practical educational foundation to be successful in their professional fields. The concentrations in Leadership and Administration, Criminal Behavior, and Homeland Security provide the opportunity for specialized studies. There is also a more general approach for those with other interests.

The core of the program is anchored in the identified disciplines of research, theory, and ethics. This core will provide the student with the academic quality and rigor required as a base from which to build, according to individual interests and needs. Elective course offerings provide the students with the flexibility to choose from topics that will best prepare them to meet their own goals and aspirations. Faculty provides individual attention which gives each student the opportunity to design a personal plan of study within the program. Courses have been carefully selected and designed in consultation with professional practitioners to ensure that the most current issues and topics are included in the curriculum. The faculty is carefully recruited from the field to ensure that the class presentations are as current as the events in the profession that day.

Additionally, the program has a built-in flexibility that respects the professional and personal commitments and responsibilities that today’s learners have while pursuing their goal of advanced academic studies. The MAJ program offers classes in semester, block, and weekend modular formats. These formats can be scheduled as face-to-face, hybrid, or distance learning. The program can be completed using a variety of formats to conveniently fit the busy schedules of our students. This program is designed to be completed in two years of continuous study but may be accelerated by some students. Students will build a personalized schedule in consultation with their individual faculty advisor.

Program Competencies

  1. Exercise critical thinking strategies, including reasoning, problem solving, analysis, and evaluation and apply them to defined criminal justice issues.
  2. Demonstrate flexible thinking while maintaining a results-oriented outlook.
  3. Develop advanced written and verbal communication skills.
  4. Incorporate the use of technology and computer-based research in a variety of applications that are necessary for modern criminal justice practitioners.
  5. Recognize the relationships between the theoretical and practical approaches to the study of criminal justice that are associated with the explanations of crime and criminal behavior.
  6. Foster an environment that encourages students to actively engage in research and critically evaluate, synthesize, and analyze information that is necessary in the decision making process.
  7. Design and interpret research in criminal justice.
  8. Develop an understanding of the professional, ethical, social, and legal issues that challenge the criminal justice system.
  9. Respond to a rigorous, challenging, and comprehensive curriculum that will deliver the learning experiences necessary to prepare participants to succeed as scholarly practitioners in their chosen endeavor.
  10. Demonstrate a commitment to self-directedness, self-discipline, and lifelong learning in the field of criminal justice.
  11. Recognize how personal choices, attitudes, behaviors, and the ability to work in teams affect self and others in a professional environment.
  12. Apply the principles associated with a pluralistic society to increase respect for our multicultural society in the administration of justice.

Distance Tutorial

After successful completion of the core courses, students will have the option of taking courses in the Distance Tutorial format. This off-campus format is intended for the student who demonstrates the ability to be self-directed, self-disciplined, and self-motivated. The student must also demonstrate the ability to work alone on significant projects. The student will work individually on a one-to-one basis with a committed faculty mentor who will guide the student through the course material to meet mutually established goals within the framework of a structured course. Tutorial assignments differ from the conventional course assignments in that tutorials are designed specifically for individuals rather than for groups. Contacts with faculty will rely heavily upon the use of technological tools.

Qualifications for Degree

To qualify for the Master of Science in Administration of Justice degree, a student must satisfy the fully admitted requirements and complete a minimum of 36 credit hours, maintaining a grade point average of 3.0. The program must be completed within five years. Students may transfer up to six credits from accredited graduate programs completed before matriculation at Wilmington University. This may include graduate studies completed as part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command, and similar accredited programs based upon transcript review and the approval of the Program Chair.

Second Master Degree

Students are required to meet the following criteria when obtaining a second Master Degree in Administration of Justice or Administration of Human Services:


The student will need to complete the 5 core courses and any 2 electives. However, if seeking the Administration of Justice degree with a concentration, the student will need to complete the 5 core and the 4 concentration courses.


The student will need to complete the 6 core courses and any 1 elective.

This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2015-2016 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2015 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.