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UMD Graduate School

Program Overview

Note: Admissions to the Master of Arts in Criminology program have been suspended indefinitely.

The M.A. in criminology provides an opportunity for both intellectual and professional development. The program serves those students with undergraduate degrees in criminology (or a related social science) who are interested in pursuing the advanced study of crime and justice. The program also serves those who have been employed in organizations and agencies and who wish to expand their knowledge and understanding in ways that may enhance their professional careers.

Admission and Application Requirements

Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. institution or a foreign equivalent for admission to the master's program. Preference is given to applicants with undergraduate degrees in criminology, criminal justice, corrections, or sociology. Applicants with an undergraduate minor in criminology, criminal justice, corrections, sociology, law enforcement, or a major in a related field may also be considered. Undergraduate degrees in criminology, criminal justice, corrections, sociology, or a related field from foreign universities may also be considered as long as those degrees are equivalent to a four-year American university baccalaureate degree. Admission to the program is competitive.

Applicants must have successfully completed an introduction to criminology or criminal justice course, the equivalent of one semester of research methods and/or statistics beyond the introductory level, and a course devoted primarily to social/behavioral theory. The minimum GPA for admissions is normally 3.00. Students with a GPA lower than 3.00 may occasionally be admitted where other credentials indicate a high likelihood of success in the program.

Applicants must supply three letters of recommendation evaluating his or her scholarship and potential for graduate study (at least two letters should be from academic faculty familiar with the applicant); an essay explaining why an advanced degree in criminology is of interest; why the applicant merits serious consideration; and a personal statement of the applicant's short and long-term professional goals and commitment to and preparation for graduate study in criminology. International students whose native language is not English also are required to submit scores from the TOEFL examination.

Degree Requirements

The M.A. is offered under both Plan A and Plan B; each requires 38 credits. The Plan A option involves thesis work; the Plan B option involves a special project based upon a student's practicum work. The Plan B project combines theories, concepts, principles, and/or best practices from at least one course in the student’s program of study with work being done in a practicum. All students must take CRIM 8100 (3 credits), CRIM 8200 (3 credits), CRIM 8201 (3 credits), CRIM 8140 (1 credit), and CRIM 8300 (3 credits). Plan A students must enroll in CRIM 8777—Masters Thesis Credits (minimum of 10 credits required). Plan B students must enroll in CRIM 8600—Criminology Practicum (minimum of 10 credits required). In addition to the credits listed above, all students must choose at least 9 additional credits in criminology courses, 5xxx-level or above.

Students are expected to include additional elective courses (6 credits) outside the major (in a minor or related field) as part of their program of study. The related field courses must be chosen in consultation with, and approved by, the student’s advising/examining committee. Upon the advice and approval of the director of graduate studies, students may use 4xxx-level courses in related fields as appropriate. Sociology 4xxx courses may be included in either the Plan A or Plan B programs for the M.A. in criminology.

Deadlines and Dates

Application Deadlines:

Fall semester: July 15
Spring semester: November 1

Financial Aid

Many of our graduate students have financial support in the form of teaching or research assistantships. Students with TA or RA support receive a stipend comparable to those at many universities—a full-tuition scholarship and a health insurance program.

Contact Information


UMD Department of Sociology-Anthropology, 228 Cina Hall, 1123 University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812-2496,

218-726-7551, (

Director of Graduate Studies: Jeff Maahs,, 218.726.7395

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