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  • Shana Maier, PhD

    • Associate Professor, Director of MCJ program
    • Kapelski Learning Center, Room 334
    • tel: 610-499-4651
    • fax: 610-499-4603
  • Gertrude (Trudy) Depew

    • Administrative Assistant to MCJ program
    • Kapelski Learning Center, Room 226
    • tel: 610-499-4365

FAQs, Master in Criminal Justice

Find answers to frequently asked questions about the master of arts in criminal justice (MCJ) at Widener.

If you have additional questions, please contact us by phone or e-mail (see contact information on left) or schedule a visit.

Do I need to have an undergraduate degree in criminal justice to apply to the MCJ program?

You do not need to have an undergraduate degree in criminal justice, but you should have at least taken a few criminal justice courses as an undergraduate student.

My undergraduate GPA falls under the required 3.0 GPA. Should I still apply?

When reviewing applications, the committee looks at several factors. So if your undergraduate GPA is under the 3.0 requirement, but at least above a 2.7, the committee will consider the grades you received in criminal justice courses. Some students may graduate with a low GPA because of unrelated courses they took early in their academic career before possibly changing their major to criminal justice. We also consider related work experience and the required essay/personal statement. 

I do not do well on exams. Do I need to complete comprehensive exams to graduate from the program?

No, students also have the option of completing a six-credit thesis. 

Are any of the courses offered online?

At this time, none of the four core required courses are offered online. However, many electives are offered in the hybrid format (at least 50% online). 

I work full time. How will I juggle this while obtaining a master’s degree?

First, classes are held in the evening starting at 6:30 p.m., which gives students enough time to travel to campus from work. Also, while two courses are offered each semester, students are able to proceed through the program at a slower pace and only take one course at a time.

Do you offer scholarships or graduate assistantships?

No. While students can apply for financial aid if they enroll in six credits a semester, we do not offer scholarships or assistantships.

Why do other students obtain a master’s degree in criminal justice?

While all students obtaining this degree obviously have an interest in criminal justice, most are also obtaining the degree to advance in their career in a criminal justice related occupation, to obtain a job in a criminal justice related occupation, or because the skills and knowledge they receive will help them in their current occupation.

How will I be assisted in finding a job?

First, students are always welcomed to seek assistance from faculty members. Second, there is a career fair held on campus every February that all graduate students are encouraged to attend. Third, students are able to use all resources offered by the Widener Career Services Office.