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The Master of Arts core curriculum is divided into the four areas: law and society, criminology, organizations, and research methods. Students may examine a variety of issues regarding the development of rule/laws, origins of deviant behavior, and the response of governmental and community based agencies to the crime problem. The curriculum is designed to provide educational opportunities for careers in research, evaluation and criminal justice administration.

The application deadline for fall semester is on March 15. Applicants who wish to be considered for nomination for the University Fellowship competition should file their applications by January 1, for the following fall term.

Requirements

Time Limits:

Master of Arts candidates in the Criminal Justice Department must complete all of the requirements within five consecutive calendar years after their initial registration in the Graduate College. Students pursuing more than one degree at the same time will be given an additional two years. Students who do not graduate by these deadlines will be dismissed from the Graduate College for failure to progress. Time spent on a leave of absence approved by the program and the Graduate College is not counted toward the degree time limit.

Interdepartmental Specialization in Women's Studies:

An interdepartmental concentration in women's studies is available to students in this program. A student earning a graduate degree in this department may enroll for a graduate concentration in women's studies. The requirements for this concentration are application to the graduate director of the Women's Studies Program; approval by a women's studies adviser; and a total of 16 hours of graduate course work, including WS 501 and WS 502 plus 8 additional hours of women's studies or cross-listed courses at the graduate level. Up to 4 of these hours can be in directed study or thesis research on an appropriate topic approved by the student's women's studies adviser. Students pursuing this concentration must consult the graduate director of the Women's Studies Program.

Internships:

The Internship Program is a popular summer program for both graduate and undergraduate students. Although graduate students have traditionally not made use of internships on the scale that undergraduates have, they are nonetheless available. Graduate students must have a faculty sponsor and register under CrJ 592. Most recently, graduate students have had internships with the Isaac Ray Center, Juvenile Court, and the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.

Career Development and Placement:

The Criminal Justice Department at UIC has offered an M.A. program for over twenty-five years and has experience in working with such students in getting jobs and securing other placements. The Department makes a concerted effort to assist graduate students in finding suitable positions upon graduation. Numerous students have found positions in professional agencies and research organizations. Students have had success in the following areas:

Research Organizations - The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority is one organization where a great number of students have found research placements. Often the best way to gain entry to such an organization is through an internship and/or working on a project while a graduate student. If the Authority (or any organization for that matter) is impressed with the student's work, they may offer the student a full-time job upon graduation. M.A. students have also been placed with TASC, the Chicago Crime Commission, SPSS, the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, and the Center for Addictive Problems.

Professional Agencies - A number of graduates have also gone on to work for professional agencies such as the Chicago Police Department, Cook County Department of Probation, Illinois Attorney General's Office, various State agencies such as the Illinois State Police and its Forensic Laboratory System, and Federal agencies like the Dept. of Education, Agriculture, DEA, Postal Service, FBI, and others.

Ph.D. and Law Programs - Over the years, M.A. students have gone on to enter Ph.D. programs at UIC, Michigan State University, Rutgers, SUNY (Albany), New York University, University of California at Irvine, University of Maryland, and others. Now that UIC has its own Ph.D. Program in Criminal Justice, many students are finding this an attractive option. Other students have also elected to go on to pursue their law degrees.

Area Colleges - Several M.A. students have been successful in landing full and part-time teaching positions at area criminal justice and social science programs.

Regardless of a student's interests, faculty and the administration of the Department will work with the student to find a suitable placement. It is important to do well in the program and to impress the faculty in your courses so they will write strong letters for the student to the relevant organization. It is also important to develop a methodological skill, be it quantitative or qualitative, so the student can be of immediate assistance to an employer. Whereas quantitative skills are not to be emphasized at the exclusion of others, students who are knowledgeable in SPSS or other social science software often have an advantage.

To receive detailed information in mail, contact Graduate Program Coordinator Ms. Sharon Casillas at (312) 996-2383 or <casillas@uic.edu>.