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Criminal Justice

Master of Arts (Criminal Justice) degree

This is a 32-credit program designed primarily for individuals with academic and professional experience in the areas of criminal justice, social justice, and/or community justice whose career plans require that they possess the skills and knowledge to study, lead, and evaluate policy, practice, and change in their field. As a program which emphasizes the need to merge theory, research, practice, and international perspectives in the advanced study of criminal, legal, social, and community justice issues, this degree will also provide students with a solid foundation for further education at the PhD level.

Students will complete the program over two years, taking two courses per semester for four consecutive semesters, and completing a thesis/project requirement over a fifth semester.

The program also provides students with the option of participating in an internship as an alternative to the two elective courses required in the fourth semester. Each course will be offered in either the morning or afternoon on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the beginning of each month over successive semesters. A one-credit thesis preparation seminar course, which students take in their third semester, will be offered on the same days.

Entrance requirements

Master of Arts (Criminal Justice) degree

Applicants to the program must have a baccalaureate degree from a recognized institution with a minimum GPA of 3.00, and have work experience in criminal justice or a related field.

As part of the application process, applicants will be required to:
• attend an orientation session and participate in an interview with a panel of faculty members from the Criminology and Criminal Justice department at UCFV
• submit a resume
• submit a one page Letter of Intent that indicates a specific area of interest
• provide three letters of references — at least one of which must be from an academic, and at least one of which must be from someone who can speak to your work experience.
• work experience in criminal justice, social justice, community justice, or another related field
• a 5-10 page example of your writing

First consideration will be given to applications submitted by December 15. Acceptance decisions will be made by the end of February. Applications will be accepted after December 15 if seats are available .

Note: Admission is on a competitive basis. Achieving the minimum standard does not guarantee admission (see General Regulations for Graduate Studies in the UCFV Calendar). In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted with lower formal qualifications when there is a significant professional experience relevant to the proposed area of scholarship.

The program accepts a maximum of 25 students per year.

How to apply

1. Submit the $75 application fee along with your UCFV Graduate Studies Admission form to the Admissions and Records (A&R) office. Application forms are available from any A&R or Student Services office. You can also print an application form from our website at

Additional documents required for a complete Graduate application:
• A resume and a one-page Letter of Intent
• Official transcripts (or interim transcripts) from every post-secondary institution you have attended showing grade/course achievement as per entrance requirements
• Three letters of references. Please use the forms provided in the application package. Have the letters completed, sealed, and signed, and returned with your application package.

2. You will be advised of an admission decision and provided with registration information. A deposit is required when you register (see Fees and additional costs section below). This money will be applied toward your tuition fees. Final payment of all course fees is due the end of the second week of classes.

3. In cases where interim transcripts are submitted, an admission decision may be made conditional upon completion of academic requirements. Proof of completion of entrance requirements is due the end of the first week in August.

Fees and additional costs

See the Fees and Other Costs section. There will be additional costs for textbooks and, for those planning to do an internship, there may be associated travel and living expenses.

Dates and location

Courses will be offered so that students attend morning and afternoon classes Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the beginning of each month over four successive semesters. A one-credit thesis preparation seminar course, which students take in their third semester, will be offered on the same days.

The program is located at the Abbotsford campus.

Program requirements and continuance in program

To maintain status as a Master of Arts (Criminal Justice) program student and to continue in the program, students must maintain a minimum program grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Failure to meet the minimum GPA will be considered by the Graduate committee as required under Policy 340.03 — Academic Warning.

Re-taking courses

Students can re-take a course if they wish to improve the grade earned in the course. Permission of the Graduate Program committee is required (Please see General Regulations for Graduate Studies.)

Auditing courses

Students wishing to audit a course in Criminology/Criminal Justice must request permission from the instructor no later than the end of the fourth week of classes. No changes from regular to audit status will be permitted after this date.


A prerequisite is a requirement which must be met before a student enters a course or program. A P grade does not, unless stated otherwise, meet a prerequisite requirement. Students who do not have the stated prerequisite courses may not register in a course having these requirements without the permission of the instructor.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

You may be able to obtain credit for prior learning through evaluation of previous studies or learning through experience. Contact the Criminology and Criminal Justice department for further information.

Course withdrawal deadlines

Course withdrawal deadlines follow university-college policy. Please see General Regulations for Graduate Studies in the UCFV Calendar


Candidates who qualify to receive a UCFV graduate degree must be approved by the UCFV Criminology/Criminal Justice department and the University College Council. Students must submit a Request for Graduation form to the UCFV Admissions and Records office by April 1.

Note: Please be familiar with the General Regulations for Graduate Studies.

Program outline

Master of Arts (Criminal Justice) degree

Semester I — Fall

Course Title Credits
CRIM 700 Crime, Criminals, Victims, and the Criminal Justice System 3
CRIM 705 Policy Analysis and Social Justice 3

Semester II — winter

Course Title Credits
CRIM 715 Advanced Research Methods 4
CRIM 720 Community Development, Justice Initiatives, and Governance in Criminal Justice 3

Semester III — Summer

Course Title Credits
CRIM 710 Change Management in the Criminal Justice System 3
CRIM 725 Evaluation Research 3
CRIM 798 Thesis Preparation Seminar 1

Semester IV — Fall

Students choose two of the following six electives, or they may choose to do an internship. Each of these courses will be offered at least once in a two-year cycle.

Course Title Credits
CRIM 730 Ethical and Legal Issues in Criminal Justice 3
CRIM 735  Leadership and Organizational Development in the Criminal Justice System 3
CRIM 740 Criminal Justice Planning and Budgeting 3
CRIM 745 Human Resource Administration in Criminal Justice 3
CRIM 750 Directed Studies 3
CRIM 755 Selected topics 3
CRIM 760 Internship (full time/6 credits) 6

Semester V — Winter

Course Title Credits
CRIM 799 Thesis/Evaluation Project 6
Total   32

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