MS Juvenile Justice

Master of Science Degree in Juvenile Justice

The Master of Science in Juvenile Justice Program was formally approved in January 1999 and offered its first classes beginning August 1999. The program is based on a multidisciplinary study of all facets of the juvenile justice system. The disciplines of sociology, criminology, psychology, economics, administration, methodology, and statistics are built into the program. Our faculty has experience and expertise encompassing the broad spectrum of the juvenile justice system.

The Master of Science degree in Juvenile Justice is designed to prepare graduates to actively participate in the development of knowledge in juvenile justice and develop their skills as practitioners in the system. The curriculum is broad enough to satisfy these various interests. Students should confer with their academic advisor to develop a combination of elective courses that will support their particular career interests

The purpose of graduate education is to provide students with coursework that requires critical analysis and study in a specialized field. One of the core values of Prairie View A & M University is to inspire and guide students to become successful leaders in their professions and their communities. The College of Juvenile Justice & Psychology fulfills this objective by offering graduate education in the new field of juvenile justice. The emphasis of the College of Juvenile Justice & Psychology is scientific, because it is assumed that graduates will be better qualified to participate in the profession if they are prepared as research-oriented students of juvenile crime and delinquency. In most of our course-work, juvenile crime and delinquency are viewed as social phenomena and are analyzed with methodologies developed in the social and behavioral sciences.

The educational objectives of the Master of Science in Juvenile Justice are designed to:

  • Enhance students’ knowledge, skills, and resourcefulness related to detained and institutionalized juveniles in the Juvenile Justice System
  • Increase students’ knowledge of theoretical explanations and the etiologies of juvenile delinquency and juvenile crime
  • Assure that students develop knowledge of the humanistic, technical, and scientific aspects of juvenile delinquency and juvenile crime
  • Increase students’ knowledge concerning effective methods to intervene and prevent juvenile delinquency
  • Increase students’ skills in how to conduct research and evaluate programs related to juvenile delinquency
  • Expand students’ knowledge of programs and policies related to juvenile delinquency

HE MSJJ Program requires the completion of 36 semester credit hours. Two options are available for students: thesis and non-thesis. Students opting for the thesis option must successfully complete 30 hours work in addition to 6 hours of thesis. The non-thesis option requires successful completion of 36 hours of course work and passing the comprehensive examinations. Students enrolled on a full-time basis completes the program in two years.

The Master of Science in Juvenile Justice Curriculum


The minimum requirements for an applicant to be considered for admission to the Master of Science in Juvenile Justice program are as follows:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree in criminal justice or a related scientific discipline such as sociology, psychology, public administration, political science, economics, or other social scientific field conferred by a regionally accredited institution.
  • A minimum GPA of 2.75 with a GPA of 3.0 or higher preferred;
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons in the field of the applicant’s academic major or area of concentration, including academic references preferably from professors with personal knowledge of the candidate’s skills and potential for master’s work;
  • Submission of official scores on the general component of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). An unofficial copy may be used by the Master’s Committee in initial screening, which consist of verbal, analytical and quantitative scores;
  • Completion of liberal arts courses at the undergraduate level such as social sciences, behavioral sciences, college algebra, and statistics;
  • Completion of a 1000 word essay detailing the applicant’s reasons for pursuing the degree; and
  • Original Transcripts for all academic work taken at the undergraduate level.
  • International students must submit official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Unless the student has a degree from an U.S.A. institution of higher education. A score of 550 on the paper-based(PBT) or a minimum score of 79 on the internet-based (iBT) or higher is mandatory.

All of the above application materials must be present by the application deadline in order to consider an application for admission including the GRE. In examining the entire set of criteria, the Graduate Committee of the College of Juvenile Justice & Psychology has agreed that a holistic view of an individual will be used. All applications will be held to the same evaluation standards. Thus, admissions will be competitive, the applicant’s total record will be taken into consideration, and the Graduate Committee will always be willing to reconsider applications.

Application Deadlines

Fall Admission : July 1st

Spring Admission: November 1st

Summer Admission: April 1st

Please mail or fax a copy of ALL application material to:

Master Program
Department of Juvenile Justice
College of Juvenile Justice & Psychology
Don K. Clark Building
P.O Box 519; MS 2600
Prairie View, TX 77446

(936) 261-5249 – fax
(936) 261-5234 – phone

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