- General Information
- Application Process
- Program Requirements
Vincent A Giordano
Doctor of Philosophy: Capella University
DEGREE AT A GLANCE:
The Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice focuses on developing the professional skills necessary for students to assume leadership positions within the criminal justice field. The degree program’s interdisciplinary approach provides students with academically rigorous, and empirically - oriented methodologies and builds on the multidisciplinary strength and practical experience of the faculty. Students are provided with a comprehensive understanding of crime and the justice system, administration, and public policy. The curriculum also provides the background and educational experience necessary for those who may wish to later pursue doctoral work in criminal justice or related fields.
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CMRJ699 - Master’s Capstone Seminar in Criminal Justice
The MA in Criminal Justice capstone seminar option includes a thesis, or a major research project or paper. This option is desirable for those students who wish to focus on specific subject matter of an interdisciplinary nature or who would like to continue their education at a higher level.
In addition to the institutional and degree level learning outcome objectives, the Master of Criminal Justice also seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates. Graduates in this degree program will be able to do the following:
Master of Criminal Justice
American Public University is part of American Public University System, an accredited university offering more than 180 degree and certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. All courses are online, so students have the flexibility of taking classes any time or any place that fits their schedule. Our degree programs are designed to be challenging and relevant to working adults in both the public and private sectors and can help enhance their current career or prepare them for a career change.
Students come to our university from across the globe with varying educational backgrounds and diverse educational and career goals. Choose the category below that best describes you:
Our 5-step admissions process will allow you to apply for admission, complete your new student orientation, request a transfer credit evaluation, apply for Federal Student Aid, and register for classes. Get started today!
Criminal Justice Ethics
This course is an examination of issues of professional and ethical behavior within the criminal justice system. Key issues examined include professional behavior of the individual and the agency. Current topics such as sexual harassment, accreditation and maintenance standards, and community relations are discussed.
This course will review and describe the various theories and implications of criminal acts in relation to behavior discipline, causative and scientific aspects. Analysis of criminal and non-criminal behavior is addressed regarding certain causes, controls, and legal aspects. Crime is analyzed from an interdisciplinary study of social problems and social responsibility perspectives. Distinctions are addressed regarding criminal behavior of perpetrators of serious criminal acts and the concept of social relativity to the study of criminality.
Research Methods in Criminal Justice & Security
This course focuses on research design for criminological studies or security principles depending on the major selected. There is an emphasis on data collection methods and measurements of validity and reliability. The successful student will be able to gather and develop criminal justice/security research material into analytic data that can be easily interpreted. Students will learn the appropriate methods of assessing quantitative and qualitative data. Additionally students will learn the proper citation methods in APA. This course should be taken as one of the student’s first three courses.
The student will develop and evaluate policies and procedures in all phases of police administration. These include judicial decisions, which impact the legal status of the operation of police agencies. Additionally, administrative issues inherent in both large and small police organizations are assessed including: the history and context of police administration, police organizational tasks, leadership in the police organization, the role of the police manager, and the role of citizen oversight. Oversight committees addressing police accountability for community enforcement services are analyzed.
This course focuses on the fundamental principals, concepts, and development of criminal law and the constitutional provisions which govern it. The course further discusses the relationship of the individual to the state and includes an examination of the general framework of criminal law as a means of social control.
Criminal Justice Process
This course addresses the specific constitutional rights, including the fourth, fifth and sixth amendments as those that have a direct impact on the defendant and prosecution in the judicial process. The course will review issues of the pre-arrest stage to post conviction remedies, as well as the procedural laws in the criminal justice process and their limits. The parameters of these limits will be analyzed by studying various court decisions.
A survey of the rapidly developing and increasingly relevant discipline of forensic accounting with emphasis on such topics as identifying fraudulent financial statements, skimming, cash larceny, check tampering, billing schemes, payroll and expense reimbursement irregularities, non-cash misappropriations, corruption, and interviewing witnesses; emphasis on the techniques for detecting, measuring and preventing fraud from an analysis of organizations such as WorldCom, Enron, Cendant, Adelphia, Freddie Mac, Fanny Mae and others. Students must have access to Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel software. (Prerequisite: ACCT610).
Pre Reqs: Advanced Accounting(ACCT610)
This course introduces fundamental concepts of accounting principles, financial tools, and economic analysis for effective managerial decision-making. Topics include the role of the financial manager in the organization, concepts, and principles underlying financial accounting practices, financial statement analysis, budgeting, and economic analysis for decision makers.
This course explores management problems and the role of decision-making models and tools in resolving business problems. The application and use of information systems in decision-making is assessed. Students apply system and quantitative analysis to an integrated case study.
This course is a culmination of the business functions to incorporate them into a coherent, profitable, sustainable business strategy. This course includes strategy information, decisions, and techniques of industry leaders. This is an upper-level course and should be taken after completion of the FINC, ECON, and MKTG required courses.
Applied Decision Making
This is a course in business analysis. This course investigates the advanced analysis methods and techniques used to solve modern business problems. The course emphasizes the most successful methods from business statistics, production and operations management, management science, and operations research fields of study. Students will be required to synthesize material from several major fields of study in order to apply it in this course. The capabilities of Microsoft Office will be used extensively throughout the course to illustrate the application of these methods and techniques to the analysis and solution of modern business problems. The course will first investigate the types of problems faced by businesses in the both the production and service areas. Methods of analysis will be investigated to solve these type problems including probability concepts and their applications, statistical quality control, process design, forecasting, inventory control, waiting line models, transportation and assignment methods, decision analysis, and simulation modeling.
Drugs, Justice, and Society
This course will discuss the role in establishing alcohol and other drug policies and the development of regulations for the implementation of federal policy. In addition, this course will focus on federal, state, and local agencies effects on addressing the drug problem and examine the impact of federal policy at the local level.
This graduate course examines and compares the legal and criminal justice systems of different nations. It focuses on historical, political and social factors, and explains their influence on legal institutions and systems of justice with a particular focus on the nations of Europe, South America, Asia and the Middle East. The course will place particular emphasis on law enforcement, courts and corrections across the globe. Students will focus on criminal justice systems across the globe in order to help enhance the understanding of how the criminal justice system of the United States functions within the community of nations.
This course will discuss the social and legal problems involved with sexual exploitation of children. Major issues that will be examined in this course will be child pornography, prostitution, pedophiles, law enforcement sexual offender databases, and victimization.
This course addresses the definitions of deviant behavior and the causes and roots of violent behavior. It identifies what social deviance is and who is considered to be deviant in today’s society. The sociological and psychological issues are reviewed as they pertain to the methods of sentencing and the criminal justice system's approach to violence. In addition, the theory of prevention and treatment methods are studied as they relate to the criminal justice system.
Students will examine the role of forensic science in the investigation of crime by introducing the non-scientific student to the field. Through applications to criminal investigations, clear explanations of the techniques, and the abilities and limitations of modern crime labs, the course covers the realm of forensics. The various types of physical evidence normally encountered in criminal investigations will be studied with regard to collection and packaging techniques. Combining case stories with applicable technology, this course serves as an introduction to the field of forensic science investigations.
Gangs and Gang Prevention
Gangs continue to plague the criminal justice system. Since the 1980s street gangs has increased in number and are no longer an inner city problem. Today youth gangs can be found in the suburbs, rural America and even in the military. In order to address this problem criminal justice and human service professionals will need to understand the complexities of today’s gang problem. This course is designed to assist the student in developing an understanding of what a street gang is. This course will provide an overview of the historical and contemporary street gang including defining what a street gang is. A particular focus in this class will be made on the inner workings of a street gang as well. Additionally this course will examine how effective past and current methods of addressing and combating a street gang are.
This course examines the historical roots of organized criminality. Structural models are compared for understanding emerging groups. Special attention is paid to dependencies and cooperation among ethnicities. Additionally, there will be a review of the activities associated with organized strategic aspects (i.e. profit-oriented ventures such as extortion, credit card fraud, counterfeiting, prostitution, drug trafficking, smuggling) and tactical issues (i.e. activities that support the criminal organization such as money laundering, violence, corruption, recruitment).
Negotiations: Crisis and Hostage
An examination of how to effectively manage critical incidents and hostage situations in law enforcement and corrections. Combining principles and applications from criminal justice, psychology, sociology, communications, business and other disciplines, this course presents an effective conceptual framework students can apply in high-pressure situations.
Drug Cartels and the Narcotics Threat
This course covers the development of the cartels and their organization, production, and distribution networks. It also provides an overview of U.S. counter-drug efforts and basic information on illicit drugs.
Crime and Mental Disorders
In the last 30 years the link between criminal behavior and mental disorders has become more evident. Because of the apparent link between mental health disorders and criminal behavior there has been an increasing need to understand how mental health diagnoses influences behavior. This class will analyze mental disorders such as schizophrenia, personality disorders, brain damage and mental retardation and their role in criminal behavior. This graduate level class will focus on rehabilitation methods and its effectiveness for addressing the problem of mental health in the criminal justice system.
This course will examine in detail crimes such as murder, serial killing, rape, and related crimes of violence from a sociopsychological profiling perspective. Topics covered will include the foundations of criminal profiling, the elements and goals of criminal profiling, multidisciplinary theory, victimology, geographic profiling, the scientific method as applied to behavioral theories, and ethical considerations. Modus Operandi and Signature behaviors will be analyzed, and inductive and deductive profiling methods will be assessed.
Seminar on Juvenile Justice and Behavior
In today’s criminal justice system there is an ever increasing need to understand the nature of juvenile offending. All too often students of criminal justice are quick to apply their knowledge of adult offenders to juveniles which is problematic. This leads to the mind-set that juveniles are adults and are thereby capable of making adult decisions, thereby requiring that they receive adult punishments. This graduate level class will break down the common misconceptions about juveniles by providing the student with information on childhood development, the effects of punishment on children and level of culpability that a child might have in terms of their behavior. Additionally this course will focus on effective treatment options and how these options influence the juvenile justice system.
Cases in Executive Decision Making
This course is a study in the major decisions made by law enforcement executives from a variety of levels and locales. These decisions include issues in crisis management as well as inter-relationships among community leaders with police executives. Management styles are addressed to determine the most effective methods of implementing solutions to macro social community problems. Additionally, strategic decision-making processes are assessed to evaluate fairness and the aspects of voluntary cooperation and attitudes of all parties. The intent of the course is to provide a thorough analysis of executive decision making from which the student can appreciate the strengths and weaknesses executive decisions while reflecting on the student’s own style and approach to decision making.
Independent Study: Criminal Justice
This Independent Study is an opportunity for Criminal Justice or Security Management graduate students to pursue an independent research project under the mentorship of a single professor. Students must complete 24 credits of study before taking this course. Participation is at the discretion of the faculty member. The course requires a major research paper; there will be no examination. Students will submit a request to take the independent study to the Registrar and will include the name of a faculty with whom they have coordinated. Prior to registering, students should first contact the professor with whom they wish to mentor their independent study, coordinate an agreement on the grading requirements, and then NOTIFY their academic advisor with the name of their professor. The final approval to take the independent study will be made by the Program Director.
Emergency Management and Public Law
This course identifies the public law, regulation, and associated policy that facilitates and in some cases restricts emergency management planning, recovery, and relief. Topics include national, state, and local issues and examples of public law. The course also covers issues associated with intergovernmental (fire, police, EMS, emergency management, military, etc.) action in emergencies as such action relates to regulation or public law.
Emergency and Disaster Theory
This course addresses the fundamental principles and theory of emergency and disaster. It covers the conceptual necessities for effective preparation, response, and recovery. It identifies specific examples of effective theory in practice in different systems.
Emergency and Disaster Planning and Management
This is a survey course that is designed to introduce students to the concepts of emergency management. Topics covered include the history of the field, hazard analysis, mitigation, planning, communication, response, recovery, and terrorism. Students conduct interview research with an emergency manager and conduct a site visit of an emergency operations center. Students can use this course to springboard into advanced topics within the field as offered by other courses, and is a great place for students to begin their emergency management degree programs.
Interagency Disaster Management
This course deals with the interaction, coordination, and facilitation between federal, state, and local agencies during preparation, response, and recovery operations. The history of emergency response organizational development is explored, along with the current structural and operational design provided by the National Response Framework (NRF) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Finally, the potential for public-private partnerships in disaster response is examined. Students will achieve an understanding of how all of the various agencies work together to achieve emergency management and disaster response goals and objectives.
Mass Casualty Incident Management
This course deals with the casualty consequences of large scale emergency, disaster, and/or destruction. Public health, emergency casualty services, mortuary, and other issues are addressed using case examples, theory, and principles that have been researched, studied, and documented in international, national, and local settings.
Crisis Action Planning
This course examines the role of crisis action planning in emergency management and disaster response. This course begins by examining the art and science of future studies – that is, being able to accurately predict an outcome from a given set of inputs and understand the ramifications. Impacts of global warming are presented. Crisis leadership and management theories and methodologies are examined. Taking these three components into account, and adding in other threats that students envision in forum discussions, students then develop a crisis action plan for an organization of their choice, with the purpose being to provide a plan for organizational survival against the challenges depicted above. Students also select an optional topic from an approved bibliography to present and discuss, on such topics as future climate, weather, social justice, energy, economics, environment, resource depletion, and potential strategies for the survival of civilization. Students will achieve a new and more holistic appreciation of the disaster planning process. The crisis action plans that students develop for this course are consistently implemented in the real world, and are in place in organizations across the globe.
Human Intelligence (HUMINT)
This course provides an overview of HUMINT operations include mission-target analysis, operational planning, execution and evaluation, cover, security and communications, collection and reporting, and financial management. Students will be expected to demonstrate the ability to assess, articulate and defend the soundness of operational concepts, plans and budgets.
Criminal Intelligence Analysis
This course provides the student with an introduction to the methods and techniques of criminal intelligence analysis and strategic organized crime. The rapid increase in multinational analysis and transnational organized crime, corporate drug trafficking organizations, and the impact of crime on national and international policy has created a critical need for law enforcement intelligence experts in the relatively new field of criminal intelligence. The course shows how to use criminal intelligence analysis to predict trends, weaknesses, capabilities, intentions, changes, and warnings needed to dismantle criminal organizations. This course provides knowledge needed by law enforcement professionals at the federal, state, and local level, by criminal intelligence analysts working in private industry, and by military intelligence personnel making a transition from a military to a law enforcement career. The course provides a background of the use of intelligence to dismantle criminal organizations and businesses. This course emphasizes criminal/law enforcement intelligence, as opposed to criminal investigation.
Transnational Crime and Narcotics
This course will provide an overview of transnational crime and narcotics and its effects on national security, political, social, and economic development of countries around the world. The focus of this class will be the proliferation and expanding influence of organized crime groups, the increasing links among crime groups, corruption, and links to terrorism from transnational crime and narcotics. This class will examine the diverse dimensions of transnational crime and narcotics in the context of increasing globalization and the exponential impact of technology advances
This course is a study of the evolution of intelligence and counterterrorism while analyzing U.S. and international policies for combating terrorism, terrorist tactics worldwide, and the scope of terrorism in the twenty-first century. The course focuses on the problems presented by terrorism to U.S. national security, suggested political solutions, and alternatives to the current counterterrorism policy.
This graduate course will explore advanced principles, doctrines and controversies regarding the structure of and division of powers in American government. Specific topics include judicial review, jurisdiction, standing to sue, federalism, federal and state powers and immunities, the separation of powers among the branches of the federal government, the First Amendment, and the Equal Protection Clause.
This graduate course focuses on the procedural and substantive law that influences the media field. Recent developments in this area will be addressed. Emphasis is given to constitutional issues such as privacy and freedom of speech, as well as regulation of the industry and intellectual property rights. It provides students with an overview of problems affecting speech across the print, broadcast, cable and Internet media. Important topics such as defamation, invasion of privacy, copyright and the Freedom of Information act will also be explored.
This is an interactive course designed to help students achieve a greater understanding of the statistical methods and models available to analyze data and to solve problems associated with making decisions and testing hypotheses in uncertain conditions. The course is designed for students seeking a thorough appreciation of how statistical tools can support sound decision making efforts in a wide range of situations. Topics covered include inferential statistics, averages, measures of variation, the Normal distribution and its uses, sampling distributions, hypothesis testing for large and small samples, regression and correlation, and Chi-Square distributions. The skills, tools and methodologies needed to analyze systems and to make decisions are provided. State of the art analytical tools and quantitative methods, including computer-based solutions are discussed. The emphasis of the course will be on the proper use of statistical techniques and their implementation rather than on mathematical proofs. However, some mathematics is necessary in order to understand the proper application of the techniques introduced and discussed during the course.
MGMT600 is an introductory course that is divided into 8 weeks and focuses on the concepts and methods of managing an organization. The overall course objective is to identify, apply, and evaluate techniques for structuring and resolving managerial problems in public and private organizations. The main managerial/educational tool used in the course is the business model canvas, which is a contemporary approach to identifying and/or creating a functional business/management plan in an organizational context. Topics include an examination of organizational theories, organizational framing, metaphorical analysis, systems theory, and organizational diagnosis. Course activities will include textbook readings, online library research, practical exercises, regular assignments, and online interaction and inquiry through the extensive use of discussion forum participation.
This course covers the elements of contemporary leadership and delineates the principles that are important in the development of a leader for the 21st century. Discussion of the role and function of leadership will include an in-depth analysis and study of needs impacting individuals, organizations and society. The course provides students with a set of leadership skills and competencies on which to build an individual model for effective leadership that can be tested over time.
This course examines the way government policies emerge from the political process and are implemented through participating institutions. In this class students will investigate how good analysis can contribute to informed policy-making and review the factors that go into developing effective implementation strategies. In addition, today’s need for enhanced public accountability and the challenging problems of measuring program performance are examined.
This course covers public budgeting from the public manager’s perspective. Whether you are currently or hope to be a manager for federal, state or local government or a local or national nonprofit, this course will give you a good overview of budgeting and how it relates to you. Topics include budgetary history, revenue and expenditure management, budgeting processes and operating techniques.
This course examines the global terrorism phenomenon and the social, economic, political, and religious conditions of select states, groups, and individuals that influence the terrorist mindset. Students examine the definitions, origins and development of terror as a means of influencing public policy decisions and in fostering transitions in public power to promote group goals. Specific historical instances of the use of terror are evaluated, assessed, and analyzed. Examples of groups such as the Al-Qaeda terrorist network are assessed including focused discussions on current events. Topics include: geography and geopolitics of terrorism, origins and history of terrorism, characteristics and goals of terrorism, role of politics and religion in terrorism, media impact on terrorism recruiting, and Al-Qaeda in Iraq organization.
This course will examine cybercrime and the legal, social and technical issues cybercrime presents. With a multi-disciplinary perspective, we will focus on ways information technology is used to commit crimes, investigative techniques used to discover the crimes, and the challenges involved in prosecuting cybercrimes These challenges include jurisdictional issues, application of traditional laws to cybercrimes, and privacy issues encountered during prevention, investigation and prosecution.
Final Program Requirement
Master's Capstone Seminar in Criminal Justice
Preparation for the Criminal Justice research seminar begins on day one of a student's graduate program of study. The theories, research methods and analytical skills, and substantive knowledge obtained through their master's curriculum provide the basis for the research seminar project. Students will support the thesis effort, including gathering bibliographic and reference materials on the research seminar topic including developing individual course research papers that may become sections of the final research seminar. Students will address the requirements as described in the syllabus and classroom assignments. The research seminar proposal shall be prepared in accordance with the standards of the academic discipline. The research seminar proposal must provide a clear and lucid description of a question or problem and a proposed method of answering the question or solving the problem. Guidance on the format of the research seminar proposal and a sample proposal are contained in the APUS Thesis Manual. Students may take the research seminar after all other course completions.
Electives are typically courses available at your degree level that are not currently required as a part of your degree program/academic plan. Please visit the catalog to view a complete listing of courses.
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