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The dual BA/MCJ program is designed to allow students to work concurrently toward the BA in criminal justice and the master of criminal justice (MCJ). Graduate credit hours earned while enrolled in the BA/MCJ program can be counted toward both the bachelor of arts and master of criminal justice. This program offers high-achieving students the opportunity to complete their undergraduate and graduate degrees in criminal justice in five years.
- Courses are offered on campus, online, and in hybrid formats.
Declaring This Major
Both current CU Denver students and new transfer students are eligible to apply to the Criminal Justice BA/MCJ Dual Degree after meeting the following:
- Currently enrolled in the School of Public Affairs as a criminal justice major
- Completed the University of Colorado Denver’s undergraduate core curriculum
- Completed 60 semester credit hours
- Completed the following 12 semester credit hours in criminal justice: CRJU 1000 - Criminology & Criminal Justice: An Overview, CRJU 2041 - Crime Theory and Causes, CRJU 3100 - Criminal Justice Research Methods, and CRJU 3150 - Statistics for Criminal Justice (transfer criminal justice courses must have been approved and accepted toward the major).
- Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
- Minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA in criminal justice courses
Interested students should contact their BA academic advisor as early as possible to ensure proper planning for the five year degree.
There are two applications. The first application is seeking approval to begin taking graduate level criminal justice courses as an undergraduate student. Approval to take graduate level courses as an undergraduate student is not admission into the MCJ program. The second application is seeking full admission to the Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) program.
Students should submit the first application between the accumulation of 75-90 credit hours. The following steps should help in the application process:
- Plan ahead when scheduling courses through the junior year. All four of the required criminal justice courses listed above and all of the student’s core education requirements must be completed by the end of the student’s junior year.
- At the beginning of the semester in which the student is submitting the first application, the student should approach a criminal justice faculty member about writing a letter of recommendation. The student should also begin working on a personal statement of purpose. The following guidelines should help with writing the statement.
- Length: 1 to 2 pages. The statement should describe:
- Applicant’s reasons for undertaking graduate study in criminal justice
- Applicant’s future career plans
- Planned area of concentration within criminal justice
- The student must submit the following items to the criminal justice academic advisor:
- Personal statement of purpose
- One letter of recommendation from a faculty member
- School of Public Affairs’ BA/MCJ application form
The student’s first application will be evaluated by the Master of Criminal Justice Program Director and a decision will be sent to the student’s CU Denver email address. If the student is approved to begin taking MCJ level courses, they will work with their undergraduate criminal justice academic advisor each semester on the selection and enrollment in courses. Approved students can take up to 2 MCJ courses per semester, with the total accumulation of 4 MCJ courses completed as an undergraduate. Students must earn a minimum passing grade at the graduate level for the MCJ course(s) to apply towards both the BACJ and MCJ degree.
Students will submit the second application, seeking full admission to the MCJ program, during the final semester of their undergraduate senior year. The application can be found online. Students in the dual program are not required to take the GRE or LSAT as part of the application. Additionally, the $50 application fee is waived, official transcripts do not need to be sent and only two additional letters of recommendation are required. The third letter of recommendation will be the letter used as part of the first application.
Admission to the BA/MCJ program is competitive. Applicants will be evaluated on the following:
- Grade point average (overall and in criminal justice course work)
- Grade trend (improving, consistent, or declining)
- Total number of credit hours completed
- Likelihood of success and persistence based from the personal statement and letter of recommendation
- Students who are not admitted to the BA/MCJ program are eligible to reapply after completing an additional 12 semester credit hours. Students can apply and be considered for admission to the dual BACJ/MCJ program a maximum of two times.
The undergraduate and graduate degrees are conferred upon completion of each degree requirements.
To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the three areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements.