Accelerated MS in Criminal Justice

Program Specific Requirements

College Transcripts Goals Statement Advising Form GRE Portfolio Recommendation Letters Resume Writing Sample

Application Process

Preparing to Apply

  • As early as possible, notify your undergraduate major advisor of your interest in pursuing a Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s (BAM) pathway. Students will work with their advisor to determine how and when graduate-level courses can be completed during the undergraduate degree and review policies for accelerated master’s programs.
  • We encourage students to meet with the BAM coordinator to confirm that the pathway you intend to pursue will help you achieve your academic and/or career goals.

When to Apply

Mason undergraduate students who have met the following department and university criteria are invited to apply to participate in the BAM pathway with the Master of Science in Criminal Justice program:

  • 60 earned credits towards the bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50
  • 15 upper-level (300/400 level) earned undergraduate credits at Mason

Once ready to apply, you will complete the following steps: 

Step 1: Complete the pre-acceptance advising form with your undergraduate advisor and the Criminology, Law & Society (CLS) graduate program coordinator.  To ensure your application is submitted by the priority deadlines below, we advise you to meet with both advisors no later than one month before the application deadline. During these appointments, you will map out your remaining undergraduate- and graduate-level coursework, review BAM policies, and discuss the application process and timeline.

  • Students pursuing a CLS undergraduate major should note that they will be completing the “pre-acceptance advising form” in the comments field of the appointment request.  
  • Students pursuing a non-CLS undergraduate major should contact to request a copy of the pre-acceptance advising form to be completed with their undergraduate major advisor.

Step 2: Submit the online application and upload requested documents. 

  • Resume
  • Goals statement
  • Writing sample
  • Contact information for two references

Guidelines for these materials can be found under the Additional Information section below.

Note: There are two terms listed on the application.  The first indicates the semester in which students begin taking graduate-level courses.  The second is the semester in which the student intends to matriculate to graduate status.  Students follow the application timelines for the semester they intend to begin taking graduate-level courses.  The graduate program coordinator will clarify how to fill out these prompts on the application. 

  Complete Pre-Acceptance Advising Process Application Review Begins Last Day to Submit an Application Last Day to Submit Supplemental Materials
Applying for Fall January 15- March 1 March 15 April 1 April 15
Applying for Spring April 15-September 1 September 15 October 1 October 15

Post Application

The application is processed by the Office of Graduate Admissions. If approved, students will receive a notification from the Office of Graduate Admissions. During the final semester of the undergraduate program, students must submit their completed Transition Form to their undergraduate advisor, graduate advisor, and the CHSS Graduate Admissions Office. Upon undergraduate degree conferral and successful transition from the accelerated master’s program, students will receive an official decision letter from the Office of Graduate Admissions for the term they officially begin the master’s program.

The official date for the start of your master’s degree is the semester immediately following your undergraduate graduation. Upon transition to your master’s degree you will be subject to all graduate academic policies.

Accelerated master’s students must graduate from their undergraduate program in the semester specified on their application to the accelerated degree program. Changes to the timeline for conferral of the undergraduate degree should be approved by the graduate program director. Students must meet the University’s accelerated master’s program policies.

Failure to meet the terms of admission will result in termination from the accelerated master’s program.

Additional Information

The submitted goals statement should be 200-300 words in length describing what you intend to do with your MS degree in Criminal Justice.

The writing sample is an essay of 500-750 words that identifies a current problem or issue in criminal justice and examines promising approaches to mitigating or resolving it. The essay should be original work and not have been written previous to this application. It should be persuasive to a criminal justice policy maker or practitioner. The essay can include references (not counted toward the word limit), but these are not required.

The online application requires the names and email addresses of the two faculty members or individuals who have first-hand knowledge of the applicant's academic or professional capabilities who will be submitting required recommendations. These individuals will then receive an email directly with a unique link to upload the letter of recommendation to your application.

Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s Applications