Degree – Master of Liberal Arts (MLA)
Concentration: Criminal Justice

Description of Program

The Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) in criminal justice degree program is designed to provide both depth and breadth of study in the liberal arts. It is by nature an interdisciplinary program, pulling together general coursework from disciplines such as behavioral sciences, humanities, and social sciences. The program is designed to train students to think critically and contextually about their own fields of discipline as well as about a diverse range of issues.

This degree program is also designed to encourage and foster interdisciplinary skills, intellectual habits, analytical and critical thinking, effective writing and verbal communication, and broad-based decision making.

Learning Outcomes

  • Provide a level of instruction for potential learners that will enable them to produce self-directed persons who can make healthy life choices.
  • Provide student learners with a deeper level of Criminal Justice skills and understanding.
  • Provide student learners with an increased knowledge and skill in Criminal Justice.

Admission Requirements:

Students applying for entrance to the Master of Liberal Arts in Criminal Justice are required to submit an application for admission, Apply Online (

  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Official transcript from an accredited school (if a student has attended more than one school, transcripts must be submitted from all schools attended). At least one transcript must document the student has a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Some departments have additional requirements students must meet for admission
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Immunization Record

Decisions are made only after receipt of all credentials by the department’s admission committee. The department uses an admission formula to accept students. The entire application packet, including all supporting materials, must be submitted to the Graduate School. Official test scores must be submitted from Education Testing Service (ETS) and must not be older than five years, official transcripts from the sending school, and Credential Evaluations (International students) from an approved Credential Evaluation Service.

Standardized Test:

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is the official standardized test required for admission to the Master of Liberal Arts. WAIVED

Degree requirements:

The curriculum for the Master of Liberal Arts in Criminal Justice requires 33 credit hours of coursework and a capstone project for degree completion. An oral defense of the capstone is required for progression to degree completion.

Graduation expectations require the following:

  • A minimum of 27 credit hours of graduate instruction must be completed in residence at Alcorn State University
  • Earn no more than two Cs in coursework
  • Write an acceptable capstone and defend it orally
  • Official transcripts on file for all transfer credits accepted by the University

Academic advisors are allowed to accept up to six semester credit hours earned at an accredited university with a grade of “B” or higher for graduate coursework completed. Substitutions of coursework are allowed with the approval of an advisor and department administrators up to nine hours if the substitution(s) meet curriculum requirements.

See Transfer of Credits Policy for additional information.
See the Substitution of Courses Policy for additional information.

Academic Track: Capstone Project

The Capstone Project is an exit requirement for the Master of Liberal Arts. Each discipline has specific expectations for selection of topics and the type of capstone project. Students pursue independent research on a question or problem of their choice in the relevant disciplines under the guidance of a graduate faculty to produce a paper that reflects understanding of the topic and in the respective discipline.

Master Degree Audit:

Before candidacy for graduation can be confirmed, each student progression to degree completion will be evaluated to determine if student has met all academic requirements for course work and other aspects of the student’s course of study and Graduate School requirements. When these requirements are met, the student is cleared for graduation.

Time to Degree Completion

Alcorn’s time to degree completion policy allows 6 years to complete the Master of Liberal Arts program. Degree completion depends on the pace a student completes the curriculum. If the time exceeds six years, the student must petition the Graduate School to consider an appeal for more time to degree completion.

See the Student Academic Appeals Policy for Expiration of Timeline for additional requirements

Degree Plan and Course Sequence

The Master of Liberal Arts in Criminal Justice follows the prescribed curriculum for completion of 33 hours of coursework.

Core Liberal Arts Courses (6 Hours)
ILA 500 Introduction to Liberal Arts
ILA 501 Research in the Liberal Arts

Area of Concentration (18 Hours)
CJ 501 Advanced Constitutional Law and Criminal Justice
CJ 502 Advanced Criminal Investigation
CJ 505 Advanced Corrections
CJ 506 Advanced Criminal Law
CJ 507 Advanced Budgeting & Financial Management
CJ 510 Advanced Criminal Justice System
CJ 511 Advanced Judicial Process and Policy Making

Interdisciplinary Electives (6 Hours)
GT 501Advanced Constitutional Law
GT 503 Advanced Public Administration Analysis
GT 506 Advanced Public Policy

Capstone (3 Hours)
ILA 599 Capstone Project

For More Information Contact:
Dr. Renardo Murray ▪ 601.877.3962 or 601.877.6264▪ [email protected] (Department of Fine Arts)