Master's Degree

Justice Policy (M.S.)

Revision of Program Name effective Fall 2015:

MS Criminal Justice and Criminology

Basic Degree Information/Description:

The Master of Science in Justice Policy (M.S. degree in Justice Policy) is designed to provide students with competency in policy planning and evaluation, and skills for managing justice agencies in complex and dynamic environments. The program assists students to develop and apply research expertise to the study and resolution of contemporary justice policy problems.

Why pursue an M.S. in Justice Policy:

  • Our Faculty are among the most well-respected in the nation, and are dedicated to enriching the educational experience of our students
  • Classes are conveniently held at the Downtown Campus
  • Broaden career opportunities in criminal justice or advance in your current job
  • Prepare for a Ph.D. if interested in teaching or research
  • Network with a group of like-minded students

Admission requirements and pre-requisites:

Bachelor's degree with 18 credit hours in field of study or in another appropriate field of study. An applicant admitted unconditionally as a degree-seeking student must possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or equivalent training at a foreign institution, have a grade point average of 3.0 or better in the last 60 semester credit hours of undergraduate level work as well as previous graduate work, if the student was previously in a graduate program. Students must also have 18 credits hours in criminal justice, criminology or closely-related discipline, or professional experience in the justice system, and be in good standing in the last institution attended.  Students who do not meet these criteria may be admitted conditionally or on probation as degree-seeking depending on the nature of the deficiency.  Admission as a special degree seeking graduate student may be considered by the Admission Committee upon request of the applicant.

Graduate Studies Application: Yes

Department Application: No

Transcripts: Official transcripts from all institutions attended.  All international transcripts must be recorded in English or officially translated to English.

Test Scores: GRE scores are optional, applicants seeking the Master's degree-seeking program can strengthen their application for admission by submitting their GRE test scores. 

Resume: Yes

Letters of Recommendation: 2 L/R Required. Please submit both the form as well as a letter.

Statement of Purpose: Yes (500 - 750 words)

Minimum TOEFL Score (for International Applicants): 550 paper/79 internet

Minimum IELTS Score (for International Applicants): 6.5

Additional Requirements:  International students and those with international degrees may be required to submit additional documents per our admissions policies and procedures. The Graduate School reserves the right to request any additional documents needed to fairly and consistently evaluate applicant credentials.

Degree Requirements:

The minimum number of semester credit hours required for the degree, exclusive of other study to remove deficiencies, is 36. Within the 36 hours, students choose to complete a thesis or to take written comprehensive exams through the non-thesis option.

For a complete list of degree requirements please see the Graduate Catalog.


Application Deadline Dates

Domestic Applicants (Citizens and Permanent Residents):
Spring- November 1
Summer- April 1
Fall- July 1 (Priority Deadline- April 1)

International Applicants:
Spring- September 1
Summer- March 1
Fall- April 1

Contact Information:

Graduate Advisor of Record: Marie Tillyer, Ph.D.
Email Address:
Telephone: (210) 458-2682

Degree Website:

View a PowerPoint with Details on this program.

Contact the Graduate School: Contact now for more information.

Degree Catalog Link:

Career Options Available for a Justice Policy Graduate:

Some students that have graduated with their Master's degree have been employed here as Adjunct Faculty, Adult and Juvenile Probation Department, Innovative Practice in Delinquent Procedure, FBI, US Marshalls, and the San Antonio Police Department.

Funding Opportunities:

GRA Positions:

  • Students can also apply for GRA positions and those students would work with 1-2 professors in the Department of Criminal Justice and assist them with their research or with undergraduate course grading.
  • They may work up to 19 hours per week and hourly pay is based on the hours worked. Students must be in good academic standing and maintain a 3.0 GPA while being enrolled in 6 credit hours (2 graduate classes) per semester.
  • Interested students should: a) Indicate this interest in your initial graduate application AND b) Also contact for a separate GRA application that needs to be completed with the Department of Criminal Justice and returned to DB 4.112 along with your current resume.

Course Scheduling and Offerings:

All Graduate Courses for the Master's program in the Criminal Justice department are offered in the evening. Program classes are offered at the UTSA Downtown Campus.

Research taking place in the Justice Policy program:

Some topics of research include: Policing, Juvenile Justice, White Collar Crime, Courts and Sentencing, Prison Life, Criminology, and Restorative Justice.