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Cedar Crest College is committed to providing students with ground-breaking opportunities to earn degrees that will transform their lives and make a difference in the world. That’s why we see you earning your Master of Science in Crime Science at the first graduate program of its kind in the nation.

Building on the strength of our undergraduate programs in Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Psychology, the Master’s in Crime Science takes an interdisciplinary approach to crime prevention and detection that differs from most system-centered criminal justice degree programs. The goal of the program is to create more effective practitioners by teaching skill-centered concepts that can be used professionally. Ultimately, Crime Science aims to teach practitioners, policy-makers and community activists how to collectively and collaboratively manage resources in a way that effectively prevents criminal behavior, or, alternatively, more quickly solves the crime that does occur.

This graduate program can be a natural next step to an advanced degree for individuals from a wide array of professional and academic backgrounds. The program may be of particular interest to prospective students who hold a bachelor’s degree and are employed, or seeking employment, in law enforcement, court and corrections professions, as well as those who work in client-based services such as drug rehabilitation, foster care and mental health organizations.

Program Delivery

This 36-credit graduate degree is a weekend-centered program designed to be more accessible to the working professional. It can be completed in as few as 18 months.

The skill-based curriculum – which covers environmental criminology, forensic science, and forensic psychology – is comprised of 30 credits assigned to 1-, 2-, and 3-credit learning modules delivered mostly in hybrid format, with 6-credits dedicated to the capstone project. Each module is designed to teach the practitioner a skill that can be directly applied to the professional setting. The capstone project is an application exercise where students must apply what they have learned and create, evaluate, or re-design a criminal justice program, intervention, community initiative, or policy position.

The dates, times and content of the modules are published in advance so that schedules can be managed more effectively. Much, if not all, of what is taught is directly applicable to any criminal justice-related organizations, so professionals in those fields may be able to receive training credit and release time.

This graduate program may also be completed as a 4+1 program for students in the traditional undergraduate women’s college.

Admission Requirements

  • A minimum of 1-year, full-time work experience in a program-related field– We require work experience because of the practitioner-centered nature of this program. Unlike some academically-centered programs where the goal is to expose students to system concepts, our program is intended to enhance the skills of practicing professionals. The application-centered focus requires that a student understand the unique dynamics of the workplace.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 in the student’s undergraduate field of study – If the student does not have a 3.0 in his or her undergraduate program, an interview with the Program Director is required for consideration.
  • Background check – the background check will be waived for any applicant already employed in the criminal justice, forensic, or social work systems. Any applicant not employed in one of those fields must submit a criminal background check and child abuse clearance form. A criminal history would not exclude a candidate unless the conviction was for a sex or weapons offense. This is necessary because those convictions would seriously inhibit the applicant’s ability to find work in the criminal justice, forensic, or social work fields.
  • Letters of recommendation – All students must submit two letters of recommendation. Letters must either be from criminal justice practitioners or an academic representative.

Dive A Little Deeper

Master of Science in Crime Science

4 + 1 Degree Program

Cedar Crest College offers students studying criminal justice, psychology, or forensic science the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Crime Science degree in five years.  The Crime Science degree is the first of its kind in the country and is designed to teach a progressive curriculum enhancing the student’s understanding of human behavior.

At its core, crime science is an outcome-centered approach that is grounded in two elements: 1) effective prevention and 2) detection of crime.  Crime control can be more effectively achieved if, as a profession, criminal justice organizations move to embrace scientifically supported methods that prevent crime from occurring or, alternatively, more quickly solve the crime that does occur.

Crime science is more interdisciplinary than other criminal justice programs and relies more heavily on understanding the value gained from merging different disciplines into a more comprehensive platform.  In the end, the goal of a crime science program is to teach practitioners, policymakers, and community activists how to collectively and collaboratively manage resources in a way that effectively prevents criminal behavior.

The Crime Science program is a skill-based curriculum that is made up of mostly 1- and 2-credit learning modules.  Each of the modules is designed to teach the student a skill that can be directly applied to a professional setting.  It bridges the gap between practitioner and researcher by teaching academic content that is research-based and can be easily applied by the student.

Our desire to teach skills that are academic in nature, yet transferable to any professional pursuit, recognizes the need to have education serve as a mechanism to improve communities.  Preventing unwanted and potentially harmful behavior from occurring serves as a better mechanism to building strong, vibrant communities than does punishing it.

The benefit to the 4 + 1 student is that 10-12 of the 36 credits required for the Master of Science in Crime Science are included in the price of the undergraduate experience.  That means that 1/3 of the degree comes at no additional cost to the student.  Direct admission to the program from high school is permitted and encouraged since space is limited.

The courses include:

SCI 501 Leadership 3 credits
CSI 502 Event-based Crime Prevention 1.5 credits
CSI 503 Restorative Practices 1.5 credits
CSI 504 Cross-sector Collaboration 2 credits
CSI 505 Ethics in Decision-making 1-3 credits
CSI 506 Concepts in Environmental Criminology
CSI 510 Mapping Technologies for CRJ Professionals 1.5 credits
CSI 511 Advanced Mapping Techniques 1.5 credits
CSI 512 Data Management 1 credit
CSI 513 Program Evaluation 2 credits
CSI 531 Trauma and Crime 1 credit
CSI 532 Crisis Intervention Design and Implementation 1 credit
CSI 533 Personality Theory and Personality Disorders 2 credits
CSI 534 Guilt, Anxiety, Paranoia, and the Psychology of the Criminal Mind 2 credits
CSI 541 Forensic Evidence Recognition and Analysis 2 credits
CSI 542 Introduction to Crime Scene Reconstruction 3 credits
CSI 543 Crime Scene Management 3 credits
CSI 580 Capstone 6 credits

Upcoming Admissions Events

Jul 08
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Hola Friends Summer STEAM Camp – Session 2: Coding Galore Learn More
Jul 15
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Hola Friends Summer STEAM Camp – Session 3: Green Screen Mania Learn More
Jul 22
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Crime Scene Investigations Camp Learn More
Jul 27
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Bruce Moon: Notes from the Studio Learn More
Aug 01
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Aug 05
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Graduate Nursing Virtual Info Session Learn More
Aug 07
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Master of Nutrition Online Information Session Learn More
Aug 17
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Summer Open House Learn More
Aug 22
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August Orientation Learn More

How To Apply

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Cedar Crest College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education; 1007 North Orange Street, 4th Floor, MB #166, Wilmington, DE 19801

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