Graduate Course Catalog 2009-2011

General Information

Faculty/Staff Directory





Total Credit Hours: 39

The Master of Science in Criminal/Social Justice (C/SJ) is a thirty-nine (39) hour course of study designed to provide students with a solid and broad-based understanding of the field of criminal/ social justice. The course of study blends theory and practice to provide students the necessary knowledge and professional skills to critically analyze and ethically address the many complex issues routinely faced in contemporary society by criminal justice practitioners. The program includes six core courses that place emphasis on organizational and management theory, the development of practical skills relating to the administration of criminal justice agencies, and the ability to apply theory and research to address and resolve practical problems. Elective courses are also offered to satisfy the diverse academic interests and professional needs of students who are either currently employed or seeking employment in criminal justice administration, law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice, and homeland security. Courses are offered year round, both day and evening, at several conveniently located sites in the Chicago metropolitan area allowing students to complete their graduate studies at their own scheduling pace, while maintaining a proper balance in both their personal and professional lives. The primary objective of this graduate program is to provide students with a high quality educational program that will enhance their personal capacity to excel in the field of criminal/social justice, increase their potential for career advancement, and facilitate personal and professional growth.


Graduates of the Masters of Science in Criminal/Social Justice are expected to be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to think critically about issues relating to crime and justice in contemporary society and apply creative solutions to address and resolve those issues.

  • Apply organizational and management theory to effectively manage personnel and efficiently allocate resources in the delivery of criminal/social justice services.

  • Work collaboratively with fellow practitioners and the community to jointly achieve common goals.

  • Recognize how professional and ethical thinking are essential to building both a successful career and elevating the stature of criminal/social justice as a profession.

  • Recognize the preeminence of social justice, the responsibility for safeguarding human rights, and personal stewardship of social justice in all professional endeavors.


Full Admission

  1. Possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with

    1. a major in Criminal/Social Justice, OR

    2. with 12 semester hours of credit related to Criminal/Social Justice, OR

    3. be currently serving as a criminal/ social justice practitioner, OR

    4. if the bachelor’s degree is not criminal/social justice related, and if not currently serving as a criminal justice practitioner, successfully complete two criminal justice courses selected by the program director with a grade of B or better prior to admission as a degree candidate.

  2. Submit two letters of recommendation.

  3. Submit a completed application.

  4. Pay a non-refundable application fee with the completed application.

  5. Submit official academic transcripts from each institution attended.

  6. Have earned an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a scale of 4.0, calculated on the most recent 60 semester hours.

  7. Obtain acceptance by the Graduate Council.

Provisional Admission

Provisional admission status may be granted to a student applicant who has applied for full admission but has not met one or more of the requirements for full admission.

A student who did not achieve an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a scale of 4.0 may be granted provisional admission status provided the student achieved an undergraduate GPA of 2.0 or greater on a scale of 4.0.

Student applicants granted provisional admission status will be expected to take the necessary steps to meet all requirements for full admission during the first two semesters of attendance. During the first two semesters, students granted provisional admission status will be allowed to enroll in no more than two courses each semester and will be required to maintain a GPA of at least 3.0.

Upon meeting all requirements for full admission and satisfactorily completing nine (9) hours of graduate credit with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, the student applicant will be reviewed for full admission and the student will be advised if they will be allowed to continue their matriculation in the program.


All international students are required to meet all of the admission requirements for full or provisional admission and also the admission requirements specified in the General Information section of the Graduate Catalog entitled Entering International Students.


A student with a baccalaureate degree who wants to take certain graduate courses, with the intention of becoming a degree candidate, may be admitted as a student-at-large by meeting the following requirements:

  1. Submit official documentation of baccalaureate degree from a regionally accepted institution of higher education.

  2. Complete an application form; the application is to be accompanied by a non refundable application fee payable to Lewis University.

Nine semester hours of coursework may be completed as a student-at-large as the maximum credit toward an advanced degree, should a student-at-large seek full graduate admission status.

Enrollment as a student-at-large does not guarantee admission to the program, but does allow the student an opportunity to demonstrate the ability to perform successfully at the graduate level. Students must either meet all admission requirements by the last day of the semester in their third course as a student-at-large or discontinue matriculation.


Any student admitted to the graduate Master of Science Criminal/Social Justice program whose GPA falls below 3.0 will automatically be placed on academic probation. If the condition of probation extends beyond two semesters, the student will be dropped from the program.

Only grades attained in Lewis University will be used in determining the GPA. No more than two courses in which a grade of C is earned will count toward degree requirements. A grade of D will not count toward degree requirements. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.


Students may apply up to nine (9) semester hours of graduate-level work from other regionally accredited institutions. In addition to satisfying the above stated admission requirements (full or provisional), the following conditions apply to the acceptance of transfer credit:

  1. Only courses with a grade of B or better will be accepted.

  2. Coursework must have been completed or granted by an accredited graduate school.

  3. Appropriateness of coursework will be decided by the graduate program director at the time of the student’s application to the program.

  4. Courses from outside the United States will be considered if they are evaluated as graduate level by the Commission of the American Council on Education.


Students who are already matriculated at Lewis University who wish to transfer in a course must seek written approval from the chairperson or program director before a course is attempted at another institution. Permission may be granted only when extraordinary circumstances exist. If permission is granted, the transfer of credit for the course will only be accepted if the student earned a grade of B or better. Students will not be allowed to transfer earned graduate credit hours for courses taken as part of another graduate program if they were applied by the student to satisfy the requirements for a graduate degree in another program.


Graduate students registered for fewer than five hours during a semester are considered part time students. Graduate students registered for five through eight hours are considered half-time students. Nine credit hours per semester are considered a full course load. An overload may be permitted with the consent of the Program Director for students who have maintained a GPA of 3.0.


Students must complete all requirements for degree completion within seven (7) years from the time of completion of their first graduate C/SJ course at Lewis University. Students remain under the requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of matriculation unless they discontinue attendance for more than two years, in which case they will follow the catalog requirements in effect upon their return.


To be awarded the Master of Science Criminal/Social Justice degree, the student must:

  1. Complete 39 semester credit hours which may include no more than six credit hours, maximum of Research and Thesis, and three credit hours of Independent study, respectively.

  2. Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

  3. Complete the six (6) required core courses, totaling eighteen (18) semester credit hours.

  4. Make a timely application for graduation to the Registrar’s Office and pay all financial obligations to the University.


Thesis and/or research is not required for graduation. Students who have completed 27 semester credit hours and maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher may elect to take Research and Thesis, 81-596, for a maximum of six hours.

Qualified students who elect to take 81-596, Research and Thesis, will apply to the Program Director for consent to register and the for assignment of a thesis advisor. The student will prepare a research proposal in consultation with the thesis advisor and program director. Upon acceptance of the proposal, the student must complete the research and thesis within two calendar years. Proposal forms for Research and Thesis are available from the Program Director.

The thesis will conform to the standards set forth by the American Psychological Association. Upon acceptance of the thesis, the student must deliver two complete bound copies to his or her program director prior to the end of the semester. The completed thesis will be delivered to the University librarian for placement in the library collection.


Registration by undergraduates in graduate courses shall be limited to a maximum of two (2) courses. The student must be within 16 credit hours of completing the bachelor’s degree requirements, have at least a 3.0 grade point average, and have the approval of the graduate director.

Credit earned in a graduate course may be considered as graduate credit, or undergraduate credit to be counted in the number of credits required for the baccalaureate degree. Credit earned in a graduate course may not be counted toward more than one degree.

Registration for graduate courses will be included in the student’s undergraduate registration form. It should be understood that credit earned in graduate courses completed while an undergraduate will not necessarily be applicable to a graduate degree at Lewis University.


An incomplete grade I is given when students are prevented by circumstances beyond their control – as explained to the satisfaction of the instructor – from completing the course requirements by the last day of classes. Incomplete work must be made up within the first six (6) weeks of the following semester, or the grade of “IF” will be assigned for the course. The provisions listed in the Graduate Catalog on page 13 under the heading Incomplete Grade will be followed when an incomplete grade is given to a student.


Students may take graduate courses from another graduate program offered by Lewis University. Students are required to obtain permission from their department chair prior to registering for the class. The department chair will make a determination at that time whether the course can be substituted for a course the student must take to satisfy program requirements for degree completion. A course substitution form will be completed in those instances when the department chair has approved a course substitution. However, credit earned in a graduate course may not be counted toward more than one degree.


A maximum of nine (9) semester hours of graduate level work earned from another regionally accredited institution of higher education may be transferred provided the student satisfies all requirements in the above listed sections entitled “Transfer of Credit” and “Transfer of Credit After Matriculation.”


Courses are offered in a sixteen (16) week format during the Fall and Spring semesters. Class sessions are two and a half hours in length and meet one day a week. Normally, two courses are offered (at a minimum) on the same day at all locations. During the summer, semester courses are offered in an accelerated format (seven or eight weeks) and meet one day with class sessions that are 4 hours in length. Day and evening courses are offered at various satellite campus locations; evening courses are offered at the main campus.

Criminal/Social Justice courses are offered at the Lewis University campuses in Romeoville, Oak Brook, Hickory Hills, and Chicago (De La Salle Institute). Classes may also be held at additional locations such as the Chicago Police Department’s Education and Training Division.

I. Core Courses (18)
81-504 Criminal Justice Agencies Administration and Management (3)
81-511 Fiscal Preparation - Criminal Justice Agencies (3)
81-514 Fair Practices - Labor Relations in the Public Sector (3)
81-517 Applied Research Methods - Management (3)
81-525 Drugs - Distribution and Impact (3)
81-528 Community Policing (3)

II. Electives (21)

The Master of Science degree in Criminal/Social Justice requires completion of seven (7) elective courses selected by the student in conjunction with an advisor from the Department of Justice, Law and Public Safety Studies.