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Expectations of Students in the Master of Criminal Justice Program

Those entering the Master of Criminal Justice Program at Weber State University should be aware that graduate work is conducted at an advanced level. To this end, professors will not be teaching or refreshing introductory skills that should have been learned while earning your undergraduate degree. As such, criminal justice professors will expect that all graduate students are already able to:

  • Dedicate, on average, 9-12 hours of preparation per week per course
  • Possess a heightened level of independent motivation, abstract reasoning and problem solving, and an ability to synthesize complex information to formulate an answer – in short, develop self-created solutions, independent of a text
  • Read critically, clearly articulate a position on a given topic, and then be able to defend that position using expanded thought and empirical detail (10 to 15-page papers are common place in graduate school)
  • Write at an advanced level (perfect spelling, punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, flow of ideas, etc.)
  • Understand how to use a library to acquire academic materials
  • Have a working knowledge of what constitutes an empirical study
  • Interpret the findings of an academic research paper, including tables, graphs, and charts
  • Independently learn and apply the American Psychological Association’s (APA) format (style, in-text citations, references, etc.) to all written materials
  • Differentiate between and write a literature review paper, an argumentative essay, and an expository essay
  • Possess a basic understanding of statistics and social science research methods
  • Know the three basic elements of the American criminal justice system
Grading of all graduate level work will follow these expectations, beginning with the first assignment in your first class and continuing throughout the program.