Photograph: Students at graduation.

J.D./Master of Criminal Justice (M.C.J.) Program

Recognizing that today's complex world requires innovation and expertise that goes beyond the traditional boundaries of specific academic disciplines, Washburn University has developed the Dual Degree Program in Law and Criminal Justice to encourage students to obtain Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Master of Criminal Justice (M.C.J.) degrees during their course of study at Washburn. Students within the Criminal Justice and Legal Studies areas can consider pursuing a J.D. while advancing their academic interest in the criminal justice field.

The goal of the J.D./M.C.J. Dual Degree Program is to help equip students with knowledge and competence in both law and criminal justice topics for professional work where legal issues intersect with criminal justice matters.

The J.D. program at Washburn University School of Law requires 90 credit hours. The M.C.J. degree offers two options, the Capstone option and the Thesis option, both which require 36 credit hours. If the J.D. and the M.C.J. degrees were pursued separately, the two degrees would require 126 credit hours.

Under the dual degree program, certain law courses are accepted for credit and applied to the Master's degree, and certain Master's degree classes that correspond to law school elective courses would be substituted with the law school electives.

Specifically, six credits, from two core criminal justice courses taken after the first year of law school, may count toward the J.D. degree, and twelve credits of law school courses may count toward the M.C.J. degree as electives. Students can thus earn both degrees with a total of 108 credit hours (84 credit hours of law school coursework and 24 credit hours of criminal justice coursework). The law student may choose between a Capstone course and a Thesis project to complete the Master’s degree.

Law students need to apply separately and be accepted by both the School of Law and the School of Applied Studies. Law students are asked to indicate to both schools – either at the time of application to law school or prior to the start of their second law year – their interest in completing the dual degree program. The dual degree program recognizes the critical nature of a first year in law school; hence, law students will not take criminal justice courses in the dual degree program until after completion of their first law year. Law students who are simultaneously enrolled in law school and the Master's degree program would maintain a course load that is within the parameters required by the American Bar Association's standards for accredited law schools.

Students will pay tuition for law school courses at the standard Washburn Law rate and will pay tuition for the M.C.J. program at the normal rate for the School of Applied Studies. Since grades do not transfer between schools, the courses will be considered as credit/no credit by the School of Applied Studies and the School of Law as long as the student receives a "B" or above for the course grade.

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Course Descriptions

See the Washburn University website for Master of Criminal Justice course descriptions. NOTE: As of fall 2017, some M.C.J. courses are offered in condensed, 8-week formats.