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MU Home » Academics » Graduate Studies » Master of Justice Administration


MJA 6000 Foundations of Justice Administration
This course introduces students to endemic and emerging administrative problems confronting the criminal justice system in its administration of justice. An examination of the major components necessary to effective justice administration will be examined including: an overview of organizational thought and theory, executive leadership challenges, human resource management, and policy development & implementation. This is not a course on how to solve every managerial problem, but rather a course that seeks to suggest more powerful and provocative ways of thinking about organizational/administrative opportunities and pitfalls. Additionally, this course will stress the importance of developing ethical models.

MJA 6100 Criminal Behavior Issues
This course focuses on historical and contemporary perspectives of human behavior. Theories of behavior in the context of threat-producing activities are discussed. Contemporary issues such as substance abuse, violence, ideologies, and similar themes are examined.

MJA 6200 Justice Policy and Planning
This course combines traditional reading and writing with non-traditional methods of learning. Throughout this course students are expected to critically analyze a range of issues related to the process of justice policymaking. As criminal justice scholars, our focus will be on local, state, and federal processes that create and change criminal justice policies.

MJA 6250 Research Methods and Program Evaluation
This course introduces students to the scientific methods of conducting research in criminal justice and criminology. Additionally, this course will acquaint students with the techniques of conducting and assessing evaluative research (i.e., program evaluation). Where appropriate, methods of statistical analysis will be incorporated in order to enhance the student’s statistical literacy—not make them statistical sleuths. Students will learn both the skills necessary for conducting research on their own and the ability to accurately interpret, analyze, and critically evaluate extant research done by others.

MJA 6300 Legal Issues in Justice Administration
This course is designed to discuss, in detail, major legal issues facing the administration of the 21st Century criminal justice system—from investigation through the corrections process. The course will be primarily taught through the Socratic Method as well as by lecture and discussion. Emphasis will be placed on advanced constitutional as well as North Carolina statutory concerns and on personnel management issues.

MJA 6350 The Budgetary Process and Justice Organizations
This course provides a general overview of budgeting procedures in the criminal justice system. Fundamental budgeting concepts and practices applicable to state and local criminal justice organizations are studied. Emphasis is placed on policy development and decision- making as it relates to budget decisions.

MJA 6400 Organizational Behavior
This course examines the behavioral aspects of management with emphasis on leadership, motivation, and decision-making. Special attention is given to communication, conflict management, group dynamics, and organizational change and ethics within criminal justice organizations.

MJA 6450 Ethical Foundations of Justice Administration
This course aims to acquaint students with the basic concepts, arguments, and methods of ethics as these relate specifically to the field of criminal justice. It introduces students to the classic theories of normative ethics and to those moral issues most likely to be encountered by the police, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and correctional personnel, as well as moral issues in the criminal justice system as a whole.

MJA 6600 Media and Public Relations for Justice Organizations
This course examines theories and practices for effective public relations focusing on writing for public relations, factors affecting public opinion, ethics and laws, communication channels, and use of media. Tactics and techniques will be explored using case studies to evaluate effective campaigns and crisis management situations to develop skills through the development, organization, preparation, and administration of public relations campaigns.

MJA 6700 Human Resource Development
Criminal justice managers are facing diminishing financial and human resources. Expectations from citizens and employees are increasing. The 21st century manager in the criminal justice field must understand and apply human resource management and development to meet increasing needs with diminishing resources. The theoretical foundation and practices of human resource development to include motivation, organizational learning and change, needs assessment, orientation, training, and evaluation will be thoroughly explored.

MJA 6750 Problem Solving Models for Justice Organizations
The course will examine the application of effective problem-solving strategies to the solution of complex problems within criminal justice organizations. Various problem-solving models will be examined. Emphasis will be placed on Kolb’s experiential learning model, creative problem-solving strategies, problem-based learning, and benchmarking. A case study approach will be utilized in the course.

MJA 6800 Justice Futures
This course is a study of future from the prospective of criminal justice management officials responsible for making criminal justice organizations, both public and private, ready for the future. Emphasis will be placed on applying established predictive techniques in the field of futures research to improve decision-making within the context of strategic planning.

MJA 6850 Critical Readings in Justice Administration
This course will examine issues relevant to the effective leadership and management of criminal justice organizations. Students will be assigned 4-5 critical readings (books). Topics may vary from year to year. Students will participate in discussions of assigned books online and at residency weekends, plus submit a book review for each book.

MJA 6900 Future-Oriented Leadership and Change
The course will focus on how effective leadership and collaboration are essential to criminal justice organizations in
accomplishing their mission and achieving their goals in the 21st Century. The course will review and build upon
basic knowledge of leadership theory and practices as applied in an environment of collaboration to identify and respond effectively to the emerging trends of the future. Topics discussed include futuring techniques, visionary leadership, situational leadership, transformational leadership, change strategies, and team building. Students will be afforded the opportunity to use futuring techniques and leadership concepts studied in the class.

MJA 6910 Organizational Leadership
The course will examine the application of West Point Leadership Development Model within criminal justice
organizations. Students will complete the course of study and assess its potential for developing leaders in criminal
justice organizations. A case study approach will be utilized in the course.

MJA 6950 Special Topics in Justice Administration
Courses will be offered, as needed, in areas of interest such as emergency and disaster planning, homeland security, racial profiling, forensic science, new technologies, correctional rehabilitation, and community policing, etc.

MJA 6960 Independent Study in Justice Administration
This course allows well-qualified MJA graduate student to engage in special research in his/her area of interest. Student will prepare a major research paper under the supervision of a MJA professor. Emphasis is placed on conducting research that could result in a written publication or presentation at a state, regional, or national conference. Requires approval by the MJA Director and supervising professor. The course cannot be taken more than two times. Offered as needed.

MJA 6990 Capstone Course
This course is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to demonstrate, under faculty supervision, the ability to engage in a problem solving management project as a demonstration of skill in administration techniques. Students will demonstrate their ability to present a program evaluation of a problem, issue, or dilemma in their organization by (1) organizing a research project that answers a particular question or set of questions specific to the needs of their organization; (2) completing an analysis, using program evaluation criteria, that answers their specific research questions; and (3) a formal presentation and oral defense of the research and findings to the faculty.