Accelerated MS in Criminal Justice

Catalog Year: 2020-2021

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Bachelor's Degree (any)/Criminal Justice, Accelerated MS


The accelerated M.S. in Criminal Justice is designed for high achieving undergraduate students who are pursuing a bachelor's degree in any field and who also wish to obtain a master's of science in criminal justice. Students can earn both degrees with a total of 144 credits rather than the usual 150 credits, and in as few as five years. Students gain enhanced knowledge and skills in the criminal justice field for career development or to help prepare for competitive, sought-after positions. The program takes advantage of the university's proximity to many justice organizations at the federal, state, and local levels in the capital region. The curriculum is designed to give students the skills to work with justice and security agencies in the region. For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees.  

Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For information specific to this degree, see the departmental website. 

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students who have been accepted into the accelerated master's program can take up to 6 graduate credits (any course except CRIM 517 Research Practicum in Justice Policy and Practice) while still in undergraduate status and those credits will be applied to both degrees (BA or BS and MS), as long as they get at least a minimum grade of B in each course. Once admitted to the accelerated master's pathway, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 in all coursework. During the final semester of undergraduate coursework, students submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form. Upon completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree in the semester indicated in the application, they are admitted to graduate status. 

As graduate students, accelerated master's students have an advanced standing. They must meet all master's degree requirements, except the two courses (6 credits) they completed as undergraduates. Students must begin their master's program the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree.

Reserve Graduate Credit

Students can take an additional 6 credits of graduate courses while still undergraduates, and those credits will be applied only to the master's degree (reserve credits). To apply these credits to the master's degree, students should use the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form.

The ability to take courses for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with the permission of the department.  Permission is normally granted only to qualified Mason seniors within 15 hours of graduation. See AP.1.4.4 Graduate Course Enrollment by Undergraduates.