Master's Degree: Substantial Paper Option

M.A. In Criminal Justice, Substantial Analytical Paper Option

  • At least 36 approved graduate course hours are required, including P501, P502, P594, P610 or P670, and P595. Of the remaining 21 hours, 6 hours must be completed within the Department. In addition, a student must complete two substantial papers.
  • M.A. students choosing not to complete a M.A. thesis are required to complete two substantial analytical research papers. In both instances, substantial papers should involve significant research on a topic beyond the scope of work required in a typical graduate course and must reflect continued student/faculty interaction. Criteria for what fulfills the departmental requirements for substantial research papers are at the discretion of the supervising professor and the assigned reader.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to select a professor to supervise the substantial paper. The supervising professor must be a tenure-track member of the faculty of the Department of Criminal Justice. The supervising professor in consultation with the student will select a second reader.
  • The student must submit a proposal for the substantial paper to the supervising professor. The proposal should include the following: statement of problem, method of analysis (conceptualization and operationalization of significant variables), and a preliminary bibliography.
  • The student will submit the substantial paper to the Graduate Secretary, both in electronic and hard copy form. The Graduate Secretary will distribute the paper to the supervising professor and the second reader.
  • After the paper has been approved by both the supervising professor and the reader, the student will submit a final copy of the paper and the committee’s approval in writing to the Graduate Secretary, who places these materials in the student’s folder and notes the fulfillment of the substantial paper requirement.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the supervising professor provides written certification of approval of the paper once the paper has been completed. See Appendix C for the suggested format. The signed approval sheet will be submitted to the Graduate Secretary, along with the final approved version of the substantial paper. The final approved version of the substantial paper must be submitted in both hard copy and electronic form.
  • The department strongly encourages students to present these papers in a public forum, including regional and national conferences or the departmental colloquium series.
  • Bibliographic style and format of the substantial papers may conform to the departmental style sheet (Appendix B). A double-spaced abstract (no more than 350 words) must be included with the substantial paper.
  • Students admitted to the doctoral program who wish to earn a master’s degree, may use qualifying examinations to satisfy substantial paper credit towards the master’s degree if the area committee in question approves. The area committee also may suggest additional steps that the student might complete to fulfill the requirement.
  • Copies of the substantial papers must include:
    • one copy for the Director of Graduate Studies;
    • one copy for the supervising professor
  • Required or core courses: A sequence of five interdisciplinary core courses is required of all students enrolling in the program. These courses must be taken as offered by the Department of Criminal Justice at Indiana University. These courses assume that the entering student has a basic understanding of descriptive and inferential statistics. If not, students will be required to take individually prescribed compensatory courses.
    • P501 Proseminar: Criminal Justice Systems and Processes I (3 credits): An intensive introduction to the basic areas of criminal justice.
    • P502 Proseminar: Nature of Crime and Delinquency (3 credits): Theories of crime and delinquency.
    • P594 Introduction to Research Methods (3 credits): Research methodology in criminal justice, including research design, scientific methods, ethical questions, and the role of the criminal justice researcher.
    • P595 Introduction to Statistics (3 credits): Statistics in criminal justice
    • P610 Law and Society (3 credits): Study of how law shapes society and society shapes the law.
    • P670 Cross-Cultural Studies: Examines significance of cross-cultural research to criminology/criminal justice, research practices and problems, with emphasis on analysis of field experiences and findings.

Appealing an Advisory Committee’s Decision

In the event a student disagrees with a committee’s decision on matters related to the graduate program, the student may appeal to the Director of Graduate Studies. The burden shall be on the student to show how the course fits into the Ph.D. in Criminal Justice program.