Dual Degree Program

The Public Administration MPA + Criminal Justice MS Dual Degree program provides the opportunity for students to earn graduate degrees from two academic programs, the Master of Science in Criminal Justice and the Master of Public Administration, concurrently. The program emphasizes criminal justice and public administration research, theory, policy and organizational administration to prepare future public service organizational leaders in public, nonprofit, social service, and private organizations. After completion of the MPA/MS dual degree program, students will receive two diplomas, one for the Criminal Justice MS and one for the Public Administration MPA.


Criminal Justice Graduate Advising Office
407-823-2603 or elexis.ritz@ucf.edu

Public Administration Graduate Advising Office
407-823-0912 or nasrin@ucf.edu

Department of Criminal Justice

School of Public Administration


Application & Admission

The dual degree track consists of 51 credit hours. Each student completes a core of 11 courses (33 credit hours), two research methods and statistics courses (6 credit hours), two electives (6 credit hours), and a capstone experience of two courses (6 credit hours).


Minimum Hours Required for MSCJ/MPA-51 Credit Hours


Core Requirements – 33 Credit Hours


  • CCJ 5015 The Nature of Crime (3 credits)
  • CCJ 5456 The Administration of Justice (3 credits)
  • CCJ 6106 Policy Analysis in Criminal Justice (3 credits)
  • CCJ 6118 Criminal Justice Organizations (3 credits)
  • PAD 6035 Public Administration in the Policy Process (3 credits)
  • PAD 6037 Public Organization Management (3 credits)
  • PAD 6053 Public Administrators in the Governance Process (3 credits)
  • PAD 6207 Public Financial Management (3 credits)
  • PAD 6227 Public Budgeting (3 credits)
  • PAD 6335 Strategic Planning and Management (3 credits)
  • PAD 6417 Human Resource Management (3 credits)

Research Methods/Statistics Core Requirements – 6 Credit Hours (1 course from each discipline)

  • CCJ 6704 Research Methods in Criminal Justice (3 credits) OR
    PAD 6700 Research Methods in Public Administration (3 credits)
  • CCJ 6706 Data Analysis I in Criminal Justice (3 credits) OR
    PAD 6701 Analytic Techniques for Public Administration (3 credits)

Capstone Core Requirements – 6 Credit Hours

  • CJE 6718 Proseminar in Criminal Justice (3 credits)
  • PAD 6062 Advanced Concepts and Applications in Public Administration (3 credits)

*Students must earn at least a B grade in all CCJ/CJE core requirements and at least a B- grade in PAD core requirements.


Electives (pick two courses) – 6 Credit Hours

  • CJC 5020 Foundations of Corrections (3 credits)
  • CJL 6568 Law and Social Control (3 credits)
  • CJE 5021 Foundations of Law Enforcement (3 credits)
  • CJL 6520 American Criminal Courts (3 credits)
  • CJJ 6020 The Juvenile Justice System (3 credits)

Applicants must apply online
In addition to the general admission requirements, applicants must provide:


  • Official transcripts of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale overall or for the last 60 attempted semester hours of credit earned for the bachelor’s degree
  • Three letters of recommendation specifically for the Criminal Justice MS/MPA program evaluating scholarly and professional capacity. Letters from professors from the colleges/universities attended are preferred, but if that is not feasible, letters from current or past supervisors will be accepted. The recommender must address the applicant’s work ethic and ability to succeed at graduate-level academic work.
  • Current professional résumé including public service experience (paid or voluntary).
  • Goal Statement: The goal statement is a key component of the admission review process and serves as an example of the applicant’s ability to express himself or herself in writing. The goal statement must be no longer than two pages double spaced (500-800 words) and should address the following:
    • Personal background and career aspirations in public service.
    • Reason for pursuing graduate study in criminal justice and public administration, including future career goals and plans.
    • Specific areas of public administration and criminal justice that interests you

Applicants not meeting the minimum standards may be considered as candidates for limited and competitive provisional admittance. However, only students with complete applications (final transcript, resume, letters of recommendation and personal statement) will be reviewed under this special admission category. GRE scores are strongly encouraged for this category of students.


Students should be aware that admission to any graduate program is granted on a competitive basis. There may be cases where students meeting minimum requirements are denied admission based on such factors as program capacity or academic discretion.


Domestic applicants must turn in all materials prior to the following deadlines:


  • Fall Priority - January 15th
  • Fall - June 1st
  • Spring - December 1st

Note: International students are bound by different deadlines and admissions criteria. These regulations can be found in the graduate catalog. Please also check the UCF Graduate Catalog for the most up-to-date admissions information for the program.

The Department of Criminal Justice makes every effort to support funding for graduate research assistants and graduate assistants. The department evaluates students for Fall Graduate Assistantships in early Spring of every year. Those students that have applied for the Spring, Summer and Fall of the upcoming academic year by January 15th will be considered for department Graduate Assistantship positions.


Applicants must submit the following documents to be considered: official transcripts reflecting minimum 3.0 GPA, GRE scores (even though not required for admission), statement of goals, resume, and letters of recommendation. These applications are evaluated by the Graduate Committee as part of this very competitive process, and offers are made in the Spring.