ASU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
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Graduate Frequently Asked Questions

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Prospective Student


Q: I recently submitted my application for the MACJ program. How can I find out if my letters of recommendation, transcripts, and other supporting materials have been received? 

A: Any pre-admissions questions (e.g., about the status of your application and materials received) should be directed to Ms. Shannon Stewart, Administrative Assistant (


Q: I’ve been out of school a long time. Is it okay to get letters of recommendation from my supervisors at work? 

A: Yes, but it is very important that your letter writers discuss your ability to succeed in graduate school. It’s great to know that you’re a valued employee, but that information does not tell us about skills that are important for completing a graduate degree. Letters should be specific, detailed, and address qualifications relevant to graduate school performance, such as written and oral communication skills, reading comprehension, research abilities, and the like. 


Q: Who is eligible for assistantships, and what skills are you looking for? 

A: Each year, a limited number of assistantships are available for admitted M.S. students. Preference is given to students who have 1) GRE scores over 1000; 2) high undergraduate GPAs (e.g., 3.7+); 3) demonstrated research experience; and 4) express an interest in continuing for a Ph.D. Questions about assistantships should be directed to Dr. Kristy Holtfreter, Master’s Program Director (


Current Students


Q: I was just admitted to the MACJ program. How do I decide what classes to take? 

A: Any post-admissions questions should be directed to the MACJ program at 602 496-2365. 

Q: Can graduate students earn credits for CRJ 584, Internship? 

A: Local students can earn up to 6 credits of CRJ 584. For more information on internships, please contact Ms. Robbin Brooks, Internship Coordinator ( or visit the school's Internships webpage.


Q:  What is the difference between the Master of Arts and Master of Science programs?

A: The MA is a professional degree, designed for students who already work in the field of criminal justice, or plan on pursuing work in that field.  The Master of Science program is a research-based degree for students who typically plan on applying for Ph.D. programs after graduation.


Q: My undergraduate GPA is slightly lower than a 3.0 can I still be admitted provisionally?

A: Admission to both the MACJ and MSCCJ degrees is highly competitive. Even students with a GPA above 3.0 are not guaranteed admission to either program. Undergraduate GPA is just one piece of information that is used to review applicants. It is unlikely that students with GPAs falling below 3.0 will be admitted, although there are rare exceptions to this rule. 


Q: What is an iPOS? 

A: The iPOS is the Individual Plan of Study. Students list all of their planned coursework by semester on the iPOS. Students must submit their POS by the time they have enrolled for 50% of the minimum credit hours required for their degree program. Prior to graduation, the iPOS is reviewed by the School and the Graduate College to make sure students meet all degree requirements.  You can find additional details here:


Q: Do I have to take CRJ 505 in my last semester?

A: Yes. There are no exceptions to this rule. CRJ 505 is the required, capstone course for MACJ students. CRJ 505 is only offered online. All students, even those admitted to the on campus MACJ program before Spring 2012, will take the course online. In CRJ 505, students apply all of their previous coursework (required and elective) to a research problem/project.  Students should plan to take 505 in the "B" session of their last semester at ASU.


Q: May new graduate applicants apply to start in session B?

A: If the degree program to which a student is applying accepts applications for a session B start, the option to apply for session B will appear in the Graduate Admissions Application. For additional information, students should consult with the academic unit to which they are applying. Note that F-1 or J-1 international students are not eligible to apply to session B.


Q:  How will the A and B sessions affect financial aid?

A: Students enrolling in any of the 7.5-week sessions may be eligible for financial aid provided they meet all eligibility criteria. Enrolling after the Pell census date can affect financial aid awards. It is best to be enrolled for all hours you plan to take for both A and B sessions by the Pell census date, the 21st day of the semester.

Financial aid awards are disbursed using the total hours enrolled for both sessions. Students attending both sessions, enrolled at least half time, will receive their full financial aid disbursement at the beginning of the A session. Students attending only B session will have their financial aid disbursement delayed, as required by federal regulation. Financial aid disbursement begins 10 days prior to the first day of the session.

All grant funds are awarded based on full-time status. If total enrollment for the sessions is less than full time, awards are prorated. For more information, please read the census website.


Q: How can I find out what jobs are available for students with a Master's degree in Criminal Justice?

A: For the most up-to-date information on this topic, see



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