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Legal Studies: Criminal Justice

Master of Science – Legal Studies - Criminal Justice Concentration – Credits:  36-37 (program code:  0957)

Program Description

The Master of Science in Legal Studies: Criminal Justice Concentration is offered on the California University Global Online network in an accelerated format.  The program is housed in the Department of Professional Studies within the College of Science and Technology. Both academics and practitioners whose pedagogy blends theory with practice instruct in this program. The curricular mission is to prepare learned and erudite justice practitioners who will assume leadership positions in the justice sector and make substantial contributions to the betterment of the legal and justice systems and the community served.

Program Objectives

The graduate will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Evaluate critical legal and public policy issues
  • Evaluate legal method and reasoning to address complex legal and public policy issues
  • Evaluate the ethical and moral implications of case law and legislative action in the development of public policy
  • Evaluate legal arguments and legal remedies in a particular public policy dilemma
  • Evaluate criminal and civil remedies in relationship to ethical, moral, social, political and cultural dilemmas relating to the law
  • Research, interpret and evaluate legal materials such as case law and statutory materials
  • Evaluate the influence judicial rulings and legislative actions have on public policy

Delivery Mode

Global Online (100 percent online delivery)

Admissions Criteria

Minimum 3.00 GPA in a baccalaureate degree* verified with official transcripts from an accredited institution

Graduate School Application plus $25 nonrefundable application fee

*Applicants possessing a 2.50-2.99 GPA may be considered for conditional admission if they submit two professional letters of recommendation, a current resume indicating field experience and a listing of three references. Conditional admits must achieve a grade of B (3.00) or higher in the first six credits taken.


Core Courses: 12 Semester HoursCredits
LAW600Law and Public Policy3
LAW601Law and Ethics3
LAW602Law, Civil Liberties and the Constitution3
LAW603Law and Legal Method3
  Criminal Justice Concentration: 12 Semester HoursCredits 
PCJ747Financial Investigations3
PCJ748Criminal Justice Organization and Management 3
PCJ749Seminar in Justice Studies3
Sexual Assault Investigations3

Criminal Justice Electives 12-13 Semester HoursCredits
PCJ751Executive Protection3
PCJ752Digital Imaging, Forensic Photography and the Law3
PCJ755Polygraph and Lie Detection3
AST700U.S. Homeland Security3
AST740Terrorism, Threat and Vulnerability Analysis and Protection3
AST760Biological, Chemical, Nuclear and WMD Threats in Homeland Security3
AST780Intelligence Practice in Homeland Security3
LAW605Law and Police Process3
LAW606Law, Punishment and Corrections3
LAW607Law and Criminal Conduct3
LAW702Law, Science and Forensic Applications3
LAW730Independent Study in Law and Public Policy 3


Students in the legal studies: criminal justice concentration receive academic and professional advisement from the program coordinator and program faculty. Each student is assigned to an academic adviser from the time he/she is accepted into the program of study. Advisers work with students to discuss, monitor and provide advisement as it relates to their program of study.

Application Questions

School of Graduate Studies and Research
California University of Pennsylvania
Eberly 202B
250 University Ave.
California, PA 15419


Program Coordinator

Christina A. Toras, J.D. (Capital University Law School), M.A. (East Carolina University), B.A. (Youngstown State University), Chair/Professor, Full-Time Faculty; Specializations: legal research and writing, real estate and corporate law, legal system ethics, appellate legal practice and private sector justice
Phone: 724-938-4716

Graduate Faculty

For faculty bios, visit:

Larry Bassi, M.A. (University of Washington), B.S. (University of Nebraska), Professor, Adjunct Faculty

Brian Kohlhepp, M.A. (California University of Pennsylvania), B.A. (Waynesburg University), Professor, Adjunct Faculty

Jeffrey S. Magers, Ed.D., M.A. (Spalding University), B.S. (Eastern Kentucky University), Associate Professor

William F. Morgan Jr.,  J.D. (Quinnipiac College School of Law), B.S. (University of New Haven), Professor, Adjunct Faculty