A&T Receives Approval to Launch Graduate Degrees in Criminal Justice

By Labrina VanCliff / 11/16/2023 College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Criminal Justice

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Nov. 16, 2023) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS) will soon be home to new criminal justice master’s and doctoral degree programs. The UNC System Board of Governors approved the programs Nov. 16 following a rigorous review by the university and the UNC System.

N.C. A&T’s criminal justice master’s and doctoral programs are designed to provide high-quality graduate education and training in criminal justice with the four areas of specialization: investigative science, digital forensics, research methodology and social justice. These programs will emphasize an interdisciplinary approach to academics, research, professional development and leadership.

A&T will work in partnership with local and regional law enforcement agencies to provide educational opportunities to address the need for additional officers and staff, the retention and promotion of officers and the prevention of and response to crime in the community. Both degree programs will offer resources to provide efficient and effective public safety by establishing relationships with the local, state and federal law enforcement offices.

Our M.S. and Ph.D. programs in criminal justice mark a significant milestone at A&T and for the UNC system,” said Frances Ward-Johnson, Ph.D., CAHSS dean. The Ph.D. will be the first in criminal justice in North Carolina and will be first doctoral program in the college. The considerable effort invested in developing and navigating these proposals expands our reach to diverse student populations across disciplines and reinforces our commitment to delivering exceptional graduate education and training in the field of criminal justice.”

Both graduate degree programs will offer parallel on-campus and online course delivery catering to a wider population, including post-traditional students, law enforcement officers, military personnel and businesspeople who work full time. The university plans to begin accepting students into the programs in Fall 2024.

North Carolina ranks in the top five for states with the highest employment level for criminal justice educators and with the highest concentration of criminal justice-related jobs in the nation, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In North Carolina alone, nearly 11,000 jobs were posted from January to June 2023 for those seeking careers in criminal justice who had earned a master’s degree.

“Our undergraduate criminal justice program is one of the largest undergraduate programs on campus, so it was natural to pursue graduate degrees in that area,” said Clay Gloster, Ph.D., vice provost of Graduate Research and dean of The Graduate College. “I’m proud to say North Carolina A&T is the first in the UNC System to offer a Ph.D. program in criminal justice.”

The criminal justice master’s and doctoral programs align with the university’s land grant-oriented mission in providing students access to a field that will advance the human condition by giving them a preeminent and diverse educational experience through teaching, research and scholarly application of knowledge.

The programs will be at the vanguard of contemporary academic and professional innovation, providing students with the skills they need to pursue advanced careers in law enforcement, finance, risk management, government and corporate agencies, as well as the analytical skills needed to conduct basic and applied research.

Media Contact Information: lvcliff@ncat.edu

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