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Thesis Portal

Both the M.S. in Criminal Justice and the M.A. in Public Policy (MAPP) degrees now give you the option of writing and defending a thesis prior to graduation.

Thesis Requirements

You must have completed 21 credit hours and have permission from your Program Director before enrolling in CJUS/PPOG 689 Thesis Proposal and Research. In order to gain permission, you must email your Program Director the following information:

  • A purpose statement for your study, based on a preliminary literature review
  • Research question(s)
  • Methods Outline: How do you think you’ll go about answering your research question?
  • References Page
  • Thesis Courses


There are two courses in the thesis sequence: CJUS/PPOG 689 Thesis Proposal and Research, and CJUS/PPOG 690 Thesis Defense.

  • In CJUS/PPOG 689 you are expected to complete your proposal for Thesis Chair approval, and complete the compilation of your research and composition of your thesis. Commensurate to being admitted to the course, you will be assigned a faculty advisor based on the field of study your thesis work relates to. The advisor will also act as the chair during your final defense.
  • In CJUS/PPOG 690 you are expected to defend your thesis in front of the thesis committee. Neither course has scheduled hours, but each Thesis Chair may require certain reading materials for either course.

If you are an online student, you may defend your thesis via a mutually agreeable web conferencing software.

As a student in the thesis track, you are encouraged to start thinking about your thesis topic and conducting research early in your master’s program of studies.


If you seek admittance to the thesis program, contact Dr. Joel Cox at for CJUS 689 or CJUS 690 or Dr. Kahlib Fischer at for PPOG 689 or PPOG 690.

Writing Center

As a graduate student, you are encouraged to take full advantage of the Graduate Writing Center/Online Writing Center when composing your thesis. These centers provide free services, links to writing aids, and valuable assistance that will help take you through the writing process. 

Resource Links


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