A Masters of Science Degree in Judicial Administration is currently in the final review stages and will be available for student enrollment in Fall Semester 2013, once full and final approval is granted. Information regarding the program is now available. To further discuss your interest in the Masters degree or a career in judicial administration, contact Catharine White by e-mail or by phone 517.432.9874.
Applications for the Judicial Administration Masters program are screened for Summer, Fall, and Spring semester entry. All application material must be received before February 1 for consideration for the following Summer or Fall semester and by September 1 for consideration for the following Spring semester. Applicants are typically notified of admission decisions within 6-8 weeks of the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Please send all application material to the following address:
Judicial Administration Masters Program
Michigan State University
655 Auditorium Road, Room 560
East Lansing, MI 48824
Application materials include:
- Application for Graduate Study at Michigan State University. May be requested from the Graduate School or submitted online.The major code for the Judicial Administration Masters program is 7728. A check or money order for the application fee, payable to Michigan State University, must accompany the application if the fee is not submitted online.
- Departmental application. May be submitted online.
- ONE set of official transcripts from all colleges and universities
attended (a transcript of work at MSU is not required). Please do
not request .pdf or electronic versions of your transcripts, as
they will not be accepted by the Office of Admissions if you are
offered admission. Applicants must have or be near completion of
their bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
- Graduate Record Exam (GRE) general scores from an exam taken within the last five years. The GRE exam is waived for candidates with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher or for applicants with a completed graduate degree. Please note that your overall GPA will be determined by combining the credits and quality points earned throughout your undergraduate studies. Test preparation material and information about test dates can be found at www.gre.com. Please note when scheduling your exam that it may take 4-6 weeks for your scores to be forwarded to the university and this department. The institution code for MSU is 1465. Admission requires scores at or above the 50th percentile.
- A personal statement of your academic and professional goals.
This should include information about your motivation to study criminal
justice, a description of relevant research and/or work experience,
and any other information about yourself that you would like the
admissions committee to know. The Application for Graduate Study
has fields for an academic statement and a personal statement, and
you may either submit your statements there or type "submitted
to department" in the fields and mail or email a single combined
essay to the program office at 560 Baker Hall or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Three letters of recommendation from people who can comment on your ability to perform graduate work. At least two letters must be from tenure-track faculty from your undergraduate or graduate institution, if you have graduated within the past five years. It is important for the Graduate Review Committee to obtain an outside evaluation and recommendation from a person who has an understanding of your time management skills, abilities and work progression. The recommender must be familiar with the demands and rigor of graduate education, and must comment on the candidate's potential success in the program. Please use the Recommendation for Admission form found in the Application for Graduate Study at Michigan State University. The form should be included with all letters of recommendation.
- International students must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam scores. Students from countries where the primary language is English may have the TOEFL requirement waived with the approval of the department, college, and Graduate School. Please contact the graduate secretary at email@example.com to determine whether the requirement may be waived. When sending TOEFL scores, please use institution code 1465.
Please note: While a criminal justice undergraduate major is not required for admission to the program, the applicant must have a background of education and occupational experience appropriate to the successful pursuit of graduate work. Applicants insufficiently prepared for graduate studies in criminal justice may be required to complete collateral coursework or pursue individualized study.
A limited number of applicants who do not satisfy the school's regular admission requirements may be admitted on a provisional basis. The decision to grant provisional admission is based on the student's potential contributions to the field of criminal justice and is offered at the discretion of the department. A student may be enrolled on a provisional basis for only two semesters and must be admitted on a regular basis to be considered a degree candidate.
If you have questions about applying, pllease contact Melissa Christle at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 353-7133.
Information will be available upon final approval.
CJ 811 Design and Analysis in Criminal Justice Research (3)
Scientific methods in criminal justice research. Design data collection and analysis, interpretation of findings and ethical concerns. Computer use in data analysis. Prerequisite to CJ 887. Fall semester
CJ 812 Criminal Justice Management Seminar (3)
Preparing to Lead: Analyzing and Developing Organization and Personal Leadership
This course immerses students in leadership development for the purpose of preparing them to lead the courts and other justice system organizations. It identifies the complexities of developing leadership acumen that is personally authentic and prepares them to assume increasingly more responsible leadership roles within their organizations. Both leaders and managers must think and act strategically, systemically, and collaboratively. Such action requires sound judgment predicated on critical thinking; activating and using personal values and integrity in service to the organization; gaining skills suitable for leading during times of stability and instability; and developing communication skills that compel people and organizations to chart the future while also thriving in the present. Students will engage with each other, the instructor, and the subject matter through a variety of learning opportunities: readings, self-reflection, critical thinking, assessment and analysis, individual writings, and group assignments. Fall semester
CJ 829 National and Global Trends in Court Planning (3)
This course focuses on the role of emerging trends and the changing expectations of key stakeholders in the strategic planning process. The basic premise of the course is that planning is not a linear process whereby today’s realities can be used as an accurate and dependable marker for making prudent decisions regarding the future. The goal is to help those working in the justice system, and those preparing for such careers, to learn how to analyze the “discontinuous” world in which they live and must function, so they can identify the strategic issues which will frame a meaningful planning process for their organization. Students will analyze and write from the context of their respective organizations, but with an understanding of regional, national and global issues that influence their organizations. Each student will interact with the instructor through written assignments and through group discussions with the instructor and with the other members of the class. Spring semester.
CJ 860 Historical Foundations/Contemporary Frameworks in Judicial Administration (3)
The purpose of this course is to provide students with knowledge about the historical foundations of the judicial branch and the formation of judicial administration, thus providing the context for the role and responsibilities of the courts in contemporary society, as well as rule of law globally. The historical foundations will address the question of why courts exist, how they continue to evolve, and how courts are guided from legal mandates to public perceptions. Tracing the historical foundations will expose students to the development of a new profession—court management. The role of the court manager will be analyzed in the context of judicial branch mores, ethical codes, and culture. The business of the courts—caseflow management—will be explored and analyzed. The course will also investigate the court culture and how it affects governance and leadership. Students will be engaged in the subject matter through readings, group discussions, writing assignments, and analysis of case data. Fall semester
CJ 861 Budget Planning and Resource Allocation for Court Performance (3)
This course focuses on financial resources for courts and court systems, including resource acquisition and allocation strategies, output and outcome measurement for expenditure assessment, efficient and effective resource management, techniques of budget presentation in the public-sector context, alternative budget planning and justification formats, audit formats, and revenue enhancement sources and strategies. Trial Court Performance Standards provide a context for assessing outputs and outcomes from resource allocations and expenditures. Summer semester
CJ 862 Workforce Planning and Management in the Courts (3)
The purpose of this course is to address the issues of workforce planning and management in the judicial branch which involves the complexity of different types of selections and forms of employment, including elected and appointed judges and other judicial officers, at-will-employees, civil servants, and contractual labor and services. The interplay among the different forms of employment methods result in different standards for selection, hiring, managing, appraising, and correcting employee behaviors. This course will also pursue the effective and efficient operations of courts which rest on the job performance, roles, and responsibilities of this collection of employees as well as employees who are detailed to the courts for a variety of court services but are not court employees. Succession planning will be explored as a viable methodology for the development of employees for increasingly more responsible leadership positions in the courts. Summer semester
CJ 863 Courthouse Planning: Space, Technology, Security, and Disaster Recovery (3)
The purpose of this course is to provide students with the necessary knowledge about courthouse and courtroom requirements and specifications for new buildings or remodeling. It will address the required or suggested specifications for judicial chambers, law libraries, and administrative operations space. Space planning will include courthouse and courtroom technology planning and acquisition for integrated systems, optimal workflow, and electronic courts that are connected to the legal practitioners, other courts, and self-represented litigant clinics. Additional issues central to courthouse planning will be incorporated such as security, lock-ups and prisoner movement, disaster planning and recovery, environmental standards, and selecting and assessing contractors. Students will be engaged in the subject matter through a variety of means and methods including readings, group discussions, case studies, assessment and analysis of construction issues and contracting. Summer semester
CJ 864 Elements of Essential Court Operations (3)
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to study the essential management infrastructure of court operations; to analyze the intersections of court operations and constitutional mandates related to issues of judicial independence, interdependence, and accountability; and to situate the role of the courts within the communities they serve. Students will be exposed to contemporary issues in judicial systems including: judicial independence, interdependence, transparency, and accountability challenges to separation of powers, due process, and privacy rights; societal changes and demands that impact court operations and the concept of justice, such as problem solving courts, self-represented litigants, courts as collection agencies, alternative dispute resolution, restorative justice, and the establishment of specialty courts; systems analysis for electronic courts and records management; and project management applied to operating diverse court services with competing priorities. Students will be engaged in the subject matter through readings, group discussions, writing assignments, and analysis. Spring semester
CJ 887 Quantitative Methods in Criminal Justice Research (3)
Descriptive and inferential statistics and computer use in criminal justice research. Spring semester
CJ 896 Policy Analysis Under Conditions of Change (3)
Methods of policy analysis in criminal justice settings. Policy analysis for the formulation, adoption and implementation of change. Fall semester
JRN 892 Special Topics: Courts in the Media (3)
This course offers both court administration and journalism students an opportunity to learn about the two fields, with specific emphasis on the roles, rights and responsibilities of each, as well as their respective values, ethics, and cultures. The course will identify areas of common goals, as well as areas of tension and potential conflict. The course will employ readings, forum discussions, chat and online multimedia lectures to explore concepts and themes, including: justice, rule of law, First Amendment freedoms, privacy, transparency (freedom of information), punishment, rehabilitation, restitution, human rights, civil rights, hate crimes, victim rights, diversity, regulation and intellectual property (copyright). While much of the course will focus on the United States, there will also be opportunities to discuss the international court system and court systems in different countries, as well as how journalists operate in different countries.
What is a typical course like?
Online courses are very similar to the on-campus program except for the method of delivery. Students get a syllabus outlining course requirements, are assigned weekly readings and are required to post their evaluation of the readings in discussion rooms. Classmates then comment on the input of other students. Case problems may be required and the class may be broken into small groups with a team leader who is required to post the group's solution to the case. Research papers may be required with an executive summary being posted for review by students and a complete paper submitted to the professor. If the topic appears of interest to other students, they may request a copy by contacting the author. You may wish to view the online CJ demo course for a sample of how an online course in the program is structured.
Should I be concerned about taking the GRE since I have been out of school for several years?
Some students express concern about the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and their scores since they may have been out of college for a number of years. Remember this is only one area considered by the graduate review committee when making admissions decisions. Letters of reference, personal statement, prior grades, and success on the job are other factors considered. GRE practice exams, a list of testing centers and other information may be found at www.gre.com.
If the course is online, why do I have to order textbooks?
Volumes of written material on the Internet become difficult for students to manage. When supplemented with reading packs or books, students are able to do reading away from the computer. It is also important for students to acquire a professional library.
What university services are available to me?
Library access, a writing center, financial aid, bookstore and other university resources are available to virtual students. For example, students may order course books via e-mail from campus bookstores. Books and documents needed for course projects can be obtained from library via e-mail at no costs.
What type of financial aid is available?
Since most students are working, they may not qualify for financial aid. Students are eligible for loans if they are taking at least six credits. Loans are also available for computer equipment required for the program. For more information, contact the financial aid office at (517) 353-5940 or email@example.com.
Since this is a degree-granting program, veteran benefits may be applicable. Students eligible for veteran benefits must submit the required certificate to the VA Office on campus. Contact the Veteran benefit office at (517) 355-5032.
How many credits can I transfer into the program?
You may transfer up to nine graduate level credits from an accredited institution into the program. You must have received at least a 3.0 in each of the courses and we will need to review course descriptions and syllabi to determine if the courses meet the requirements of this program. Transfer credits are most often applied toward elective requirements. The department chair or dean has final approval.
How do I access grades?
Student grades may be obtained at www.stuinfo.msu.edu, along with other academic, personal and financial aid information.
Information will be available upon final approval.
To participate in the Judicial Administration Masters program, students must have access to and be comfortable with a computer with an Internet connection. See the Virtual University Home Page and the appropriate course previews for current minimum equipment requirements for specific courses.
At a minimum, each student needs access to:
- A browser that meets the ANGEL minimum requirements.
- Minimum screen resolution of 800x600 (1024x768 recommended).
- 56K modem or direct connection to the Internet. A broadband (high-speed) Internet connection is recommended (and required for some courses).
- Adequate responsiveness and performance from your computer. Most computers manufactured within the last four years will meet your needs.
Every MSU Virtual University student will receive an MSU NetID and password. MSU Mail is an MSU information technology resource used by all MSU students.
Tuition rates and billing information may be found at the Controller's Office website under Graduate Students/Online Program Rates.
Non-tuition related fees include a $20.00 non-refundable application fee for the Judicial Administration Masters Program and a $50.00 non-refundable application fee for the Application for Graduate Study at Michigan State University. Tuition and fees are subject to change.
Additional information related to tuition and fees can be found on the Michigan State University's Office of Financial Aid website.
To obtain a Master of Science in Judicial Administration, a student must complete a minimum of 30 credits of coursework as follows (in effect Fall 2012):
|CJ 811 Design and Analysis in Criminal Justice Research|
|CJ 812 Criminal Justice Management Seminar|
|CJ 829 National and Global Trends in Court Planning|
|CJ 860 Historical Foundations/Contemporary Frameworks in Judicial Administration||
|CJ 861 Budget Planning and Resource Allocation for Court Performance||
|CJ 862 Workforce Planning and Management in the Courts|
|CJ 887 Quantitative Methods|
|Two of the following courses (6 credits)|
|CJ 863 Courthouse Planning: Space, Technology, Security, and Disaster Recovery|
|CJ 864 Elements of Essential Court Operations|
|JRN 892 Special Topics: Courts in the Media||
|The following course (3 credits)|
|CJ 896 Policy Analysis Under Conditions of Change||
This is our general rotation of online courses. However, scheduling conflicts and faculty sabbaticals may sometimes change the timing of offerings. Be sure to check the online Schedule of Courses for the most recent schedule of online courses.
CJ 811 Design & Analysis in Criminal Justice Research
CJ 812 Criminal Justice Management Seminar
CJ 860 Historical Foundations/Contemporary Frameworks in Judicial Administration
CJ 829 National and Global Trends in Court Planning
CJ 864 Elements of Essential Court Operations
CJ 887 Quantitative Methods in CJ Research
CJ 896 Policy Analysis Under Conditions of Change (LEIA section)
CJ 861 Budget Planning and Resource Allocation for Court Performance
CJ 862 Workforce Planning and Management in the Courts
CJ 863 Courthouse Planning: Space, Technology, Security, and Disaster Recovery
JRN 892 Special Topics: Courts in the Media