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Master of Science in Social Science

Graduate Thesis

Master of Science in Social Science: Criminal Justice Curriculum

The educational objectives of the graduate program in Criminal Justice are to prepare professionals and future professionals to think critically about the problems of crime and justice, to provide them with an in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system and issues that affect that system’s foundations, functions and operations -- within a larger context. Students will come to understand scholarly research and its applications within diverse areas of the justice system, case studies and the methods of inquiry and research. They will address the social and societal issues that largely over-determine and inform both crime and the system that is established to “manage” it. This program is particularly well suited to those employed in multi-cultural environments where an understanding of society and culture from various perspectives is paramount. Students are provided a solid theoretical, conceptual, and methodological foundation in the social sciences, which in combination with discipline-focused curriculum will under-gird and complement their studies and broaden the spectrum of professional opportunities to which they will have access.

Program Objectives:

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of current issues, concepts, philosophies and theories in the field of Criminal Justice.
  • Evidence the capacity to analytically dissect and present various theories of crime causation and societal response, and the techniques of prevention and treatment of crime.
  • Develop a sophisticated and far-reaching understanding of the role of the courts in the administration of justice.
  • Apply constitutional principles that protect the rights of citizens and regulate criminal-justice agencies with a solid mastery.
  • Identify and discuss procedures necessary to establish a lawful arrest and search, proper judicial procedures, and the admissibility of evidence.
  • Explain principles of effective law enforcement and security administration.
  • Describe the structure and procedures of juvenile court; the function and jurisdiction of juvenile agencies; and the processing and disposition of juvenile cases.
  • Articulate the role of corrections in the Criminal Justice system.
  • Think logically and critically, in order to formulate, present, and defend logical arguments.
  • Apply the knowledge of ethical principles with the high standards expected of criminal justice practitioners.
  • Evidence the ability to apply critical thinking and acquired knowledge in organizational and management theory to effectively manage personnel and efficiently allocate resources in the delivery of criminal/social justice services.
  • Work collaboratively with fellow practitioners and the community to jointly achieve common goals.
  • Recognize how professional and ethical thinking are essential to building both a successful career and elevating the stature of criminal/social justice as a profession.
  • Recognize the preeminence of social justice, the responsibility for safeguarding human rights, and personal stewardship of social justice in all professional endeavors.
  • Further hone communicative skills, which underpin the ability to conduct independent research and to formulate documents, reports, and publications that manifest mastery of content and execution.

Career Opportunities: The successful graduate will be suitably prepared to assume a variety of managerial-level positions in multiple arenas of the judicial system, in the criminal justice community, in government, in public or private agencies, and in other professional arenas – or, alternatively, to assume enhanced leadership roles within the context of a currently-held (CJ-focused) position or organization. A broad spectrum of professional opportunities involving the nature, genesis, management, control, regulation, oversight, monitoring, planning design, data interpretation and analysis of crime and justice are viable options as well.

Master of Science in Social Science: Human Resource Management

The Human Resource Management program prepares HR and other professionals for today’s technology-intensive environment. It provides the knowledge and techniques to deal with human resource issues and to achieve high quality innovation and productivity in often turbulent organizational settings. It offers the training needed to establish and implement policies consonant with HR best practices and the needs of the organization. Students are provided a solid theoretical, conceptual, and methodological foundation in the social sciences. The curriculum is designed to expand and strengthen field expertise by emphasizing the ability to think beyond functional boundaries, the ability to participate meaningfully in the development of and implementation of workplace strategies that deliver business results. The University of Atlanta’s graduate curriculum is mapped to the competencies identified by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in “The Competency Model for new HR.” Required course work includes: human resource planning, recruiting, selection, placement, compensation and benefits, performance management, career planning, training and organizational development, labor and employee relations, ethical/legal employment practices, HR information systems, HR strategy, statistical methods, and program evaluation. An intensive and comprehensive curriculum.

Program Objectives:

  • Develop and implement plans, policies and procedures for maximizing organizational performance.
  • Establish and implement strategy-supportive staffing techniques, including employee recruitment, retention and training.
  • Develop a significant knowledge of employment law and mandates relating to human resource functions in order to confirm compliance.
  • Create processes for disciplinary action, grievances, performance appraisal and compensation.
  • Research empowerment theories and advantages, and constraints to employee participation
  • Evaluate the role of the National Labor Relations Board, collective bargaining, contract administration and union-management
  • Apply total quality assurance and continual improvement to human resource processes, functions and programs
  • Demonstrate proficiency in human resource management at the master's degree level
  • Establish a significant, comprehensive understanding of ethical decision models and their applications within the arena of HR Administration.
  • Apply both quantitative and qualitative analysis of Human Resource Management problems in the areas of policy-making, comparative analysis of policies, strategic analysis, cost analysis and other HR-related areas.
  • Further hone communicative skills, which underpin the ability to conduct independent research and to formulate documents, reports, and publications that manifest mastery of content and execution.

Career Opportunities:This program prepares those who seek to pursue managerial-level positions in one or more areas of HR: in recruitment, in compensation, in benefits, in employee development, in labor relations and in other branches of human resource management. For those already in the field, the degree positions them well for significant professional advances.