Criminology and Criminal Justice BS/MA Dual Degree Program

The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers a 2+3 degree program that allows students to simultaneously earn their BS and their MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice in as few as 10 semesters. The BS and MA degrees are conferred at the same time, upon completion of the 2+3 program.  Students in the 2+3 program will complete the MA through coursework.  The master's thesis option is not available for 2+3 degree program students.

The combined program requires a minimum of 138 credit hours, 30 of which must be taken in graduate status.  Students accepted to the 2+3 degree program will be permitted to count up to 12 credit hours at the 4000-level or higher toward both the BS and MA degrees. 4000-level courses used toward the MA degree typically require additional graduate-level work. The remaining 18 credit hours must be at the 5000/6000 level. 

Any 4000-level course taken before graduate status is conferred will apply to the undergraduate requirements only unless given prior permission from the Graduate School (up to 6 credits). Students are encouraged to work closely with the Undergraduate and 2+3 Program Directors to ensure that required courses are timed appropriately.


Students will need to have fulfilled the core curriculum requirements prior to applying for the 2+3 program, with the exception of CRIMIN 4390 (Seminar in Criminology and Criminal Justice). 

Junior/Senior Year Courses (taken in graduate status)
CRIMIN 4390Seminar in Criminology and Criminal Justice3
Any three 4000-level CRIMIN courses that is taught by a member of the Graduate Faculty 9
Total Hours12
Final Year Courses
CRIMIN 6400Proseminar3
CRIMIN 6405Methods3
CRIMIN 5415Foundations of Criminological Theory3
CRIMIN 6410Statistical Applications in Criminology and Criminal Justice3
Any two 6000-level electives in CRIMIN6
Total Hours18

NOTE: A student must obtain permission from the 2+3 Program Director to take a 4000-level course and 6000-level course as two separate courses when they have the same name (e.g., CRIMIN 4350 Victimology and CRIMIN 6448 Victimology).


Admission to the 2+3 Program is a two-step process. 

Provisional Admission

Applicants are considered for provisional admission if they meet the following four criteria:

  1.  earned 60 hours as an undergraduate
  2.  completed the core curriculum requirements for the Criminology and Criminal Justice major, with the exception of CRIMIN 4390
  3.  have a minimum GPA of 3.0, with a B or better in CRIMIN 2220 (Statistics) and CRIMIN 2210 (Research Methods)
  4.  have met with both the Undergraduate and 2+3 Directors in CRIMIN. Second semester seniors will not be considered for the 2+3 degree program. 

The 2+3 Program Director, in consultation with the Undergraduate Director, will determine whether the student can apply for provisional status.  Courses taken in provisional status do not count towards the 30 credit hours needed for the 2+3 degree.  Therefore, it is recommended to apply for provisional status as a junior, preferably in the first semester of junior year.

Formal Admission

Applicants are considered for formal admission to the graduate school each semester after being granted provisional status.  Thus, students should meet with the 2+3 Program Director each semester.

Applicants are considered for formal admission if they meet the following four criteria:

  1.  earned at least 90 hours as an undergraduate;
  2. have a minimum GPA of 3.0 since being granted provisional status;
  3. submitted at least one letter of recommendation from an UMSL Criminology and Criminal Justice professor; and
  4. have met with the 2+3 Program Director in Criminology and Criminal Justice. 

The 2+3 Program Director, in consultation with the Undergraduate Director, will determine whether the student can apply for formal admission.  Final decisions concerning formal admission are made by the Program Director in consultation with the Graduate School. Students admitted at this stage are conferred graduate status and may take courses intended for graduate credit at this time.  Students in graduate status are required to pay graduate student tuition fees.

Both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees will be awarded at the end of the 2+3 program. Formal 2+3 Program students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher throughout the 30 credit hours of the combined program. Students may resign from the 2+3 Program and apply for the Bachelor’s degree. However, once the Bachelor’s degree is awarded, the benefit of “double counting” courses will be lost. Any course used to meet a degree requirement for an undergraduate degree cannot be applied to a subsequent Master’s degree.