Criminology and Criminal Justice: Differences in Programs at the Master's Level
by Ruth Triplett and Elizabeth Monk-Turner
Old Dominion University; Old Dominion University
Sociological Research Online 15(1)7
Received: 22 Oct 2009 Accepted: 29 Jan 2010 Published: 28 Feb 2010
Our aim in this work is to: (1) determine how distinct the program structure and curriculum content for graduate education in Criminology was compared to Criminal Justice; and (2) evaluate whether the diversity or consistency of the curriculum in either field varied depending of what type of department was offering the degree. Differences in department titles, hours required for the M.A. degree, program descriptions, curriculum content and curriculum content by department type between M.A. programs in Criminology and Criminal Justice were examined. The results suggested there is both consistency and difference in program structure and in curriculum content across the two fields of study.
Keywords: Criminology, Criminal Justice, Curriculum, Program Development
Criminology, Criminal Justice and Disciplinary Identity1.1 Scholars interested in the history of Criminology and Criminal Justice as academic fields of study do not always agree on exactly where and when each field began in the United States. Perhaps the most common view is that Criminology is rooted in Sociology and Criminal Justice in the movement for police professionalization and Volmer's School of Criminology at Berkley (for a selection on the history of Criminology and/or Criminal Justice see Ward & Webb 1984; Morn 1980, 1995; Hale 1998; Radzinowicz 1962). All seem to agree, however, on the incredible impact of the federal government on criminal justice education and that developments in criminal justice soon began to affect where the discipline of Criminology was housed on universities and colleges across the country. By 1980, it was apparent that Criminology's fortunes were moving away from Sociology and becoming more and more tied to Criminal Justice (Morn 1980).
1.2 Despite the growing academic connection, the relationship between Criminology and Criminal Justice had a rocky history. Clear evidence of this is found in the histories of the professional societies especially the American Society of Criminology (ASC) and the Academy of Criminal Justice Society (ACJS). According to Morn (1980), ASC was founded in 1941 by August Vollmer and some of his students. Originally named the National Association of College Police Training Officials, its membership centered around those interested in the police courses developing in colleges and universities across the United States. In 1946, the name was changed to the Society for the Advancement of Criminology and changed again in 1957 to the American Society of Criminology. Morn (1980) argues that by the late 1950's Sociology had gained in popularity as an academic discipline. Along with the gain in popularity at colleges and universities came an increase in the involvement of criminologists trained in Sociology in ASC. Morn argues that, throughout the 1950's, divisions increased between the "academic" criminologists who were becoming more and more sociologically oriented, and the "practical" criminologists who were becoming more and more concerned with administration. By 1963, the division between the interests of the two groups had become so wide that some members of ASC broke away to form the International Association of Police Professors, which changed its name in 1970 to the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship that has developed between Criminal Justice and Criminology through an analysis of graduate curriculum at the master's level. Due to the limited number of doctoral programs, and the fact that most require a Master's degree, suggested to us that exploring differences at the master's level was an appropriate choice. Further, the focus was narrowed to the Master's of Art degree because we wanted differences in programs to result as much as possible from the criminology or criminal justice focus and not the type of degree. Two questions inform the research. First, how distinct is the program structure and curriculum content for graduate education in Criminology from that of Criminal Justice? In order to best assess curriculum differences, the focus is on comparing the curriculum for programs offering a Master of Arts degree in Criminology with those offering the same degree in Criminal Justice. Second, does the diversity or consistency of the curriculum in either field vary depending on what type department is offering the degree? For example, is the curriculum for a Master of Arts degree in Criminology from a Sociology department different from that offered in a department of Criminal Justice and Criminology?
The Debate2.1 The 1970's and 1980's saw a great deal of discussion in the literature about what exactly Criminology and Criminal Justice are and what direction each field should be going. Definitions of Criminology and concerns over its direction are found in the work of leading scholars in the field including Sutherland (1947), Wolfgang and Ferracuti (1967), Jeffrey (1969, 1977, 1978), Reckless, (1970), and Cressey (1978). Jeffrey (1977, 1978) in particular was critical of the impact that federal funding of criminal justice had on the field of criminology. Key discussions about the definition of criminal justice and the content of criminal justice education resulted from the development of Albany's School of Criminal Justice (See Newman 1993; Conrad & Myren 1979), Sherman's (1978) report on police education, and the work of the Joint Commission on Criminology and Criminal Justice Education and Standards. As a result of its importance in the discussion, work resulting from the Joint Commission on both the definition of criminology and criminal justice, and their relationship is the focus of the remainder of the literature review.
2.2 Two views published as Two Views of Criminology and Criminal Justice: Definitions, Trends, and the Future in 1979 (Conrad & Myren 1979) were prepared for the Joint Commission. Conrad (Conrad & Myren 1979), then at American Justice Institute, wrote the "first view". Central to Conrad's argument was the belief that Criminology and Criminal Justice are distinct. Using Sutherland's (1947) and Wolfgang and Ferracuti's definitions of Criminology as a base, Conrad defines Criminology as "the application of the scientific method to the explanation of phenomena generated by the interactions of the processes in law-making, law-breaking, and the reactions of society to these processes" (Conrad & Myren 1979: 9), thus emphasizing its position as a social science. Criminal Justice is viewed by Conrad is the application of Criminology, with knowledge of Criminology a necessary component of a "justician's" education. Though he sees them as distinct he also writes, "There is no reason why the two tracts of instruction cannot take place under the same roof in a university with the resources to offer them both. The important thing is to assure that criminologists do not mistakenly acquire the notion that they are qualifying themselves to be administrators, and the justicians do not consider themselves to be criminologist on the strength of a course or two in that subject" (Conrad & Myren 1979: 16).
2.3 Myren's (Conrad & Myren 1979) very different view comes next. Then at the School of Justice at American University, Myren had been dean and professor at the School of Criminal Justice at SUNY Albany, the first Criminal Justice program, between 1966-1976 (Conrad & Myren 1979). Active in discussions over Criminal Justice education, Myren is a key figure in the defining of the field of Criminal Justice. He argues that the field of Criminal Justice, as an academic pursuit, came about as a reaction to two factors – "…a particular view of sociological Criminology and, in part, to vocational agency oriented police science and corrections programs" (Conrad & Myren 1979: 25). Myren defines Criminology as the study of crime and anything related to it. He argues that it is part of the field of Criminal Justice. "Criminal Justice studies programs are integrated interdisciplinary sequences of scholarly teaching and research in the behavioral and social sciences (defined to include law and public administration) focused on the social problem of crime" (Conrad & Myren 1979: 27). Myren's definition of Criminal Justice, which he argues had caught on, "…was intended to include everything covered in traditional sociological criminology together with all of the crime related studies that criminology had left out" (27). Myren concludes with the suggestion that, in the future, the concept of justice be used to broaden the fields of Criminal Justice and Criminology – development of a broader field called "justicology" (see alsoMyren, 1980).
2.4 With the publication of the Joint Commission's report in Quest for Quality (Ward & Webb 1984) a final contribution to the debate is found in a statement to the Joint Commission by Jeffrey, a leading figure in the field who had been an active contributor to discussions about Criminology. Jeffery (as reported in Ward & Webb 1984) argued that a basic conflict exists between Criminology and Criminal Justice that past discussions ignored. He sees Criminology as a social science while Criminal Justice is centered around policy issues based on "force, violence, punishment and prisons". This basic difference in perspectives leads to another important difference, how each field views crime and justice. He concludes that these differences mean "…there is no meeting ground or commonality for Criminology and Criminal Justice" (25).
2.5 Despite the monographs prepared for the Joint Commission, consensus about these key issues was not reached (Ward & Webb 1984). While there was agreement among the members on what they termed "traditional Criminology" and a majority agreed that a difference existed, the Joint Commission reported that disagreement remained about the definitions of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Ward & Webb 1984). The lack of agreement can be seen still today.
Where Are We Now?
2.6 What is the relationship between Criminology and Criminal Justice today? This question can be addressed by examining how these two fields have developed in institutions of higher learning. If colleges and universities are preparing individuals to be "criminologists" and/or "criminal justicians" then the structure and curriculum of the various programs should indicate the relationship between the two. If they are two separate fields of study, one would expect different departments/programs and degrees. If they are inextricably interconnected then one would expect that to be reflected in department/program and degree titles, and in the curriculum.
2.7 Examination of the institutional placement of Criminology in graduate programs in the United States indicates a consensus has still not emerged about the relationship between the two. Suggesting that there are two separate fields is the fact that there are departments of Criminology (for example, at Indiana State University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania), and departments of Criminal Justice (for example, at Michigan State and John Jay). However, there are also departments of Criminal Justice and Criminology (for example the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland and the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State). In addition, a recent study of the placement of Criminology in graduate programs in the US (Triplett & Monk-Turner, 2009) found that when using program/department title to examine "where Criminology is", Criminology was most commonly found in departments of Criminal Justice and Criminology. Another indication of the relationship is that between 1984 and 2004, there was an increase in the number of programs with Criminology in the department or degree title whether they be housed in Sociology, Criminal Justice and Criminology, or Criminology departments (Triplett & Monk-Turner, 2009). Though the increase was greatest for those housed in departments of Criminal Justice and Criminology, the findings of an increase in each area indicates that institutions if higher learning are still divided in their beliefs about the relationship between Criminology and Criminal Justice.
2.8 Examining department/program names is a start if one is interested in the relationship between Criminal Justice and Criminology. Another method is to examine curriculum. If Criminology and Criminal Justice are two different fields of study would not this show up in curriculum differences such that the curriculum for a degree offered in a Criminal Justice department is different from one offered in a Criminology department or, even more, a degree in Criminal Justice versus one in Criminology? As of this date, though, there are no studies that have compared curriculum across the two fields. There have been four studies, however, that have examined curriculum in Criminal Justice/Criminology. There are two findings of particular importance from these studies.
2.9 The first finding is that, whether the evaluation has been at the Bachelor's (Southerland 1991, 2002), Master's (Bufkin 2004), or Doctoral (Flanagan 1990) level of education, the curriculum in programs varies considerably. In his 1990 review of 13 doctoral programs in Criminal Justice/Criminology, Flanagan found that "…programs vary widely in content, structure, progression graduation requirements and electives." (205, 208). In terms of the curriculum, he found that the most frequently required courses were research methods and statistics and that "No other single course was required in more than 3 of the 13 programs." (209). Southerland (1991) found much the same in her review of undergraduate Criminal Justice education. Ten years later (2002), she found no improvement in the consensus on what was appropriate for a Criminal Justice curriculum. Similar findings resulted from Bufkin's (2004) review of 156 Master's level Criminal Justice/Criminology programs. Bufkin's conclusion that "…Criminal Justice education means different things to different people" thus can be applied to Criminal Justice education at any level.
2.10 The second finding from an examination of these studies is on the relationship of Criminology to Criminal Justice. Though two of the studies (Flanagan 1991; Bufkin 2004) include both Criminal Justice and Criminology programs in their analyses, the researchers did not distinguish between the two. Southerland's studies included only those undergraduate programs labeled Criminal Justice. Her analysis shows that Criminology is an important and common class in Criminal Justice curriculum for undergraduates. It is one of only three classes, Introduction to Criminal Justice, Research Methods and Criminology, to be required in more than half the programs in her study.
2.11 Evaluations of the current relationship between Criminal Justice and Criminology suggest a need for further examination. Two questions structure the current study. First, how distinct is the curriculum for graduate education in Criminology from that of Criminal Justice? If one gets an M.A. degree in Criminology is one getting a different type of education then someone getting an M.A. in Criminal Justice. Second, does the diversity or consistency of the curriculum in either field vary depending on what type department is offering the degree? For example, is the curriculum for a Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from a Sociology department different from that offered in a department of Criminal Justice and Criminology?
Methods3.1 The first step in addressing the three questions guiding this research was to develop a list of programs in Criminal Justice and Criminology that could be used for the purpose of comparing both the structure and curriculum. Two decisions had to be made at the outset. The first decision was whether to examine the criminal justice and criminology programs at the undergraduate and/or graduate level. Two factors led to the decision to limit the focus of the study to graduate education. The first was the large number of undergraduate programs and the difficulty of obtaining data that would be needed to compare all of them. The second was the belief that the field can best be understood by focusing on graduate education. It is in graduate school where those who are identified as criminologists and criminal justicians receive their education and professional identity.
3.2 The second decision dealt with what type of graduate program to focus on. Should the focus be the Master's of Science, the Master's of Art or the PhD? The focus in the current study is programs offering the Master's degree, in particular programs offering the Master's of Art (M.A.). This focus came about for two reasons. First, the argument that graduate education tells us most about a discipline might lead one to argue that doctoral programs are best suited to describing a discipline. However, the limited number of doctoral programs and the fact that most require a Master's degree suggested to us that the Master's degree was an appropriate choice. Second, the focus was narrowed to the Master's of Art degree because we wanted differences in programs to result as much as possible from the criminology or criminal justice focus and not the type of degree. In order to choose which Masters degree to focus on we examined the number of programs offering each. Among the currently existing graduate programs offering Criminology degrees, the most frequent Master's degree is the M.A. (See Triplett and Monk-Turner, forthcoming). The M.S., however, is the most common Master's degree in Criminal Justice. We chose to examine programs offering the M.A. because this would give us a sample of 20 Criminology and 20 Criminal justice programs.
3.3 The list of programs offering the M.A. degree was developed from the 2004 edition of Peterson's Guide to Graduate Programs in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Information in the Guide is collected through an annual survey of graduate and professional institutions offering post baccalaureate degrees. The Guide makes no distinction between Criminology and Criminal Justice programs, listing them together alphabetically by university name. It does give, however, department titles and the names of degrees offered. Therefore, the total number of graduate programs offering the M.A. degree in Criminology and M.A. in Criminal Justice could be assessed. Given the information in the Guide, it is also possible to categorize the programs by department name.
3.4 From the Guide a list of all programs offering a M.A. in Criminology (n=22) (including Criminology and Criminal Justice or Sociology with a concentration in Criminology) and all programs offering an M.A. in Criminal Justice (n=35) was developed. Criminology programs are listed in table 1, separated into four sections, based on the department name in 2004 – Sociology, Criminology, Criminal Justice and Criminology, and Criminal Justice. Criminal Justice programs are listed in table 3, separated into five sections, based on the department name in 2004 – Criminal Justice, Sociology, Justice Studies, Political Science/History, and other variations. Information on M.A. requirements for all 56 of the programs was then collected through the use of university and department web pages, and graduate catalogues available on the internet. This information was also used to confirm the information in the Guide. Any discrepancies (and there were only two found) were checked with Graduate Program Directors at the appropriate program.
3.5 As with previous studies comparing curriculum, the measures in this study fall into two broad categories. The first are those focusing on the structure of the program. They include, department title, hours required for the degree, thesis option, required hours and program description. The second are those focusing on program content. The measure under this category is course title. Titles and course descriptions for required classes in each of the programs were examined and a list of required classes was developed.
Program Structure—department titles, hours required, and program description4.1 First, we aim to better understand differences in the overall structure of programs offering the M.A. in Criminology or Criminal Justice (see Tables 1 and 2). In particular, department title, number of required hours, thesis requirement, and program description are examined.
|Table 1. List of Programs, Degree Titles and Program Descriptions for Programs offering an M.A. in Criminology (n=22)|
|Table 2. List of Programs, Degrees and Program Descriptions for Programs offering an M.A. in Criminal Justice (n=35)|
4.2 Department title. Though a number of scholars have noted the increasing break of Criminology from Sociology, it is Sociology departments (8) that most often offer the M.A. with Criminology in the title. Next are the seven Criminal Justice and Criminology departments in the sample and the six departments of Criminology. Finally one department (College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State) offers an M.A. in Criminal Justice and Criminology.
4.3 Not surprisingly, the M.A. in Criminal Justice is most commonly offered by a Criminal Justice department. There are 20 departments of Criminal Justice that offer this degree. In addition, there are five Justice Studies or Administration of Justice departments, four Sociology departments, three Political Science or History departments, and one department of Criminology and Criminal Justice that also offer the M.A. in Criminal Justice. Finally, two other types of departments (the School of Community Affairs at Wichita State and Program in Applied Behavioral Science at Wright State) offer an M.A. in Criminal Justice.
4.4 In terms of department title, there is a difference in where Criminology and Criminal Justice M.A. degrees are offered. It is rare to see an M.A. in Criminology in a department that does not have Sociology or Criminology in the department title (the degree at Sam Houston being the exception). Note also that, after Sociology departments, the most common departments to offer an M.A. in Criminology include both Criminal Justice and Criminology in the title. Conversely it is rare to have an M.A. in Criminal Justice offered in a department that does have Criminology in the title (Memphis State University). In terms of department titles, then, Criminology M.A's are often offered in departments that recognized a connection between Criminology and Sociology, and Criminology and Criminal Justice.
4.5 Number of hours required for a degree. Differences in program structure are not wide when it comes to the number of hours required for the M.A. The number of hours required for a degree in Criminology ranges from 24 to 37 with the mean being 33.23. For the M.A. in Criminal Justice, the number of required hours is higher. It ranges from 30 to 45 with the mean being 35.2
4.6 Thesis requirement. The thesis or comprehensive exam is common both in departments offering a M.A. degree in Criminology or Criminal Justice. Of the 22 programs ending in an M.A. in Criminology, 65% (14) give an option of thesis, comprehensive exam, or paper. Twenty-three percent (5) require the thesis and 14% (3) require both the thesis and comprehensive exam. Similar to the Criminology programs, among the 35 programs ending in the M.A. in Criminal Justice, 66% (23) require a thesis, exam or paper. Another 23% (8) require the thesis or Master's essay and 3% (1) require a comprehensive exam. However, a small percent of programs offering the M.A. in Criminal Justice, 8% (3), require neither the thesis nor comprehensive exam,
4.7 Program description. A content analysis of program descriptions for both Criminology and Criminal Justice programs was completed to see if there are differences in how the M.A. programs across the two fields are described. After a preliminary examination, we content analyzed program descriptions coding for the presence of eleven words that frequently appeared in them. These words included: prepares (if the program is aimed at students who aim to move into a PhD program), applied (if program aims to educate students to enter a professional job or to provide credentials to enhance current job opportunities), critical (does the program self-define as analytical or critical in nature), theory, research, Sociology, Criminal Justice, Criminology, evaluation, teaching (particularly at the two-year college level) and administration (or management). The total number of times these words appeared in program descriptions were coded (1 = word included in program description; 0 = not included). Our findings are presented in Table 3.
4.8 We tested for significant differences in the appearance of these 11 words in Criminology and Criminal Justice program descriptions. We found a significant difference between Criminology and Criminal Justice program descriptions in whether the words "Sociology", "Criminal Justice" or "Criminology" appeared. One fourth of the Criminology programs included the word Sociology in their program description; no Criminal Justice program description does so (X2 = 8.07; p = .004). Sixty percent of the time, in Criminology program descriptions, the words Criminal Justice appears compared to 86% of the time in Criminal Justice program descriptions (X2 = 4.39; p = .04). Finally, 80% of Criminology program descriptions included Criminology in their descriptions; 14% of Criminal Justice program descriptions included this word (X2 = 21.47; p = .0001).
4.9 Clearly, there is much overlap in the use of these eleven words between Criminology and Criminal Justice M.A. program descriptions. However, some differences appear in program descriptions. Specifically, Criminal Justice program descriptions rarely include Criminology in their description and never include the word Sociology. Criminology programs, however, often use both the words Sociology and Criminal Justice. As with program titles, an examination of program descriptions suggests that faculties in programs offering an M.A. in Criminology recognize a connection between Criminology and Sociology, and Criminology and Criminal Justice.
4.10 The program description for the University of Delaware is representative of Criminology program descriptions. It states that "The Department of Sociology and Criminology offers a Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy degree program in both Sociology and Criminology. The primary focus of the program is the preparation of members of the next generation of sociologists and criminologists by emphasizing systematic training in theory and research methodology as well as teaching. These advanced education degrees are intended for persons interested in careers in academic, public service or private enterprise" (Graduate Catalogue 261-262). For Criminal Justice, the program description for West Texas A&M University is typical of many others. It reads: "The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Studies degree at West Texas A&M University is useful for Criminal Justice professionals and practitioners within the field. It is research-oriented providing the student additional skills that are in demand at the state and federal levels. A Master's degree is a necessary credential for that person who wishes to teach at the community college level" (http://www.wtamu.edu/academic/ ess/hps/macjfaq.htm). Interestingly, The George Washington University program description, for Criminal Justice, aims to put their program at arms length from what must be perceived as the applied nature of many of these degrees. It states: "The Criminal Justice program is an academic program weighted toward traditional Criminology (with some forensic science training as well), and is not intended to train practitioners who wish to work in Criminal Justice or security agencies" (http://www.gwu.edu/~soc/).
Curriculum Content—course titles and descriptions
4.11 More indicative of the two fields than program structure is curriculum content for it is the curriculum that informs us of what faculties see as the knowledge essential to the field. Given the large number of total courses offered, the focus here is on the required courses (see table 4 and 5). Before focusing on a comparison of curriculum content across the fields of Criminal Justice and Criminology, the analysis begins with an examination of within field curriculum.
4.12 In Criminology, we identified 23 core courses; 22 in Criminal Justice. As previous studies have found, even when we examine the same degree within a particular field there is substantial variation to be found in the core curriculum of programs. In those programs offering an M.A. in Criminology, three classes are required by over half the programs. These are Research Methods (91%), Criminological Theory (86%) and Statistics (68%). No other class is required by more than half of the programs. In programs offering the M.A. in Criminal Justice the most commonly required class is Research Methods (83%). This is followed by Statistics (68%), Criminological Theory (63%) and Seminar in Criminal Justice (54%).
4.13 There is substantial variation within the curriculum of the two degrees – the M.A. in Criminology and the M.A. in Criminal Justice. If we compare across the two fields, however, would there be a recognizable difference in curriculum content? Does earning an M.A. in Criminal Justice require the student to learn different material than the student who is earning an M.A. in Criminology? There are obvious similarities, with programs for both most commonly requiring Research Methods, Criminological Theory and Statistics. It is interesting that programs offering the M.A. in Criminal Justice often require Criminological Theory suggesting these recognize the connection between the two fields. In addition program requirements in Criminology and Criminal Justice are similar in their tendency to require Ethics, Corrections, Evaluation and Administration courses.
4.14 Differences across the fields are apparent though. In Criminology, a higher percentage of graduate programs required research methods than is true for Criminal Justice programs (91% vs. 83%). In addition, and notably, Criminology programs require more theory than is typically offered in Criminal Justice programs. Criminology programs offer Criminological Theory (86%), Sociological Theory (32%), and Theory in Criminology and Criminal Justice (9%). Criminal Justice programs offer Criminological Theory (63%) and Theory of Criminal Justice (6%). Thus, almost a third of all M.A. in Criminal Justice programs (31%) require no theory at all. On the other hand, programs offering the M.A. in Criminology are much less likely to offer classes focusing on the various branches of the criminal justice system. Survey of Criminal Justice is offered by 23% of programs, along with Administration (14%), Corrections (14%) and Law Enforcement (14%). While those offering the M.A. in Criminal Justice offer such courses as Seminar in Criminal Justice (54%), Organization and Management in Criminal Justice System (26%), Law Enforcement Administration (17%), Criminal Justice Administration (17%), Corrections (14%) and Courts (6%).
4.15 Two additional differences are striking. Interestingly, Sociology appears in Criminology programs in the guise of theory (at 32% of all programs and Teaching Introduction to Sociology – 4%) while Criminal Justice programs occasionally offer such courses as Development of Sociological Theory, Contemporary Sociological Theory, Classical Theories in Sociology and Criminology, and Contemporary Theories in Sociology and Criminology. Finally, Law is almost twice as likely to be a required course in a Criminology program as a Criminal Justice Master's program.
Curriculum Content by Department Type
4.16 In the last part of the analysis we ask whether there is more similarity to be found in curriculum content when programs are divided both by field of study and department type (See tables 6 and 7). The analysis begins, as it did previously, with a brief discussion of within field comparisons.
4.17 In Criminology, most programs are located in Sociology departments (8), combined Criminology and Criminal Justice departments (7) or in separate Criminology departments (6). Examining table 6, we can see that in Criminology, regardless of where the degree is housed, programs generally require: Research Methods, Criminology and Statistics, and that beyond these classes there is considerable variation in curriculum content. It is notable that of the types of departments, there is no more agreement on curriculum than when we examine all departments, except for Criminal Justice and Criminology departments. In these departments, compared to all Research Methods is required in 100% of the departments (compared to 87%), Criminological Theory 100% of the departments (compared to 75% for all) and Statistics is required 86% of the departments (compared to 68% for all). Above the tendency to teach Sociological Theory in departments offering the M.A. in Criminology was noted. However, we see now that this only occurs when the degree is offered in a Sociology Department.
4.18 A number of other differences across department type stand out. Law and ethics courses are more apt to be required if the Criminology M.A. degree is housed in a separate Department of Criminology. If the degree is housed in a Sociology department, Sociological Theory is generally required (in 87% of all programs) as are courses in Corrections and Qualitative Methods. It is notable that Sociological Theory is not required in any program not housed in a Sociology Department. If the Criminology degree is housed in a combined Criminology and Criminal Justice department, required courses such as Survey of Criminal Justice, Theory in Criminology and Criminal Justice, and Law Enforcement are more typically seen.
4.19 Looking at Table 7, we note that the vast majority of Criminal Justice M.A. programs are housed in a Department of Criminal Justice (20 of 35 programs). Four other M.A. in Criminal Justice programs are housed in Sociology departments, three in Justice Studies, two in Political Science and one in a combined Criminology and Criminal Justice department. When we examine curriculum in Departments of Criminal Justice there is some increase in agreement on required course. Most M.A. in Criminal Justice programs require Research Methods (85% compared to 83% for all programs), Statistics (85% compared to 68%), Criminological Theory (80% compared to 63%) and Seminar in Criminal Justice (65% compared to 54%). However after these four considerable variation in required courses remains.
4.20 Next, examine tables 6 and 7 to compare across the two fields. Since we are largely interested in comparisons across the disciplines, the focus is on Criminal Justice departments offering the M.A. in Criminal Justice as compared to Criminology departments offering the M.A. in Criminology. This comparison shows no more disciplinary differences than above. Both most commonly require Research Methods, Criminological Theory and Statistics. As noted above Criminal Justice departments require statistics more frequently and Criminological Theory less frequently. In both there is considerable variation in required classes beyond the three mentioned above. Required classes on some part of the criminal justice system are more often found in Criminal Justice departments, with the exception of corrections which is more frequently found in Criminology departments.
Discussion and Conclusion5.1 We found both consistency and difference in program structure and in curriculum content across the two fields of study. In terms of program structure there are similarities in thesis requirements and number of hours required. As one might expect, differences are found in where programs offering the MA. in Criminology and the M.A. in Criminal Justice are housed. The M.A. in Criminology is most commonly housed in a Sociology Department of a joint Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. This suggests a recognition among those faculties of a connection between Criminology and Sociology, and Criminology and Criminal Justice. Both similarities and differences were found in program description. Similarities are found in the use of words or phrases such as "prepares for PhD", "Critical", "theory", "research" and "teaching". As one might expect differences are found in the use of the words "Criminal Justice", "Criminology" and "Sociology". Beyond the obvious difference, programs offering the M.A. in Criminology are more likely to use the word "Sociology". In addition they are more likely to use the phrase "Criminal Justice" than Criminal Justice programs are to use the word "Criminology". Once again suggesting faculties in programs offering the M.A. in Criminology recognize a connection to either Sociology or Criminal Justice more than Criminal Justice faculties do to Criminology.
5.2 Both diversity and similarity were found in the curriculum for graduate education in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Graduate M.A. programs in Criminology were more likely to require research methods than was true for Criminal Justice M.A. programs. Notably, Criminology programs required more theory than was typically offered in Criminal Justice programs. Almost a third of all M.A. programs in Criminal Justice required no theory at all; however, for M.A. programs in Criminology, 86% required at least criminological theory. Law is almost twice as likely to be a required course in a Criminology program compared to a Criminal Justice Master's program. An additional difference is found in the greater likelihood of programs offering the M.A. in Criminal Justice to require at least one class on some branch of the criminal justice system. Program requirements in Criminology and Criminal Justice are similar in their statistics requirements, as well as course requirements in ethics, corrections, evaluation and administration. These findings change little when we divide by program type.
5.3 The lack of consistency in the curriculum in both areas suggests there remains little agreement about the content of each field. It also suggests that disciplinary lines are not clearly drawn as of yet and makes further comparisons across the two fields difficult. We believe, though, that the curriculum for M.A. graduate education in Criminology is distinct from that in Criminal Justice. As one might well expect, looking at required courses, Criminology programs are more theoretically grounded than Criminal Justice M.A programs; while Criminal Justice programs are more applied. These findings support Conrad and Jeffery's understanding of the two fields of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Both Conrad (Conrad & Myren 1979) and Jeffery (Ward & Webb 1984) argued that Criminal Justice was the application of Criminology, a policy oriented discipline, whereas Criminology was understood to be a social science discipline. We do not believe that Myren's position the Criminology was a mere part of the field of Criminal Justice can be supported. The lack of a theoretical core, evidenced in the relative lack of a theory requirement in Criminal Justice Master's programs, makes Myren's position untenable. Zalman's (1981) proposition that there is not a common paradigm under which these two fields could be combined may find some empirical support in light of our data. Jeffery's (see Ward & Webb 1984) proposition that there is little commonality between Criminology and Criminal Justice finds mixed support given our data. Clearly, there is both diversity and consistency in the curriculum between the two.
5.4 Given the historical connection between the two fields, and, more recently, the proposed specialty area revisions outlined in the September/October 2005 issue of the ASA Footnote's, where a proposed Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance area is defined (which includes Criminal Justice, Criminology/delinquency, deviant behavior/social disorganization, law and society, penology/corrections and social control), one must wonder how an M.A. in Sociology with this specialty area is distinct from an M.A. in Criminology or Criminal Justice. In the current work, we found that most M.A. in Criminology programs are located in Sociology departments, that they often include the word "Sociology" in their programs descriptions and that Sociological Theory is offered on occasion. This suggests that Criminology is still well tied to Sociology. Closer inspection shows however that it is only in Departments of Sociology that programs descriptions and curriculum include sociology. When the M.A. is offered in a Criminology, or any other, Department the connection seems to be lost. All of this suggests that Criminology, as a field, is still wrestling with the questions explored in this paper. Beyond anything else, how does a discipline, create a core and theory when it does not appear to have a clear academic home? How much of a disciplinary core can be shared when a discipline is split between so many academic departments?
5.5 Similar to the findings of previous studies that examined Criminal Justice curriculum, we find that there continues to be a lack of agreement about what a distinct curricular core for "traditional Criminology" as a field looks like compared to Criminal Justice. Even though the Joint Commission posited that a difference between the disciplines exists, one does not observe a major curricular difference. While Criminology Master's programs typically require more theory, the specific class offerings between the two degrees are not distinct. Further, we wonder about the distinctness between Criminology, Criminal Justice and Sociology Master's curriculum save differences in core theory classes. In a way, we feel we have raised as many questions as we set out to better understand. The complexities between these disciplines, where they are best housed and how distinct they really are, will undoubtedly be a topic for much heated debate for years to come.
Notes1We use the word "department" to refer to the division of the university offering the M.A. degree. For consistency we use department in the text even though some of the M.A. degrees under examination are offered out of colleges or schools. "Department" is distinct from "program" which refers to the degree requirements each department requires for the M.A. it offers.
2At the University of Delaware, the department name is "Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice", however, the graduate catalogue does list the department name as "Department of Sociology and Criminology".
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