Photo courtesy UTEP
The University of Texas at El Paso’s Department of Criminal Justice is recruiting students for its new Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice degree that will launch during the fall 2019 semester.
The department’s leaders pushed for this advanced degree because of the growing need based on job growth among justice agencies such as courts, corrections and local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in Texas and New Mexico, and because of the increase in minimum education requirements for entry-level positions.
“We’re eager and excited to get started,” said Ted Curry, Ph.D., associate professor of criminal justice and the department’s graduate director. “We think it will have broad appeal.”
The department’s graduate degree is unique in that its curriculum has a border twist. For example, the study of crime focuses on immigration, transnationalism, and border and national security. There also is a course about homeland security.
“There is a wide range of courses that deal with crime, cops, courts and corrections, but we certainly play to our strengths of being on the border,” Curry said. “Border security issues are more paramount than they would be in Kansas.”
The new degree plan will have two tracks. One will serve those who may want to become researchers or educators, and the other will be for those working with offenders or victims in a justice-related organization, such as treatment providers, corrections or law enforcement agencies and who are seeking to advance their careers.
Each track will enhance the department’s research capabilities, said Leanne Alarid, Ph.D., chair and professor of criminal justice.
Alarid, who led the push for the new degree, added that the program would primarily be face-to-face, but also would offer online courses. She said the department proposed to hire at least three new tenure-track assistant professors.
The “criminology” side of the degree prepares individuals to identify problems through criminological theories and policies, and to be aware of varied social issues that contribute to the way society defines crime and deviance.
The “criminal justice” part helps students in developing and implementing social and crime policies, responses and solutions within a variety of justice-related agencies