Admission to Graduate Study
For admission to graduate study at the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, the applicant must first be admitted to the Graduate School.
The M.A. application requirements include:
Transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate courses at each institution you have attended (Unofficial transcripts may be submitted initially; Official transcripts will be required upon admission and enrollment)
Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test score
Three letters of recommendation from professors, if possible, or employers who are acquainted with the applicant's qualifications
One Statement of Goals and Purpose
One Writing Sample that reflects your scholarly potential (e.g., an undergraduate term paper or similar academic scholarship)
TOEFL/IELTS/Pearsons Score [international students only]
A mandatory application fee ($75)
We will be accepting Fall 2025 applications in late August 2024. If you need additional information or assistance with the application process, contact us at criminologydept [at] umd.edu.
If you would like to be added to our prospective student mailing list, please fill out this form.
General instructions for completing the UMD Graduate Application are available in the Graduate School’s Step-By-Step Guide to Applying.
Admission Decision Process
If the application is favorably recommended by the Department, this decision is sent to the Graduate School. The Graduate School, in turn, notifies the applicant of admission and asks for acknowledgment of acceptance. If the applicant is not favorably recommended for graduate study by the Department, then the Graduate School notifies the applicant of the decision. Typically, admission decisions are issued in late February/early March of the following year.
Minimum Admission Requirements
The Graduate School requires as a minimum standard a "B" average or a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale in a program of study resulting in the award of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. In addition, the student's undergraduate program should include completion of the prerequisites for graduate study in his chosen field. In individual programs, where resources are available, a few applicants who do not meet this minimum standard for undergraduate work may be provisionally admitted if there is compelling evidence on the basis of other criteria of a reasonable likelihood of success in the program the person desires to enter. If an applicant has studied at the graduate level elsewhere, less weight may be, but is not necessarily, placed on the quality of the undergraduate academic record.
In addition to the general Graduate School requirement, special admission requirements of the Department include the Graduate Record Examination (GRE General Test) and nine hours of course work related to criminal justice or criminology. Applicants are encouraged to have completed at least one college-level course in social science theory, statistics, and research methods. There are no minimum GRE scores required to apply to the program, but admission is competitive.
International Student Admission
Due to the additional time needed for processing the applications, the complete application and official academic credentials - beginning with secondary school records - should be received by the Graduate Admissions Office at least several months prior to the semester he or she plans to enter. International applicants must also include scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) if English is not the native language. Proper immigration documents and evidence of financial resources are also required. The GRE requirement is not waived for foreign students. To learn more about applying as an international student, please review the Graduate School's International Student Application Instructions.
Delay of Admission
An offer of admission by the Dean of Graduate Studies is made to an applicant who meets all admission requirements. The offer specifies the date of the entrance, which will normally coincide with the date requested in the application. The offer of admission must be accepted or declined by the date specified in the offer. If the Graduate School is not notified by the date specified, the offer of admission lapses and space is assigned to another applicant. An individual whose offer of admission has lapsed must submit a new application and fee if he or she wants to be reconsidered for admission at a later date.
The offer of admission is also a permit to register for courses and must be presented by the student at the time of first registration. The informal letter of admission sent to the applicant by the Department is not official and, thus, not a permit to register.
Any student who cannot register in the authorized semester must immediately submit a written request to have the date of admission extended. This request must be sent to the Director of Graduate Records in the Graduate School, University of Maryland.
Financial Aid & Funding
Master's students are typically ineligible for funding. Occasionally the Department may have Teaching Assistantship opportunities that are open to applicants who are master's students. Master's students are also welcome to apply for Graduate Assistantships throughout campus via www.ejobs.umd.edu.
After a student is recommended for admission, the student is advised by the Director of Graduate Studies until such time as the student selects an advisor. M.A. students are expected to select an advisor from among the Department's Graduate Faculty prior to the end of their first semester. Request for approval of the advisor is available in the Department's Graduate Office. Students are free to change their advisor. They are responsible, however, for the completion of the new advisor form, which must be signed by the new advisor and Chairperson. The advisor is usually the chairperson of the student's thesis committee, but there is no requirement that this is the case. Graduate students may select any qualified member of the Graduate Faculty to act as their thesis advisor. A list of the Department's Graduate Faculty (Associate and Regular) is available in the Department's Graduate Office and on this website.
The student must seek an appointment with the graduate advisor prior to registration for the first semester's course work. The advisor will assist in planning the degree program. Students should bear in mind that neither the advisor, the Department, nor the Graduate School is under obligation to accept any courses to be applied to the student's official program as approved by the Graduate School, which are not a part of the program developed with the advisor's assistance. The policies governing degree programs are subject to modification from time to time. The policies in force at the time of enrollment are binding upon the student, and subsequently, established program requirements may not be imposed retroactively. However, with the prior approval of the advisor, students may elect to conform to all current program requirements.