One of the social and behavioral sciences disciplines in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, the program looks at the historical development of criminal justice, its evolution into modern legal systems and ongoing problems and reforms in policing, the courts and corrections. Students develop an understanding of the causes of criminal behavior and the social conditions that contribute to crime, and they analyze how the criminal justice system operates.
Students who complete the program and receive an M.A. degree may continue to pursue training in a Ph.D. program. Or they may secure a position in a research organization, government agency or related jobs in the criminal justice field.
The M.A. in criminology is a joint program between GW’s sociology and forensic sciences departments. The program combines training in traditional criminology, criminal justice and forensic sciences. Requirements include courses in research methods, statistics, criminology, criminal law and forensic sciences.
Fall – April 1 (February 1 for applicants applying for assistantships/fellowships)
Applications received after the above dates will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Standardized test scores:
GRE general test (institutional code 5246). Waived for applicants who hold a J.D., M.D., or Ph.D.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction.
Minimum scores for the M.A. program are:
Applicants to the M.A. who do not meet minimum English language requirements may be eligible for our full-time Applied English Language program.
Three (3) academic letters of recommendation
Prior academic records:
Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.
Statement of purpose:
In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application. If you are applying for an assistantship or fellowship, you should also describe any teaching or research experience you have had.
A recent writing sample is required. Please review the department website prior to applying.
International applicants only:
Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.
For more information on the admission process, please visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.
Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences – Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052
Contact for questions:
[email protected] ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday