Admissions Criteria

Graduate Program (M.S. Degree)

Application and Admissions Standards:

The Application for admission consists of:

  1. An online application, found on the Graduate School’s website
  2. Official copies of all undergraduate/graduate transcripts
  3. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores
  4. A minimum of three letters of recommendation
  5. A personal statement

Admission recommendations made by the Criminal Justice Department’s graduate committee are based on a complete review of the applicant's file.  

The Department prefers applicants to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale).  Additionally, the Department prefers a minimum GRE score (Verbal + Quantitative combined) of 300 or higher using the revised GRE scoring system first introduced on August 1, 2011.  For those students who completed the GRE prior to this date, the Department prefers a minimum GRE score (Verbal + Quantitative combined) of 1,000 or higher.  Applicants with slightly less than a 3.0 GPA or slightly less than a 300 (or 1,000) on the GRE can still apply.  In these instances, the graduate committee will look for strengths in other areas of the application to help allay concerns about GPA or GRE performance.

Applicants should have strong letters of recommendation, preferably from academic references who can speak to the applicant’s ability to perform in the classroom.  Applicants who have been out of school for an extended period of time and who are unable to obtain academic references are encouraged to submit letters from employers/supervisors, as well as from other individuals who can attest first-hand to the applicant’s work ethic and the ability to respond to challenge.

In their personal statements, applicants should explain their motivation for graduate study, outline how the M.S. program at UNC Charlotte fits with their interest in criminal justice/criminology, and discuss their plans following graduation from the M.S. program.   


Applications are accepted year-round.  To allow proper time to review the application, all materials should be on file with the Graduate School at least one month prior to the start of the semester in which applicants wish to enroll. 

Persons interested in starting in the Fall semester are strongly encouraged to have all application materials submitted by March 1 in order to be considered for Departmental Assistantships and Graduate Tuition Awards.