Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology Admissions & Application Information

Admission for Advanced Degrees

The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University offers the opportunity to work with world-class scholars who are experts in the field of criminal justice and criminology. You will develop a deep understanding of criminal justice institutions and their inner workings, key challenges facing criminal justice today, and the theoretical foundations underpinning it all.

Committed to training the next generation of highly skilled researchers equipped to tackle problems related to crime and justice in today’s world. We have set requirements for admissions that ensure your success and provide a process to spend considerable time reviewing each application. These requirements and processes are outlined below. Please reach out to the Graduate Department if you have any questions.

Admission Requirements

  • Degrees required:
    • A baccalaureate degree from a college or university, accredited by a recognized association for the master’s program.
    • A master’s degree (M.A. or M.S.) from a college or university, accredited by a recognized association for the doctoral program.
  • The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology accepts up to 15 credits (five 3 credit courses) of transfer credit hours, pending department and graduate school approval of syllabi and transcripts. The credit hours must come from an accredited University to be considered.
  • An undergraduate cumulative GPA minimum of 3.0,  grade point average of at least 3.0 from the last 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours), or a graduate GPA of at least 3.30 for 12 semester credit hours at an accredited graduate school. Note: the minimum GPA to be considered for admission is a 3.0, however a 3.5 or higher is preferred.
  • For students entering from a foreign university, evidence of English proficiency (i.e., Test of English as a Foreign Language) and financial resources.

Please note: The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology is currently not accepting applicants for the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology with a Certificate in Global Justice and Security Track.

Application Procedures

In order for your application to be considered for admission, all application materials, including recommendation forms and optional official GRE scores, must be sent directly to the WSU Graduate School. The application process is completed electronically through the apply now link below.

Application deadlines are as follows:

  • Master’s program:  Deadline of January 10 for fall admission and July 1 for spring admission. Note: spring admission is on a space available basis and we typically do not encourage spring matriculation.
  • Doctoral program: Deadline of January 10 for fall admission. The Ph.D. program does not allow spring admission.

*A complete file contains:

  • Graduate School application completed online, including the $75 application fee. Apply now
  • Letter of intent and introduction, outlining areas of interest in Criminal Justice, faculty of interest, career objectives, and any academic or professional experiences that recommend you as an applicant.
  • Three original letters of recommendation from persons qualified to speak to your academic qualifications and potential. At least one of the letters of recommendation must be from a professor with a Ph.D. degree.
    • References will be contacted automatically through the CollegeNET online application system and are asked to submit a recommendation form electronically. These letters are used to help assess the quality of your academic and work experiences.
  • Transcripts (including all colleges or universities from which you have earned or expect to earn a degree, and all colleges or universities at which you have taken graduate level course work; transcripts for coursework taken at Washington State University are not required). Official transcripts are those mailed directly to the Graduate School from the registrar of the institution(s) you attended. Note: The department can evaluate you for admission using an unofficial transcript, however if you are recommended by the department for admission to the WSU Graduate School official copies will be needed at that time.
  • A writing sample is required. To do so, students must submit a substantial sole-authored written paper (of at least 5 pages for M.A. applicants and 10 pages for Ph.D. applicants). This writing sample will be evaluated using the GRE Analytical Writing measure (i.e., to assess applicants “ability to articulate and support complex ideas, construct and evaluate arguments, and sustain a focused and coherent discussion”) . You can send your writing sample to and the Graduate Coordinator will add it to your application folder.
  • Official TOEFL score (for international applicants) — — or other approved test to assess English proficiency. Minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 90. Minimum acceptable IELTS score is 7.

*We consider an application only after all of the required information is on hand. Materials need to be submitted directly to the WSU Graduate School, not to the department with the exception of the substantive paper which will need to be sent to the Graduate Program Coordinator. Applications received after the deadlines may be reviewed on a space available basis. Prospective students can check with the Graduate Program Coordinator before the deadline (or a couple days after) to make sure all their information was received including their letters of recommendation.