Jul 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Calendar 
2023-2024 Graduate Calendar [ARCHIVED CALENDAR]

Criminology, MA

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General information

The Master of Arts (MA) in Criminology program provides students with a solid foundation of advanced knowledge in criminological theory, sophisticated research methodologies, complex quantitative and qualitative applications, and contemporary substantive issues in criminology. Specifically, the MA program seeks to provide students with an in-depth and broad understanding of contemporary criminological issues and debates, as well as the critical thinking and practical skills necessary to conduct criminological research in the public and private sectors. This includes, but is not limited to, public policy agencies, social services, and government and non-government organizations. The program trains both mid-career and pre-career students for careers in analysis and research in criminal justice agency settings. It also prepares students for advanced graduate work in criminology at the doctoral level.

Special emphasis in the MA program is placed on the study of two fields:

  • Cybercrime
  • Inequality and Crime

The requirement that students learn and apply both quantitative and qualitative research skills is also unique to this program.

A current list of graduate faculty is available on the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities’ website.

Admission requirements

In addition to the general admission requirements for graduate studies , MA in Criminology applicants must hold an undergraduate honours degree in the social sciences from a Canadian university, or its equivalent from a recognized institution. Normally, applicants are expected to have graduated with a social science degree which has provided them with a sound understanding of social science methodologies and a basic understanding of criminological theories.

Applicants are required to submit a portfolio consisting of the following documentation:

  • A curriculum vitae including the applicant’s education, employment, teaching and research experience, and publications (if any).
  • A sample of scholarly writing from a previous undergraduate course (up to 20 pages, double-spaced, one-sided documents only).
  • A third letter of recommendation from an academic or non-academic source.


  • Admission is competitive and occurs once per year. The specific average or standing required for admission varies from year to year. Students are selected by taking into consideration a wide range of criteria, including grades, distribution of courses taken, statements of academic intent, reference letters, research interests, and supervisor and funding availability.
  • Possession of the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Preference will be given to applicants with the best qualifications.

Part-time studies

The MA program is intended to be a full-time program, but a small number of part-time students may be admitted each year to increase its accessibility.

Degree requirements

The MA program has two options: a non-thesis option consisting of eight courses and a major paper, and a thesis option consisting of six courses and a thesis. Both options of the degree program require a total of 30 credit hours. Graduate students in both the non-thesis and thesis programs should be able to complete their studies in approximately 24 months of full-time study. See thesis, project or major paper  for corresponding policies and procedures.

Proposed progression through program

Course listing

Designated undergraduate electives for the fields of Cybercrime, and Inequality and Crime

  • SSCI 4000U - Advanced Justice Studies
  • SSCI 4010U - Policy Development
  • SSCI 4032U - Theory and Practice of Mediation


Course descriptions for the undergraduate courses listed can be found in the Undergraduate Academic Calendar and Course Catalogue.

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