Department of Criminal Justice Administration

Rutherford County CourthouseWelcome to the Department of Criminal Justice Administration at Middle Tennessee State University. The CJA Department offers programs of study at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. 

At the undergraduate level, students may obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration. Students majoring in CJA may choose concentrations in Law Enforcement or Homeland Security. Minors in either Criminal Justice or Homeland Security are offered for non-CJA majors.

At the graduate level, students may obtain a Master of Criminal Justice degree by completing either a thesis track (33 hours) or a non-thesis track (36 hours) and successful completion of the written comprehensive examination.  

News, Upcoming Events, & More:

Thinking About Getting a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice? 

At the Department of Criminal Justice Administration, our philosophy is that all students are able to learn, but getting a Master's degree may not be the best learning environment for everyone. The following questionnaire will help you gauge whether the M.C.J program at MTSU is for you. We want to stress that this assessment is used to raise your own awareness of factors and issues you will need to thoughtfully consider before pursuing an advanced degree. This assessment is not an admissions test, it is for your benefit; so, be honest with yourself when you answer! 

If after taking the survey and exploring our website, you find that you have questions about the M.C.J program, feel free to contact Dr. Carter Smith at

If you do not have above 3.0 GPA, but have criminal justice experience since college that would mitigate your grades, please contact Dr. Smith at to discuss your readiness for attaining an MCJ Degree.

Take the survey here: M.C.J Readiness Survey

Faculty/Student Collaboration Tackles Porch Piracy

Porch Piracy Article 1The university is proud to annouce that the first empirical study of porch pirates in the U.S. was conducted by four researchers affiliated with MTSU: Dr. Benjamin Stickle, Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice; Graduate Criminal Justice Teaching Assistant, Melody Hicks; Mathematics Instructor, Amy Stickle; and Computer Science Student, Zachary Hutchinson.

The researchers analyzed the 67 home security videos that showed porch pirates committing theft so that they could examine the crime commission process. Some of their findings indicate that traditional situational crime prevention techniques may be ineffective at stopping thefts of packages, that homes situated close to roadways are likely more vulnerable to thefts, and that porch pirates did not appear to be deterred by the victim's presence on the property. 

The article is called, "Porch Pirates: Examining Unattended Package Theft Through Crime Script Analysis" and was published in the Journal of Criminal Justice Studies. It can be downloaded for free here: .  


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Office Phone:


Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 238
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Department Main Office:
Academic Classroom Building 230