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Graduate Education 


The Graduate Education Program of the Center for Juvenile Justice Training and Research, through the Department of Criminal Justice at Shippensburg University, offers a thirty-three-credit graduate program leading to a Master of Science in Administration of Juvenile Justice.  


Classes are offered through a hybrid format, combining traditional face-to-face sessions at Shippensburg University and online course content. Classes meet in person three weekends each semester during the fall and spring semesters on both Saturday and Sunday. During the summer terms, all coursework is completed online.

Most requirements in the program are traditional (i.e., papers, exams, textbooks), however, many of the methods of instruction that are utilized, and the majority of the material covered, is non-traditional and designed to meet the special needs of persons employed full-time in the juvenile justice field.

The program is competency-based; its intent is to develop in students a set of competencies jointly arrived at by the Shippensburg University Criminal Justice Department and the Commission.  Education for excellence in criminal and juvenile justice practice is the guiding mission of the Department of Criminal Justice at Shippensburg University. The faculty who teach in the program are committed to providing high quality education that will prepare students to provide evidence-based services that are ethical, impartial, and effective in a rapidly changing and increasingly diverse society.

Upon completion of the program, student learners should generally possess:

  • An advanced understanding of administrative principles and practices found in juvenile justice agencies.
  • Advanced knowledge of theories relating to crime causation and criminality.
  • In-depth knowledge of the interdisciplinary nature of the juvenile justice system.
  • Knowledge of contemporary technologies used to manage juvenile justice information.
  • Skills that enable the learner to conduct and evaluate juvenile justice-related research.
  • Advanced problem-solving skills that enable the learner to identify, analyze, and solve juvenile justice operational problems that affect the delivery of services.
  • Advanced reading, writing, and verbal communication skills.


The program is available to full-time county juvenile probation officers and juvenile justice providers in the Commonwealth who graduated from an accredited college or university with at least 18 credits in the behavioral or social sciences. The county chief juvenile probation officer may at their discretion identify additional requirements regarding interested applicants in your county (e.g., minimum service time with the juvenile probation department prior to eligibility). Similarly, the head administrator of a juvenile justice provider may at their discretion identify additional requirements regarding interested applicants in your organization (e.g., minimum service time with the organization prior to eligibility). 


The JCJC pays all tuition, lodging, and most University fees for juvenile probation officers. These students are responsible for other costs, including books, remaining University fees, and mileage. Students from juvenile justice providers are responsible for all program costs. 


Students agree to attend the program continuously for two academic years, and to maintain their current employment status for the duration of the program and for at least two years after graduation. Students who fail to meet these conditions will be required to reimburse the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for all, or a portion of, tuition and boarding costs paid on their behalf.

There are two primary requirements for admission to the Graduate Education Program:

  • Acceptance into the Shippensburg University School of Graduate Studies.
  • Endorsement by the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission.

Applicants must meet all requirements of Shippensburg University’s School of Graduate Studies as defined in the current Graduate Catalog. Applicants should have a baccalaureate degree in criminal justice, or a closely related social science field from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum grade point average of 2.75/4.00. Applicants who do not meet the minimum grade point average requirement must take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) and score at or above the 50th percentile.

The Department of Criminal Justice recommends the GRE as it reflects a familiar testing format that is similar to the SAT. The GRE assesses student strengths in verbal, quantitative, and analytical areas, whereas the MAT only assesses student strengths in the area of verbal reasoning.  With the Administration of Juvenile Justice program focus on academic research requiring strong verbal, quantitative, and analytical skills, the GRE provides for a better assessment of a student’s potential for success.  Both the GRE and MAT require academic preparation to successfully complete. Upon request, assistance with GRE/MAT preparation may be available from the University.


  1. Graduate Education Program Application 
  2. Recommendation Form
  3. Official Transcripts
  4. Official GRE/MAT Results (if applicable)
  5. Résumé
  6. Letter of Interest for Endorsement and Admission/Goal Statement