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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 three weekends each semester during the fall and spring semesters (two courses), from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM on both Saturday and Sunday. One course meets from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM and the other from 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM. 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 in Pennsylvania who graduated from an accredited college or university with at least 18 credits in the behavioral or social sciences, and who have been, or will be, employed in the Juvenile Justice System for at least two years prior to admission. As space allows, county juvenile detention staff (and other juvenile justice professionals, on a self-pay basis) may be admitted to the program upon the recommendation of the Juvenile Court Administrative Judge.


The Juvenile Court Judges' Commission pays for all tuition costs some University fees, and lodging for on-campus class sessions.  Students are responsible for all other costs, including books, University fees, and travel expenses. Cost for books and fees are approximately $800 per year.


Students agree to attend the program continuously for two calendar 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 costs paid on their behalf.

Applications are accepted until March 31 for the next cohort, which starts in August.  Due to the limited number of positions available for each cohort, admission is on a competitive basis. Interested applicants must follow application procedures listed below, and all application materials below should be submitted to the Center for Juvenile Justice Training and Research:

  1. Submit the completed online Graduate Education Program Application through Shippensburg University Admissions.
  2. Submit the Recommendation Form which is to be completed and signed by the Chief Juvenile Probation Officer in your county. (Note: Applicants who are employed at county-administered detention facilities will also need a letter of endorsement from both the detention center administrator and the county's Juvenile Court Administrative Judge).
  3. Submit a copy of your undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) transcripts. Official transcripts are required.
  4. Submit a copy of your official GRE/MAT scores (applicable only if your undergraduate GPA is below 2.75/4.00).
  5. Submit a copy of your résumé.
  6. Submit a Letter of Interest for Endorsement and Admission to the Administration of Justice JCJC Graduate Education Program and the Shippensburg University School of Graduate Studies. This letter/goal statement should address the following issues: a) why you are a strong candidate for endorsement; b) any reasons why you may still be a strong candidate despite having an undergraduate GPA below 2.75/4.00; c) complete description of juvenile justice work experience; and, d) how you expect to use the graduate education experience to improve practices in the county from which application is made.


  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