Accelerated BA/BS + Master's in Justice Studies

The accelerated 4+1 justice studies degree program allows justice studies undergraduate majors to earn either a BA or BS and an MS degree in five years.

Although 4+1 students will complete all requirements, including the core courses for the BS or BA degree in justice studies (120 hours), as well as the 30 credit hours required for the MS, they will be able to share 12 hours across both programs. This means that 4+1 students will be able to complete the bachelor's/master’s program with 138 hours as opposed to 150 hours.

What are the benefits of the 4+1 program?

Students with an MS will have a competitive edge in the marketplace and increase their earning potential. Students will also save time because they will be able to earn an MS in just one year, saving on tuition. Finally, students will be able to participate in small, intense graduate seminars, which will give them greater access to Justice Studies faculty and their research programs. This access could potentially translate into stronger student-faculty relationships, which will help those students who plan to pursue JDs or PhDs.

Application Process

Students interested in applying should consult their undergraduate advisor. To be eligible to apply to the accelerated BA or BS/MS program, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Students must meet all admission criteria established by the academic unit and Graduate Education, except the completion of the baccalaureate degree.
  • Completed a minimum of 75 credit hours applicable to either the BA or BS in Justice Studies
  • Earned at least a 3.5/4.0 GPA.

To apply, students are required to complete and online Graduate Admissions Application for the Justice Studies MS found on the Graduate Education website. The application deadline will always be April 1st for the accelerated program for students beginning the program the following fall semester.

The following supporting documents must be submitted with the online Graduate Admissions application for the Justice Studies MS:

  • Two letters of recommendation - at least one letter must be from a Justice Studies faculty member or instructor
  • Personal Statement, one-and-a-half to two pages, double spaced, outlining areas of interest and educational and career goals
  • Two 5-10 page writing samples that best represent the student's academic and writing skills
  • Official transcripts

The Justice Studies Graduate Programs committee will review all applications and make a recommendation to ASU Graduate Education. This is the same committee that reviews applications for admittance into the MS program. Acceptance is contingent upon a 3.5/4.0 GPA or better in the student’s first 90 hours of undergraduate coursework.

Academic Progress

In order to remain in good standing in the program, students will need to maintain a 3.0/4.0 GPA in both their undergraduate and graduate coursework. Students also need to earn at least a B in their four core MS courses to avoid having to retake them. Students may be recommended to Graduate Education for dismissal form the accelerated program if they do not maintain a 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate coursework. If this happens, the Justice Studies Graduate Programs Director will recommend withdrawal of the student from the graduate portion of the accelerated program to ASU Graduate Education. They will still be allowed to complete their undergraduate degree.

Students will be able to withdraw from the accelerated program and return to the regular BA or BS program at any time. Withdrawal from the program will not preclude the student applying to the MS (not accelerated) program in the future. However, the student will not be able to share credit hours that have been used to obtain the undergraduate degree if he/she applied to the MS (not accelerated) program.


If you have questions or would like more information on the 4+1 degree program and/or the application process, please contact:

Professor Vera Lopez, graduate director for Justice and Social Inquiry, at

Audra Horney, academic success specialist, at