Criminology, MA

Saint Mary’s University offers a two-year Master of Arts degree program in criminology for students wanting to develop advanced knowledge, acquire specialized skills, and conduct independent research in criminology. The interdisciplinary faculty members in SMU’s Department of Criminology have robust research programs and expertise that span the discipline of criminology allowing them to supervise and support students undertaking diverse research projects.

Admission Requirements

The MA in Criminology follows the general admission requirements and procedures of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research as outlined in the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar.  The submission date for online applications and supporting documents to the MA in Criminology program is January 15 of the academic year prior to the one for which admission is sought.

In addition, the following conditions must be satisfied:

  • Students who have earned an honours baccalaureate undergraduate degree in criminology (or equivalent), or an honours baccalaureate undergraduate degree with a concentration in criminology (or equivalent) may be admitted to a twenty-four (24) credit hour Master of Arts degree program.  Only in exceptional circumstances will a student with an undergraduate degree with an advanced major be admitted.
  • Normally, applicants will have achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.3 (B+) in their overall academic record. In exceptional circumstances, when an applicant is otherwise qualified, the admissions committee may waive this requirement.
  • In addition to official transcripts and, if applicable, proof of English language proficiency, applicants must submit:
    • an online application form;
    • recommendation forms from two referees who can attest to their academic competence and/or ability to pursue graduate work;
    • a research statement (around 1,000 words) describing the applicant’s criminological interests, a proposed area of research for their thesis, and how their academic and non-academic experiences have prepared them to pursue graduate studies and research. Applicants must ensure their statement identifies at least one full-time faculty member in the Department of Criminology whose expertise aligns with their proposed thesis research
    • a sample of academic or other written work and (10 to 25 pages); and
    • current curriculum vitae or resume.

The Graduate Criminology Committee of the Department of Criminology will review the files of all applicants and make final decisions about admission into the Master of Arts degree program or a qualifying year.

Students may be admitted to a qualifying year in those situations where they meet all the requirements for admission but are lacking sufficient background in criminology to study at the Master’s level.  In these instances, a program of study will be worked out with the Graduate Program Coordinator and students will be admitted to the Master’s program upon successful completion at an appropriate grade level of this qualifying year program. A student in the thirty (30) credit hour qualifying year must make formal application to the Master of Arts degree program by February 1 of their qualifying year and must have attained a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.30 (B+) to be considered for admission to the Master of Arts degree program.

Financial Support

Full-time students admitted to the program may be eligible for funding administered by Saint Mary’s University. Funding recommendations are made by the program All successful applicants are automatically considered for graduate funding. Students are encouraged to apply for external scholarships funding such as the Canadian Graduate Scholarships Program.