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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU offering masters of criminal justice classes in Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE - New Mexico State University is expanding its master of criminal justice degree program to include traditional campus-based classes at the NMSU-Albuquerque Center, 2444 Louisiana Blvd NE.

As the only public university in the state that offers a master of criminal justice degree, NMSU has more than 100 graduate students in its main campus traditional campus-based program and online program. But it sees a need for live classes in the Albuquerque area.

"We have a number of our bachelor degree graduates in this area who would like to continue their education. Some are in our online program but others are showing interest in having live classes," said Larry Mays, Regents professor with NMSU's criminal justice department and coordinator of the Albuquerque Center program.

"Prior to this, the only option for people living in the Albuquerque wishing to obtain a master of criminal justice degree had to turn to private colleges, which are pretty pricey," he said.

Two graduate classes are being offered at NMSU-Albuquerque Center in the 2008 fall semester. "Law and Social Control" will be offered Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. "Issues in Ethics, Law and Criminal Justice" will be offered on Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The field of criminal justice encompasses law enforcement, corrections, probation and people working in Children, Youth and Family division of the New Mexico Human Service Department, as well as a myriad of security positions in the private sector.

Entry level positions in law enforcement require only a high school diploma or GEB, but Mays advised those interested in criminal justice careers to get a formal education. With a bachelor's and master's degree the professional has better opportunities.

"A master's degree can help a person with limited field experience when applying for a federal agency. It also helps people already working in the field to increase their level of credentials for promotions and other career opportunities," Mays said.

Founded in 1962, NMSU's Department of Criminal Justice is one of the oldest criminal justice programs in the nation. It is the largest academic department in the College of Arts and Science with more than 700 undergraduate students and 100 masters of criminal justice students.

The mission of the department is based upon the understanding of criminal justice as a broad-based interdisciplinary social science field. Students graduating from NMSU are prepared for careers at the federal, state and local levels throughout the criminal justice profession, in both the private and public sectors. Graduates have also gone on for advanced education in law school and graduate programs in criminology, justice studies and political science.

For more information regarding the program contact Mays at (505) 830-2856. To learn more about NMSU's criminal justice program visit www.nmsu.edu/~crimjust/index.html.