Criminal Justice 4+1 Master’s Program Launches this Semester

March 15, 2021

By Dennis Caron ’21

This semester, Saint Anselm College is offering a master’s program for the first time in the school’s history. Beginning in the spring of 2021, undergraduate students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice, forensic science, cyber criminology or who are earning a minor in criminal justice have an opportunity to earn a Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Saint Anselm College through the accelerated 4+1 program (ABM). Alumni with degrees in these qualified fields can also enroll in the master’s program.

“This degree affords students increased breadth and depth of knowledge,” explained Professor Kaitlyn Clarke ’09, the program’s director, as she discussed some student goals. “Students focus on pressing problems facing American society, thus making them better members of their community. The substantive, practical, and analytical curriculum prepares students for entry into a variety of professional fields and increases prospects for career advancement.”

With this program, students embark on a year-long curriculum starting the spring semester of 2021 and ending in the spring semester of 2022. In total, 24 students have enrolled in the ABM program, 6 of whom are alumni.


This semester, the college offered two courses through the program: (CJ 500) Advanced Research Seminar and (CJ 510) Administration of Justice. College faculty strategically selected these courses to serve as the introduction to the curriculum.

The first course, (CJ 500) Advanced Research Seminar, helpscj 4+1 class students explore ideas they will use for their eventual research theses and research projects. These theses are to be completed during the final two semesters of the program and serve as the central area of individual interest for students. The second course, (CJ 510) Administration of Justice, offers students an expanded overview of concepts introduced at the undergraduate level.

Senior criminal justice major and Russian area studies minor, Joseph Venuti spoke about the appeal of the 4+1 program.

“The opportunity to continue my education while working with the same professors that I had worked with for four years already was incredibly appealing. They already knew me, my interests in both careers and research, and my learning style, which would allow me to seamlessly transition into my graduate studies while also having advisors that could guide me to the goals I wanted to achieve. Being able to complete my masters in just one year was also a big deal.”

For undergraduate students in their senior year, the 4+1 program allows them to complete their B.A. and smoothly transition into their master’s program. By the end of the five-year curriculum, students will have earned two degrees. The program also allows alumni to continue their education at their alma mater.

Abby Donaldson ’20 graduated with a double major in criminal justice and psychology. Currently, she is enrolled in the 4+1 Criminal Justice Master’s Program and pursuing her CRSW (Certified Recovery Specialist Worker).

“I loved getting an opportunity to return to Saint Anselm College and re-connect with professors and other students I was close with during my undergraduate studies. I was nervous that being in a full-time position would make the new duties and schedule I had difficult. However, the professors have been communicative, flexible, and understanding. Lastly, the opportunity to get a master’s degree with one extra year of work was huge,” says Donaldson.

The college also plans on offering housing to ABM students during the summer semester. Student housing may also be accommodated for students during the fall and spring semester, depending on space.

The ABM program hopes to continue its growth and is determined to accommodate more alumni in the years to come. The college plans on expanding the ABM program to other academic departments. With the 4+1 ABM Program’s introduction, Saint Anselm College can extend its educational outreach to a broader community of students and alumni. 

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