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Criminology and Social Justice (MA)

People march on a Toronto street, holding a "Justice for our Communities" banner

Program Overview

Format: Full-time (MA)

Degree Earned: Master of Arts

In keeping with Ryerson’s tradition of being deeply connected to one of the world’s most culturally and linguistically diverse urban centres, this 3-semester MA emphasizes social justice and critical analyses of existing criminal justice, legal and social structures. It provides students with the theoretical, methodological and professional foundations required for understanding various forms of inequality as they intersect with the criminal justice system, and improving access to justice.

The MA in Criminology and Social Justice offers structured yet flexible options for pursuing advanced study. The graduate program combines theoretical training in Criminology and socio-legal studies, with practical, real-world knowledge and experience. Optional field placement positions complement classroom learning and give students opportunities to apply knowledge while developing valuable networking, mentoring and career-related skills.

The MA in Criminology and Social Justice prepares students for professional and leadership roles in private, public and non-profit sectors related to social justice, including: local communities, NGOs, government, international organizations, the legal profession and academia.

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"Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to equal protection."

At a Glance

MA

  • Completion of a four-year undergraduate (or equivalent degree) from an accredited institution
  • Minimum GPA or equivalent of 3.00/4.33 (B) in the last two years of study
  • Statement of interest
  • Resumé/CV
  • Transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Sample of work
  • English language proficiency requirement

More information on admission requirements. Due to the competitive nature of our programs, it is not possible to offer admission to everyone who applies that meets the minimum entrance requirements for the program. 

Program specific requirements

Students are encouraged to submit applications prior to the first consideration date to increase their chances of securing financial support for their graduate studies. Applications received after the first consideration date will be accepted and reviewed based on spaces remaining in the program.

See application dates.

For detailed graduate tuition and fees information please visit Fees by Program.

For information on scholarships, awards and financing your graduate studies visit Financing Your Studies.

  • Canadian national security law and policy
  • Gender, feminist and women’s studies
  • Harm reduction approaches in justice systems
  • Historical studies on public order, political culture and urban governance
  • Human rights and migration
  • Indigenous justice
  • International perspectives on crime
  • Policing and “race”
  • Public perceptions of crime and justice
  • Victims and the justice system
  • Violence and communities
  • Youth justice policy and the administration of justice 
  • Criminology and Social Justice Seminar
  • Critical Engagement with Criminological Theories
  • Field Placement
  • Inequality, Social Justice and Criminal Justice
  • Justice Policy
  • Practitioners Seminar
  • Additional courses offered by other Ryerson MA/PhD programs

Criminology and Social Justice (MA) graduate program calendar

Graduate Admissions

Admissions information and how to apply

Graduate Studies Admissions Office
11th Floor, 1 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON
Telephone: 416-979-5150
Email: grdadmit@ryerson.ca

For information specific to programs, please see the program contact information below.

Program Contacts

Dr. Sara Thompson
Graduate Program Director
PhD, University of Toronto
Research areas: social inequality, exclusion and marginalization, the social and spatial distribution of urban violence, community resilience, radicalization/violent extremism
Telephone: 416-979-5000 ext. 2092
Email: skthompson@ryerson.ca

Teresa Lee (Interim)
Graduate Program Administrator
Telephone: 416-979-5000 ext. 7867
Email: gradcrim@ryerson.ca

I am extremely grateful to have attended the Criminology and Social Justice MA program at Ryerson, which has led to further studies in the J.D. program at the University of Ottawa. The preparation, knowledge, and discipline I gained from this program, as well as the support I received from the faculty and staff during my time at Ryerson, illustrates how the university is truly an inclusive and exceptional community.

Nicola Simpson, MA alumna
Tajriyan Tapader

Student Profile

Tajriyan Tapader (criminology and social justice MA student) focuses her research on the criminalization of race and how racial perceptions of crime are linked to punitive measures.

Graduate Academic Calendar

Find curriculum, course descriptions and important dates for Criminology and Social Justice (MA).

How to Apply

Once you’ve made an informed choice about which program(s) you are going to apply to, preparing your application requires careful research and planning.

Funding

At Ryerson, we understand that pursuing graduate studies is a significant financial investment. Funding comes from a combination of employment contracts (as a teaching assistant), scholarships, awards and stipends. There are a number of additional funding sources – internal and external – available to graduate students that can increase these funding levels.

Research

As an urban innovation university, Ryerson offers 60+ cutting-edge, career-oriented graduate programs, as well as 125+ research centres, institutes and labs, in a wide range of disciplines. Our close connections with industry, government and community partners provide opportunities to apply your knowledge to real-world challenges and make a difference.