You are now in the main content area

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.

PDF fileDownload the program brochure, opens in new window

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

At a Glance

  • Completion of a 4-year bachelor’s degree in criminology or related discipline
  • Minimum GPA or equivalent of 3.00/4.33 (B); however, due to the competitive nature of the admissions process, meeting the minimum criteria does not guarantee admission
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Statement of interest
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Writing sample

More information on how to apply.

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

Graduate Admissions

Admissions information and how to apply

Graduate Studies Admissions Office
11th Floor, 1 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON
Telephone: 416-979-5150
Fax: 416-979-5153

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

Program Contacts

Dr. Dan Horner
Graduate Program Director
PhD, York University
Telephone: 416-979-5000 ext. 4090

Teresa Lee (Interim)
Graduate Program Administrator
Telephone: 416-979-5000 ext. 7867
Fax: 416-979-5153

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.

student working at a desk

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.


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.

Finding a Supervisor

Students should apply to the program first. Applications that meet the minimum requirements of the program will be forwarded to faculty members in the program for review. Successful applicants will be invited to visit the program and meet with faculty members that are interested in supervising them as a graduate student in their research group. A matching system is used to find the best students/supervisor match (using input from both applicants and faculty members). After a suitable match is determined, an official offer of admission will be sent with the supervisor named in the offer.