Careers in Justice Studies

The Master of Science in Justice Studies prepares students for careers in criminal justice administration, public institutions, grassroots community organizations and nonprofit agencies, as well as for doctoral programs and research positions in public agencies. Below, please meet alumni from the MS Justice Studies program and read about the careers they pursued post-graduation.


eduardoEduardo Bautista

PhD student, JSP program Berkeley

MS Justice Studies, 2015
It is difficult to quantify how important the MS in Justice Studies at SJSU has been in shaping my career trajectory. If not for the careful, dedicated, and rigorous guidance from faculty who taught in the graduate program (can I name drop here?), I certainly would not find myself in the position I currently hold. I am now in my fourth year in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy doctorate program at the University of California, Berkeley. My time in Justice Studies introduced me to the literature, scholars, and disciplines that remain central to my research pursuits. The faculty was also instrumental in helping me understand the PhD application process and making sure I compiled a strong and compelling application that has opened pathways for a career in academia. I am particularly appreciative of (or can I name drop here?) the mentorship I received from Drs. Alessandro De Giorgi, William Armaline, Tony Platt, and Sara Benson.


carlaCarla Uyeda

Administrative Supervisor, Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Unit — Arizona Department of Public Safety

MS Justice Studies, 2015

I am an Administrative Supervisor in the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Unit at the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The VOCA Unit administers Arizona’s Federal VOCA Victim Assistance Grant. I first entered the unit as a Grant Coordinator and promoted to Supervisor within two years. Without my M.S. in Justice Studies, I would not have been eligible for either position and would have spent an additional five years gaining the required experience to promote within the department. Obtaining a Justice Studies Master’s Degree quickly propelled my career and supplied opportunities that would have simply been unavailable to me. The Justice Studies M.S. program provided me with an invaluable education and an irreplaceable network of mentors and colleagues. I would highly recommend San Jose State University’s Justice Studies M.S. program to any individual searching for opportunity in the field of social or criminal justice. 

hilaryHilary Jackl

PhD student, Criminal Justice at SUNY Albany

MS Justice Studies, 2015

Prior to enrolling in the Master’s program in Justice Studies at San Jose State University, I was prepared to pursue a service position such as a probation officer or drug and alcohol counselor. During my first year at San Jose State, however, research became my primary interest and focus. Not only did I begin to understand the immense personal feelings of accomplishment and pride that resulted from designing and implementing my own original research, I was also able to become involved in larger-scale research assistantships with two of my professors, which exposed me to both qualitative ethnographic research as well as academic textbook editing. Overall, my two years of graduate study at San Jose State intensified my desire for further instruction and training in the Criminal Justice discipline generally, and in research and writing specifically. I am now in my first semester of the PhD program in Criminal Justice at SUNY Albany, ranked the #2 Criminal Justice PhD program in the country, and am certain that I would not be where I am, were it not for my experiences at San Jose State!


sarahSarah Matthews

Development Assistant to Corporate Relations — Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health

MS Justice Studies, 2015

After graduating in 2015, I took some time to reflect on my place in the justice system and how I might apply my knowledge of and passion for justice in a sustainable, meaningful way. Last December I accepted a position at Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, the sole fundraising entity for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and the maternal and child health programs at Stanford University School of Medicine. The Foundation procures critical funds that support clinical care, research and education to improve the health of children and expectant mothers, locally and worldwide. As Development Assistant to the Corporate Relations team, I assist with the management and stewardship of philanthropic relationships with companies and company foundations. I’d ultimately like to become a fundraiser. I'm confident that my time as a scholar of justice studies helped shape me into the person I am today, both personally and professionally. While I’m not on the “front lines” of the justice field, I believe that my education prepared me to think critically about my place in the workforce and how I can be a true agent of change.