School Department News

School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences

Friday, May 5, 2017 - 1:34pm
William Carey University is ranked as having the #1 most affordable online master’s in criminal justice program, according to SR Education Group. 
The Master of Science in Criminal Justice began its inaugural class spring 2016 with eight master’s candidates. The fully online program is taught by full-time and adjunct faculty members who are qualified practitioners in the field of criminal justice. 
“I am thrilled to hear that our program has been ranked as the #1 most affordable online master’s degree in criminal justice,” said Dr. Karla Pope, chair of the department of criminal justice. “We are a practitioner-based program serving working professionals in the field of criminal justice as well as others interested in pursuing a graduate degree. We are honored to offer an affordable, quality opportunity for higher learning in criminal justice.”
Pope said the master’s program, which is based at the Tradition campus, was initiated in response to student request and in response to requests in the criminal justice community along the Gulf Coast. 
The program has grown from eight students during the first term a year ago to 21 students during spring 2017 term. Of the initial eight students, four graduated in May while three are anticipated to graduate in August. One of the initial students had to temporarily stop the program due to a death in the immediate family; he will resume the program this summer. 
In order to be admitted to the program, students must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and maintained a minimum of 2.5 GPA during their last 64 hours. The students must also submit competitive GRE scores and letters of recommendation to complete the admission process. 
Once admitted, students have a choice to pursue a master’s degree with the thesis option or master’s degree without the thesis option. Both tracks require 30 hours of criminal justice coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree with the program being designed to be completed in five trimesters.  The thesis-track students will complete 24 hours of required coursework plus six hours of thesis work while the non-thesis track students will complete 24 hours of required coursework plus six hours of electives and a comprehensive examination. 
For more information about the Master of Science Criminal Justice program, contact Dr. Karla Pope at (228) 702-1834 or email Click here to view the full list of rankings. 
Monday, April 17, 2017 - 4:47pm
William Carey University will host a research symposium on Friday, April 21 showcasing the work of students in the Master of Biomedical Sciences program and the College of Osteopathic Medicine.  The symposium will be held from noon to 3:30 p.m. in the Student Conference Center on the Hattiesburg campus.
Manuela Staneva, an epidemiologist from the Mississippi State Department of Health, will be the keynote speaker for the event. Staneva will speak about the “Causes and Scope of the Mississippi Opioid Epidemic.” His presentation will be from noon to 1 p.m. in the Student Conference Center; lunch will be provided.
Additional speakers during the event include Dr. Steven Gustafson, WCUCOM professor of pathology, at 2 p.m. and Dr. Bob Johnson, WCUCOM professor of pre-clinical sciences, at 2:30 p.m.
The students will present their posters from 1 to 2 p.m., and the exhibit hall will remain open until 3:30 p.m. The awards ceremony will begin at 3 p.m.
The symposium is free and open to the public. 
Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 3:30pm

The Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation’s Ann Morris Memorial Fund recently awarded $10,000 to the William Carey University Quality of Life Project, which pairs students with adults with intellectual disabilities. The money will support recreational and educational projects.  


The Pinebelt Community Foundation also awarded $10,000 to a program called “Harnessing Adults’ Full Potential Through Music Therapy.”  This program will provide music therapy services to adults with intellectual disabilities at day rehabilitation centers to increase acquisition of skill building and activities for daily living.  


"This Quality of Life project provides both William Carey University students and clients opportunities to learn from each other while enjoying educational and recreational outings,” stated Dr. Paul Cotten, Quality of Life director.  “Not only do our students become better prepared to work with individuals with disabilities, but they also become aware of the special nature of their clients.  An interdependent relationship between students and clients is developed, thanks to the opportunities provided by the funding.


“The music therapy program is truly blessed as the funds will be used to engage William Carey University music therapy graduates and train future music therapists while bringing new programmatic services to PineBelt Mental Health Resources,” said Jim Pierce, assistant professor of music therapy.


The Ann Morris Memorial Fund was set up to assist area nonprofit organizations that coordinate programs that enrich the quality of life of intellectually challenged adults. “Our grant selection committee is made up of individual reviewers who ensure that all funding is given to organizations that meet the criteria of the donor,” said Theresa Erickson, executive director of the Pinebelt Community Foundation.


The Pinebelt Community Foundation exists to strengthen communities by connecting charitably minded people to causes that matter most to them. For more information, contact the Community Foundation at (601) 583-6180 or

Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 7:51am
The William Carey University Cultural Society Alumni Chapter awarded a scholarship to Carey freshman Aubreanna Moffett of Mount Olive during a membership dinner at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Hattiesburg on Feb. 20.
The scholarship was presented to Moffett by Dennis Miller, a 1988 graduate and chapter president, and Linda Montgomery, a 1985 graduate and chapter secretary.
The chapter, organized in 2012, was the first Carey alumni chapter to officially organize. It is also the first Carey alumni chapter to award a scholarship. Moffett is the first recipient of the chapter scholarship.
Moffett, a student in Carey’s pre-pharmacy biology track, plans to attend pharmacy school following graduation from the university.
Monday, January 4, 2016 - 9:12am
William Carey University will offer an online master’s degree in criminal justice beginning with the winter term in February 2016.
The master’s degree offers several benefits to those with an interest in the field, said Dr. Karla Pope, chair of Carey’s Department of Criminal Justice.
“For students currently employed in the field of criminal justice, the master’s degree will offer a competitive edge when testing for promotion within the agency and, in some instances, will provide an educational pay incentive,” said Pope. “A master’s degree also provides qualifications for an individual wanting to teach criminal justice at the undergraduate level in community colleges or on the university level.”
The degree will also provide an opportunity for graduates of Carey’s undergraduate criminal justice program to continue their education. The criminal justice program started at the Tradition campus in Biloxi in fall 2012 with two students and has now expanded to more than 60 students.
“The growth of the undergraduate program, along with many inquiries from people within the field who already have bachelor’s degrees but would like to earn a master’s degree in a convenient format, prompted us to establish the master’s degree,” said Pope.
The degree, which is offered in both Master of Arts and Master of Science tracks, consists of 30 required hours. Twenty-four of the 30 hours will be required courses. The M.A. degree track will include an additional six hours of thesis work. The M.S. track will include six hours of additional electives and a comprehensive written exam upon conclusion of the required coursework.
For more information on the master’s degree or the undergraduate degree in criminal justice, contact Pope at (228) 702-1834 or by email at