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The BS and MS degree programs in Criminal Justice offer students a broad education with a curriculum designed to prepare them for a wide range of careers in criminal justice, provide continuing education for those already employed in criminal justice, and offer a strong academic foundation further graduate study or law school. In addition to its degrees, the Department offers minors and immersions in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies, as well as general education courses. Read More…


  • Active scholars as full time faculty who personally advise our students.
  • An experienced cadre of adjunct faculty who represent some of the most senior legal and criminal justice professionals in New York.
  • Wide selections of elective courses allowing students to informally specialize in one of many possible areas of study.
  • A growing complement of courses emphasizing issues of technology and crime.
  • About half of our graduates pursue further education in either law school or graduate programs.

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The internship program is designed to give students the opportunity to interact with criminal justice professionals in a work environment. Students will be closely supervised at the selected agency, developing their professional skills while learning the agency’s organization, programs and methods.

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Our student organizations provide opportunities for service, networking and personal growth. Organizations include: 

  • Criminal Justice Student Association (CJSA)
  • Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International (PAD)
  • RIT Pre-Law Association

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RIT’s Department of Criminal Justice organizes a wide variety of events throughout the year. Here is a sampling: 

  • Restorative Justice Conference, April 2014 (Flyer)
  • Criminal Justice Speaker Series (Flyer)
  • Criminal Justice Alumni Speaker Series (Flyer)
  • Wrongful Convictions Conference, April 2012 (Video)
  • View our Gallery

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Karyn Bower

RIT study examines 'perception of murder' in Rochester

People in Rochester and the surrounding area tend to overestimate the number of murders that occur in the city each year; but when asked to compare Rochester to other cities, they believe their hometown is safer.

Those are the results of a recent analysis of people’s perception of the murder rate in Rochester conducted by Center for Public Initiatives at the Rochester Institute of Technology. RIT junior Karyn Bower led the study.

The report, called “Power of Perception: Beliefs about crime in Rochester,” was released this week and was based on a survey of 295 attendees at the Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival in May, and included questions regarding their perception of homicide levels.

“People view the world that they live in, particularly the urban environment, as more...

Christian Isaac

MS in Criminal Justice 2011;
BS in Criminal Justice 2010

My time in the Criminal Justice MS program provided opportunities that helped shape my character and the skills I can offer.  Each professor pushes for students to build upon past research and bring new ideas forward that could be applied to benefit the surrounding community.   This program does not rely strictly on learning from a book, but actually seeing how policies are impacting the local areas and having the opportunity to personally make a difference.  Building upon my undergraduate studies, this program allowed for my knowledge to be physically applied through many community focused projects.   The amount of community interaction enhanced my ability to communicate and present ideas to any type of audience.  Such skills have become invaluable to my current work and I can apply them to any position.  This program and its professors have impacted my life, instilling a passion...

Michelle Comeau

MS Criminal Justice RIT, 2011;  
BS Criminal Justice and BS Psychology, RIT 2010

I entered into the Criminal Justice MS program in the fall of 2009 as a member of its first cohort. Although the program has strong classes that provide a solid foundation in theory, research methods, and statistics, I believe that the program’s strongest area is in the dedication of the faculty and staff to the students. Faculty and staff members were integral to my growth and development as a student and researcher. In the fall of 2010, I was not very good at public speaking; yet, during that academic year, I presented my own research to the Rochester Chief of Police, City Council, and the NYS Civil Service, and at the academic conferences for the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. I was able to do this thanks to the help of Dr. Klofas, Janelle Duda, and Kendell Christie-Jones, all of whom worked with me – over an hour a day for several...

Stephanie Mackowski

BS in Criminal Justice 2015

"As a transfer student, I have a unique perspective on RIT and my department. I have dealt with struggles at my old school, but have had the opportunity to grow and become an active member of CoLA at RIT. I love the Criminal Justice department because we have a tight- knit program, with exceptional faculty. Everyone is very welcoming, and there is always someone around to chat with and learn from. One of my favorite experiences was the Criminal Justice Student Association field trip to Attica Correctional Facility. It was a unique opportunity to have a tour of a maximum- security prison, and learn more about prisons. We were able to see what the cells at Attica looked like, what kinds of jobs were available at the prison, and what kinds of activities the prisoners had. We had a great learning experience, but still had a good time and met other students in the department. It was...

Michael Langenbacher

RIT graduate students earn kudos at annual research and creativity conference

Graduate students at Rochester Institute of Technology are known on campus for their research and innovation on topics spanning disciplines from math and science to engineering to the liberal arts. On July 23, a new group of graduate students were honored for excellence at RIT’s 5th annual Graduate Student Research and Creativity Symposium.

Taking top honors—and a $500 cash prize—in the oral presentation category was Steven Barber, a graduate student in RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability from Honeoye Falls, N.Y., who presented “Enabling Students to Advance Sustainability by Developing Corporate Sustainability Plans and Metrics.”

The runner-up in the oral presentation category—and winner of $250—was Zack Fitzsimmons, a graduate student from the B....