The Department of Criminal Justice offers an innovative Master of Science degree that emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach to urban studies which emphasizes public safety. The program emphasizes training in policy analysis and practice, particularly as it is relevant to community and urban issues.
That program builds on the foundation of locally relevant policy research by providing its students with the critical skills to carry out such work and the experience to assure success in employment or in pursuit of further graduate studies. Overall, our program reflects the strongest traditions of our academic discipline while also emphasizing the unique strengths of this department and the research related technologies of Rochester Institute of Technology.
The objective of the program is to provide students with a strong foundation in criminological and criminal justice theory and social scientific research skills, thus enabling graduates to have successful careers in the policy analysis arena or to be able to easily transfer into a criminal justice doctoral program.
Admission to the graduate program will be determined by the faculty in Criminal Justice. Applications for admission will be accepted for all academic quarters, although faculty members will ordinarily review applications each Spring. All students admitted to the graduate program will be assigned a graduate advisor who will assure the program meets the individual needs of the students.
Students seeking admission must submit an application and will be evaluated on the following criteria:
A minimum of 30 credit hours is required for completion of the MS in Criminal Justice.
Students transferring into the MS program from other BS degree programs at RIT or from outside the university should have a strong undergraduate foundation in criminology and research methods. Students that do not possess these skills may be required to complete additional undergraduate coursework (Criminology, Theories of Crime, and Research Methods) or demonstrate that they have equivalent skills for completion of the degree.
In addition to the six course-core, students are also required to successfully complete two graduate level elective courses and master's thesis.
CRIM 700: Pro-Seminar in Criminal Justice Theory
In this pro-seminar, students examine the theoretical foundation of criminal justice. This course integrates studies of criminal justice systems, enforcement organizations, judicial decision-making, courtroom communities and correctional systems by focusing on the study of governmental social control premised on punishment or blameworthiness. It examines the underlying causes and patterns of official responses to behavior that may be labeled criminal, and the structures, policies and practices of criminal justice.
CRIM 701: Statistics
The purpose of this course is to provide students with training in quantitative analysis of social science data. Students will develop a conceptual understanding of techniques, the ability to recognize the appropriate selection of techniques, and the ability to use those statistical measures and interpret their results. Students will gain experience with inferential statistics through the level of commonly used multivariate analyses. The prerequisite for this course will be a strong undergraduate foundation in statistical analysis. With the consent of their adviser and the graduate coordinator, qualified students may substitute more specialized statistics courses or courses in such areas as geographical information systems (GIS).
CRIM 702: Pro-Seminar in Research Methods
This course will focus on the principles and techniques of research with a special focus on evaluation research. The course will cover research conceptualization and design, development of appropriate measures, collection and analysis of data using a wide range of methods. Students will gain a thorough understanding of the research process as well as the policy implications and consequences of research and evaluation. Students will also begin to develop a thesis research proposal.
CRIM 703: Advanced Criminology
This course will provide students with a detailed understanding of the theories that have guided criminological research and policy. Subject matter will cover the major influences in criminology: the classical school, the Chicago School, strain theories, socialization and learning theories, and conflict theories, among others. This will be a required course for the MS in Criminal Justice. The prerequisite for this course will be a strong undergraduate foundation in theories of crime and criminality.
CRIM 704: Crime, Justice and Community
This course provides an overview of the role of communities in crime and criminal justice. The course begins by preparing a foundation in community theory. Students will gain an understanding of the critical dimensions and attributes which define "community." The course will emphasize how these critical community dimensions are related to both crime and criminal justice. The course will involve an examination of community-based theory and research, with a special emphasis on the criminology of place and how crime and justice patterns are embedded in particular social structures and cultures. We will discuss the extent to which structural characteristics (e.g., poverty, residential mobility, etc.) and social processes (e.g., social capital, collective efficacy, etc.) are related to crime and disorder. The course will also examine the potential that exists within criminal justice to intervene in communities to reduce crime and disorder and "build community" in the process. Central to this will be a discussion of co-production (i.e., the intersection between formal and informal social control).
CRIM 705: Interventions and Change in Criminal Justice
This course will focus on theory and research regarding the effectiveness of broad anti-crime strategies and specific intervention efforts at the local, state, national and international level. Theoretical explanations of crime and ideological orientations towards crime will be linked with the crime control and prevention strategies associated with those perspectives. Each strategy of crime control/prevention (including deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and community crime prevention) will be assessed in terms of research findings focused on the effectiveness of such strategies. Detailed attention will be given to prevention/control strategies aimed at both juvenile and adult offenders. Programs will also be examined in the broader context of the ideology and philosophy of justice. Students will become familiar with the state of the art in crime and justice related interventions by studying the theory, practice and evaluation of contemporary crime and justice interventions.
CRIM 800: Thesis in Criminal Justice
The master's thesis in criminal justice involves independent research on an approved topic judged by a faculty committee and under the supervision of one faculty member. The thesis requires students to develop, design and complete an original research project; orally defend the thesis before the thesis committee and the public; and submit a bound copy to the library. Students will meet weekly with their thesis chair.
Michelle J. Comeau Thesis: Representation and Recruitment: A Three-Part Analysis of the Police Hiring Process Within New York State Michelle is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice at Northeastern University.
Christian W. Isaac Thesis: Restorative Justice in Schools: An Examination of Peace Circles Within Monroe High School Christian is currently working in the technical support division at The CBORD Group in Ithaca, NY.
Gregory M. Drake Thesis: Project TIPS: A Review of Rochester's Law Enforcement-Community Collaborative Greg is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice at Michigan State University.
Brittany Archambeau Thesis: Factors that Contribute to Success of Probationers: Probation Officers' Point of View Brittany is an Offender Rehabilitation Coordinator at the Groveland Correctional Facility.