Part-time & Graduate Enrollment Services
Criminal Justice BS
The criminal justice major offers students a broad education, preparing them for a wide range of careers in federal and local law enforcement. The program also provides continuing education for professionals already employed in criminal justice positions and offers a strong academic foundation for graduate or law school. The program is unique in its broad core curriculum, the scope of professional course offerings, and an intensive field experience where students blend knowledge gained in the classroom with a career-oriented internship.
RIT's approach to the study of criminal justice combines theoretical perspectives with practical experience. The emphasis within the areas of crime, criminal behavior, social control mechanisms, administration, planning, and management is on problem-solving techniques based on the growing body of research in the field as well as students' own guided research.
The Center for Public Safety Initiatives is housed in the criminal justice department. The organization works with the Rochester Police Department and other community groups. Several students work at the CPSI and gain valuable experience working with crime mapping, data gathering, and data analysis. Students work closely with faculty on various projects, including Operation IMPACT, Ceasefire and Project Safe Neighborhoods, and the Rochester Police Department. The CPSI supports the development, implementation, and evaluation of criminal justice and community-based anti-crime and anti-violence interventions.
Criminal Justice, BS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013
|Course||Sem. Cr. Hrs.|
|CRIM-100||Seminar in Criminal Justice||3|
|LAS Foundation 1: First-Year Seminar||3|
|LAS Perspective 1, 2, 3, 4||12|
|ENGL-150||LAS Foundation 2: Writing Seminar||3|
|CRIM-110||Introduction to Criminal Justice||3|
|LAS Perspective 5†||3|
|LAS Perspective 6, 7A, 7B||9|
|LAS Immersion 1, 2||6|
|CRIM-300||Quantitative Methods for Criminal Justice||3|
|CRIM-350||Theories of Crime and Criminality||3|
|LAS Immersion 3||3|
|CRIM-500||Seminar in Criminal Justice and Public Policy (WI)||3|
|Total Semester Credit Hours||120|
Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.
(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.
* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.
† Students will satisfy this requirement by taking either a 3 or 4 credit hour lab science course. If a science course consists of separate lecture and laboratory sections, students must take both the lecture and lab portions to satisfy the requirement.
During their senior year, students have the opportunity to choose an internship from a number of agencies and organizations in the areas of law, law enforcement, institutional and non-institutional corrections, courts, juvenile advocacy and counseling programs, and security. For one semester, students work 25 hours a week under an agency field supervisor and meet regularly with an adviser and with peers who are doing field placements in other agencies. Placements are individualized to fit a student's career objectives.
Students have the opportunity to participate in cooperative education and may apply for co-op employment after two semesters of full-time study. Cooperative education provides a working experience in a criminal justice-related field but does not carry academic credit hours.
Students are assigned a faculty adviser who assists in formulating career goals and planning a field of study in accordance with those goals. Through core courses, students are exposed to the widest possible range of perspectives from which to view crime and the nature of criminal justice administration, thus broadening their career options.
Many graduates are engaged in law enforcement careers in agencies at all levels of government, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, Naval Intelligence Service, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of the Interior, and the National Park Service, among others. The Rochester Police Department, the Monroe County Sheriff's Department, and suburban departments throughout the Rochester area employ our graduates. A number have advanced in rank to positions of command, including several chiefs and deputy chiefs.
Other alumni work as correctional officers, counselors, probation officers, and parole officers; with many advancing to administrative positions. A significant number of alumni have used the program as a foundation for law school and have entered the legal profession as prosecutors, public defenders, and private practice lawyers. We have many graduates serving in U.S. Attorneys General offices. Others serve the legal profession as investigators or paralegals.
Consistent with the liberal arts/social science nature of the program, some graduates have attained advanced degrees in related areas and entered teaching careers at the secondary and college levels. Others have become psychologists, social workers, drug and alcoholism counselors, youth service specialists, and victim assistance/rape crisis counselors. Many have completed advanced degrees in business, public policy, public administration, criminology, and criminal justice.
The program provides a solid undergraduate foundation for students wishing to pursue law school or other law-related fields. The American Bar Association cites strong analytical and problem-solving skills, critical reading abilities, and excellent communication and research skills as crucial for law school acceptance and success, while the Law School Admission Council encourages students to gain an understanding of the forces that have shaped human experience. Students build these skills by combining a broad liberal arts background with intensive study in criminal justice. During their senior year, prelaw students spend one semester, working 25 hours a week, as interns working with attorneys in the office of the district attorney, public defender, or state attorney general; with private law firms; or in any number of public or private organizations dealing with litigation. RIT's Prelaw Association publishes student research papers each year in Legal Research at RIT.
Students with a 3.0 grade point average at the end of their junior year may apply for admission to the departmental Honors program. Honors students will complete research, which involves original research or problem solving under the direction of a faculty member. The program provides excellent experience and evidence of independent work for potential employers or graduate and law schools.
Eight full-time faculty members hold advanced degrees, have had professional experience in criminal justice, have proven teaching ability, and are committed to continuing professional growth in their areas of expertise. They spend many non-teaching hours in their offices with an open-door policy, in order to assist students with academic or personal concerns and questions. The full-time faculty members are supplemented by a strong cadre of adjunct instructors, many of whom are leading criminal justice practitioners in the region.
The criminal justice department offers a master of science degree that focuses on program analysis and evaluation. Please see the Graduate Bulletin for more information.