Rochester Institute of Technology

Academic Program Overviews

Student Skills & Capabilities, Salary Data, Career Information 

Criminal Justice BS

Program Overview

The Criminal Justice program offers students a broad education with a curriculum designed to prepare them for a wide range of careers in criminal justice, to provide continuing education for those professionals already employed in criminal justice, and to offer a strong academic foundation for graduate school. RIT’s approach to the study of criminal justice combines theoretical perspectives with practical experience. As students study in the areas of crime, criminal behavior, social control mechanisms, administration, planning, and management, the emphasis is on problem solving techniques based on the rapidly growing body of research in the field, as well as students’ own guided research. 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 required and elective courses with a career-oriented internship.

Degrees Awarded

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Masters of Science


  • Approximately 200 full-time students are enrolled in the undergraduate program.

Cooperative Education & Experiential Education Component

  • Required Field Internship senior year (15 weeks, 25 hours per week) with agencies or organizations.
  • Co-op is optional after three terms of full-time study in criminal justice at RIT. Co-op does not carry academic credit hours.

Salary Information

Co-op:     $17.74                     $9.72 - $27.00
*BS:         $36,500                   $39,367 - $44,069
*MS:        $46,968                   $40,333 - $46,968
*Statistics for starting salaries from the Nat’l Assn. of Colleges & Employers (NACE) for Spring 2016 graduates

Student Skills & Capabilities

Upon acceptance into the Criminal Justice Program, each student is assigned a faculty advisor 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. During the first year, students select professional electives in a specific area of interest from courses offered within the program, within the college or in any of RIT’s other seven colleges. Criminal justice faculty offer courses in criminology, law enforcement, law, corrections, management and crime analysis.  Other areas of study, planned according to individual career goals, may include courses in computer science, management, photography, security, and computer forensics.

Professional/Technical Skills
·          Professional abilities developed by students include oral and written skills as well as the norms and expectations of social interaction with criminal justice agencies and contexts.
·          Data analysis - Use of data sites, sources for criminal justice information (including journals, raw data, government sites, and legal sources) and the strategies for analysis of legal cases, original research articles, and data. Students also develop the skills needed to create new frameworks for collection of novel data within agencies.
·          Crime analysis – Students may work with the Monroe County Crime Lab to analyze crime, profile, provide information to law enforcement.
·          Crime mapping – Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – ex: producing hot spot maps to locate specific areas that are of concern to law enforcement, shootings, motor vehicle theft, drug sales, and violence to name a few topics.
·          Interaction with and consideration of new technologies and their application in criminal justice, such as various statistical packages/programs including SPSS, Excel, Access, and software that are used exclusively in police departments or federal agencies. An understanding of cloud/data storage and the Word Office software package.
·          Competency with advanced applications to search social networking sites and social profiles.


Middle States Association for Colleges and Schools.

Nature of Work

Criminal Justice graduates have many career options, and the nature of the work varies depending on the type of occupation. Those who pursue a research intensive career, such as a crime analyst, would use computer databases to gather and study criminal data in order to predict the day, time, and place that a crime might occur. Crime analysts not only use the information they gather to identify criminals but to target possible suspects as well. Alternatively, correctional counselors and treatment specialists counsel offenders and create rehabilitation plans for them to follow when they are no longer in prison. Correctional counselors administer questionnaires to determine an inmate's strengths and weaknesses. They provide offenders with referrals to jail or prison programs, such as job training situations. Prior to an inmate's release, correctional counselors conduct meetings with inmates, their families and their friends to strengthen their support network.

Training / Qualifications

A career in correctional counseling or treatment requires short-term on-the-job training, after which you may have to pass a certification test. As for a career in crime analysis, in order to complete more formal training, analysts may need to become state certified. To qualify for a position, some police agencies require crime analysts to have some experience working in a law enforcement atmosphere. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook)

Job Outlook

Job outlook for professions like corrections counselors or correctional treatment specialists is 4 percent. Because community corrections is viewed as an economically viable alternative to incarceration in some cases, demand for correctional treatment specialists should continue. The job outlook for crime analysts is currently neutral, but as data analysis plays a greater role in law enforcement, demand for crime analysts should increase. Many graduates of the criminal justice program also go on to pursue a career in law. The current job outlook for lawyers is 6 percent, or as fast as average. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook)

Job Titles

Officers: State, Local, Government; Correction Officers and Counselors; Probation Officers; US Postal Inspectors; Crime Analyst; US Marshals; Border Patrol Officers.  Some students go on to become lawyers.


Crime analysts most commonly work for medium or large law enforcement agencies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that correctional treatment specialists, who are included in the same category as probation officers, held about 91,700 jobs in 2014 and nearly all worked for state or local governments.

Significant Points

  • Competition should remain keen for higher paying jobs with State and Federal agencies and police departments in affluent areas;
  • Opportunities will be better in local and special police departments that offer relatively low salaries or in urban communities where the crime rate is relatively high.
  • Applicants with college training in police science or military police experience should have the best opportunities. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook)

Selected Employer Hiring Partners

City of Rochester, Kodak, Pinkerton Security, National Park Service, Monroe County Sheriff, US Immigration & Naturalization, Monroe County Sheriff, Rochester Police Dept., District Attorney’s Office, US Customs and Border Patrol, US Secret Service

Contact Us

We appreciate your interest in your career and we will make every effort to help you succeed. Feel free to contact Lisa Monette, the career services coordinator who works with the Criminal Justice program. You can access information about services through our web site at
Lisa Monette, Career Services Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 585.475.7413; 585.475.2301
Rochester Institute of Technology . Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education
Bausch & Lomb Center . 57 Lomb Memorial Drive . Rochester NY  14623-5603