M.S. Criminal Justice

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice prepares you for a career in justice system policy formulation and to serve effectively as an administrator to U.S. justice system agencies. You will explore the fields of criminology – examining the nature and causes of crime – and justice system management, which focuses on modern administrative theory, legal issues in personnel administration and management of criminal justice agencies.

This Program

  • Is available full-time or part-time, hybrid or fully online
  • Offers a thesis option for students who wish to pursue research
  • Provides opportunities for research, collaboration, and elective coursework across the programs in RWU’s School of Justice Studies including criminal justice, cybersecurity, leadership, and public administration
  • Offers tuition discounts for active duty military, veterans, and first responders

Open 4+1 Option

If you are currently an undergraduate student at an institution other than Roger Williams University, you can apply to be considered to start RWU graduate courses in your senior year and complete your master's with us in just one year. Open 4+1 students take two online graduate courses in the M.S. Criminal Justice program during the senior year at a more than 80 percent discount and then pursue the master's degree full-time in just one year either online or on campus. 

Tell Me More More About The Program


Community Researcher, Professor of Criminal Justice

"My work in the community keeps both my feet firmly rooted to the practitioner world. It certainly makes me a better teacher. I work hard to find the intersections of how the classroom experience intersects with the real-world."

Sean Varano considers himself a community researcher, and for good reason. He has years of experience developing, implementing and evaluating evidence-based approaches to crime and public health programs in the local community. He's served as the Local Action Research Partner to the New Bedford Police Department since 2006; and is the co-principal investigator/evaluator for the City of Providence’s Project Safe Neighborhoods gang reduction program and also for the Olneyville Housing Corporation's Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation grant.  Both federally funded initiatives intend to reduce crime by addressing the underlying factors that increase the likelihood of crime and disorder.  Most recently, Varano has been taking on a new issue, which has been devastating much of New England: The opioid epidemic. 

Sean Varano, Professor
Criminal Justice Faculty

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