Criminal Justice

RWU’s interdisciplinary Criminal Justice program combines courses in policing, corrections and procedure with studies in the social sciences to introduce you to the theory and practice of criminal law and the moral complexity of the criminal justice system. Along with internships and the guidance of our faculty of experienced practitioners, you’ll be prepared for careers such as law enforcement, counseling and probation or to advance into graduate study or law school.

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

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The Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice program (36 credit hours) prepares graduates to formulate justice system policy and serve effectively as administrators to United States justice system agencies. The master’s program permits students to 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 the management of criminal justice agencies. Students must complete a series of core courses, which provide a solid foundation in modern justice system theory and practice. By the time students have completed the core requirements, they must choose one of two tracks: Thesis or Non-Thesis. This choice will impact the number of electives they take and whether they enroll to take the Comprehensive Examination or Thesis hours. Students may enroll either on a full-time or part-time basis in these degree programs.

Applying to the Master of Science in Criminal Justice Program

Course Requirements for the Master of Science in Criminal Justice

(All courses are three credits unless otherwise indicated)

CJS501Criminal Justice System Overview 
CJS503Survey of Research Methods 
CJS505Legal Issues in the U.S. Justice System 
CJS509Crime and Public Policy 
CJS511Criminological Theory 
CJS513Analysis of Criminal Justice Data 
CJS605Thesis(Up to 6 credits)

CJS electives (4-6 courses)

Non-Thesis Option:

CJS501Criminal Justice System Overview 
CJS503Survey of Research Methods 
CJS505Legal Issues in the U.S. Justice System 
CJS509Crime and Public Policy 
CJS511Criminological Theory 
CJS513Analysis of Criminal Justice Data 

CJS Electives (6 courses)

Joint Master of Science in Criminal Justice/ Juris Doctor Offered with the RWU School of Law

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Joint Master of Science in Criminal Justice/ Juris Doctor Offered with the RWU School of Law. Full-time enrollment required.

Drawing on the strengths of the Roger Williams University School of Law as well as the School of Justice Studies, RWU offers a concentrated joint degree program for students interested in criminal justice. The dual degree program allows matriculated students to complete the Juris Doctor (JD) and the Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) in an accelerated period of study. To earn the degree students must complete 78 credits at the School of Law and 24 credits in the School of Justice Studies. The School of Law and the School of Justice Studies will each accept 12 transfer credits from the other. The effect of these credit transfers between the School of Law and the School of Justice Studies would be to reduce the overall time needed to complete both degrees from four and a half years to three and a half years, assuming full-time study.
Note: Applicants applying for the Joint M.S./J.D. degree must apply to and earn acceptance into the Graduate School of Justice Studies and the School of Law separately. Applicants who intend to pursue the joint degree must so indicate on the application for admission. Applications should be submitted sufficiently in advance of the application deadline to assure adequate processing time at both Schools. Ordinarily, applications to each school would be filed simultaneously, even if the student will not be taking courses at both schools during the first year of study. However, a student matriculated in either the M.S. or J.D. program could apply to the other school in order to pursue the joint degree prior to the end of the first year of study.

Transferable Course Requirements for the Joint M.S./J.D. Degree Program:

The four Justice Studies courses that are transferable to the School of Law are:

  1. CJS 503 Survey of Research Methods
  2. CJS 509 Crime and Public Policy
  3. CJS 511 Criminological Theory
  4. CJS 513 Analysis of Criminal Justice Data

The four School of Law courses that are transferable to Justice Studies are:

  1. LAW 623 Criminal Law
  2. LAW 627 Criminal Procedure - Investigation
  3. LAW 682 Criminal Procedure - Adjudication
  4. A LAW elective from one of the following: LAW 631 Administrative Law, LAW 681 Advanced Evidence, LAW 860 Criminal Defense Clinic, LSM 890 Seminar in Domestic Violence

Visit the School of Justice to see the full degree plan.

B.S./M.S. Criminal Justice 4+1 - RWU

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Earn your M.S. in Criminal Justice in just one year.

RWU undergraduates in criminal justice, psychology, and related majors may participate in a special 4+1 M.S. Criminal Justice program. 

How does it work? 

You’ll begin the M.S. Criminal Justice program by taking one graduate course in each semester during your senior year at RWU. Each course will count for both undergraduate and graduate credit, subject to advisor approval. Once you graduate, you will complete six credits of online coursework in the summer and then complete the remainder of your studies on campus at RWU in the fall and spring.

Curriculum

Senior Fall
CJS 501 Criminal Justice System Overview

Senior Spring
CJS 503 Survey of Research Methods

Summer (Online)
CJS 509 Crime and Public Policy
CJS 511 Criminological Theory or approved elective

Fall (12 credits)
CJS 505 Legal Issues in the U.S. Justice System
Approved Electives (9 credits)      

Spring (12 credits)
CJS 513 Analysis of Criminal Justice Data
CJS 605 Thesis (or elective)
Approved Elective(s)

How to Apply

The preferred application deadline for consideration is March 1st in the second semester of the junior year at RWU.

To apply, please submit the following items to the Office of Graduate Admission:

  1. Completed application form online at grad.rwu.edu/apply
  2. Letter of Intent (two double-spaced pages maximum) describing your interest in the Criminal Justice program, career goals, and how you can positively contribute to the graduate program at Roger Williams University
  3. Two (2) letters of recommendation from professional sources or academic faculty attesting to your potential to succeed in graduate school
  4. Please note that your academic transcripts will be obtained by the Office of Graduate Admission from the University Registrar. Do not request your transcripts. 

Your letter of intent and letters of recommendation may be emailed directly to us at gradadmit@rwu.edu. Emailed letters of recommendation must come directly from your recommenders.

B.S./M.S. Criminal Justice 4+1 - Southern Vermont College

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Earn your M.S. in Criminal Justice in just one year.

Roger Williams University is proud to partner with Southern Vermont College to offer a collaborative 4+1 dual degree opportunity with the B.S. Criminal Justice program at SVC and the M.S. Criminal Justice program at RWU. Students who earn the B.S. degree at SVC are eligible for this one-year program.

How does it work? 

You’ll begin the M.S. Criminal Justice program by taking one online graduate course from RWU in each semester during your senior year at SVC—and they’ll count toward your undergraduate degree requirements at SVC. Once you graduate, you will complete six credits of online coursework in the summer and then come to the RWU Main Campus in Bristol, RI, to complete the remainder of your studies in the fall and spring.

Curriculum

Senior Fall (Online)
CJS 501 Criminal Justice System Overview

Senior Spring (Online)
CJS 503 Survey of Research Methods

Summer (Online)
CJS 509 Crime and Public Policy
CJS 511 Criminological Theory or approved elective

Fall (12 credits – RWU)
CJS 505 Legal Issues in the U.S. Justice System
Approved Electives (9 credits)      

Spring (12 credits – RWU)
CJS 513 Analysis of Criminal Justice Data
CJS 605 Thesis (or elective)
Approved Elective(s)

How to Apply

The preferred application deadline for consideration is March 1st in the second semester of the junior year at SVC

To apply, please submit the following items to the Office of Graduate Admission:

  1. Completed application form online at grad.rwu.edu/apply
  2. Official transcripts of any undergraduate coursework completed outside of SVC (RWU will obtain your SVC transcripts on your behalf)
  3. Letter of Intent (two double-spaced pages maximum) describing your interest in the Criminal Justice program, career goals, and how you can positively contribute to the graduate program at Roger Williams University
  4. Two (2) letters of recommendation from professional sources or academic faculty attesting to your potential to succeed in graduate school

Your letter of intent and letters of recommendation may be emailed directly to us at gradadmit@rwu.edu. Emailed letters of recommendation must come directly from your recommenders.

Upcoming Events

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Open Houses

Meet us on campus and hear about admission and financial aid and meet the faculty. 

Full-time Students:
Saturday, January 5, 2019

10:00am - 1:00pm
Register

Part-time Students:
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

4:30pm - 7:00pm
Register

Virtual Information Sessions

Short on time or just want to learn more about us from the comfort of your home, school, or office? Join us for a Virtual Information Session.

Full-time Graduate Programs
Architecture, Business Administration, Construction Management, Criminal Justice, Forensic & Legal Psychology, Forensic Mental Health Counseling, and Historic Preservation

Tues., Dec. 11, 2018 | 5:00pm ET | Register
Thurs., Jan. 10, 2019 | 5:30pm ET | Register

Part-Time and Online Graduate Programs
Construction Management, Criminal Justice, Cybersecurity, Leadership, Literacy Education, and Public Administration

Mon., Dec. 10, 2018 | 5:30pm ET | Register
Tues., Jan. 8, 2019 | 12:30pm ET | Register


Visit grad.rwu.edu/events for a list of all upcoming on-campus and virtual events.

A headshot of Sean Varano

Community Researcher

Sean Varano Professor
Criminal Justice

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.

Read full story

Application Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program, applicants must hold an earned Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university. To apply, submit the following:

  1. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework.
  2. Letter of Intent (two double-spaced pages maximum) describing your interest in Criminal Justice, relevant past experiences and career goals.
  3. Two letters of recommendation attesting to your potential to succeed in graduate school.
  4. If your first language is not English, an official report of TOEFL or IELTS results.
  5. Completed application form accompanied by the $50 application fee.

Note: Applicants with an overall GPA below 3.00 (B) are strongly encouraged to take either the GRE or MAT; applicants for the Joint M.S./J.D. must apply separately to the School of Law, and must submit an LSAT score.

Preferred Application Deadline:
August 1 for Fall
January 1 for Spring
May 1 for Summer

International applicants should also read through this page for additional requirements.

All documents to be mailed should be sent directly to:

Office of Graduate Admission
1 Old Ferry Rd.
Bristol, RI 02809

For more information, or if you have questions about the application process please contact us at any time.