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.

The Criminal Justice Major

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The Criminal Justice program introduces students to the theory and practice of the United States criminal justice system. The goals of the program include:
  • Providing a professional education combined with an integrated liberal arts curriculum that teaches critical thought, analytical reasoning, and scholarly writing;
  • Preparing students who wish to pursue careers which include federal, state, and municipal law enforcement, professional human services, including counseling, probation and parole, corrections, and the legal profession;
  • Providing students the opportunity to develop intellectual skills that will enable them to pursue lifelong learning;
Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice must satisfy the University Core Curriculum requirements, 11 required criminal justice courses, 3 additional criminal justice electives, 8 required courses from other departments, and a sufficient number of electives to total at least 120 credit hours. Students are encouraged to apply electives toward a minor or second major.

Requirements in the Major

CJS105Introduction to Criminal Justice 
CJS106Applied Concepts in Justice Studies 
CJS150Policing in America 
CJS201Substantive Criminal Law 
CJS204Constitutional Law 
CJS254Research Methods for Criminal Justice 
CJS308Criminology 
CJS320Criminal and Civil Procedure in the US Courts 
CJS330Corrections in the United States 
CJS403Juvenile Justice 
CJS420Justice Studies Capstone 

Elective Requirements
Any three additional Criminal Justice courses

Requirements in Other Departments

NATSC226Forensic Science 
COMM210Introduction to Public Speaking 

Two of the following:

POLSC100American Government and Politics 
PSYCH100Introduction to Psychology 
SOC100Introduction to Sociology 

Two courses from one of the following areas:
Political Science, Psychology, or Sociology

Two additional courses from the College of Arts and Sciences (Required skills courses, or their prerequisites, and other required support courses for the major, cannot be used to satisfy this requirement).

The Criminal Justice Minor

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The criminal justice minor is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the criminal justice system and to allow students to develop an appreciation of criminal justice as a social science. This minor is not available to students enrolled as legal studies or criminal justice majors.

Requirements in the Minor

CJS105Introduction to Criminal Justice 
CJS308Criminology 
CJS320Criminal and Civil Procedure in the US Courts 

Any three additional criminal justice courses

Criminal Justice 4 + 1 Program

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This program allows exceptional undergraduate, criminal justice majors the opportunity to earn six graduate credits during their senior year and the remainder of the course requirements for the Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice in a single, post-graduate year. This is an accelerated program for students who intend to study criminal justice full-time at the graduate level. Students who are accepted into this program take two graduate courses in their senior year (one in the fall and one in the spring). The remaining ten courses are completed as a matriculated graduate student. Application to the program takes place in the student’s junior year. It is strongly recommended that students who are interested in this program speak with the graduate director of the Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice in their sophomore year to discuss admission requirements.

Three-Plus-Three Program

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Outstanding students who qualify for this special program may be able to complete all requirements for a baccalaureate degree and the Juris Doctor degree in six years.
Full-time students who matriculate at the University in their freshman year and who maintain superior academic records with outstanding academic averages and superior scores on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) may apply to the Roger Williams University School of Law in their junior year. All undergraduate graduation requirements, excluding all Legal Studies requirements with the exception of LS 101 and either LS 209 or LS 215, should have been completed or the courses for completion should be in progress. The Legal Studies major will be completed using courses taken during the first year of law school. Students must have completed a minimum of 90 credits toward the undergraduate degree prior to beginning law school in the fall semester. After commencement the graduation coordinator will confirm that a minimum of 30 credits were successfully completed in the Law School. At that point the undergraduate degree will be posted.
  • A student must have earned at least 90 credits in three years of study at Roger Williams University before beginning at the School of Law.
  • All Core Curriculum requirements and major requirements must be met within those 90 credits.
  • The student’s cumulative grade-point average must be at least 3.0 with no grade lower than a C (2.0).
  • The student must have a LSAT score that is at or above the median accepted score for RWU School of Law for the previous year.
In completing the first year of work in the School of Law, a student in the Three-Plus-Three program must pass all law courses with a grade-point average of at least 2.0. It is mandatory that all non-law academic work toward the combination degree be completed before any work in law is undertaken.
Those interested in pursuing the Three-Plus-Three Program must contact the Dean of Admissions at the School of Law and the Dean of the School of Justice Studies, no later than the end of the freshman year. This program is not available to transfer students.
A headshot of Jospeh Mckenna

The Foundation

Joseph Mckenna, RWU Class of 2011 Criminal Justice

Joseph McKenna says it was his hand-on, personalized experience in the Roger Williams' Criminal Justice program that laid the foundation for his success as an associate director of research and evaluation for the Texas School Safety Center.

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