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.

Degree Requirements 

The Criminal Justice Major

Click to Open

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
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

Click to Open

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.

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

Any three additional criminal justice courses

Criminal Justice 4 + 1 Program

Click to Open

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.

To read more about our academic offerings, or to view full course descriptions, please refer to our University Catalog.

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.

Read full story