Criminal Justice

澳门六合彩鈥檚 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.

Format

Hybrid (Bristol) or Fully Online

Schedule

Hybrid, evening courses

Asynchronous, fully online option

Credits Required

36

Time Commitment

1 to 3.5 years

Cost

2023-2024
$1,091/credit

Fees

Full-Time Students
$475/semester

Part-Time Students
$145-$160/semester

Ways to Save

Limited scholarships

15% discount for first responders, active duty military, and veterans

Apply By

July 1 for Fall

December 15 for Spring

April 15 for Summer

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鈥檚 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.

Program Requirements

All courses are three credits unless otherwise indicated.

Thesis Option with Justice Policy Specialization

Required Courses

CJS 501 - Criminal Justice System Overview

CJS 503 - Survey of Research Methods

CJS 505 - Legal Issues in the United States Justice System

CJS 509 - Crime and Public Policy

CJS 511 - Criminological Theory

CJS 513 - Analysis of Criminal Justice Data

CJS 605 - Master鈥檚 Thesis

Criminal Justice Elective Courses 

4-6 courses additional CJS 500 level or higher

Non-Thesis Option: Justice Policy Specialization

Open to students with an interest in Criminal Justice Policy

CJS 501 - Criminal Justice System Overview

CJS 503 - Survey of Research Methods

CJS 505 - Legal Issues in the United States Justice System

CJS 509 - Crime and Public Policy

CJS 511 - Criminological Theory

CJS 513 - Analysis of Criminal Justice Data

CJS Electives (6 courses)

Non-Thesis Option: Cybersecurity Specialization

Required Courses

Open to students with an interest in Cybersecurity

CJS 501 - Criminal Justice System Overview

SEC 502 - Cybersecurity Fundamentals

CJS 503 - Survey of Research Methods

CJS 505 - Legal Issues in the United States Justice System

CJS 509 - Crime and Public Policy

CJS 511 - Criminological Theory

CJS 513 - Analysis of Criminal Justice Data

SEC 520 - Digital Forensics

Criminal Justice Elective Courses 

Take any 2 CJS 500 level or higher

Cybersecurity Elective Courses 

Take 2 courses

SEC 521 - Mobile Device Forensics

SEC 529 - Cybersecurity Tools and Applications

SEC 530 - Principles of Cyber Intelligence

SEC 550 - Computer Networks

SEC 605 - Cybersecurity and Networks Auditing

Non-Thesis Option:Leadership Specialization

Open to students with an interest in Leadership

Required Courses

CJS 501 - Criminal Justice System Overview

CJS 503 - Survey of Research Methods

CJS 505 - Legal Issues in the United States Justice System

CJS 509 - Crime and Public Policy

CJS 511 - Criminological Theory

CJS 513 - Analysis of Criminal Justice Data

Criminal Justice Elective Courses 

Take any 2 CJS 500 level or higher

Leadership Elective Courses Group 1 

Choose any 3 courses

LEAD 502 - Communication Skills for Leadership Roles

LEAD 504 - Inclusive Excellence and the Leadership Role

LEAD 508 - Developing Creative High Performance Organizations

LEAD 509 - Negotiation Strategies

Leadership Elective Courses Group 2 

Choose any 1 course

LEAD 507 - Strategic Leadership in a Globalized World

LEAD 510 - Stakeholders Relations in Complex Organizations

LEAD 530 - Special Topics in Leadership

Non-Thesis Option:Public Administration Specialization

Open to students with an interest in Public Administration

Required Courses

CJS 501 - Criminal Justice System Overview

CJS 503 - Survey of Research Methods

CJS 505 - Legal Issues in the United States Justice System

CJS 509 - Crime and Public Policy

CJS 511 - Criminological Theory

CJS 513 - Analysis of Criminal Justice Data

PA 501 - Foundations of Public Administration: Legal and Institutional

Criminal Justice Elective Courses 

Take any 2 CJS 500 level or higher

Public Administration Elective Courses Group 1 

Choose any 2 courses

PA 504 - Public Policy and Program Evaluation

PA 512 - Intergovernmental Relations

PA 513 - Public Administration and Public Law

PA 515 - Ethics in Public Administration

Public Administration Elective Courses Group 2

Choose any 1 course

PA 514 - Urban Administration and Management

PA 516 - Grant Writing and Management

PA 518 - Program Evaluation

PA 530 - Special Topics in Public Administration

View our latest Virtual Information Session:

Offered with the 澳门六合彩 School of Law. 

Drawing on the strengths of the Roger Williams University School of Law as well as the School of Justice Studies, 澳门六合彩 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 reduces the overall time needed to complete both degrees from four and a half years to three and a half years, assuming full-time study.

Application Process for the M.S. Criminal Justice/J.D. Dual Degree Program

  1. Apply to and be accepted to the J.D. program in the School of Law and adhere to the including application and testing deadlines.
  2. After beginning your studies in the J.D. program, complete the to be considered for the Criminal Justice program as a dual degree student. You should indicate the M.S. Criminal Justice/J.D. dual degree program as your intended program on the Graduate Application.
  3. If you are accepted to the Criminal Justice program, you may begin your Criminal Justice coursework only after completing your first year of J.D. studies. If you begin Criminal Justice coursework prior to starting the J.D. program, you may not be eligible for the benefits of the shared coursework of the dual degree. Please contact the Office of Graduate Admission at 401-254-6200 or gradadmit@rwu.edu with questions.
 
Course Requirements for the M.S. Criminal Justice/J.D. Dual Degree Program
 
Students participating in the M.S. Criminal Justice / J.D. Dual Degree program complete eight courses in the M.S. program:
 
CJS 501 Criminal Justice System Overview
CJS 503 Survey of Research Methods
CJS 505 Legal Issues in the U.S. Justice System
CJS 509 Crime and Public Policy
CJS 511 Criminological Theory
CJS 513 Analysis of Criminal Justice Data
CJS elective
CJS elective

The following four School of Law courses transfer to the School of Justice Studies to fulfill remaining M.S. Criminal Justice degree requirements:

  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

The following four M.S. Criminal Justice courses transfer to the School of Law to fulfill J.D. program requirements:

  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

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

Undergraduates (at 澳门六合彩 or other institutions) in criminal justice, psychology, and related majors may participate in a special 4+1 M.S. Criminal Justice program. 

How does it work? 

You鈥檒l begin the M.S. Criminal Justice program by taking one graduate course in each semester during your senior year. For 澳门六合彩 students, 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 澳门六合彩 in the fall and spring.

Curriculum

Senior Fall
1 Required Course (e.g., CJS 501 Criminal Justice System Overview)

Senior Spring
1 Required Course (e.g., CJS 509 Crime and Public Policy)

Summer (Online)
1 Required Course
1 Required or Elective Course

Fall (12 credits)
2 Required Courses (e.g., CJS503 Survey of Research Methods; CJS505 Legal Issues in the United States)
2 Approved Electives         

Spring (12 credits)
2 Required Courses (e.g., CJS511 Criminological Theory; CJS513 Analysis of Criminal Justice Data)
2 Approved Electives      
 

How to Apply

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

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

  1. Completed application form online at
  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.

Open Houses

Open Houses are scheduled on the Bristol Campus every June and November with virtual Open Houses available in January and August. Join us to learn more about your program, the admission process, and financial aid at these informative events with faculty and Graduate Admission staff.

View our upcoming events for the most current opportunities to hear about the Criminal Justice program.

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.
Please visit for the most current information on Open Houses and Virtual Sessions.

Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences

Sean Varano, Roger Williams University; Pamela Kelley, PhD, Stonehill College; Laurie Becker (澳门六合彩 Class of 2021)
Perceptions and Attitudes of Police Toward Treatment-Focused Approaches to the Opioid Crisis
Paper session

American Psychology-Law Society

Melissa B. Russano, Roger Williams University and Kate A. Houston, Texas A&M International University
Modeling and Understanding Confession Decisions in Interpreter-Facilitated Interrogations
Poster presentation

Melissa B. Russano, Roger Williams University; Atkinson Dominick, University of Idaho; and Christian A. Meissner, Iowa State University
Evaluating a Science-Based Interrogation Training Program Using a Between-Participants Design
Poster presentation

Brett Lowder (澳门六合彩 B.S. Class of 2020); Melissa B. Russano, Roger Williams University; Christian A. Meissner, Iowa State University; and Dominick Atkinson, University of Idaho
Disparate Effects of Accusatorial Techniques During Real-World Interrogations 
Poster presentation

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
Thumbnail of Criminal Justice Flyer
Download the Criminal Justice program flyers

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

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

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.

The Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is not required for admission. International applicants should also read additional requirements for non-U.S. residents.

Where appropriate, documents should be submitted online through the or via email to gradadmit@rwu.edu. Any official documents that must be mailed (i.e. transcripts) should be sent directly to:

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

Have questions about the application process? Visit the from the Office of Graduate Admission.

Preferred Application Deadlines

July 1 for Fall
December 15 for Spring
April 15 for Summer

Tuition Discounts for First Responders, Active Duty Military, and Veterans

If you are a first responder (police/fire/EMS), active duty U.S. service member, or a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, you qualify for a 15 percent tuition discount on graduate programs in the School of Justices Studies.