Welcome to Rutgers and to the Program in Criminal Justice! Our approach to the study of crime and justice administration blends a liberal arts education with pre-professional training. Our courses cover the theory and practice of the institutions of social control, encouraging students to consider how and why these institutions sometimes promote justice and sometimes promote injustice. Throughout our curriculum, we aim to prepare our graduates for the workforce or advanced study by developing the skills of critical thinking and factual inquiry, as well as an understanding and appreciation for the legal, political, and moral considerations relevant to assessing criminal justice systems in the United States and around the world. Students who complete the major should understand not only the practical concerns of management and the challenges of setting policy, they should also understand how the various axes of power and inequality affect how the criminal justice system functions and is experienced.
We expect our students to take full advantage of the strengths of a premier research university. Our faculty are drawn from a wide range of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. In fact, many of them have faculty appointments in other departments, including Africana Studies, Economics, Latino and Caribbean Studies, Law, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology. In addition, majors in Criminal Justice are expected to take courses in other departments to satisfy thematic requirements and, in the case of the forensics courses they must meet substantial scientific pre-requisites as well. Recent graduates have coupled the criminal justice major with another major or minor in a variety of fields, including Psychology, Political Science, Chemistry, or foreign language. The opportunities for defining your own specialization within Rutgers are nearly limitless.
We hope you will take a moment to look through our website to see what our program has to offer, whether you are a prospective student, transfer student, or a current student looking for information about our major, internship opportunities, career information, or just general information about course descriptions and course syllabi.
Dr. Paul Hirschfield
Director, Program in Criminal Justice