Rutgers School of Criminal Justice

Masters Program Learning Goals

The Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice at Rutgers University prepares students for positions of leadership and responsibility in programs and organizations that are concerned with crime and justice. Our students get the most up-to-date knowledge about contemporary policies and practices in crime and justice, and they develop the kinds of skills that are needed to become effective agents of change for improvements in dealing with crime and its consequences. We link our students to real-world issues and practices in ways that promote careers of impact in the range of public and private organizations that deal with crime, justice, and their consequences.  This is achieved through a rigorous grounding in policy, theory, and analysis that involves the following competencies:

Policy skills

Students will develop knowledge of criminal justice system operations and key debates in the field to become informed criminal justice policy analysts. This will be achieved through a comprehensive training encompassing the review of substantive approaches to the structure and change of criminal justice organizations as well as in-depth case studies centered on issues of management, resource allocation and innovation.


Students will learn how to identify and measure crime and criminal justice policy problems using appropriate methodological and statistical techniques. They will also learn how to design appropriate, targeted interventions to respond to these problems, and techniques of monitoring and evaluation to track the success of interventions when implemented.


Students will deepen their sense of responsibility and commitment to the criminal justice field and the communities affected by criminal justice policies. They will do this by learning to bridge gaps between policy and research and theory, and to appreciate the social context of criminal justice policies and the unintended consequences they may entail.


Students will develop the confidence and vision to become agents of change within criminal justice agencies, social service organizations and the communities impacted by criminal justice policies. This will be acquired through hands-on experiences working in the field and learning ways to design and advocate for solutions to crime and criminal justice problems.