Rutgers School of Criminal Justice

Undergraduate Learning Goals

At this time, there is a high demand for professionals who can respond effectively to issues of crime and justice. Our intent is to provide our students with a challenging and exciting course of study that will help our graduates become the best in their fields.

Graduates of the Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice program will have an understanding of the causes, and contexts of crime, and the interrelated challenges faced and caused by criminal justice systems. In a rich multidisciplinary social sciences framework, students will acquire and learn to apply their knowledge to deal with ‘real world’ issues in preparation for: (1) employment in government and community-based organizations that deal with issues of crime and justice and/or (2) graduate studies in a criminal justice or criminal justice-related field.

To be successful in these pursuits, we expect students to remain current and to become innovative thinkers and skilled professionals in our field by developing five main competencies, including: (1) substantive knowledge, (2) critical thinking, (3) effective communication, (4) research skills, and (5) cultural literacy.

Substantive Knowledge

Students will develop a broad-based understanding of theory and empirical evidence related to crime, crime prevention and social justice as well as knowledge of the agencies and organizations that deal with issues of crime and justice. Students will become familiar with current policies and practices related to the most pressing issues impacting individuals, families and communities affected by crime.

Critical Thinking

Critical consideration of a large and diverse body of knowledge, and the ability to gather relevant new information, and weigh alternative explanations is an essential ability for students who wish to make informed judgments and make significant contributions to solutions to today’s most pressing justice-related issues.

Effective Communication

Students will learn to write for both professional and academic audiences, understanding how to craft effective literature reviews, research summaries, and policy briefs. Students will develop public speaking skills in order to become comfortable presenting their work in public forums. They will also learn to work in a team environment with classmates, as well as organizations external to the school to develop effective cooperative communications skills essential to success in almost every organization.

Research Skills

Students will develop facility with methodological and analytic techniques, both quantitative and qualitative, to systematically study problems of crime and justice. Students will be competent consumers of research and also be able to design and conduct basic empirical research studies.

Cultural Literacy

Students will develop an understanding of, be able to communicate with, and effectively interact with people across cultures. They will be able to incorporate cultural dynamics in their thinking about solutions to crime, crime prevention, and social justice issues.