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Criminal Justice is a growing discipline and career field in the US today, and one that increasingly requires a bachelor’s degree. The BS in Criminal Justice degree at Robert Morris provides a rigorous education for students interested in pursuing careers on the federal, state or local levels of the criminal justice system.

Interested students in this course of study may be eligible for the Early Law School Admission Program.

Curriculum

This degree equips graduates with broad knowledge, which is particularly important as career paths in criminal justice vary between government, education, health care and security. Building upon communication and critical thinking skills instilled in the RMU core, this degree includes course offerings in sociology, psychology and political science.

The criminal justice degree at Robert Morris offers students the opportunity to pursue further studies in needed areas such as cyber forensics, data analytics and forensics through the requirement of a minor. Through the degree courses and a recommended minor, graduates are positioned to fill the most sought-after skilled professions. The technical focus on the profession makes students into marketable candidates by preparing them to add value and skill to their future employers from day one. The practicum, an internship experience, is required in the final year. This is particularly crucial, since it enables students to receive actual work experience in the criminal justice system, and many criminal justice jobs require work experience in the field. Beyond gaining professional experience, the practicum also helps students make more informed decisions concerning their career path. Possible practicum locations include the Moon Township Police Department and Pittsburgh Police Department.

Police Academy

Robert Morris hosts a Municipal Police Academy for the Pittsburgh region, training students to receive state Act 120 certification to become police officers in cities, boroughs, townships, and municipalities in Pennsylvania.

The Police Academy provides RMU criminal justice students an important professional experience plus the opportunity for course credit. Cadets who complete their Act 120 certification at the RMU Police Academy can earn up to 18 credits toward a degree in criminal justice.

Contact Information

Francis X. Hartle, D.Sc. 
Coordinator, Criminal Justice Program
hartle@rmu.edu 
412-397-6042 

Kathryn Dennick-Brecht, Ed.D. 
Department Head, Social Sciences
brecht@rmu.edu 
412-397-5419 

4-Year Course Plan

Freshman Year, Fall

  • CRMJ1010 INTRO TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE
  • CSEN1010 READING & WRITING STRATEGIES
  • MATH1050 OR MATH1010 OR MATH1020
  • PSYC1010 GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • SOCI1020 CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN SOCIAL PROBLEMS

Freshman Year, Spring

  • CRMJ2010 CORRECTIONS
  • CSEN1020 ARGUMENT & RESEARCH
  • HUMA1010 HUMANITIES ART & MUSIC
  • POLS1020 AMERICAN NATIONAL GOVERNMENT
  • STAT2110 STATISTICS

Sophomore Year, Fall

  • CRMJ2020 POLICING
  • CRMJ3220 CRIMINOLOGY
  • CSCM1030 PUBLIC SPEAKING & PERSUASION
  • ECON1010 SURVEY OF ECONOMICS
  • RESTRICTED ELECTIVE

Sophomore Year, Spring

  • CSCM2040 PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATIONS
  • CRMJ2030 JUVENILE DELINQUENCY
  • HIST1200 U.S. HISTORY II
  • POLS2020 CRIMINAL LAW & EVIDENCE
  • MINOR COURSE

Junior Year, Fall

  • CRMJ3050 INVESTIGATIONS
  • INFS1020 FUNDAMENTALS OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
  • POLS3060 CIVIL RIGHTS & LIBERTIES
  • SCI CORE COURSE
  • MINOR COURSE

Junior Year, Spring

  • CRMJ2040 POLICE ETHICS
  • PSYC3700 ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • SOCI3210 SOCIOLOGY OF DEVIANT BEHAVIOR
  • ELIT CORE COURSE
  • MINOR COURSE

Senior Year, Fall

  • CRMJ4803 PRACTICUM
  • RESTRICTED ELECTIVE
  • MINOR COURSE
  • MINOR COURSE
  • OPEN ELECTIVE

Senior Year, Spring

  • PSYC3840 FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY
  • RESTRICTED ELECTIVE
  • RESTRICTED ELECTIVE
  • MINOR COURSE
  • OPEN ELECTIVE
Practicum Information

All traditional undergraduate students majoring in the social sciences must complete a practicum their senior year. This involves 120 hours of documented experience at an internship related to the student's field that has been pre-approved by the student's faculty mentor and the department head.

Participation in professional activities allows students to experience the work environment in their chosen field, make informed career choices, and enhance their employment credentials. These experiences reinforce the connection between professional and liberal learning through the application of classroom theories to actual occupational problems. 

Completing the practicum involves keeping a journal with daily entries and weekly reflections and a timesheet signed by the supervisor and writing a 12-page paper comparing and contrasting their experiences in the practicum with the theories and information presented in the social sciences coursework which was completed at RMU. It should also explain why the site was selected for the practicum and give any recommendations for future social sciences students about the practicum experience.

Further details are available here.

Sample Courses:

These are some of the classes for students in this academic program:

Criminal Law & Evidence
Sociology of Deviant Behavior
Criminology
Major Credits
57
Criminology, Information Science, Sociology
Core Credits
39
Communication Skills, Economics, Humanities, History, Sciences, etc.
Elective Credits
24

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