The Program in Criminal Justice is a comprehensive, interdisciplinary program that blends a strong liberal arts educational experience with pre-professional instruction in the field of criminal justice. The program provides students with a rich understanding of crime and criminal justice in the United States and abroad. Graduates of the program are well-informed citizens on the topic of crime and justice, and qualified for graduate study or for employment as practitioners in a variety of legal, policy-making, and law enforcement areas.

First Semester Planning

We recommend that students register for approximately 15 credits each semester and no more than 16 credits in their first semester. Your schedule should be well-balanced and include coursework from a variety of subjects. A diverse schedule will help you begin your studies in potential majors and minors; explore a breadth of new knowledge across departments at Rutgers to meet SAS Core Curriculum learning goals; and survey broader academic interests through elective courses as you work to attain the required 120 degree credits for graduation.

Your schedule will look something like this: 

College Writing or English course per placement results (3 credits)

Major Exploration course (3 credits)

Major or Minor Exploration course (3 credits)

Course beyond main academic interest, such as SAS Core or elective course (3 credits)

Course beyond main academic interest, such as SAS Core or elective course (3 credits)

 Byrne or First-Year Interest Group Seminar (FIGS) (1 credit) 

 Total Credits: 15-16



Introductory courses recommended by faculty. Include at least one of these in your schedule:

Course Title

Course Number


Subject on University Schedule of Classes

Intro to Criminal Justice



Criminal Justice (202)




Sociology (920)

Your first year of college is an opportunity for you to explore fields of interest to enhance your understanding of yourself, the world around you, and your main academic and career goals. Think of your schedule as including courses you must take (English, courses to explore potential majors, etc.) and courses you can take (everything else!) All courses are part of your degree - if necessary, review the components of the SAS degree on this page.

Through these degree components, you will curate your own unique educational experience - but we understand that this level of flexibility and freedom can feel overwhelming for new students. Like a recommendation based on a book or TV show you enjoyed, the information below can help you identify related courses to consider in your first semester.

Course Title

Course Number


Subject on University Schedule of Classes

Intro to Sociology 01:920:101 3 Sociology (920)
General Psychology 01:830:101 3 Psychology (830)
Law and Politics 01:790:106 3 Political Science (790)
Intro to Philosophy 01:730:103 3 Philosophy (730)

The Schedule of Classes provides information about the courses being offered in a particular semester. There are literally thousands of courses offered each semester at Rutgers, and you may find it helpful to narrow down your options by looking for courses in subjects related to your potential major or minor. Use the recommendations below to find possible introductory courses in other subjects. 

To find potential courses in other subjects related to this one:

1. On the Schedule of Classes, select the current term, location "New Brunswick" and level "undergraduate". Click continue.

2. In the Search By box, click the "search multple subjects" link. Select the following departments:

Philosophy (730)

Political Science (790)

Psychology (830)

Sociology (920)

3. In Section Status, deselect Closed

4. In Level of Study, deselect 300 and 400. In general, 100 and 200 are appropriate for first-year students, 300 and 400 are often more appropriate for students with more familiarity with the subject. If you are interested in registering for a 300 or 400 level course, consult with an advisor before registering. 

Review these courses for possible inclusion in your first-semester schedule, or to consider for future semesters.



pdfCriminal Justice Major checklist

204 CRIME AND PUBLIC POLICY: This course is concerned with the political aspects of criminal justice policy in the United States. The class is designed to contend with questions of democracy, inequality, the constitutional structure of a democratic republic and power. We will examine the ideals and objectives of law enforcement, and we will leverage race, class, and gender inequalities to evaluate law enforcement strategies as an instrument of social control. We will cover such topics as police use of force, stop-and-frisk, search and seizure and the right to counsel. The overall goal of the course is to equip students with a working knowledge of the institutional structures that shape criminal justice policy, and the outcomes these policies create.

205 CRIMINAL PROCEDURE: The objectives of this course are to (1) learn the law of criminal procedure through an understanding of the principles of law by examining real problems, challenges and cases. (2) gain knowledge of constitutional rights in the context of criminal law, (3) focus on the concept of reasonableness of restraints on those rights, (4) gain an understanding of the public policy considerations underlying the substantive criminal law and the manner in which such policies are effectuated through criminal procedural requirements, and (5) study specific procedural law issue/requirements, including right to counsel, exclusionary rule; search warrant; permissible warrantless searches; stop and frisk, entrapment, wiretapping, confessions, lineups, jury selection, voir dire, negotiated pleas, post-conviction relief.

301 HUMAN RIGHTS AND LEGAL REMEDIES: This course is designed to study the impact of the U.S. criminal justice on racial minorities, migrants, and indigenous peoples in the United States through an internationalist framework. This will be achieved by exploring the constituent parts of the criminal justice system: criminal law, law enforcement, courts, juries, and prisons as well as available international legal remedies, including but not limited to, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention against Torture, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

388 Section 01 CRIMINAL JUSTICE SEMINAR: Race, International Law, and Empire:

This seminar seeks to critically examine the foundation of international law and its production and management of racial difference with an emphasis on whether and how the law can be leveraged for emancipatory purposes. While international law appears as a lofty and universal project that recognizes the equality of sovereign states and the dignity of individuals, its origins as a body of law meant to regulate imperial dominion enshrined the supremacy of colonial powers in the international system. More, in its claims to universalism and the recognition of the humanity of non-European subjects, international law transformed difference among social and national groups into a hierarchal and racialized order. In addition to examining the origins of international law, the seminar will also study its historical development with an emphasis on key junctures of revolt from the Third World as well as reform among subaltern communities that continues to shape international law’s meaning and application. The seminar will also study available legal remedies and contemporary case studies to gain a better appreciation of the risks and virtues of using international law on behalf of marginalized communities.

389 Section 01 CRIMINAL JUSTICE SEMINAR: Black and Brown Bodies and the CJ System:

This course examines the impacts of criminal justice systems on communities of color in the United States, with particular focus on how various social, political, ideological, and economic structures have contributed to the disproportionate placement of Black and Brown bodies under systems of formal social control.

After studying fundamental concepts of race and ethnicity, the course will cover mass incarceration, state surveillance, migration related criminal justice policies (e.g., crimmigration), and the history of criminal justice through a critical race theory and critical legal theory framework.

389 Section 02 CRIMINAL JUSTICE SEMINAR: Crimmigration:

The intersection of criminal law and immigration law. This course will provide students with a general overview of U.S. immigration law and the paths for legal presence, legal residence and naturalization.  There will be an emphasis on how criminal activity or a conviction impacts the ability of Non-U.S. Citizens to enter or remain in the United States. Students will also learn about the various agencies that share in the formulation of immigration policy, creation of law and the enforcement of the policies and laws.

At the completion of the course, students will be able to analyze a fact pattern and identify the potential laws and outcomes that will impact a Non-U.S. Citizen.  Students will also be informed about new federal and regional polices concerning immigration law enforcement.



Additional information Beyond the Classroom

For your first semester, we want you to focus on selecting appropriate courses, begin to understand the expectations and rigor of college, and identify resources to help you succeed at Rutgers. But, we also know that it is important to provide information for future planning.

In addition to the information below, students interested in exploring possible career options may find this resource from the Office of Career Exploration and Success helpful - you'll find that a degree in this subject prepares you for a wide variety of career options!

Internship, Independent Study, Honors Thesis Project 



First Jobs of Recent Graduates 

Assistant Mortgage Closer, Dreyfus Consumer Bank 

Police Communications, R.U. Police Department 

Billing Representative, St. Michael's Medical Center 

Police Officer, Freehold Police Department 

Child Carer Counselor, Bonnie Brae School for Boys 

Police Officer, New Brunswick Police Department 

Clinical Coordinator, Mentor-NJ 

Probation Officer, Camden County Probation Department 

Family Service Worker, Essex County Division of Welfare 

Probation Officer, Hudson County Probation Department 

Freelance Actor/Singer, Screen Actors Guild 

Project Manager, Hewitt Associates 

Library Associate, Cummings & Lockwood 

Quality Inspector, Johnson & Johnson 

Loss Prevention Assistant, Sears & Roebuck 

Sales Associate, Cintas Corp. 

Military Police Officer, U.S. Army 

Sales Rep., Merz Pharmaceuticals 

Mortgage Loan Officer, Midlantic Bank 

Second Lieutenant, Military Police Corps, US Army 

Paralegal, Williams, Caliri, Miller & Ottey 

Second Lieutenant, US Air Force 

Placement Assistant, Katherine Gibbs School 

Security Screener, Transportation Security Administration 

Jobs of Experienced Alumni 

Agent, Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office 

Paralegal, Robinson, St. John, & Wayne 

Associate, Berel & Mullen Attorneys (JD) 

Police Officer, NYC Police Department 

Attorney, Liberty Mutual Insurance (JD) 

Probation Officer, Middlesex County Probation Department 

Attorney, State Attorney General's Office (JD) 

Sheriff's Officer, Union County Sheriff's Department 

Claims Specialist, Aetna Life & Casualty Insurance 

Supervisor Deputy, US Marshals Service 

Corp. VP/Director of Security, NY Life Insurance Co. 

Teacher, Perth Amboy High School 

Director, Franchise Operations, Starwood Hotels & Resorts 

VP, Conrail Police Department 

Immigration Examiner, U.S. Department of Justice