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Forensics expert examining a crime scene.

B.S. in Criminal Justice: Forensic Investigations Overview

Develop a foundation in criminal profiles, managing and documenting evidence, and the justice system.

Criminal Justice is a challenging, exciting and rewarding career. The 4-year Criminal Justice major will prepare you for the profession, help you advance if you’re already in it, and/or also prepare you for graduate school. Among the areas covered by the Forensic Investigations concentration are:

  • analyzing crime scenes to determine evidence to be collected
  • taking photographs of the crime scene and evidence
  • creating records of observations and findings
  • learning to collect evidence, including weapons, fingerprints, and bodily fluids
  • learning to catalog and preserve evidence for transfer to crime labs
  • reconstructing crime scenes

The greatest strength of the criminal justice program at Mercy College is the academic and professional diversity of the faculty, which includes attorneys, law enforcement officers, forensic and crime scene specialists, and other professionals who have hands-on experience in the criminal justice system in the metropolitan area.

Forensics expert collecting evidence at a crime scene.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Criminal Justice Bachelor's program pursue positions in:

  • law enforcement
  • corrections, including probation and parole
  • court officers and other court personnel
  • social service agencies
  • victims' assistance agencies
  • private security
  • insurance companies

What to Know

Students learn the principles of crime scene investigation and the scientific concepts and techniques to test and preserve evidence. Students will also become experienced in procedures involving various branches of forensics while also preparing for graduate school.

  • Fingerprinting
  • Toxicology
  • Serology
  • Impression Evidence
  • Death Investigations
     

Full-Time Faculty

M. Cuadrado
Mary Cuadrado Associate Professor

Program Director, Criminal Justice
mcuadrado1@mercy.edu
Mercy seal; placeholder for person with no headshot available
Tanya Grant Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice
tgrant14@mercy.edu
Enjoying smell of books
Jeong Kim Associate Professor, Criminal Justice
jkim50@mercy.edu
Illya Lichtenberg headshot
Illya Lichtenberg Associate Professor, Criminal Justice

Chair, Social Sciences
ilichtenberg@mercy.edu
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Charles Lieberman Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice
clieberman2@mercy.edu

Part-Time Faculty

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Robert Adamo Adjunct Instructor, Criminal Justice
radamo@mercy.edu
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Lynne Beccaro Adjunct Professor, Criminal Justice
lbeccaro@mercy.edu
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Natanya Briendel Adjunct Professor, Criminal Justice
nbriendel@mercy.edu
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Mary Eustace Adjunct Instructor, Criminal Justice
meustace@mercy.edu

Faculty Emeritae/i

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Joseph Victor Professor Emeritus, Criminal Justice
jvictor@mercy.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Criminal Justice Major and how long does it take to earn this degree?

A four-year program designed to enhance the career of someone already in criminal justice, or prepare you if you’re not. Full-time students can complete the 120-credit degree program in four years.

What fields of study are involved?

In addition to general liberal arts curriculum, the specialized courses include the Criminal Justice System, the Corrections System, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law issues, the impact of crime on the victim and on law enforcement officers, drugs and several other related issues. Sociology, philosophy and psychology courses are also included.

What types of students are attracted to the study of Criminal Justice?

The student body in our program includes male and female adult students of all ages. Our students include police, court, and correction personnel, as well as other professionals who are already employed in the field.

What is the greatest strength of the Criminal Justice program?

The academic and professional diversity of the faculty and a well-balanced curriculum. Our faculty includes attorneys, law enforcement professionals, and others who have had hands-on experience in the criminal justice system throughout the metropolitan area.

What employment opportunities are available?

Various jobs in public service agencies, such as police departments, corrections departments, social service agencies, victims' assistance agencies, in positions ranging from entry level to top positions; as well as the private sector in security and insurance companies.

Program Outcomes

At the end of this program, students should be able to:

  • Learn the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, and basic structures involved with law enforcement, the criminal course system, and corrections, and the causes of crime and delinquency

  • Understand and be able to use basic research methods in criminal justice and criminology, including design, data analysis, and interpretation

  • Demonstrate critical thinking, skeptical inquiry, and the scientific approach to problem solving 

  • Recognize, understand and respect the complexity of contrasting interests in the criminal justice system

Program Details & Curriculum

Curriculum Overview

General Liberal Arts and Sciences
General Education Requirements: 60 Credits

Major Concentration
Criminal Justice: 39 Credits

Open Electives: 21 Credits

Total: 120 Credits

For a full curriculum listing visit our catalog.

 

Specialization*

Students who choose the major concentration in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Forensic Investigations must complete all of the following courses:

  • CRJU 102 Intro Criminal Justice System
  • CRJU 204 Introduction to Corrections
  • CRJU 212 Criminology
  • CRJU 236 Criminal Court Process
  • CRJU 253 Policing
  • CRJU 255 Crime Scene Investigation
  • CRJU 256 Criminal Investigation
  • CRJU 396 Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • CRJU 401 Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice
  • LAWS 203 Law of Evidence
  • CRJU 382 Crime Scene Investigation Practicum
  • CRJU 383 Criminalistics I
  • CRJU 384 Criminalistics II