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Forensics expert examining a crime scene.

B.S. in Criminal Justice: Forensics 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 Forensics concentration are: analysis of crime scenes to determine evidence to be collected and how: 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; and reconstruction of 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; etc.

Criminal Justice: Forensics Fast Facts

  • Diversity of faculty in criminal justice positions
  • Continue on to law school or find employment in public service agencies

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 Forensics 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
  • PSYN 209 Intro to Forensic Psychology
  • SINC 161 Forensic Science I
  • SINC 162 Forensic Science II

Open Electives

There is a 21-credit residency requirement in the major concentration of Criminal Justice with specialization in Forensics.

PSYN 101 is a prerequisite for all PSYN courses numbered 120 and above. SOCL 101 is a prerequisite for all SOCL courses numbered 120 and above. PSYN 101 and SOCL 101 fulfill part of the General Education requirements. All the courses in this category fulfill Liberal Arts requirements.