Criminal Justice

Associate of Science Degree (Day & DAPS)



Criminal Justice Program at Fisher College

The events of September 11, 2001 changed America's perception on law enforcement forever. The need for criminal justice professionals was brought home. Since that date, opportunities for qualified criminal justice graduates have solidly and continually increased. A Fisher College Associate in Science Degree in Criminal Justice will lead you to a fulfilling and meaningful career in local, state, and federal law-enforcement agencies.

To prepare you for a career in police and security work, Homeland Security and other governmental and private agencies, graduates receive a broad academic foundation for entry-level careers in law enforcement, corrections, and juvenile justice, in either the public or private sector, or transfer to a four-year program.

Since career professionals in these fields work with a diverse public and address a variety of social issues, the social and behavioral sciences are combined with appropriate criminal justice courses. The liberal arts basis of this Concentration also prepares a student for transfer into many other majors including preparation for law school.

According to the most recent edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook published and released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor:

The demand for the program is solid and should steadily grow in response to the predicted increase in need for training in criminal justice in the following fields:

• probation officers and correctional treatment specialists
• private detectives and investigators
• paralegals and legal assistants
• lawyers
• state and local government
• police and detectives

After the tragic events on September 11, 2001, there has been an increased focus on security and police work in the United States and throughout the world. Also, the upsurge in crime throughout the country and the world has necessitated an increase in job openings within the field. The supply of educated workers is unable to meet the increasing demand. It is also worthwhile to consider the level of local and federal funding for such programs in evaluating the increased demand.

Due to the increased focus on security and police work, there is a corresponding increase in the number of job openings in the field. Moreover, a significant number of students aspire to employment in the criminal justice field.


Program Requirements

Criminal Justice Program Requirements

First Year
Credit hours
 CJ101 Introduction to Criminal Justice
 CM105 Public Speaking
 CS101 Computer Applications
 EN101 English 101
 EN102 English 102
 IS105 Common Experience*
 LA107 Criminal Law
 MA106 Elementary Algebra**
 SO101 Introduction to Sociology
 SO105 Introduction to Criminology
Second Year
Credit hours
 CJ190 Criminal Justice Intership or Free Elective
 CJ201 Corrections in America 3
 CJ210 Law Enforcement 3
 CJ215 Principles of Investigations 3
 CJ225 Criminal Court Process 3
 CJ240 Deviance and Social Control 3
 PS101  Introduction to Psychology
   Humanities Elective
   Math/Science Elective
   Free Elective
   Total Credits

* DAPS Students not required to take IS105.

** A higher level of math (MA107, MA117, MA191, or MA192) may be substituted.

Minimum credits for graduation--60


Graduate Competencies

Graduates of the Fisher College Program will earn an Associate in Science Degree in Criminal Justice and they will:

• acquire an overall perspective on the history and philosophy of the disciplines of the criminal justice system: law enforcement, courts, and corrections, as they relate to both adults and juveniles;

• develop an understanding of the present day role, responsibilities, authority, and practices of the disciplines of the criminal justice system;

• demonstrate competency in understanding the nature of the relationship between and among the disciplines of the criminal justice system;

• acquire an overall perspective of the social and political forces which impact the criminal justice system, its practitioners, and its clients; and

• develop professional competencies to meet the needs of career opportunities and requirements for employment in the disciplines of the criminal justice system.


Potential Careers & Earnings

In all categories mentioned as potential employers, the job opportunities are expected to be excellent. Earning potential varies within each job category and significant information for each job title is provided in The Occupational Outlook Handbook and the website for the United States Department of Labor at  


Internship opportunities are available in the various federal and state offices within commuting distance of Boston.  

Faculty Profiles

   Meredith Spencer
  • Program Director, Criminal Justice
  • Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice
  • B.A., Political Science, Providence College
  • Certificate, Public Administration, Providence College
  • Masters in Criminal Justice, University of Colorado, Denver
  • Graduate Certificate, Forensic Criminology, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
  • Office: 108 Beacon Street, 5th Floor
  • Tel. 617-670-4456

Professor Meridith Spencer began her teaching career as an adjunct professor at Fisher College in 2002 teaching Juvenile Justice while working full time with at risk, high risk and court involved youth in a variety of settings ranging from residential treatment to juvenile diversion. Professor Spencer eventually began teaching as an adjunct at a variety of Boston area colleges, prior to joining Fisher College as an Assistant Professor and Program Director of Criminal Justice in 2011. Professor Spencer received her undergraduate degree in political science and public administration from Providence College, her master's degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Colorado, a graduate certificate in Forensic Criminology from the University of Massachusetts and is currently working towards her PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

In addition to teaching, Professor Spencer volunteers with the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center as a Medical Advocacy Peer Supervisor supporting survivors in the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault. In 2011, she won the Melissa Gosule Award for outstanding service as a medical advocate. She also works as a researcher with the Center for Leadership in Public Service at Fisher College where is she currently supervising several criminal justice student research assistants on a National Institute of Justice funded research project that aims to determine the impact of forensic evidence in sexual assault cases.

Professor Spencer's research interests focus on sexual offending behavior, as well as criminal justice public policy. She teaches courses in criminology, deviance and social control, corrections, juvenile justice, criminal law, public policy and investigations. She is passionate about bringing the real world into the classroom and encourages her students to do the same.


Industry Resources

National Homeland Security

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences

American Corrections Association

American Jail Association

Federal Criminal Investigators Association

International Association of Chiefs of Police

International Police Association - U.S. Section

National District Attorney's Association

National Internal Affairs Investigators Association

National Sheriffs' Association

Police Executive Research Forum

U.S. Police Canine Association


"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it."
- Theodore Roosevelt
search login