Master of Science

MS in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Crime Science

TU’s crime science program was intricately developed from a model of crime prevention, known to be ahead of the curve in crime science education. TU’s program uses an active approach in determining why crime occurs and preventing it by focusing on the act of the crime itself, rather than the mind of the criminal. The study of crime science is a perfect match for a criminal justice professional seeking to advance in their field, and for those non-criminal justice practitioners, such as city planners, architects, corporate security personnel, school administrators, and civil engineers whose professional responsibilities include the design of environments intended to minimize the effects of crime.

Graduate Program Tabs

Crime science focuses on why crime occurs, when and where it occurs, and how to curtail it using an evidence-based and scientific approach. It does not examine the motivation of the criminal, as do the fields of forensic psychology and criminal behavior. Instead, crime science draws from disciplines like law enforcement, psychology, engineering, biology, architecture, and urban planning, for the common goal of understanding why criminal acts occur in a given environment and how they can be controlled through intentional and evidence-based environmental design.

The field of crime science program focuses on three core tenets: the study of crime problems, scientific methods, and reduction of harm. Some basic concepts of crime science include image management, target hardening, access control, territoriality, and surveillance, all of which are examined in TU’s crime science program.

TU’s crime science program uses an active approach in determining why crime occurs and strives to prevent it by focusing on the act of the crime itself. Today in the U.S., there are only a few collegiate and private program offerings in crime science, and TU is proud to crime science as a concentration to its MS in CJ degree.

Crime Science concentration – 30 hours

  • JUS 510 Contemporary Criminal Justice: Issues and Trends
  • JUS 520 Statistical Applications in Criminal Justice
  • ENF 511 Crime Science Overview: Theories, Principles, and Methods
  • ENF 515 Crime Prevention through Environmental Design
  • JUS 515 Research Design & Analysis (JUS 520)
  • JUS 525 Legal and Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice
  • ENF 621 Evidence-Based Policing
  • ENF 622 Geographic Information Systems in Criminal Justice
  • ENF 631 Strategies for Reducing Crime
  • ENF 681 Practical Application of Crime Science (Capstone)

This is a sample course sequence to illustrate course offerings for this major. Consult the official Academic Bulletin for detailed registration and advising information.

Online - Offered in two terms per semester starting in January, March, May, July, August and October

There are no related concentrations available

Crime Science Overview: Theories, Principles and Methods (ENF 511) - This course provides students with an overview of the field of Crime Science. It examines general theories of Crime Science including Routine Activity theory, Crime Pattern theory, and Rational Choice theory, among others. The course introduces students to the various aspects of Crime Science in practice including situational crime prevention principles and techniques. Students will become acquainted with the various methods used in Crime Science including crime scripting, agent-based modeling, and social network analysis. Finally, the course offers explanations of the relationships between the Crime Science field and related fields such as Criminology, Law Enforcement, and Forensic Science, and many others.

Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (ENF 515) - The purpose of this course is to examine Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) and its components. Through evaluation and discussion of a wide range of multi-disciplinary topics and issues, students will gain an appreciation for the role of CPTED as a component of crime science. Students will also learn to identify and engage appropriate assets, capabilities and resources to apply CPTED in an effort to reduce crime. The course will review standards related to CPTED as part of community planning and physical security. The course will also compare CPTED to other crime prevention approaches.

Evidence-Based Policing (ENF 621) - This course will introduce students to the body of knowledge and research in policing. Evidence-based policing involves decision making through careful examination and evaluation of the best available evidence from multiple sources by applying critical thinking skills to successfully appraise the evidence in order to address answerable questions. This course will distinguish evidence-based practices from opinion and assumption in the field of policing. Students will gain an understanding of the need to develop their own evidence-based practices and learn to use the best available evidence to inform and challenge policies, practices, and decisions in their own professions.

Geographic Information Systems in Criminal Justice (ENF 622) - The focus of the class is to provide an overview of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the techniques used in the study of criminal justice. This class will cover some of the major concepts that can aid law enforcement in becoming more efficient in the decision-making process in the areas of tactical, strategic, and operational functions. The course will focus on both the theoretical work, which will give a fundamental grounding in the work of environmental criminologists, and in practical application, giving you an understanding of how GIS is applied in law enforcement.

If you want to learn more about our online or on-campus programs for working adults, click here.

Faculty

Pete Piraino
Pete Piraino

Pete Piraino, Ph.D.

PirainoP@tiffin.edu
419-448-3395

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice & Security Studies

Department Chair Criminal Justice Graduate Programs

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • Ph.D., Public Policy and Administration, Walden University
  • M.A., Governors State University
  • B.S., Western Illinois University

Pete Piraino, Ph.D.

Pete Piraino joined Tiffin University as a full-time Instructor in January, 2012. Professor Piraino teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses in criminal justice and homeland security. Prior to becoming a full-time faculty member, he served at Tiffin as an adjunct instructor for three years.

Professor Piraino recently retired from the United States Secret Service, as Resident Agent in Charge of its Toledo Resident Office, overseeing Secret Service operations for the 21 counties of Northwest Ohio. Throughout his 23-year career with the Secret Service, he served in a variety of protective and investigative assignments that have taken him to over 40 countries on six continents.

Some of his managerial assignments in the Secret Service included positions in the Vice Presidential Protective Division in Washington, D.C. under then Vice President Cheney, as Protective Detail Leader for Mary Cheney, the daughter of the Vice President, and in the Intelligence Division. Professor Piraino also served in the Secret Service's Presidential Protective Division under Presidents Clinton and Bush.

Prior to his 12-year assignment in Washington, D.C., Professor Piraino served as Special Agent in the Chicago Field Office of the Secret Service investigating a variety of federal criminal violations including counterfeit currency, financial fraud, and threats against Secret Service protected persons. While assigned to the Chicago Field Office, he served as a supervisor on a year-long multi-agency undercover task force investigating USDA food stamp fraud throughout the Chicago area.

Prior to joining the Secret Service, Professor Piraino was a Special Agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (now the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) investigating arson for profit and federal firearms violations. Prior to that, he was a police officer in suburban Chicago for eight years.

Professor Piraino received a Bachelor of Science degree in Law Enforcement Administration from Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois, and a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Governors State University, University Park, Illinois. Professor Piraino earned his Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University. He is the recipient of numerous awards and citations throughout his 33 years as a sworn law enforcement officer.

Pete Piraino, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice & Security Studies
Pete Piraino, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice & Security Studies

Testimonials

  • Ivan Santiago - Class of 2015
    "I chose TU because of its reputation for excellence, national recognition, many extracurricular opportunities and because it offers in a small, diverse college environment. I have learned the significance of academics, leadership, diversity, communication, and relationships. TU allowed me to get out of my comfort zone in order to lead and inspire. It has prepared me to make wise and imperative decisions that will benefit me in my career and my life.”

    – Ivan Santiago, Class of 2015

    Ivan Santiago - Class of 2015
  • "I chose Tiffin University because I heard so many great things about it from other students. Now that I am here, I am very happy. TU has numerous resources on campus, such as the Pfeiffer Library and Student Success Center. These places offer assistance for all of my academic needs."

         - Ali Alshehri, Saudi Arabia

    TU helped grow my network and give me experience by meeting students from other cultures and countries, and learning from a range of professors. Anyone who wants to feel connected to their fellow students, to their personable professors, and the community
  • I could not have asked for better faculty. I love how small the class sizes are because I really know the majority of my professors pretty well. More importantly, they know me really well and are aware of my future goals and aspirations. I know that I could seek help from any one of my mentors and they would give me the best advice that they had.

    -Beata Krembuszewski '17

    TU helped grow my network and give me experience by meeting students from other cultures and countries, and learning from a range of professors. Anyone who wants to feel connected to their fellow students, to their personable professors, and the community
  • “I began my collegiate journey at Purdue University, where I was recruited out of high school. After a few years there I decided it was best if I left and went somewhere else. I didn't really explore many options outside if Tiffin. I knew the coaches here and knew that at the end of the day, even without athletics, I could see myself attending the university. I didn’t look at the size of TU as a deciding factor, I looked more at the people that were there and the quality of education and the product that was offered - and it was the best fit for me.”

    Coy Blair
    Class of 2017, MBA Graduation 2019
    Logan, Ohio

    Students in game room
  • “There is always gonna be a little doubt in any person's mind when it comes to new things. But for me, I think proving people, who said I couldn't do it, wrong is my biggest motivation. There's really nothing that seems impossible to me anymore, the world is constantly changing and I feel like I am much more capable of adapting to those changes now compared to when I was walking on to TU's campus for the first time.”

    Alexandra Tozzie
    Class of 2018
    Louisville, Colorado

    Students in game room

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