Criminal Justice - Programs
College of Health and Human Services
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
(code CRIMBS01) (120 units)
The program in criminal justice offers the bachelor of science degree to individuals interested in seeking a comprehensive education leading to a professional career in criminal justice. The program is designed to accommodate the needs of the continuing student, the transfer student, and the experienced criminal justice practitioner. We now offer sufficient courses in the evenings for students to graduate with a degree in criminal justice without taking daytime classes.
Students intending to transfer from community colleges to this University for a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice are advised to complete general education requirements while attending the community college. Courses equivalent to CRIM 101, The Criminal Justice System in Society, and CRIM 151, Criminal Law, should be taken while attending community college. Other criminal justice courses taken at community colleges will be accepted as lower division electives provided the college where they were taken designated them as transferable to CSU. These courses can not be substituted for upper division criminal justice courses.
All students are required to take a minimum of 42 units of criminal justice course work to meet the department requirements for a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice: 30 units are core and 12 units are upper division electives in the major. CRIM 101 is a prerequisite or corequisite for all core courses.
To be eligible for admission to the major in Criminal Justice, applicants must have met requirements for admission to the university as a freshman or transfer student. Applicants must have completed 30 units applicable toward a CSULB degree prior to the term for which the application to be a Criminal Justice major is submitted. The number of applicants who can be admitted is limited by space availability. Eligible applicants will be selected for admission based on cumulative grade point average with a minimum of 2.4.
The 30 units of required courses that constitute the core are: CRIM 101, 151, 303, 351, 404, 468, 480, 483, 487 and 495. Students with upper division transfer units should consult the undergraduate advisor regarding substitutions for core classes. Courses taken at a two-year college may not be substituted for upper division core courses. All core courses must be passed with a letter grade of “C” or better (credit/no credit is not an option). Specifically, every core course in which a student receives a final grade of “D” or “F” must be repeated until a grade of “C” or higher is achieved.
In addition to the core classes, students are required to complete 12 units of upper division Criminal Justice electives. Of these electives, at least one must be selected from the following: CRIM 305, 331 or 373. Any Criminal Justice course in the CSULB Catalog numbered 300 to 499 that is not a core class may be used as a Criminal Justice elective. Students with upper division transfer units should consult the undergraduate advisor regarding substitutions.
Minor in Criminal Justice
All students are required to take a minimum of 21 units of criminal justice course work to meet the department requirements for a minor in criminal justice: 15 units are core plus six units of upper division criminal justice elective classes. CRIM 101 is a prerequisite or corequisite for all core courses. Students who would like to declare and/or change to criminal justice as their minor must have an overall G.P.A. of 2.0 and be enrolled in or have completed CRIM 101 or an equivalent course at another college or university. Alternative admission requirements may apply during times when the department is impacted.
The 15 units of required courses that constitute the core are: CRIM 101, 351, 404, 468 and 483. All core courses must be passed with a letter grade of “C” or better (credit/no credit is not an option). Specifically, every core course in which a student receives a final grade of “D” or “F” must be repeated until a grade of “C” or higher is achieved.
In addition to the core classes, students are required to complete 6 units of upper division criminal justice electives, which may be taken before, concurrently, or after the core courses. Any criminal justice course in the CSULB Catalog numbered 300 to 499 that is not a core class may be used as a criminal justice elective. Students with upper division transfer units should consult the undergraduate advisor regarding substitutions. Courses taken at a two-year college may not be used to meet upper division requirements.
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Graduate study in criminal justice provides the requisite knowledge and opportunity for individuals to (1) be competitive for administrative positions in the courts, corrections, law enforcement, private security, probation and parole, (2) fill research positions in criminal justice agencies, (3) pursue advanced degrees (J.D. or Ph.D), and (4) fill community college teaching positions in criminal justice.
The master of science degree in criminal justice will expand and increase individual competency, develop and mature thought processes, aid in gaining insights into professional leadership and knowledge, permit an exchange between students and faculty, and further the spirit of research and scholarship to enhance professional and personal development.
Students seeking admission to the Department of Criminal Justice Graduate Program should have an undergraduate degree and a desire for graduate study. Applicants must apply for admission to the Criminal Justice Department in addition to being admitted by Enrollment Services. Students must be accepted for admission by the Department before their program for a master’s degree can be formulated. Students are not allowed to take graduate course work in criminal justice before being accepted to the program. The following items must be completed:
1. A graduate application. The original must be sent to Enrollment Services and a copy to the Department of Criminal Justice.
2. Scholastic achievement as represented by official transcripts of all undergraduate course work. Each applicant must request that official transcripts be sent to both the Graduate Advisor in the Criminal Justice Department and Enrollment Services.
3. Resume and statement of goals must be sent to the Department’s Graduate Advisor;
4. Three letters of recommendation from persons able to testify to the student’s academic ability. These letters must be sent to the Department of Criminal Justice Graduate Advisor.
1. A bachelor’s degree with a major or minor in criminal justice or a related discipline. The acceptability of other undergraduate preparation shall be determined by the Department Graduate Committee;
2. A student must have an overall undergraduate average (GPA) and average in their major of 3.0 or better. A student whose overall grade point average is less than 3.0, but who presents acceptable evidence of professional potential either through recent academic performance and/or experiential background, may be admitted by special action of the Department’s Graduate Committee.
Advancement to Candidacy
1. Students must satisfy the general University requirements for advancement to candidacy, as specified in this bulletin.
2. Before advancing to candidacy students must have fulfilled the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).
3. Before advancing to candidacy students must successfully complete six graduate units with a minimum grade of "B" in each of the courses.
4. Each student’s graduate program must be approved by the Department Graduate Advisor and Director of Graduate Studies and Research, College of Health and Human Services.
Eighteen (18) units of required courses constitute the core: CRIM 581, 582, 583, 584, 695, 698
In addition to the core classes, students are required to complete 12 units of electives. These courses are to be selected after consultation with the graduate advisor. A maximum of 6 units may be taken from 300 or 400-level courses in Criminal Justice designated with a * in the CSULB Catalog. Undergraduate courses that are not designed with a * may not be applied toward the master’s degree. No more than six units of CRIM 599 can be taken. Up to six units of graduate work may be transferred from another accredited university or another department in CSULB. Transfer credit must be a “B” or better. All students must earn a grade of “A” or “B” for each required course. Students may not have more than 6 units of “C” grades apply toward the master’s degree. Advancement to candidacy is necessary before Thesis I or Thesis II can be taken.
Thesis or Project
The thesis or project is a supervised experience in the application of theory and analytical tools to an issue in criminology or criminal justice. The thesis should prepare students for further graduate work or research in the field. The project should provide an experience that is directly applicable to an occupation in the criminal justice field.
The thesis is a written product of the systematic study of a significant problem. It clearly identifies the problem, states the major assumptions, explains the significance of the undertaking, sets forth the sources for and methods of gathering information, analyzes the data, and offers a conclusion or recommendations. The finished product evidences originality, critical and independent thinking, appropriate organization and format, and thorough documentation. The coursework is supervised by a committee of three, including the Thesis Chair, who must be a full-time tenure-track or tenured faculty member in the Criminal Justice Department and two other faculty members.
The project is a significant undertaking appropriate to the professional field. It evidences originality and independent thinking, appropriate form and organization, and a rationale. It is described and summarized in a written report that includes the project’s significance, a review of the literature, objectives, methodology, and a conclusion or recommendations. The coursework is supervised by a committee of three, including the Project Chair, who must be a full-time tenure-track or tenured faculty member in the Criminal Justice Department and two other faculty members.