This degree is approved for distance education by the WSCUC.
Please review the School website for Admission and Application Information. (For information regarding the fully online program, which is offered via the College of Professional and International Education, please see the CPaCE website.)
- A bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited university. Although a major or minor in criminology, criminal justice, or a related social-scientific discipline is preferred, the School’s Graduate Committee may admit students with undergraduate preparation in other fields.
- A minimum GPA of 2.5, but typically, the MS program in Criminology and Criminal Justice accepts applicants with a 3.0 GPA. The admissions committee also considers writing ability (measured via the style and organization of submitted research papers; GRE Writing Score; or LSAT score), extra curricula activities, awards, honors, and recommendation letters (especially if from faculty).
Students entering the M.S. program in criminology and criminal justice are expected to have completed the following undergraduate courses or their equivalents:
- Students who have not taken courses in criminological theory, research methods, and statistics during their undergraduate studies still qualify for conditional admission to the M.S. program in criminology and criminal justice. They will be required to take courses in these areas before being permitted to enroll in the graduate-level courses for which undergraduate competency in one or more of these areas is required. Because deficiency courses do not count for graduate credit (but grades in those courses taken as a Post-Baccalaureate will count towards your graduate GPA), the necessity of acquiring undergraduate competency in one or more of these areas may extend the time to degree completion by a semester.
- Students who have not taken courses in criminal justice ethics will be required to use one of their elective courses to gain competency in these areas. Taking this course will not delay graduation.
- Students who have not taken courses in criminal law or criminal procedure will be required to use one of their elective courses to gain competency in these areas. Taking this course will not delay graduation.
Take the following required courses and the designated culminating activity course(s):
All students must earn a grade of “B” or higher in CRJU 501, 504, 520, 525, 535, and 555, and their culminating activity course(s).
Take Graduate Advisor-approved elective courses:
Students completing a project shall take 16 units of electives.
Students completing a comprehensive examination shall take 15-16 units of electives.
Students completing a thesis shall take 12-13 units of electives.
Criminology and Criminal Justice Graduate-Level Electives:
With written approval from the Graduate Advisor:
- A maximum of 6 units may be taken from 400-level courses in Criminology and Criminal Justice;
- Up to 6 units of graduate work (with a grade of “B” or higher) may be transferred from another accredited university or another program at CSULB; and
- Graduate-level and 400-level courses in related disciplines (e.g., psychology, public policy, social work, sociology, political science, law) may be used to satisfy the elective requirements for the master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice.
Students may not have more than 6 units of “C” grades apply toward the master’s degree.
Submit a culminating activity:
Advancement to Candidacy is necessary before students can take culminating activity courses (CRJU 694 Thesis I and CRJU 698 Thesis II; Comprehensive Exam [CRJU 695]; or Project [CRJU 697]).
Students must earn a grade of “B” or higher in their culminating activity course(s).
Project: Concentrate in Crime and Intelligence Analysis
Projects are only available to those graduate students concentrating their studies in Crime and Intelligence Analysis.
Students who concentrate in Crime and Intelligence Analysis shall:
- Complete 16 units of Graduate Advisor-approved electives in crime and intelligence analysis;
- Submit a project, consisting of an Analyst Portfolio. More details about the project are provided by the Graduate Advisor; and
- Complete the following course during which the project will be completed:
Students choosing the comprehensive exam as their culminating activity shall:
- Pass the comprehensive essay examination, covering criminal justice policy and one of the following topic areas: (1) policing, (2) corrections and reentry, (3) crime and inequality (race, gender, and sexual orientation issues), (4) law and social control, (5) drugs, drug war, and crime, (6) crime and mental illness, (7) juvenile delinquency and juvenile justice, (8) terrorism, (9) white collar crime, or other authorized subject area. More details about the comprehensive exam are provided by the Graduate Advisor;
- Complete 15 or 16 units of Graduate Advisor-approved electives; and
- Complete the following course in the semester they are taking the exam:
The thesis 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. More details about the thesis are provided by the Graduate Advisor.
Students who struggle with writing, conceptualizing, and paper organizing (i.e., not earn an “A” in CRJU 501) may want to consider the Comprehensive Exam. Students who are on academic warning should not complete a thesis.
Students choosing the thesis as their culminating activity shall:
- Complete 12 or 13 units of Graduate Advisor-approved electives; and
- Complete the following thesis courses:
Advance to candidacy
To Advance to Candidacy, students shall:
- Satisfy the general University requirements for advancement to candidacy, as specified in this catalog;
- Successfully complete CRJU 504, CRJU 520, and CRJU 525 and an additional 3-unit Graduate Advisor-approved course with a grade of “B” or higher in each course;
- Have a 3.0 GPA; and
- Successfully pass the School’s Qualifying Examination.
School’s Qualifying Examination
The Qualifying Examination tests graduate-level competency in statistics, research methods, and criminological theory.