SDSU’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Online Degree Completion Program is designed to encourage thoughtful exploration of the ways that criminal justice systems provide “justice,” or fail to do so. The program also focuses on criminal justice from a social justice perspective, allowing for the examination of policy issues as diverse as genocide, institutionalized racism, organized crime, and environmental destruction, in addition to traditional criminal justice issues. This degree appeals to students who are interested in working in the fields of law, law enforcement, probation and parole, corrections, or other social service agencies. This degree also prepares students for law school or graduate school in either criminal justice or a related field.

Students who satisfy all eligibility requirements can graduate by completing between 54 and 60 units within 13 months (ten eight-week modules with breaks). Admitted students will complete two courses in each of the ten eight-week modules.

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be awarded the same degree as on-campus students — the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. The diploma and transcript will not distinguish that the program was completed online.

UPDATE: This program has been approved for financial aid.

Application Period
Spring 2022: June 1-Nov. 1, 2021

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SDSU’s B.S. in Criminal Justice program is designed to give you the skills you need to protect and serve all members of your community. Whether you’re interested in law enforcement, social services, or law school, our online degree completion program will help you earn your bachelor’s degree in as little as 13 months.

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About the program

SDSU’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Online Degree Completion program focuses on the ways that different agencies and organizations work together to compose America’s intricate criminal justice system.

Estimated CostTotal Estimated Cost
$22,767-$31,965

Textbooks not included
Completion Time Min. Completion Time
As short as 13 Months
Course Format Course Format
Online

You’ll study the laws that shape criminal justice and the processes that dictate how laws are enforced and justice is carried out through online courses that focus on crime and behavior, administrative systems, government, and policy development. You’ll also explore the complex relationship between criminal justice and social justice, and how that relationship continues to shape public policy and law enforcement. You’ll take an in-depth look at a range of policy issues as diverse as genocide, institutionalized racism, criminal behavior, organized crime, and environmental destruction, in addition to traditional criminal justice issues.

The program is entirely online, which makes earning a San Diego State University degree possible for all types of learners, no matter where you’re located or what your schedule looks like. With a diverse curriculum taught by expert instructors from SDSU’s School of Public Administration, our online degree completion program will help you prepare for a career in criminal justice, whether you’re interested in law enforcement, corrections, social services, or local government.

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What Is A Degree Completion Program?

This degree completion program is specifically designed for students who have started, but not finished, their four-year undergraduate degree. If you've completed 60 transferable units, satisfied all CSU requirements and program-specific prerequisites, and have a 2.8+ GPA, you can earn a valuable degree from San Diego State University that fits your busy schedule.

This program is designed for students who have not earned a bachelor's degree. If you already have a bachelor's degree, we will not be able accept your application for this program.

Program is perfect for

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average national salary for criminal justice professionals with an associate’s degree or less is just $31,000 per year. For those with a bachelor’s degree, the average annual salary tops $80,000; there were also about 150,000 more job postings in criminal justice-related fields for those who hold a bachelor’s degree.

If you’re interested in taking your career to the next level, earning your bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University can open a world of opportunities in the criminal justice industry. The coursework will prepare you for employment in many different fields, including:

Law
Law Enforcement
Probation and Parole
Corrections
Social Services
Government
Public Administration
Legal Support
Security

If you’re interested in continuing your studies after earning your bachelor’s degree, this degree will also prepare you for law school or a graduate program in a criminal justice-related field.

Because the coursework is entirely online and can be completed in as little as 13 months, this program is ideal for working professionals who have taken some college courses, but were unable to earn a degree. By accepting some of your existing college experience as prerequisites for our degree program, you’ll be able to earn a criminal justice degree that works for you.

Best of all, you’ll earn the same degree as our on-campus students — a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (with an optional Minor in Public Administration) from San Diego State University.

What you can learn

SDSU’s B.S. in Criminal Justice program is designed to prepare you for employment in today’s criminal justice job market. You’ll acquire an advanced understanding of America’s criminal justice system, how laws are created and enforced, and the potential outcomes of those laws in diverse communities.

Course topics include:

  • Crime, Law, and Justice
  • Public Administration
  • Administrative Behavior
  • Criminal Justice and Social Control
  • Contemporary Urban Issues
  • Fiscal and Budgetary Policy
  • Law Enforcement and Corrections
  • Urban Government Management
  • Investigation and Reporting
  • Nonprofit Organizations and Government

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The program takes a dual focus on traditional criminal justice issues and social justice. You’ll examine the relationship between the two, and how social causes can inform and influence the ways in which criminal justice is administered.

You’ll learn about a range social justice issues, such as systemic racism, genocide, and equitable access, and the role that our nation’s criminal justice system has played in these issues. You’ll also learn about the ways that law enforcement, social services, and public administration are working together to make justice more fair and equitable. If you’re interested in a career in the public sector, you’ll also have the opportunity to earn and apply for a Minor in Public Administration.

Once admitted, you can graduate by completing between 48-66 units within 13 months (ten eight-week modules with breaks). You’ll complete three courses in each of the ten eight-week modules.

Your courses are taught by the same expert faculty members who teach on-campus courses with SDSU’s School of Public Affairs. Our faculty and lecturers come from a variety of backgrounds, including law enforcement, criminal law, local government, non-profit organizations, and academia.

If you’re passionate about keeping your community safe, a B.S. in Criminal Justice from San Diego State University is a great place to start.

Outcomes

Labor Analysis
B.S. in Criminal Justice Graduate — Nationwide

Job Postings
Job Postings
Last 12 months
591,652

Projected Growth
Projected Growth
Over 10 years
+1.06%

Salary Range
Salary Range
Average
$40,000-$111,000


Source: BLS & Burning Glass Technologies, 2020

B.S. in Criminal Justice Employment by Sector, 2019

Security

27.36%

Law Enforcement and Public Safety

22.42%

Network and Systems Support

20.06%

Data Analysis and Mathematics

7.31%

IT Managers

5.65%

Business Intelligence

5.65%

Legal Support

5.65%

Financial Regulation and Compliance

2.13%

Network and Systems Engineering

1.97%

Legal Investigation

1.82%

 

Over the past 5-6 years, employment numbers for individuals with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and/or Corrections has grown by 17.75%. In the last 12 months, there were over 575,000 job postings in criminal justice-related fields seeking bachelor’s degree holders. There are job opportunities in a wide range of fields, from security and law enforcement to business intelligence and legal support.

Compensation is largely dependent on your experience and profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, annual salaries for those in security with a bachelor’s degree range from $40,000 (0-2 years experience) to more than $78,000 (6+ years experience). For those in law enforcement with a bachelor’s degree, salaries range from $50,000 (0-2 years experience) to around $70,000 (6+ years experience).

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Why Should You Choose Us?

Flexibility

Our program touches on many topics. From law enforcement and litigation to social justice and institutionalized racism, you’ll be well-prepared to build a career in a variety of fields. Our graduates have gone to serve in local law enforcement offices, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private businesses across the country.

Convenience

Our degree completion program is designed for busy students. With just three online courses every eight weeks, you can earn your criminal justice degree on your schedule. Best of all, your degree won’t distinguish that you earned it online; upon graduation, you’ll hold the same criminal justice degree as our on-campus graduates.

Connections

Our courses are taught by the same faculty members who teach on-campus. You’ll have access to a professional network made up of local law enforcement officers, government officials, and criminal justice professionals based in San Diego, throughout Southern California, and from all the country.

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In order to earn your degree, you’ll need to complete the following:

B.S. in Criminal Justice

  • 36 Major Requirement Units
    • 18 Core Course Units
    • 6 Public Administration Requirement Units
    • 12 Criminal Justice Elective Units
  • 9 General Education Exploration Course Units
  • 3-6 Writing Proficiency Units (if applicable)

B.S. in Criminal Justice with a Minor in Public Administration

  • 36 Major Requirement Units
    • 18 Core Course Units
    • 6 Public Administration Requirement Units
    • 12 Criminal Justice Elective Units
  • 18 Public Administration Elective Units
  • 9 General Education Exploration Course Units
  • 3-6 Writing Proficiency Units (if applicable)

Course Schedule

Scroll to see more information. Schedule is subject to change.
* CJ 300 Prerequisite
** PA 301 Prerequisite
*** PA 301 & PA 460 Prerequisite

Courses Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring Summer Fall
  Block 1 Block 2 Block 1 Block 2 Block 1 Block 2 Block 1 Block 2 Block 1 Block 2 Block 1 Block 2 Block 1 Block 2
AFRAS 380                        
AMIND 440                        
ANTH 360 / CHEM 300                        
CJ 300                  
CJ 301*                      
CJ 302*                        
CJ 303*                      
CJ 310*                      
CJ 321*                        
CJ 330*                        
CJ 497                        
CJ 540*                        
PA 301                  
PA 310                        
PA 330                        
PA 340                      
PA 350                        
PA 450**                        
PA 460                      
PA 501***                        
RWS 280                            
RWS 305w                        
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Admission Requirements

Below is a list of general admission requirements for the B.S. in Criminal Justice degree completion program. We understand that every student's academic journey is unique, and we encourage you to contact one of our Student Service Representatives to find out what you'll need to successfully apply to the program.

Out-of-State Applicants
While we welcome out-of-state students, SDSU Global Campus currently cannot accept applications from students residing in the specific states. Please check back often, as this list of approved states does change. View the list of authorized states here.

  • A minimum of 60 transferable semester (or 90 quarter) units by the semester prior to transfer, which includes:
    • 12 Lower Division Prep Course Units:
      • POL S 102
      • SOC 101, 102
      • SOC 201 (or comparable three-unit course in elementary statistics)
        These courses cannot be taken for credit/no credit (Cr/NC)
    • Complete a minimum of 30 Units of General Education Courses
    • The Golden Four Requirement, which includes:
      • Oral Communication — complete a basic public speaking course or other communication course with a grade of "C-" or higher in at least 3 semester (or 4 quarter) units
      • Written Communication — complete a freshman composition course that emphasizes essay writing or reading and writing concurrently with a grade of "C-" or higher in at least 3 semester (or 4 quarter) units
      • Critical Thinking — complete a mathematics course above the level of intermediate algebra with a grade of "C-" or higher in at least 3 semester (or 4 quarter) units
      • Mathematics — complete a mathematics course above the level of intermediate algebra with a grade of "C-" or higher in at least 3 semester (or 4 quarter) units. Mathematics 150, 151, and 252 will satisfy this requirement
  • Complete the American Institutions Requirement
    • The American Institutions requirement is designed to demonstrate that students have an understanding of American history, the United States Constitution, and California state and local government.
  • Satisfy the CSU mathematics and writing requirements
  • Have an overall 2.8+ college GPA
  • Pass the Writing Placement Assessment with a score of 10, or Rhetoric and Writing Studies 305W or Linguistics 305W with a grade of C (2.0) or better in your first semester once admitted to the program. Due to COVID-19, the Writing Placement Assessment (WPA) has been temporarily suspended - please visit wpa.sdsu.edu for the latest information on this requirement.

Application Instructions

If you meet the admissions requirements and wish to apply, please complete an application through Cal State Apply.

A $70 nonrefundable application fee is required of all applicants at the time of application.

Admission decisions are initially based on self-reported information provided via Cal State Apply. You must provide complete and accurate information on your application. Any misreporting will jeopardize an admission offer.

Please do not send your official transcripts unless you are offered admission.

Electronic transcripts are highly encouraged. Please ensure that you indicate this preference when making your request. If you are required to provide an email address to send the secure online document to SDSU, please use transcriptsforsdsu@sdsu.edu.

For more detailed admission requirements and other application information, please consult our Transfer Admissions Information.

Cost

You’re also responsible for the costs of required texts and learning materials, as well as incidental fees related to your application for admission, WPA testing, and graduation.

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Total Units Cost/Unit (Fees) Associated Students Fee Technology Fee ^ Student Engagement Fee ^ Total Cost/Unit
Core Courses (18 Units)
CJ 300 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
CJ 301 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
CJ 302 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
CJ 303 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
CJ 540 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
CJ 497 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
PA Requirement (6 Units)
CJ 340 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
CJ 460 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
CJ Electives (12 Units)
CJ 310 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
CJ 330 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
CJ 321 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
ANTH 360 / CHEM 300 $431 $19 $21 $21 $492
GE Explorations (9 Units)
ANTH 360 / CHEM 300 already counted
AFRAS 380 $431 $19 $21 $21 $492
AMIND 440 $431 $19 $21 $21 $492
Writing Courses (3-6 Units)
RWS 280 n/a during COVID-19
RWS 3005W $431 $19 $21 $21 $492
48 Units* $20,022 $855 $945 $945 $22,767

* Everyone is unique. Your admissions advisor will work with you to determine the right path that suits your needs.
^ Effective with newly admitted students Fall '21

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a Minor in Public Administration

Total Units Cost/Unit (Fees) Associated Students Fee Technology Fee ^ Student Engagement Fee ^ Total Cost/Unit
Core Courses (18 Units)
CJ 300 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
CJ 301 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
CJ 302 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
CJ 303 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
CJ 540 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
CJ 497 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
PA Requirement (6 Units)
CJ 340 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
CJ 460 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
CJ Electives (12 Units)
CJ 310 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
CJ 330 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
CJ 321 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
ANTH 360 / CHEM 300 $431 $19 $21 $21 $492
PA Minor (18 Units)
PA 301 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
PA 310 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
PA 330 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
PA 350 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
PA 450 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
PA 501 $450 $19 $21 $21 $511
GE Explorations (9 Units)
ANTH 360 / CHEM 300 already counted
AFRAS 380 $431 $19 $21 $21 $492
AMIND 440 $431 $19 $21 $21 $492
Writing Courses (3-6 Units)
RWS 280 n/a during COVID-19
RWS 3005W $431 $19 $21 $21 $492
66 Units* $28,122 $1,197 $1,323 $1,323 $31,965

* Everyone is unique. Your admissions advisor will work with you to determine the right path that suits your needs.
^ Effective with newly admitted students Fall '21

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Contact Information

Courses

2021 Summer2021 Fall2022 Winter2022 Spring
AFRAS 0380 Blacks in the American Justice System
Interpretation and application of constitutional principles and judicial decisions to political and social problems faced by Afro-Americans.
Course Date(s)

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Instructors
Adisa Alkebulan
AMIND 0440.01 American Indian History
Historical analysis of Indian-White contact. Emphasis on the impact of historical events upon the various cultures.
Course Date(s)

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CHEM 0300 Forensic Science
Techniques and case studies of mysteries solved by molecular analysis: chemical and DNA analysis of crime scenes, biochemical explanations of mysterious deaths and accidents, molecular hallmarks of forgery, chemical methods in crime deterrence, chemical causes of fires and structure failure.

Prerequisite: Chemistry 100 or completion of General Education requirement in Foundations of Learning II.A. Natural Sciences and Quantitative Reasoning.
Course Date(s)


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Instructors
Eduardo Niebla
CJ 0300 Crime, Law, and Justice
Criminal justice-role of law in society, definition and explanations of criminal behavior, criminal justice system, methods of research, and policy.
Course Date(s)

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CJ 0301 Law in Society
Theoretical study of law in society from classical social theorists. Major movements in legal studies during the last century. Comparative systems of law.
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Instructors
Paul Kaplan
CJ 0302 Crime and Behavior
Major disciplinary paradigms used both to explain criminal behavior and to inform official criminal justice policy.
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Instructors
Paul Kaplan
CJ 0303 Criminal Justice and Social Control
Interrelationship of social control, social policy and administration of criminal justice in contemporary American society.
Course Date(s)

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Instructors
Michael Braun
CJ 0310 Law Enforcement
Administrative relationships within the criminal justice process with special reference to problems of courts and police and probation agencies.
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CJ 0321 Juvenile Justice
Assessment of the structure and functions of agencies and institutions which comprise the juvenile justice system in America; evolution of policies and programs for prevention of delinquency and treatment of the juvenile offender.
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CJ 0330 Corrections
Contemporary policies and practices of local, state, and federal correctional agencies, influence of reform movements, and the interrelationship of corrections with other criminal justice system components.
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CJ 0540 Applied Planning, Research, and Program Evaluation in Criminal Justice
Application of planning, research, program development, and evaluation principles to field of criminal justice.
Course Date(s)


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Instructors
Roddrick Colvin
P A 0301 Concepts and Issues in Public Administration
Theory and practice of governmental administration in differing environments, role of administrators in public policy, issues facing administrators, techniques of administration.
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Instructors
Louis Rea
P A 0310 Management of Urban Governments
Problems of local units of government in the urban environment. Organization and function of local agencies. Emphasis on California.
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Instructors
Graham Mitchell
P A 0330 Public Personnel Administration
Analysis of personnel problems. Supervision and management of public employees and public organizations in an age of change.
Course Date(s)

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P A 0340 Administrative Behavior
Social, psychological, and behavioral theories of organization; concepts of administrative leadership; organization and the individual; emphasis on governmental organizations. Not open to students with credit in Psychology 321.
Course Date(s)

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Instructors
Meriem Doucette
P A 0350 Contemporary Urban Issues
Focus on urban areas and urbanism from a public policy perspective; course examines and critiques the physical, economic, social and political dimensions of contemporary American cities utilizing a multidisciplinary approach.
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Instructors
Anna Kim
P A 0450 Fiscal and Budgetary Policy
Policies of fiscal administration and budgeting; political implications of the governmental budget process; revenue, debt, and treasury management; the functions of accounting and financial reporting.
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P A 0460 Administration and Policy Development
Process of formulating public policy with emphasis on the role of public agencies
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Instructors
David Kanaan
RWS 0305W.01 Writing in Various Settings
Composing effective texts for a wide range of situations in and out of the university. Learning to adjust textual elements for specific purposes, audiences, and settings. Enhances critical reading and writing skills by exploring how content contributes to meaning and effectiveness.
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“This program is perfect for students who are trying to balance a lot of competing interests. Students are getting an identical curriculum to students on campus at SDSU. They'll also get a big dose of Public Administration classes and leave with a minor in Public Administration.”

- Sherry Ryan, SDSU School of Public Affairs Director and SDSU Global Campus Program Sponsor