Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Studies
Students are encouraged to take introductory courses in at least two of the following six disciplines based on their academic interests prior to entering the degree program: economics, history, international relations, political science, psychology, and sociology.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Identify major social issues that shape crime, law, and justice systems.
- Develop critical thinking skills that enable analysis of crime, law, and justice issues.
- Learn about the role of class, race, age, sexuality, and gender in shaping criminal justice systems.
- Develop methodological reasoning skills that enable the challenging of assumptions and structures, including assessment of alternative solutions to problems associated with the identification, control, and prevention of crime and delinquency.
- Apply critical analysis, methodological reasoning, and ethical reasoning to field experiences.
Steps to Change Major
Undeclared majors and students enrolled in other disciplines at SF State who seek to change their major to criminal justice studies must have junior standing, have completed a minimum of 52 units with a grade of C- or better, and have taken one GE Area A3 Critical Thinking course (formerly Segment I critical thinking) with a grade of C or better before applying for a change of major.
Assistance to Enhance Writing Competence
Criminal Justice Studies (B.A.) — 35-44 units
Foundation Courses (7-8 units)
|C J 300||Criminal Justice: A Cross-Disciplinary Perspective||4|
|C J 323GW||Ethics in Criminal Justice - GWAR||3-4|
|or C J 330GW||Research Methods in Criminal Justice - GWAR|
Criminal Justice Studies Electives (24-32 units)
Select any eight courses from the following four sections:
I. Administration of Justice
|C J 340/I R 341||Comparative Criminal Justice||4|
|C J 400||Police and Public Policy||3|
|C J 450||Jails and Prisons||3|
|C J 451||The Architecture of Incarceration||3|
|C J 460||Community Corrections and Sentencing||3|
|C J 475||Intervention Policies in Juvenile Justice||3|
|C J 480||California Corrections System||3|
|C J 490||Immigration, Criminalization, and Justice||3|
|C J/SOC 510||Analysis of the Felon in Society||3|
|C J 525||Global Restorative Justice and Corrections||3|
|C J 530||Geographies of Social Control and Urban Diversity||3|
|I R 360||Intelligence and Intelligence Agencies||4|
|PLSI 478||Judicial Process||4|
|PSY 475||Psychology of Policing||3|
|SOC 455||Punishment and Social Control||3|
II. Crime and Delinquency
|C J 401||Criminal Profiling||3|
|C J 405||Organized Crime||3|
|C J 471||Contemporary Issues in Juvenile Justice||3|
|C J 515||Extremism as Crime||3|
|C J 520||3|
|C J 535||Alternatives to Criminalization||3|
|C J 550||School Violence and Discipline||3|
|C J 570||Urban Violence||3|
|C J 600||Youth Gangs in Community Context||3|
|C J 605||Criminalization of Gender and Sexuality||3|
|COMM 571||The Rhetoric of Terrorism||4|
|COMM 573||The Rhetoric of Criminality and Punishment||4|
|ECON 515||Economics of Crime and Justice||3|
|I R 361/C J 461||Terrorism and Covert Political Warfare||4|
|LTNS 430/C J 435||Race, Crime, and Justice||3|
|LTNS/C J 485||Latina/o Youth, Crime, and Justice||3|
|PHIL 378||Philosophy of Criminal Law||3|
|SOC 362||The Social Construction of Deviance and Conformity||4|
|SOC 451/C J 452||Criminological Theory||4|
|SOC 452/C J 470||Juvenile Justice||4|
III. Legal Studies
|AFRS 375||Law and the Black Community||3|
|AFRS 376||Government, the Constitution, and Black Citizens||3|
|AIS 330||American Indian Law||3|
|C J 335||Legal Writing and Research||4|
|C J 501||Criminal Law||3|
|C J 502||Criminal Procedure||3|
|C J 505/I R 332||International Criminal Law||4|
|COMM 564||Issues in Free Speech||4|
|COUN 630||Legal Center Training I||3|
|COUN 631||Legal Center Training II||3|
|ECON 516||Law and Economics||3|
|GPS/PHIL 375||Peace Law and Human Rights in the U.S.||3|
|HIST 470||The U.S. Constitution to 1896||3|
|HIST 471||The U.S. Constitution Since 1896||3|
|LABR 650||Labor Law: An Introduction and Overview||3|
|PHIL 335||Law and Society||3|
|PHIL 379||Philosophy of Constitutional Interpretation||3|
|PHIL 380||Philosophy of Law||3|
|PLSI 552||Individual Rights and the Constitution||4|
|PSY 472||Introduction to Legal Psychology||3|
|SOC 457||Sociology of Law||4|
IV. Working with Diverse Communities
|AA S 595||Asian American Communities and Public Policy||3|
|AIS 460||Power and Politics in American Indian History||3|
|COMM 503||Gender and Communication||4|
|COMM 525||Sexualities and Communication||4|
|COMM 531||Conflict Resolution||4|
|COMM 541||Critical Approaches to Culture and Communication||4|
|COMM 543||Dialogues Across Differences||4|
|HIST 462/RRS 670||3|
|HIST 465||American Ethnic and Racial Relations II: 1890-Present||3|
|LTNS 415||Economic Progress of Latinos in the U.S.||3|
|LTNS 470||Latina/o Immigration to the U.S.||3|
|PHIL 455/SXS 569||Sex and the Law||3|
|PLSI 464||Race and American Politics||4|
|PLSI/USP 512||Urban Politics and Community Power||4|
|PSY 547||Social Conflict and Conflict Resolution||3|
|RRS/SOC 330||Comparative Race and Ethnicity in the U.S.: Class, Gender, and Nation||3|
|RRS 571||Women, Class, and Race||3|
|SXS 455||Sex, Power, and Politics||3|
|WGS 513||Gender, War, and Militarism||3|
|WGS 514||Women and the Prison Industrial Complex||3|
|WGS 554||Gender and Global Migration||3|
Culminating Experience (4 units)
|C J 680||Field Course in Criminal Justice||4|
Total units for the degree: 1201
Note: A minimum of 40 upper division units must be completed for the degree (including upper division units required for the major, general education, electives, etc.). A student can complete this major yet not attain the necessary number of upper division units required for graduation. In this case, additional upper division courses will be needed to reach the required total.
Note: A total of 30 units in the major must be in upper-division courses. Up to a total of six transfer units in the following criminal justice courses completed at a community college may be counted toward meeting distribution requirements for the major:
- Introduction to Criminal Justice in the “Administration of Justice“ category and/or
- Concepts of Criminal Law in the “Legal Studies” category. For applicable courses, go to the ASSIST website: http://www.assist.org/web-assist/welcome.html.
Bachelor of Arts students must complete at least 12 units of complementary studies outside of the primary prefix for the major. (Note: Students may not use an alternate prefix that is cross-listed with the primary prefix for the major.)
Students who complete two majors or a major and a minor automatically complete the complementary studies requirement. Additional ways to complete complementary studies for students in the Criminal Justice major is to meet with an advisor to identify 12 units of courses complementary to the major. With advisor approval, up to twelve of these units may be used to satisfy units in the major. Consult with your major advisor for assistance.
Students who have earned AA-T or AS-T degrees and are pursuing a similar B.A. degree at SF State are required to fulfill the Complementary Studies requirement as defined by the major department. Students should consult with a major advisor about how transfer units and/or SF State units can best be applied to this requirement to ensure degree completion within 60 units.
General Education Requirements
|Requirement||Course Level||Units||Area Designation|
|Written English Communication I||LD||3||A2|
|Arts or Humanities||LD||3||C1 or C2|
|Social Sciences: US History||LD||3||D2|
|Social Sciences: US & CA Government||LD||3||D3|
|Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD)||LD||3||E|
|Physical and/or Life Science||UD||3||UD-B|
|Arts and/or Humanities||UD||3||UD-C|
|SF State Studies|
|Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), a major or minor, or an elective.|
|American Ethnic and Racial Minorities||LD or UD||3||AERM|
|Environmental Sustainability||LD or UD||3||ES|
|Global Perspectives||LD or UD||3||GP|
|Social Justice||LD or UD||3||SJ|
Note: LD = Lower-Division; UD = Upper-Division.
First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)
Find the correct roadmap (A, B, C, or D):
- Select the row that matches your English Course choice for A2.*
- Select the column that matches your QR Category (found at your student center under Math Alert).
- Click the Roadmap that lines up with your row and column.
For example, if you are taking ENG 104 as your first English course and your student center math alert says you are QR Category III, you should choose Roadmap D.
|Pathway||QR Cat I/II||QR Cat III/IV|
|ENG 114||Roadmap A||Roadmap C|
|ENG 104/ENG 105||Roadmap B||Roadmap D|
Transfer Student Roadmap (2 Year)
For students with an AA-T in Administration of Justice. This roadmap opens in a new tab.
For students with an AA-T in Social Justice Studies. This roadmap opens in a new tab.
For students with an AA-T in Sociology. This roadmap opens in a new tab.
For students with an AA-T in Law, Public Policy and Society. This roadmap opens in a new tab.
This degree program is an approved pathway (“similar” major) for students earning the ADT in Administration of Justice
California legislation SB 1440 (2009) mandated the creation of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to be awarded by the California Community Colleges. Two types of ADTs are awarded: Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T).
Note: no specific degree is required for admission as an upper-division student. However, the ADT includes specific guarantees related to admission and graduation and is designed to clarify the transfer process and strengthen lower-division preparation for the major.
An ADT totals 60 units and in most cases includes completion of all lower-division General Education requirements and at least 18 units in a specific major. (The Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science AS-T degrees defer 3 units in lower-division GE area C and 3 units in lower-division GE area D until after transfer.) Students pursuing an ADT are guaranteed admission to the CSU if minimum eligibility requirements are met, though not necessarily to the CSU campus of primary choice.
Upon verification that the ADT has been awarded prior to matriculation at SF State, students are guaranteed B.A. or B.S. completion in 60 units if pursuing a “similar” major after transfer. Determinations about “similar” majors at SF State are made by faculty in the discipline.
Degree completion in 60 units cannot be guaranteed when a student simultaneously pursues an additional major, a minor, certificate, or credential.
A sample advising roadmap for students who have earned an ADT and continue in a "similar" major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab on the degree requirements page for the major. The roadmap displays:
- How many lower-division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on the award of a specific ADT;
- Which lower-division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on the award of a specific ADT;
- How to complete the remaining 60 units for the degree in four semesters.
Students who have earned an ADT should seek advising in the major department during the first semester of attendance.
General Advising Information for Transfer Students
- Before transfer, complete as many lower-division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
- The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
- a course in U.S. History
- a course in U.S. & California Government
For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit http://www.assist.org. Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:
- Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower-division major requirements for this major;
- Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government requirements.
Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units required for admission.
Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper-division transfer (for example, if a course was not passed on the first attempt or was taken to earn a better grade).
Before leaving the last California Community College of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower-division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.
Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.
Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower-division General Education in Areas C and D until after transfer to focus on preparation courses for the major. This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.
Transferring From Institutions Other Than CCCs or CSUs
Review SF State's lower-division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower-division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.
Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit bulletin.sfsu.edu/undergraduate-education/general-education/lower-division/#AAEL.
Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.
All Students Must Meet the Transfer Eligibility Requirements Outlined Below for Admission.
For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.
- Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units.
- Earn a college grade point average of 2.0 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
- Be in good standing at the last college or university attended.
- Complete 30-semester units (45-quarter units) of General Education, including four basic skills courses:
- One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE Area A1)
- One course in written composition (same as CSU GE Area A2)
- One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE Area A3)
- One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning (same as CSU GE Area B4)
- The four basic skills courses and a minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90-quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a C- or better grade in each basic skills course.