Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Studies

The multidisciplinary program in Criminal Justice Studies explores the conception and implementation of the law, crime, and justice systems and ideas. The program emphasizes critical thinking about law, crime, and justice systems and their entanglement with larger political-economic processes. In particular, the program explores how ideas and systems of crime, law, and justice shape broader issues of social justice, especially those related to the experience of race, class, gender, sexuality, and age inequity in the U.S. The program teaches students the skills of critical analysis and ethical reasoning such that students can challenge structures and assumption and innovatively contribute to the assessment of alternative solutions to problems associated with the identification, control, and prevention of crime and delinquency.

Program Learning Outcomes:

  1. Learn how systemic inequality shapes and is shaped by crime, law, and justice systems.
  2. Describe how people and groups impact, engage, contest, and remake legal institutions and ideas.
  3. Critique and analyze claims, data, and knowledge about crime, law, and justice systems.
  4. Analyze the history and politics of criminological knowledge.
  5. Design and implement a senior capstone project that demonstrates effective written communication, ethical reasoning, and critical analysis.

Admissions Requirements

  1. Be a resident of California or another authorized state. See State Authorization.
  2. Have completed a minimum of 60 transferable semester (90 quarter) units.
  3. Have a grade point average of 2.0 (C) or better in all transferable units attempted.
  4. Have a grade point average of 2.0 (C) or better in all units completed at SF State.
  5. Be in good standing at the last college or university attended.
  6. Have completed all lower-division General Education requirements (39 semester units or 58.5 quarter units) with a grade of C- or better including the below four courses commonly called "Golden Four":
    1. Oral Communication
    2. Written Communication
    3. Critical Thinking
    4. Quantitative Reasoning

Criminal Justice Studies (B.A.) — 36 units minimum

Core Courses (18 units)

C J 200Construction of Crime and Justice3
C J 230Crime, Data, and Analysis3
C J 300Criminal Justice: A Cross-Disciplinary Perspective4
C J 330Research Methods in Criminal Justice Studies Activity1
C J 330GWResearch Methods in Criminal Justice - GWAR3
C J 680Field Course in Criminal Justice4

Elective Courses (18-22 units)

Power and Inequality (3 units)

Select one:

C J 435/LTNS 430Race, Crime, and Justice3
C J/LTNS 485Latina/o Youth, Crime, and Justice3
C J 530Geographies of Social Control and Urban Diversity3
C J 605Criminalization of Gender and Sexuality3

Criminal Justice Law and Administration (3 units)

Select one:

C J 400Police and Public Policy3
C J 450Jails and Prisons3
C J 480California Corrections System3
C J 501Criminal Law3
C J 502Criminal Procedure3

Select four additional Criminal Justice Studies Electives (12-16 units)

Other upper-division C J courses in addition to those listed below can be used as electives.

AA S 595Asian American Communities and Public Policy3
AFRS 375Law and the Black Community3
AFRS 376Government, the Constitution, and Black Citizens3
AIS 330American Indian Law3
AIS 460Power and Politics in American Indian History3
COMM 503Gender and Communication4
COMM 525Sexualities and Communication4
COMM 531Conflict Resolution4
COMM 541Critical Approaches to Culture and Communication4
COMM 543Dialogues Across Differences4
COMM 564Issues in Free Speech4
COMM 571The Rhetoric of Terrorism4
COMM 573The Rhetoric of Criminality and Punishment4
COUN 630Legal Center Training I3
COUN 631Legal Center Training II3
C J/I R 306Crisis in Central America: U.S. Policy and the Root Causes of Chaos4
C J 320Literature in Criminal Justice - Crime Control, Due Process, and Class Justice3
C J 323Ethics in Criminal Justice3
C J 335Legal Writing and Research4
C J 340/I R 341Comparative Criminal Justice4
C J 400Police and Public Policy3
C J 401Criminal Profiling3
C J 405Organized Crime3
C J 410Crime Scene Investigation3
C J 420Introduction to Forensic Science3
C J 435/LTNS 430Race, Crime, and Justice3
C J 450Jails and Prisons3
C J 451The Architecture of Incarceration3
C J 452/SOC 451Criminological Theory4
C J 460Community Corrections and Sentencing3
C J 461/I R 361Terrorism and Covert Political Warfare4
C J 470/SOC 452Juvenile Justice4
C J 471Contemporary Issues in Juvenile Justice3
C J 475Intervention Policies in Juvenile Justice3
C J 480California Corrections System3
C J/LTNS 485Latina/o Youth, Crime, and Justice3
C J 490Immigration, Criminalization, and Justice3
C J 501Criminal Law3
C J 502Criminal Procedure3
C J/SOC 510Analysis of the Felon in Society3
C J/SOC/USP 511Critical Analysis of Re-entry and Housing3
C J 515Extremism as Crime3
C J 525Global Restorative Justice and Corrections3
C J 530Geographies of Social Control and Urban Diversity3
C J 535Alternatives to Criminalization3
C J 550School Violence and Discipline3
C J 570Urban Violence3
C J 600Youth Gangs in Community Context3
C J 605Criminalization of Gender and Sexuality3
HIST 465American Ethnic and Racial Relations II: 1890-Present3
HIST 470The U.S. Constitution to 18963
HIST 471The U.S. Constitution Since 18963
HIST 472The Supreme Court and Social Change in U.S. History3
I R 259Children and Youth in International Relations4
I R 334International Organizations: New World Order4
I R/C J 360Intelligence and Intelligence Agencies4
I R/PLSI/C J 362The Making of US Foreign Policy4
I R 436/PHIL 435Human Rights in Global Perspective3
I R 453Women and Media in International Relations4
I R/PLSI 459Refugees in Global Perspective4
LTNS 415Latina/o Economic Empowerment3
LTNS 470Latina/o Immigration to the U.S.3
PHIL 335Law and Society3
PHIL 378Philosophy of Criminal Law3
PHIL 380Philosophy of Law3
PLSI 478Judicial Process4
PLSI/USP 512Urban Politics and Community Power4
PLSI 552Individual Rights and the Constitution4
PSY 472Introduction to Legal Psychology3
PSY 475Psychology of Policing3
PSY 547Social Conflict and Conflict Resolution3
RRS/SOC 330Comparative Race and Ethnicity in the U.S.: Class, Gender, and Nation3
RRS 571Women, Race, and Class3
SOC 455Punishment and Social Control3
SXS 455Sex, Power, and Politics3
SXS 569/PHIL 455Sex and the Law3
WGS 513Gender, War, and Militarism3
WGS 514Women and the Prison Industrial Complex3
WGS 554Gender and Global Migration3

A minimum of 30 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.

Up to a total of 6 transfer units in the following Criminal Justice courses completed at a community college may be counted toward meeting the "general electives" requirements for the major:

  1. Introduction to Criminal Justice 
  2. Concepts of Criminal Law; for applicable courses, go to the ASSIST website:

Complementary Studies

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 Studies major is to meet with an advisor to identify 12 units of courses complementary to the major. With advisor approval, up to 12 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.

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