dollorBachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Contact Information         Application Process
Now Accepting Applications!

This program is completely online. No travel to campus is required!


For more infomation, please contact:
Anna Keck
(916) 278-5134


- Program Overview

California State University, Sacramento, has been a leader in criminal justice and public safety education in the state since the early 1960s. Our enrollment is in excess of 1,800 undergraduate students and approximately 100 graduate students.

The division of criminal justice is expanding program access through the addition of a new online degree program – a bachelor of science in criminal justice. Although the programs are hosted by Sacramento State, College of Continuing Education, their academic home is in the division of criminal justice at Sacramento State, College of Health and Human Services.

- Audience

This online program provides flexibility and access to in-service professionals in the criminal justice and public safety fields. This program allows pursuit of a quality degree at a reasonable cost, with the added benefit of networking opportunities and an accelerated format.

- Program Structure

Sacramento State’s undergraduate degree in criminal justice program starts with an evaluation of existing coursework. Prospective students receive an evaluation to use as a road map toward degree completion. Applicant’s academic transcripts and professional experience are reviewed by the program coordinator and an academic counselor. Each applicant receives a degree completion plan which details and outlines specific courses and activities he/she must complete to earn the bachelor’s degree.

Candidates must complete all Sacramento State general education and graduation requirements for the degree. Sacramento State provides the upper division coursework required for the major and graduation requirements. Applicants transfer the lower division coursework from another university or community college.

The individualized evaluation process is an important one. Major courses are identified and graduation requirements are defined for each student. The evaluation provides both the student and the advisor with a detailed review of previous coursework, and in effect becomes a learning contract between the university and student.

- Program Delivery

The program is delivered completely online via SacCT, which is a form of Blackboard. SacCT is an interactive communication tool developed for use with the Internet and education institutions. SacCT allows course structure and material to be tailored per course.  Courses are taught by a live faculty member behind the computer screen and are taken with your fellow classmates; therefore, classes do have specific start and end dates as well as assignment deadlines.  However, there are not specific days and times (such as Wednesday at 2pm) that you are required to log in - you can log in at a time that is convenient for you during the day or night. 

Courses are each approximately 8 weeks long. A student who needs to complete all upper division courses for the major and enrolls in all needed courses each semester can complete the program in approximately two years. Students who transfer course work into the program can complete the program at an accelerated pace.

This online program provides an advanced schedule of offerings to assist students with planning the selection of courses for degree completion. Once admitted, you will receive a schedule of classes to choose from.  Program planning, frequent e-mail and telephone contact with an advisor translates to successful degree completion.

For more information contact Nicole Baptista at (916) 278-6007 or

- Fees and Financial Aid

The online Criminal Justice program is offered through the College of Continuing Education (CCE) at Sacramento State, which is a self support college.  This means that CCE does not receive public funding to run its programs and therefore has a different fee structure than the state-supported main campus programs at Sacramento State.  The tuition for this program is a per unit fee, currently at $370 per unit. 

Most students qualify for some type of financial aid, usually in the form of student loans. Unless they have defaulted on a previous loan, most students qualify for federal loans, as there are no income restrictions. To qualify for financial aid of any kind, undergraduate students must be admitted to Sacramento State and registered in a minimum of six units in the academic term for which the financial aid is awarded.  Because CCE is a self support organization, fee waivers of any kind are not accepted, and some forms of financial aid are not applicable (such as the State University Grant).  For more information about Financial Aid options and processes in this program through Sacramento State, please visit

The first step in applying for any type of financial aid (including loans) is to submit a FAFSA. Students may apply online at and use the Sacramento State school code of 001150.

- Program Faculty

Courses are taught by Sacramento State faculty who are experts in their respective fields. The division of criminal justice faculty are a diverse group with backgrounds in both the academic and applied areas.

- Program Courses and Descriptions

Sac State course listing

The online criminal justice major is a 60 unit program that includes:

Lower Division Courses (12 units) *The lower division courses are prerequisites and must be completed prior to admission.

CRJ 1 - Introduction to Criminal Justice and Society
CRJ 2 - Law of Crimes
CRJ 4 - General Investigative Techniques
CRJ 5 - The Community and the Justice System

Upper Division Courses (24 units)

CRJ 101 - Introduction to Criminal Justice Research Methods
CRJ 102 - Crime and Punishment
CRJ 130 - Fundamentals of Corrections
CRJ 160 - Justice and Public Safety Administration
CRJ 141 - Police and Society
CRJ 123 - Law of Arrest, Search and Seizure
CRJ 121 - Structure and Function of the American Courts
CRJ 190 - Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice

Elective Courses (24 units)

Elective courses are selected from three of seven areas, including: corrections, law enforcement, investigations, supporting courses, administration, crime theory, law and courts, and special courses (including internships and special problems or directed studies).

- Career Enhancement

Completion of a bachelor’s degree opens up many career opportunities in the criminal justice and public safety arena. Federal, state, local and private agencies have an active interest in employees who can translate their work experience and previous course work into an academic degree. The undergraduate program cultivates real-life skills and resources for professionals who currently work within the criminal justice and public safety fields.

Earning a bachelor’s degree is a major accomplishment and is a stepping stone to graduate education. Many high-level employees of these organizations pursue graduate degrees. Combining the flexibility of online education and the mobility of the criminal justice field creates an unparalleled career enhancement.

--Admissions Criteria and Application Process

The following admissions criteria must be met prior to getting admitted to the program:

  1. All four lower division CRJ prerequisite courses must be completed with a C or better within the last ten years.  Older courses require approval from the CRJ department chair.  Work experience and training are not accepted in lieu of academic credit courses.
  2. CSU General Education area A2-Written Communication must be completed with a C- or better.
  3. A course from either CSU General Education area A1-Oral Communication, A3-Critical Thinking, or B4-Quantitative Reasoning must be completed with a C- or better.  You do not need to complete all three areas prior to getting admitted (although it is recommended) - you just need one of the three areas completed to meet this criteria.
  4. Completion of 45 or more CSU transferable units.
  5. An overall GPA of 2.6 is required - no exceptions.

All Sacramento State General Education and Graduation requirements will eventually need to be met before you can graduate from Sacramento State; these are just the requirements for admissions for our program.  Please view the Sacramento State Catalog online at to review all degree requirements for graduation.

It can be confusing to look back over your transcripts and determine if you meet these criteria and just as confusing to search through your local community college for classes that might meet these criteria.  We highly recommend submitting your application and transcripts ASAP for review so we can assist you in determine what requirements you currently meet, what requirements you still need to work on, and what specific classes we will accept for these requirements as well as the other CSU General Education requirements for graduation.

To apply to the Online Bachelor’s Degree Program in Criminal Justice and receive this transcript evaluation, please submit the initial Departmental Application along with copies of all of your college transcripts to the program coordinator via email, fax, or mail (unofficial copies are acceptable initially; official copies are required once you are formally admitting to the program). (Current or former Sacramento State students who are interested in finishing your degree through the online CRJ program: please submit the departmental application and note your Sac State student ID on it if you remember what it is, and we will look you up in our system to see if we have access to all of your transcripts or if you need to submit them to us). Please do not submit a formal application to Sacramento State via CSU Mentor yet; wait until you are instructed to do so.  You will receive a full unofficial transcript evaluation which will show you if you meet the admissions criteria or if you need to work on prerequisites first.  You will also find out what all you have completed towards your degree that will transfer to Sacramento State, and what all you will have left to complete in order to graduate from Sacramento State.  If you do not yet meet the admissions criteria, the program coordinator will provide you with detailed information regarding what specific requirements you still need to meet and will assist you in finding the right classes to take so that you can reapply in the future.  If you meet the admissions criteria, you will receive an admissions checklist of what all you need to submit in order to be formally admitted to the program and university.  If you decide to enroll in the program, you will be required to complete a California State University Application for Admission. Admission fees will include a $55 CSU Application Fee and a $75 CRJ Application Fee.  Typically, fall admissions have a deadline of July 1, and spring admissions have a deadline of December 1.

-Contact Information

For more information contact Anna Keck at (916) 278-5134 or


-Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • How does this program differ from the on-campus bachelor’s in criminal justice?
    • This online degree completion program is designed to provide flexibility and access to in-service professionals in the criminal justice and public safety fields. Students who admit to this program are transfer ready through completion of the lower division General Education course work and the lower division criminal justice courses.
  • Why do we need this program?
    • It provides an alternative solution for working adult professionals who face limitations due to locale, schedules and other commitments which often make it difficult to complete the degree they started. It provides outreach services to an underserved community.
  • How many units are required in the major?
    • The criminal justice major is 60 units -- 12 lower division units, 24 upper division units and 24 elective units.
  • Can I take the lower division criminal justice courses at a community college?
    • Yes. In fact, the lower division criminal justice courses are prerequisites to the upper division criminal justice courses. The prerequisites must be completed prior to transferring to the program. Completion of lower division General Education courses at a community college is highly recommended.
  • What is the program fee?
    • The program fee is $370 per unit.
  • Is Financial Aid available?
    • Yes. Students may apply for financial assistance by filing a FAFSA online at
  • What are the admissions criteria?
    • Students should be transfer ready and have completed the lower division General Education requirements as well as the lower division criminal justice prerequisites prior to admittance.  Starting Fall 2012, applicants must have a 2.6 overall GPA.
  • What is the application process?
    • Prospective students can download the departmental application and submit unofficial transcripts to CCE. Upon verification of eligibility, students submit the required application documents for CSU admission including the application fees.
  • What are the required application materials?
    • CSU undergraduate application, $55 CSU application fee, $75 department application fee, and official transcripts. Additionally, some students may be asked to submit a high school transcript, community college assessment in math, professional resume, and a personal statement.
  • How are the courses delivered online?
  • How long will it take me to finish the program?
    • The duration of the program varies from student to student based on how many classes are transferred in.  Most students can finish within 2 years.  Students with remaining GE requirements can complete them concurrently at the community college.
  • Is academic advising available?
    • YES! Each student automatically receives a personalized evaluation outlining the coursework required for the undergraduate degree. The program unofficially evaluates transfer credit and professional experience for each student.
  • Which departments are listed on my diploma?
    • The division of criminal justice and College of Health & Human Services are on your diploma.

See also the Sacramento State Division of Criminal Justice

Eligibility: Students must be admitted to Sacramento State and the online criminal justice program.


  • CRJ 001 Introduction to Criminal Justice and Society
  • CRJ 002 Law of Crimes
  • CRJ 004 General Investigative Techniques
  • CRJ 005 The Community and the Justice System