B.A. Pathway Pre Fall 2021


This pathway is for CJS students who have enrolled at SF State prior to Fall 2021 and intend on completing a Bachelor's Degree. An overview of the course curriculum is available on Youtube. In addition, this pathway offers a sample roadmap and available course selections. 

Students begin with foundation courses followed by electives in 4 areas: administration of justice, crime and delinquency, legal studies, and working with diverse communities. Students finish their studies with a culminating experience course. 


Major Requirements and Applicable Courses

Minimum Units Required
Culminating Experience Course
Core Elective Areas

Major in Criminal Justice Studies Pathway

  • Foundation Course – CJ 300 Criminal Justice: A Cross-Disciplinary Perspective (UD-D, SJ) (4 Units)
  • University Writing Requirement/GWAR (select one) CJ 323 or CJ 330 (3 Units)
  • CJ Distribution Requirement (3-4 Units)
  • Upper Division GE course (3-4 Units)
  • CJ Distribution Requirement (3-4 Units)
  • CJ Distribution Requirement (3-4 Units)
  • CJ Distribution Requirement (3-4 Units)
  • Upper Division GE course (3-4 Units)

See CJ Advisor to check graduation progress (bring degree progress report/unofficial transcript)

  • CJ Distribution Requirement (3-4 Units)
  • CJ Distribution Requirement (3-4 Units)
  • CJ Distribution Requirement (3-4 Units)
  • Upper Division GE course (if necessary) 
  • CJ Distribution Requirement (3-4 Units)
  • Culminating Experience – Field Course CJ 680 (4 Units)

Criminal Justice Studies Foundation (7-8 Units)

C J 300 Criminal Justice: A Cross-Disciplinary Perspective (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper-division standing; GE Areas A1*, A2*, A3*, and B4* all with grades of C- or better; or permission of the instructor.

Analysis and critique of the contemporary criminal justice system. Includes field observation and guest lecturers. Lecture, 3 units; activity, 1 unit.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Social Justice

C J 330GW Research Methods in Criminal Justice - GWAR (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper-division Criminal Justice majors; GE Area A2; C J 300 (may be taken concurrently).

Heuristics refers to data gathering. How and by what basic procedures is data gathered in criminal justice? Data gathering strategies and techniques, the nature of data gathered by an official, governmental agencies, and alternatives to the present arrangement. Lecture, 3 units; activity, 1 unit. (ABC/NC grading only)

Course Attributes:

  • Graduation Writing Assessment

C J 323GW Ethics in Criminal Justice - GWAR (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper division Criminal Justice majors; C J 300 (may be taken concurrently), ENG 214 or equivalent with a grade of C- or better.

Explores ethical issues related to the institution of the criminal justice system, the professions of criminal justice, and politics intended to address crime, law, and justice. (ABC/NC grading only)

Course Attributes:

  • Graduation Writing Assessment

Criminal Justice Studies Electives (24-32 Units)

Select any eight courses from the following four sections:

Course List
Code Title Units
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
Course List
Code Title Units
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 Construction of Crime and Justice 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
Course List
Code Title Units
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
Course List
Code Title Units
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 Making Whites: Race-Making in America 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
WGS 570 Women, Gender, Policy, and Justice 3

Culminating Experience (4 Units)

C J 680 Field Course in Criminal Justice (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; C J 300, GWAR course; or consent of instructor.

Data gathering, organization, and presentation of research to students engaged in field studies in any criminal justice system setting. [CSL may be available]

Note: Total 35-44 units are required for the major, but 120 units are required for graduation. 


General Education and Transfer Student Information

Courses offered through this major program allow students to obtain specialization according to their academic interests and career goals. In addition, many of the courses offered through this major program fulfill Upper Division GE requirements. It is advised that all prospective major students meet with a CJS advisor to review unofficial transcripts and degree progress report to better inform major course selections. Also, ASSIST is a great resource to help determine applicable transfer courses. 

All Students Must Complete Upper Division GE Requirements 

Upper Division GE Requirements: 9 units minimum (three courses) with one course in each of the following groupings: (1) UD-B--Upper Division Physical and/or Life Sciences, (2) UD-C--Upper Division Arts and/or Humanities, and (3) UD-D Upper Division Social Sciences.  Students must also complete SF State Studies requirements of AERM—American and Ethnic Racial Minorities, ES—Environmental Sustainability, GP—Global Perspectives and SJ—Social Justice.  Students can complete SF State Studies through lower or upper division coursework.  Transfer students with a verified AS-T or AD-T do not have to complete SF State Studies requirement; transfer students without an AS-T or AD-T are encouraged to choose upper division coursework in order to ensure completion of SF State Studies.  .

Note: 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:

  1. Introduction to Criminal Justice in the “Administration of Justice“ category and/or
  2. 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.

General Education Requirements

General Education Requirements
Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Humanities LD 3 C2
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
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
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
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.

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 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.

Transfer students should utilize ASSIST and meet with a CJS advisor.

Transfer students should check transfer policy for CAN AJ 2 (Intro to Criminal Justice) & CAN AJ 4 (Concepts of Criminal Law). In addition, transfer students with a verified AS-T or AD-T do not have to complete SF State GE requirement; transfer students without an AS-T or AD-T are encouraged to choose upper division coursework in order to ensure completion of GE requirement. Please meet with a CJS advisor for more information.  

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower-division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. 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.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 units/90 quarters 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 (GE 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 http://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:
    1. One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE Area A1)
    2. One course in written composition (same as CSU GE Area A2)
    3. One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE Area A3)
    4. 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.

For those who do not have a transfer degree, if you’ve taken AJ2 (Intro to Criminal Justice) or AJ4 (Criminal Law), these courses also transfer into the major. Please note: CJ 300 is certified as a UD-D course, with the SJ SF State Studies attached. By completing this course, you satisfy both a major requirement and the university UDD and SJ requirements.

Note: A total of 13 units must be upper-division courses. Up to a total of 3 transfer units from either Introduction to Administration of Justice or Concepts of Criminal Law completed at a California community college may be counted towards meeting requirements for the minor. 

Explore Gator Resources

Already part of the Gator community? Learn more about declaring Criminal Justice Studies as your major!  

You can now declare a major online!  

To Meet with a Criminal Justice Studies advisor, please contact:

Available Advising Centers 

  • Advising Hub
    The Advising Hub is a one-stop-shop of all advising needs to ensure students are on a successful path to graduation with support from General Education and minor advisors. 
  • Undergraduate Advising Center
    UAC is the home base for freshmen during their first year and undeclared students at Sf State.
  • Student Resource Center
    Student Resource Center (SRC) is designed to help students in the development of an educational plan that is compatible with their academic and life goals.

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