Frequently Asked Questions

New students should arrange a meeting with the Graduate Coordinator by the end of their second quarter. The Graduate Coordinator will help each applicant in planning his or her program based on the student’s goals as well as his or her time constraints. Overall, full-time graduate students can complete the program in approximately two years; part-time students can complete the program from two to five years.

New students are admitted into the program during the fall, winter, and spring quarters. The application deadline for Fall admission is April 1; the application deadline for Winter admission is September 1; the application deadline for Spring admission is December 15. Exceptions for late applications may be made on a case by case basis.

If a student leaves for more than one term, an application for readmission to the University is required. There is a seven year time limit for all graduate coursework to be applied toward the MA degree. A student should plan to graduate within seven years after the first graduate course taken. If courses expire (beyond the seven year limit), it will be necessary for the student to re-take the expired coursework.

All university and departmental graduate deadlines are announced at the beginning of the term. It is the graduate student’s responsibility to keep apprised of these deadlines to ensure timely program completion.

Yes. Up to twelve units may be taken from other departments, provided prior approval has been obtained from the Graduate Coordinator.

Advancement to candidacy is the formal step when the Graduate Studies Program approves the formal filing of the program plan that the student and the Graduate Coordinator have agreed upon.  This typically occurs after a) completion of 20-units of graduate level coursework, b) completion of the Graduate Writing Requirement for Advancement to Candidacy, and c) determination of thesis or comprehensive exam option.

The comprehensive exams evaluate a student’s knowledge of criminal justice in various areas. The purpose of these exams is not to re-test students on courses they have already taken. Rather, it is essential that students show they have acquired the knowledge and skills commensurate with graduate study. A thesis usually entails a research study to test various hypotheses or explore different research questions. The thesis involves developing a prospectus, collecting and analyzing data, as well as writing up the results. After completing 20 units of graduate level courses, students will be asked to identify which culminating experience they would like to pursue (thesis or comprehensive exams) as well as develop a program plan that will be used as the basis for completing the program and advancement to candidacy. Faculty are available to discuss with students as to which culminating experience they should select.

Each applicant is considered on a case-by-case basis. Thus, it is difficult to answer this question with a standard answer. Under certain situations, an applicant may be required to complete additional undergraduate coursework or repeat an undergraduate course prior to being considered for admission.

While the general background of our students varies from term to term, overall approximately two-thirds of our graduate students are part-time; the remaining students are full-time. Most part-time students are professionals in the field.

Applicants can log on to MyCoyote from the CSUSB homepage to check their application status. 

No. Prerequisite classes must be taken first and may not be used to fulfill the 45 unit graduate requirement.       

Yes. The applicant may have to some necessary prerequisites prior to formal admission into the graduate program.

The Graduate Coordinator carefully considers the overall undergraduate GPA as well as the applicant’s GPA in his or her major. An applicant with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher and a GPA of 3.0 or higher in his or her discipline is generally admitted. If the applicant has an overall undergraduate GPA lower than 3.0, submission of recent GRE scores will be required to for consideration for admissions; the application decision is made by the Graduate Committee. Decisions regarding conditional admission, identification of any needed prerequisites, or other special circumstances are made on a case-by-case basis.

Yes. Our program receives applications from students who have majored in criminal justice programs at other universities as well as students who have majored in various disciplines. Applicants are expected to have successfully completed undergraduate courses in criminology, research methods, and statistics.

Applicants can be admitted conditionally. These exceptional admissions are decided in accordance with current department and university policy and on a case-by-case basis. To continue in the graduate program, students on a conditional admission need to complete certain required conditions in their first academic year.

All required classes are held online only. Several 500-level elective courses are held both online and in the classroom. The Criminal Justice MA degree can be completed entirely online or with a combination of online and classroom classes; it is up to each student to examine their schedule and the schedule of courses each quarter to decide which class sections they prefer to enroll in.