Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Bachelor's Bachelor's DegreeOnline2 years

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice


Sacramento State has been a leader in criminal justice and public safety education in California since the early 1960s. For the past 15+ years, we have expanded access to our quality education in criminal justice through this fully online degree program. 

Students will earn a comprehensive education that includes training essential for careers that help to create a safer community.

This program is offered through a partnership between the College of Continuing Education and the College of Health and Human Services at Sacramento State.

Stay tuned for more details on the next Criminal Justice Information Session.

“As a full time mother and full time employee, I found that CCE’s Criminal Justice program worked out great for me. The program allowed me to study at my own pace — anytime, anywhere.”  

Christina C., Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice graduate


  • Career opportunities: Completion of this bachelor’s degree opens up many career opportunities in a variety of environments, including courts, corrections, parole and probation systems, and law enforcement.
  • Cultivation of real-life skills: Federal, state, local and private agencies have an active interest in employees who can translate their work experience and previous coursework 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.
  • Stepping stone to graduate education: Earning a bachelor’s degree is a major accomplishment and is a stepping stone to graduate education. Combining the flexibility of online education and the mobility of the criminal justice field creates an unparalleled career enhancement.


This online and accelerated program is designed for transfer students who have all four of their lower division CRJ courses completed in the major, as well as a majority of CSU General Education coursework complete and a minimum GPA of a 2.6.


Coursework Evaluation

Prospective students receive an evaluation of existing coursework to use as a road map toward degree completion. Each applicant’s academic transcripts and professional experience are reviewed by the program coordinator and an academic counselor.

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 the student.

The applicant then receives a degree completion plan which details and outlines specific courses and activities they must complete to earn the bachelor’s degree.

Program Requirements

Students must be admitted to Sacramento State and the online criminal justice program in order to take courses.

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.

Program Delivery

The program is delivered completely online via Canvas. Courses are taught by a live faculty member behind the computer screen and are taken with your fellow classmates.

Online classes do have specific start and end dates as well as assignment deadlines. However, there are no specific days and times (such as Wednesday at 2 p.m.) 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 eight (8) weeks long in fall and spring terms, and six (6) weeks long in summer. A student who needs to complete all upper-division courses for the major and enrolls in a full load of courses each semester may complete the program in approximately two years. Students who transfer upper division coursework into the program may complete the program at an accelerated pace.

This online program provides the class schedule in advance to assist students with planning their course selections for degree completion. We find that planning your program schedule and keeping in frequent contact with an advisor often translates to successful degree completion.

Program Faculty

Courses are taught by Sacramento State faculty who are experts in their fields. The Division of Criminal Justice faculty are a diverse group with backgrounds in both academic and applied areas. Their academic department is the largest west of the Mississippi River and has the seventh most diverse student enrollment in the country.

Information for current applicants

Formal Admission

If you have been approved for the program, please refer to page one of your unofficial evaluation which includes a checklist of items that you need to submit in order to be formally admitted to the program.  Please complete all items marked as “To Do” on this page, with the exception of the $50 departmental application fee as we will post this fee to your Sac State student record after you are admitted. 

Soon after you have submitted your CSU Apply application, you can set up your SacLink account.  Please note that it may take a few days for our records to be refreshed to allow you to set this up after submitting your CSU Apply application.  

The admissions processes for our program usually is not completed until August for Fall admissions, and early January for Spring admissions.  You will receive an email along with a program schedule and student handbook from the program staff once you are formally admitted.  You will also be added to the program’s Canvas Resource Center which will keep you informed about important deadlines and program information. 

Enrolling in Courses

Registration for our courses follows a slightly different process than our main campus; please do not worry about not seeing enough online course options in the searchable class schedule at this time.  You will receive a separate email from our program with registration instructions including the list of available classes that are set up specifically for our program. You also do not need to adhere to your registration date that is posted in your student schedule as that is only for registering for traditional classes through the main campus. 

Fees and Financial Aid

As of Spring 2024, course fees are $489 per unit. The number of units you may need to take will vary based on your transfer credits and what you have left to complete at Sacramento State in order to graduate. Our advisors can help you determine how many units you would need to complete in our program in order to graduate.

You may apply for financial aid through the FAFSA.  Please note that fees for this program are not the same as the tuition and fees for the traditional program at Sacramento State, and different policies apply. Visit the CCE Financial Aid webpage for more information. 

All fees are subject to change or increase as needed. Learn more about academic program fees.  

Student Handbook

Many of your questions about this program and how it works are answered in our Student Handbook

Course Listing

Criminal Justice Courses

The online criminal justice major is a 60 unit program, 12 of which are transferred in as prerequisites and the remaining 48 in the major are taken online in this program. 

All fees subject to change.