Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice FAQs


How does this program differ from the on-campus bachelor’s degree in criminal justice?

This online degree completion program is designed to provide flexibility and access to professionals in the criminal justice and public safety fields. Students admitted to this program have completed their lower division general education course work and the lower division criminal justice prerequisite courses.

While the degree that you will earn is the same as the on-campus program, and the degree requirements are the same as in the on-campus program, there are a few key structural differences regarding how this program operates:

  1. Fees:  This program operates on a per unit fee structure, meaning you pay for each unit you enroll in as you go.  Currently, the fee is $489 per unit, making each 3 unit course $1,467. This is very different from the on-campus program, which charges a flat rate tuition for either full- or part-time enrollment in addition to several mandatory campus fees.  This program does not charge the mandatory campus fees; only the per unit fee.  This per unit fee is the same for out of state students as well.
  2. Modality: All courses offered through this program are fully online and accelerated.  Courses are also asynchronous meaning there is not a set time that you must log into class and participate in real time.  There are, however, regular due dates throughout the course that you must adhere to.
  3. Campus services: Because you do not pay the mandatory campus fees, there are several campus services that you would not have access to (e.g., the campus health clinic).
  4. Course offerings:  This program is much smaller than the on-campus program and as such, there are not as many course options offered each semester.  You may not have as many options to pick from for your electives in your major.  This program will provide all necessary upper division courses that you need in order to graduate, though if you have any remaining lower division courses to complete (for your General Education, for example), you would need to take those at a community college.  Our advising staff will help you select the right courses to take and transfer in. 

I see that the admission period for Sac State has already passed for this upcoming term. Can I still apply to this program?

Most likely, yes. This program has different application deadlines than traditional campus programs.

I already applied to Sac State and got admitted to the criminal justice major, but I didn’t apply directly to this online program. Can I just switch over to the online program?

You can request to switch over, but this request must be approved by the Division of Criminal Justice department chair. Please contact us for further information so we can assist you.

I would like to apply to this program. I should start by submitting an application through CSU Apply, right?

No. Please do not submit the CSU Apply application until after you have been advised to do so by the advisor for this program. Please first submit the Departmental Application and transcripts to us for review.

Why would I 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 also provides outreach services to an under-served 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. All students must still complete all Sacramento State general education and graduation requirements as well as a minimum of 120 total units in order to graduate.

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 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 does the program cost?

The program fee is $489 per unit.

Is financial aid available?

Yes. Students may apply for financial assistance by filing a FAFSA online at

What are the admissions criteria?

All students must have: 

  • A minimum of 45 transferable units 
  • GE area A2 Written Communication completed with a C- grade or higher
  • Either GE area A1 Oral Communications, A3 Critical Thinking, or B4 Quantitative Reasoning completed with a C- grade or higher. While only one of these three GE areas must be completed prior to admission, it is highly recommended that all three areas be completed prior to admission. 
  • All four lower division CRJ courses must be completed within the last 7 years with a C grade or higher.  Please confirm with us if you are taking the correct equivalent courses at your local college. The Sac State courses are:
    • CRJ 1 Introduction to Criminal Justice
    • CRJ 2 Law of Crimes
    • CRJ 4 General Investigative Techniques
    • CRJ 5 The Community and the Justice System
  • An overall GPA of a 2.6 or higher

What is the application process?

Prospective students can download the Departmental Application and submit unofficial transcripts to CCE. The program advisor will complete a full transcript evaluation to determine if the admissions criteria are met, as well as reviewing overall degree progress.  Upon verification of eligibility, students will be guided through the formal admissions process and will submit the required application documents for CSU admission including the application fees.  If the student does not meet the admissions criteria, they will receive advising to help them meet the admissions criteria in the future.

What are the required admissions materials?

  • Departmental application and $50 fee
  • CSU undergraduate application and $70 fee
  • Official transcripts
  • Other documents as needed based on your academic record

Some students may be asked to submit a high school transcript, community college assessment in math, professional resume and a personal statement. Please remember that students do not and should not submit the above admissions materials until instructed to do so.  Please start with the unofficial transcript review process.

How are the courses delivered online?

The program utilizes Canvas, an interactive communication tool. Canvas allows around-the-clock access to the classroom. See for more information.

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.  Most students can finish within two 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 bachelor’s degree. The program unofficially evaluates transfer credit and professional experience for each student.

What will my diploma look like?

Students graduating from the program will receive a degree from Sacramento State. The Division of Criminal Justice and the College of Health & Human Services will be listed on your diploma.

See also the Sacramento State Division of Criminal Justice.