Support Page Content
Criminal Justice Advising
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I begin?
- Who do I talk to if I'm interested in Criminal Justice as a major? Can I also learn about career options?
- Can I minor in Criminal Justice?
Academic & Career Guides
- I'm not sure where to begin with my studies. Do you have an overview of what classes I should take?
- Do you have any career information?
- Do you offer internships? Are they required?
- Are there online classes?
- I keep hearing about the WPJ. What is it? Why is it important?
Finding Help with all kinds of things
- Are there any scholarships available?
- Can I have help with my studies? Not just Criminal Justice, but other classes?
- I'm worried about something in my life. Is this a crisis? I need someone to talk to, or help with basic living. Who do I contact?
Graduation and Commencement
- I need to apply for graduation? How do I do that? When?
- What about commencement? How do I sign up for that?
- Where do I get a cap and gown for the commencement ceremony?
Who do I talk to if I'm interested in Criminal Justice as a major?
Visit the Criminal Justice Advising Center in Alpine Hall 133, where we have an advisor dedicated to helping students who wish to become Criminal Justice majors, or need assistance in planning for a career in the criminal justice field. The Criminal Justice Advising Center Coordinator provides academic assistance to both prospective and continuing Criminal Justice majors. (See sidebar for contact information.)
Another great resource is our Faculty of the Division of Criminal Justice. Our faculty come from many areas of expertise, and are happy to discuss these with you as you consider your own career path.
In addition, each student is assigned an advisor to assist with navigating through the Criminal Justice degree. We recommend that students meet with a Criminal Justice advisor once per semester to discuss course planning and graduation.
Can I minor in Criminal Justice?
Sorry, no. Criminal Justice is an impacted program and we are not permitted to have a minor.
Not sure where to begin — do you have an overview?
Yes! The Roadmap to Graduation shows an overview of the courses you would take over a four-year undergraduate career, including suggested General Education courses, and the approximate order in which to take them. Transfer students should refer to Year 3 and 4.
The Major Planning Worksheet for 2019-2020 provides a checklist for your major required courses on the first page, and a list of major electives on the second page.
Do you have any career information?
Yes! We have printable Advising Guides for these career options:
- Crime and Intelligence Analyst
- Law School preparation
- Graduate School preparation
In addition, our Criminal Justice faculty and the Criminal Justice Advising Center are both good resources for more insight into available careers in Criminal Justice.
Another avenue to consider is the Law Enforcement Candidate Scholars' (LECS) Program. LECS has partnered with the Sacramento Police Department and California Highway Patrol to provide a pathway for motivated students to transition directly from college to the police academy, and a career in law enforcement.
Do you offer internships? Are they required?
Yes, there are options for internship (CRJ 195), but no, an internship is not required for graduation.
To qualify for the course, a student must be a declared CRJ major and have senior status (90 units completed at the beginning of the semester of internship). Because of the length of time involved in background checks and other preliminaries, the process for the Internship program begins in the prior semester. CRJ 195 is not offered during the summer.
Like any other course, CRJ 195 has a limited number of seats available and will not be able to accommodate every interested student. Many agencies have an office dedicated to outreach, which can be extremely helpful to the student engaged in career exploration in the criminal justice field. Some offer opportunities to ride-along or job shadow. Some students will also intern at agencies without college credit. Students who have not yet satisfied the prerequisites for the course, or were unsuccessful in obtaining a seat in CRJ 195, are encouraged to pursue this avenue of exploration.
Are there online classes?
Yes! This program offers some classes in an online or hybrid (split between in-person lecture and online teaching days) formats. In addition, you can take courses via CSU FullyOnline, where you can take an online course from another CSU campus each semester, along with your regular courses. We accept these equivalent courses.
However, the online classes available are not meant to compose a pattern that would allow you to take all classes online. If you need a fully-online program, please see the Criminal Justice Degree Completion Program offered through the College of Continuing Education. This program is designed for working professionals who have completed their General Education requirements and are ready to finish their baccalaureate degree. This program offers the same content, is taught by the same instructors, and you will earn a degree identical to the traditional program.
I keep hearing about the WPJ. What is it? Why is it important?
The Writing Placement for Juniors (WPJ) exam is one of the ways to satisfy the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR), where students demonstrate their proficiency in writing in an academic setting. All students are required to satisfy GWAR for graduation.
The WPJ exam itself asks students to write two essays. The first essay asks students to respond and make an argument about a topic represented by several texts. The second essay asks students to discuss their writing history and practices. The standard WPJ is a two-hour essay exam: 15 minutes for instructions, 15 minutes to read the prompts and brainstorm, 1 hour for the first essay, and 30 minutes for the second essay.
Okay, it's important. Why does this matter to me as a Criminal Justice major, particularly?
This is important because one of your required courses, CRJ 190, is designated as a Writing Intensive (WI) course, and requires a WPJ placement score for enrollment in the course. (Because you are required to take a WI course in your major, you do not have to take a second WI course from General Education.) You should take this course in your final semester.
In order to be sure that you have a WPJ placement score on your record in time to register for your final semester, you should take the exam at the earliest opportunity, as a junior. It can be a month or more before scores are posted, so take this into consideration if you schedule your exam late in your academic career.
If you don't feel confident about the exam, you have the option of taking ENGL 109 instead.
Can I get help with my studies, even outside Criminal Justice?
Yes! Criminal Justice usually hires a tutor to help Criminal Justice majors. However, the tutor is usually hired mid-semester.
- The Peer & Academic Resource Center (PARC), Lassen 2200. PARC offers peer tutoring, peer advising, and workshops on improving study skills and time management.
- The Writing Center, Calaveras 128. Peer tutors offer help with reading and writing at all points in the process, from initial planning and organizing through developing and revising a paper or understanding difficult texts. Tutoring is available on both a drop-in and weekly appointment basis.
- Mathematics Tutoring Lab, Brighton 118. The Math Lab is a tutoring center designed to assist students enrolled in lower division mathematics and statistics courses. Students may use this facility on a drop-in basis. Tutors, who provide assistance with course-related problems encountered in homework assignments and in preparation for examinations, are available at no cost. Tutors are either Graduate Assistants, approved by the Graduate Studies office, or Instructional Student Assistants.
I'm worried, need someone to talk to, or ask for help with basic living.
Sacramento State also has a confidential support advocate to assist students who have experienced sexual assault, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, and stalking.
Sacramento State also has services to assist students who are experiencing food or housing insecurity, need basic healthcare, or are experiencing financial hardship.
Are there any scholarships available?
Yes! Sacramento State has a scholarship website. Log in and fill out the web form, and the system will search for all the scholarships you qualify for. Application periods are generally between October and March, so it is important to check back to see if new scholarships have become available during this time.
I need to apply for graduation? How do I do that? When?
Graduation is not automatic. When you have completed 85 units, the Graduation Application will become available in your Student Center. Learn how to apply to graduate online here.
When you apply for graduation, your registration priority improves greatly. For your final semester, as a graduating senior, you will have one of the very highest registration priorities, and one of the earliest registration times to help you get the last few classes you need.
What about commencement? How do I sign up for that?
Commencement is the ceremony held to celebrate your graduation. Sacramento State holds a ceremony at the end of the spring semester at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.
You need to submit a participation request to participate in the ceremony and get tickets for the event.
Where do I get a cap and gown for the commencement ceremony?
Advising Center Coordinator
Drop-In Hours: Monday - Friday 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.