Graduate Program Admission


Applying for admission is a two-part process:

Part 1.

An electronic application must be submitted to Cal State Apply. (The California State University application portal). Please visit Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations for information on completing this part of the application process. Payment of the CSU Application Fee of $55 will be accepted by credit card or paypal only. The payment must be made in order to submit your Cal State Apply university application.

Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations (GAPE) requires the following information by April 1, 2018 .  

  1. Application submitted through Cal State Apply.
  2. Information for domestic applicants can be found at GAPE Domestic applicants page.
  3. Information for international applicants can be found at GAPE International applicants page.
  4. Applicants must have maintained a 3.0 GPA or higher in their last 60 semester units (90 quarter units) of coursework  and a 3.2 or higher in their respective major.
  5. Official Transcripts (must be sent sealed by the issuing institution)
  6. For detailed application instructions, please use
    the following brochure.

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The Justice Studies graduate program uses a cohort model. Students apply to and are admitted to start only during fall semesters. Application deadlines for fall semesters are in the preceding spring.

Part 2.

The following information must be submitted to the Department of Justice Studies, Graduate Coordinator by April 20, 2018. Three items are required:

  1. Unofficial Transcripts -- All Colleges attended
  2. Two (2) letters of recommendation -- Recommenders should discuss your academic ability and potential to succeed at the graduate level.  Academic references are preferred.
  3. Essay
    To complete this item, respond to the statement below:
    Describe and discuss a justice-related issue you see as important to our society and/or particularly relevant to contemporary times. In your essay, you may want to focus on one or more of the following questions: What are the social causes of this issue? What are its historical origins? What explains its persistence? How does it impact the human rights of individuals involved? How is this issue being addressed by our society? Could it be addressed differently? What policy changes would be needed?
    Your response should be no more than 1,250 words in 12-point font, double-spaced; cite and reference any sources used. Maintain consistent formatting throughout the essay. If submitting via e-mail, use .doc or .pdf format.

Submit these items to the Department by via post or e-mail by April 20, 2018.


Graduate Coordinator
Department of Justice Studies
San José State University
One Washington Square
San José, CA 95192-0050


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Program Prerequisites

In addition to the admission requirements of the university, the Justice Studies Department has requirements that generally do not prevent admission, but do warrant being admitted in what is called "conditionally classified standing." In essence, the program expects students to have foundations in criminology, criminal justice, or justice studies, and in research methods, writing, and statistics.

The prerequisites are:

  • Research methods course--the student lacking this may be required to take JS 114 or equivalent after being admitted.
  • Statistics course--the student lacking this may be required to take JS 15 or equivalent after being admitted.
  • Baccalaureate degree in criminal justice, criminology, or justice studies--the student lacking this may be required to take JS 151 and JS 189 or equivalent after being admitted.
  • Demonstration of advanced writing skills--the student lacking this may be required to take a writing intensive course.

Applicants meeting the university's requirements for the Graduate Division but lacking any of the above requirements for classified standing may, at the department's discretion, be considered for admission to conditionally classified standing. Applicants admitted with requirements to take prerequisite courses must satisfactorily complete the courses in their first year. However, they are encouraged to do so in the summer prior to enrollment in the program and by the end of their first semester of graduate standing.