Declaring/Changing Major

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The Justice Studies Department, along with Forensic Science, are impacted majors, which means that we require additional admissions criteria to declare us as your major. Currently we have an open application period for matriculated students who wish to pursue Justice Studies or Forensic Science as their major. The open application period is October 15 to October 31 for students applying to either major in the Spring semester, and March 1 to March 15 for students applying to either major in the Fall semester.

HOW TO APPLY

Before you apply to change or declare your major, you must meet the criteria based on majoring in either Justice Studies or Forensic Science.

If you meet the minimum criteria, and wish to change or declare your major, you need to assemble your application packet.  The following is required in your packet.  All paperwork must be filled out completely and should be turned into the Justice Studies Department Office in MacQuarrie Hall room 524.

  1. Change of Major Form (the form is the same if you are declaring your major for the first time as well.  It can be found at the Registrar’s webpage)
  2. Copies of unofficial transcripts (all colleges.  i.e. community college, other universities, SJSU)
  3. Letter of Intent (usually about a page explaining your reason for declaring or changing your major to Justice Studies or Forensic Science)
  4. Personalized Graduation Plan
    1. Students with fewer than 90 units of coursework must turn in an informal personalized plan to graduate. This must be a semester-by-semester plan showing how many courses will be taken and in what areas, and identifying all required courses, until completion of the degree.  (Here is a sample graduation plan.)
    2. Students with more than 90 units of coursework must complete a major contract (e.g., Justice Studies Graduation Form, Forensic Science-Biology Graduation Form, Forensic Science-Chemistry Graduation Form) detailing specific courses that will be applied toward graduation in the major and in which semesters those courses will be taken. If accepted into the major, the student will be required to apply to graduate.

Justice Studies Major Criteria

Qualifying courses:  Take two of the following qualifying courses at SJSU within 60 units of arriving at SJSU:

Engl 1B Composition 2 or pass the WST
JS 10 “Introduction to Justice Studies”, JS 12 “Introduction to Legal Studies, or JS 25 “Introduction to Human Rights”
Stat 95 “Elementary Statistics”
D3 GE: Any course from “Social Issues: GE Area D3″

Each Fall and Spring, the number of open spaces in the Justice Studies major will be determined (usually November and March). Freshman students wanting to declare Justice Studies will be ranked based on their overall SJSU GPA (which must include two of the above courses). Starting at the top of the list, students will be approved for declaring Justice Studies until the number of open slots at the time is filled.

Things you need to know about your situation:

Declaring Justice Studies as your major will be competitive.  A rule of thumb for a target GPA is 3.0.  In other words, you should strive for an overall GPA of 3.0 to have a strong chance of qualifying to declare Justice Studies as your major.

Don’t take all these qualifying courses in one semester – spread them out over at least two semesters.

Take no more than one qualifying course in your first semester.  Give yourself a chance to get acclimated to college.

Have a back-up plan.  Look for a second field, outside of Justice Studies, that really interests you.  Think of pursuing this field as a minor.  Start taking courses in that field such that you can switch to that field as your major, in case you cannot qualify for Justice Studies.  You can still minor in Justice Studies.  Your major and minor, then, will make a good combination, with good career potential.

Forensic Science Major Criteria

Qualifying courses:  Take two of the following qualifying courses at SJSU within 60 units of arriving at SJSU:

Engl 1B Composition 2 or pass the WST
FS 11 “Survey of Forensic Science”
Stat 95 “Elementary Statistics”
GE: Any GE Course & BIO 1A or CHEM 1A

Each Fall and Spring, the number of open spaces in the Justice Studies major will be determined (usually November and March).  Freshman students wanting to declare Forensic Science will be ranked based on their overall SJSU GPA (which must include two of the above courses).  Starting at the top of the list, students will be approved for declaring Forensic Science concentration in Biology or Chemistry until the number of open slots at the time is filled.

For any questions regarding your application to the Forensic Science Programs, please contact Dr. Steven Lee, Director of the Forensic Science Program: steven.lee@sjsu.edu.

Things you need to know about your situation:

Declaring Forensic Science as your major will be competitive.  A rule of thumb for a target GPA is 3.0.  In other words, you should strive for an overall GPA of 3.0 to have a strong chance of qualifying to declare Forensic Science as your major.

Things you need to know about your situation:

Declaring Justice Studies as your major will be competitive.  A rule of thumb for a target GPA is 3.0.  In other words, you should strive for an overall GPA of 3.0 to have a strong chance of qualifying to declare Justice Studies as your major.

Things you need to know about your situation:

Don’t take all these qualifying courses in one semester – spread them out over at least two semesters.

Take no more than one qualifying course in your first semester.  Give yourself a chance to get acclimated to college.

Have a back-up plan.  Look for a second field, outside of Forensic Science, that really interests you such as Justice Studies, Biology or Chemistry.  Start taking courses in that field such that you can switch to that field as your major, in case you cannot qualify for Forensic Science.