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 for information on completing this part of the application process. Payment of the CSU Application Fee of $70 will be accepted by credit card or paypal only. The payment must be made in order to submit your Cal State Apply university application.


The Department of Justice Studies accepts applicants in the fall and spring semesters.

The application deadline for students interested in beginning in spring semester is November 1 for domestic applicants and October 1 for international applicants.

The application deadline for students interested in beginning in fall semester is May 1 for domestic applicants and April 1 for international applicants.

Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations (GAPE) requires the followingby the deadlines listed above.  

  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 3.0 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 accepts students for both fall and spring semesters. Application deadlines for fall semesters are in the preceding spring. Applicantion deadlines for spring semesters are in the preceeding fall semesters.

Part 2.

The following information must be submitted to Cal State Apply by the deadlines listed above. Two items are required:

  1. Two (2) letters of recommendation — Recommenders should discuss your academic ability and potential to succeed at the graduate level.  Academic references are preferred.
  2. 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.
  3. Unofficial Transcripts

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Program Prerequisites

In addition to the admission requirements of the university, the Justice Studies Department has a set of requirements that do not prevent admission, but will place students in "conditional classified standing." In essence, the program expects students to develop an expertise 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 an equivalent course after being admitted.
  • Statistics course—the student lacking this may be required to take an equivalent course after being admitted.
  • Baccalaureate degree in any field from a recognized university.  
  • 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.