Campus Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Criminology and Criminal Justice

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Program Description

The postbaccalaureate certificate program is designed for people who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field and are interested in learning about Criminology & Criminal Justice. Our campus-based postbac program provides students with a broad base of knowledge about crime, offenders, victims, and the justice system. This includes coverage of criminological theories, research on crime prevention and crime control policy, and current practices in policing, courts, and corrections. Students graduating with the postbac certificate are well-positioned to pursue a career in criminal justice or seek an advanced degree in this field.

Degree Requirements

Students in the postbaccalaureate certificate program complete courses in three distinct categories (this is in addition to meeting general University requirements for post-bacs):

Required Courses (20 credit hours)

These courses provide students with foundational knowledge and skills that are needed for employment in criminal justice or for the pursuit of an advanced degree in this field of study.

  • CCJ 200 Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • CCJ 320 Theories of Crime
  • CCJ 330 Crime Control Strategies
  • CCJ 380 Criminal Justice Research
  • CCJ 420 Criminal Law and Legal Reasoning

Specialization Courses (8 credit hours)

  • CCJ 230 Policing in America
  • CCJ 240 Punishment and Corrections
  • CCJ 310 American Courts

Elective Courses (12 credit hours)

The Department offers a wide range of elective courses each year that allow students to tailor their CCJ minor to meet particular interests or career aspirations. Any CCJ course not used to satisfy the above requirements counts as an elective. A minimum of 8 of the 16 credits must be taken at the upper division level. Upper division (UD) courses are listed in the range from 300 to 499.

The postbaccalaureate certificate requires 40 total credits in CCJ coursework. Up to 16 lower division transfer credits can be as substitutes. All classes used to satisfy CCJ post-bac requirements, whether taken at PSU or elsewhere, must be passed with a grade of "C" (2.00 GPA) or above.

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The curriculum is largely delivered via in-person classes on PSU’s campus. Some of the courses are periodically offered online or as hybrids with reduced seat time.

Be sure to visit the CCJ Campus Undergraduate Courses page for information about course description and term offerings.

Transfer Credits

The Criminology & Criminal Justice program at PSU has extensive experience with undergraduate transfer students. More than one-half of our students transfer into PSU from the local community colleges and regional Universities so you are likely to run into old classmates. Some of our adjunct faculty also teach at the community colleges making your transition into our program even easier. Articulation agreements with Oregon’s community colleges identify CCJ-related courses that automatically transfer into our Criminology & Criminal Justice major (see list below). Other transfer credits from regionally accredited community colleges, four-year colleges and universities are determined by PSU upon admission.

See how your criminal justice courses from local community colleges transfer into PSU's CCJ undergraduate programs.


The College of Urban and Public Affairs (CUPA), where the Criminology & Criminal Justice department is housed, has professional advisors available to assist students. This includes support for transferring into PSU, understanding BA/BS and general university requirements, course planning for the CCJ major, preparing for graduation, and provision of general program information.

CCJ majors are encouraged to meet regularly with their adviser to ensure that they are on track to graduate.