Department of Criminology

Emma Hughes, Chair
Science II Building, Room 159
FAX: 559.278.7265

Degrees and Programs Offered

Courses Offered

The Department of Criminology provides undergraduate and graduate education in criminology for students planning professional careers in the criminal justice field. The program is diversified and integrated, reflecting the wide range of job opportunities in the field, including direct service and administration in law enforcement, corrections, victimology/victim services, juvenile justice, and forensic behavioral sciences. The department offers the Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and a minor. The department will not accept a student with a GPA less than 2.0 as an undergraduate major.

Undergraduate Program

Criminology courses at the undergraduate level include integration of theoretical and applied materials of an interdisciplinary nature. The undergraduate curriculum is designed to prepare students for beginning professional work in criminal justice and to provide preparation for graduate work.

The corrections option is designed for students interested in careers in probation, parole, correctional institutions, and other affiliated forms of work. The law enforcement option is designed for students interested in careers with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, or law enforcement careers within the private sector. The victimology option is designed for students interested in careers in domestic violence programs, rape counseling programs, victim/witness programs, or other victim-related programs at the local, state, or federal level; these programs can either be criminal justice based or community based. The Forensic Behavioral Sciences option prepares students interested in traditional criminal justice careers. However, it is also designed for students who are interested in the application of other behavioral sciences - such as psychology, anthropology, and linguistics - to the criminal justice system. An internship course is required in corrections, law enforcement, and victimology options.

Graduate Program

The Master of Science degree in Criminology is a 30-unit, flexible program which provides a solid core in the field of criminology while permitting students to pursue specialized areas of interest. The master's program is designed to prepare students for service and responsible administrative and professional positions in agencies in the criminal justice system. The master's program also prepares students for a wide variety of occupations including in-service education; administrative education and management; community college teaching; predoctoral studies; and research.


Master of Science in Criminology (Off-Campus) Requirements

The Master of Science program in Criminology offered in downtown Fresno provides students with both theoretical and practical knowledge about our criminal justice system and its management. It prepares professionals for senior positions in government agencies.

The program is open to government employees, including military personnel, their spouses, and those government employees recently laid off from work because of budget cuts. The M.S. in Criminology degree can lead to promotion within a government agency and enhances an employee’s qualifications for senior level positions within criminal justice agencies.

Program content enhances critical thinking skills and guides students in the application of theoretical concepts. In addition to the criminology core courses, remaining courses are in areas related to criminal justice and criminal justice management, such as courses on Homeland Security, the Intelligence Function, Management Information Systems, and Criminal Justice Project Management.

Students progress together through the 30-unit program as a cohort over a 23-month period. Classes meet face-to-face on Friday evenings and all day on Saturdays, with some instruction online. 

Eligible students must: 

  • hold a bachelor’s degree in Criminology or a related area from an accredited university/college 
  • have earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher in last sixty units of undergraduate study

Applicants must apply to the university online at They must also apply to the Criminology Department and submit the following: 

  • three letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores (900 or greater combined verbal/quantitative score desirable)
  • personal essay about purpose of graduate study
  • copy of two undergraduate transcripts 

Starting Fall 2013, the fee is $325 per unit.

Note: the Criminology Department application and recommendation forms can be found at:
To inquire about the Master of Science in Criminology, contact: 
Dr. Harald Otto Schweizer
Science II, Area C - Room 159
2576 E. San Ramon, M/S ST104
Fresno, CA 93740-8029 • 559.278.8880


The criminology department consists of 16 full-time faculty members whose expertise includes numerous specialties in the criminal justice system, including corrections, counseling, victimology, juvenile delinquency, theory, legal studies, supervision and management, and criminal justice administration. Various part-time faculty members from major criminal justice agencies also instruct in the department.

For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.

For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.

The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.