M.S. in Criminology

The Masters Degree in Criminology is a flexible program that provides a solid core in the field of criminology, while permitting students to pursue specialized areas of interest.  The Masters Program is designed to prepare students for service and responsible administrative and professional positions in agencies within the criminal justice system.

The Masters Program also prepares students for a wide variety of occupations including in-service education, administrative education and management, community college teaching, counseling, doctoral studies, and research.  Since offering our first graduate criminology course in 1957, the Masters Program has become the most comprehensive masters degree program in the discipline between Sacramento and Los Angeles.  It is an advanced program that now draws students from all over the United States.

Application materials for the University and the Department are available in the hyperlinks to the right under Graduate Program Forms.  For other questions, please contact the graduate coordinator Dr. George Kikuchi at gkikuchi@csufresno.edu or the Department.

California State University, Fresno
Department of Criminology
2576 E San Ramon M/S ST104
Fresno CA 93740-8029
Telephone: (559) 278-2305
FAX: (559) 278-7265

The Admissions Process

There are several steps to be admitted in the M.S. in Criminology program at Fresno State.  The following sections detail the process.

Graduate Program Application Forms

Online University Graduate Admission Application, Graduate Program Information Sheet, and Criminology Department Application for Graduate Study Recommendation Form (3 are required)

Completing a Master of Science Degree in Criminology at California State University, Fresno requires the following:

  • Completing the University online application found at www.csumentor.edu
  • Admission to the Department of Criminology Graduate Program by completing an Application for Graduate Study for the Criminology Program at California State University, Fresno. 
  • Completion of the 30 units of course requirements.
  • Completion of the "culminating experience" comprehensive examination, project or a thesis.

Admission to the University

Admission to graduate standing is prerequisite to admission to the Department of Criminology Graduate Program.  Note: A University Graduate Admission Application must also be completed and submitted.  This is in addition to the application that is required for admission into the Criminology Graduate Program.  Students interested in applying for Fall admission:

Applications for graduate work in Criminology will be accepted from August through February 28.  Review of application materials will begin in March.  All applications received throughout the admittance period will receive full consideration.  Please contact Dr. George Kikuchi at gkikuchi@csufresno.edu for further information.

Admission to the Department

A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a grade point average (GPA) of at least a 3.0 (on a 4-point scale).  Completion of the general aptitude portion of the Graduate Records Examination (GRE).  A completed Application for Graduate Study for the Criminology Program at California State University, Fresno.  Three completed recommendation forms for Graduate Study in Criminology.  A personal essay focusing on a student's "Statement of Purpose."  An interview may be required by the Criminology Graduate Committee.  For additional questions, please contact Dr. George Kikuchi at gkikuchi@csufresno.edu.

Additional Admissions Information 

Completion of all of the above will allow a student to be admitted with classified standing (full admission).

Conditional classified standing may be granted to students who are deficient due to the lack of prerequisite baccalaureate course work.  Any serious deficiencies, those where substitutions cannot be made, must be made up during the first semester of graduate study.

The following content represents prerequisite knowledge for entry into the Criminology Graduate Program.  A meeting with the graduate coordinator is suggested for clarification.  If students lack the required knowledge, they may take the following courses which may not be used toward the master's degree:

CRIM 100: Criminology, CRIM 102: Criminal Justice Organization and Management, CRIM 117: Criminal Legal Process, and CRIM 170: Research Methods

If you have questions, you may email the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. George Kikuchi at gkikuchi@csufresno.edu.

                                          Graduate Internship (CRIM 281)

The Graduate Criminology Degree offers selective internships.  This is a credit or no credit (CR/NC) graded class.

If you have questions, you may email the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. George Kikuchi at gkikuchi@csufresno.edu.

                                      The Culminating Experience Requirement

Upon completion of all core courses (CRIM 200, CRIM 201, CRIM 202, CRIM 203, and CRIM 204) students are eligible to select a culminating experience.  The student may select from a comprehensive examination, a project (CRIM 298) or a thesis (CRIM 299).  CRIM 295 is taken during the final semesters in preparation for either of the culminating experiences.

STUDENTS MAY NOT MOVE FROM ONE CULMINATING EXPERIENCE TO ANOTHER.  ONCE THE CHOICE IS MADE, THAT CHOICE REMAINS TO BE COMPLETED IN ORDER TO OBTAIN A MASTER OF SCIENCE IN CRIMINOLOGY.

Students wishing to pursue a Master of Science in Criminology have choices in selecting the culminating experience.

The Comprehensive Examination:

Students selecting this option will be provided questions from prior examinations, study sheets, and have an opportunity to form cohorts for study.  Faculty has willingly attended some study sessions when students need clarification on particular issues.  Students may take the comprehensive examination two times before being removed from the program.  The comprehensive examination is offered one time during both the fall and spring semesters.

The Graduate Project (CRIM 298):

Faculty may use students' GRE scores and GPA to assess the students' sound writing, analytical, and research skills as part of the decision to work with students on a project.  The final decision rests with the faculty to work with a student with their project.  Students need to be aware that Fresno State now charges tuition for zero credits and projects may not always be completed in two semesters.  A graduate degree must be completed in five years and semesters taken to work on the project are charged as zero credits.

The Thesis (CRIM 299):

Faculty may use students' GRE scores and GPA to assess the students' sound writing, analytical, and research skills as part of the decision to work with students on a project.  University policies and Graduate Studies regulate the thesis in conjunction with the faculty chair of the thesis committee.  The final decision rests with the faculty to supervise a student thesis.  Students need to be aware that Fresno State now charges tuition for zero credits and a thesis may not always be completed in two semesters.  A graduate degree must be completed in five years and semesters taken to work on the thesis are charged as zero credits.

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