Department of Criminal Justice Studies - St. Cloud State University

Department of Criminal Justice - School of Public Affairs

Advising FAQ

Click on each question to view the answer.

Q: [+/-]How do I become a Criminal Justice Major?


  • To be accepted into the major one must have :
    1. Completed CJS 111,
    2. Have completed at least 12 credits at SCSU
    3. And have a GPA of 2.65 or above.
  • Once you have met the above requirements it is highly recommended that you contact the CJS Advising office to be formally admitted to the major.

Q: [+/-] Is there a certain order that I should take required CJS courses?


To avoid any problems with course requirements or any delay in your anticipated graduation date, it is recommended that CJS majors take the following required CJS courses in the following order:

  • Math Prerequisite, ie: MATH 070 (If needed and as determined by math placement test)
  • MATH/STAT 193 (STAT 193 is preferred)
  • STAT 219 and CJS 486
  • CJS 487
  • CJS 415 and 488

Q: [+/-]I am interested in being a Criminal Justice minor. What needs to be done?


Before any student can be admitted to a minor, they must be admitted to a major. If you are already admitted to a major field of study, you may contact the CJS Advising Office to fill out a form for official admission into the Criminal Justice Minor. This form needs to be filled out with an undergraduate advisor (SH 222) and then be signed by you, the advisor and the Department Chair. We will then process the completed form with Records and Registration.

Q: [+/-]I am a first-year student working toward a Criminal Justice major. Where do I start?


  • Typical CJS Degree Progression: Considering the pre-requisite courses for the CJS program, it is recommended that students generally follow the degree path in this order:
    1. General Education classes and CJS 111
    2. Math Prerequisite, ie: MATH 070 (if needed, based on placement exam)
    3. MATH/STAT 193 (STAT 193 preferred)
    4. STAT 219 and CJS 486
    5. CJS 487
    6. CJS 415 and 488
  • General Education Requirements and CJS 111: with the exception of CJS 111, it is recommended that you complete all of your general education classes prior to focusing on Criminal Justice courses. The General Advising Office is best suited to advise on general education courses and requirements but the Criminal Justice Advising Center is also available to help with these questions.
  • Math requirement: make this a priority in your first semester at SCSU. Depending on your math placement results, you may be required to take a course such as MATH 070 as a pre-requisite to your core math class, which is MATH 193 or STAT 193 (CJS prefers STAT 193). It is therefore recommended that students take their math placement test before or during their first semester at SCSU. This must be scheduled through the Office of Undergraduate Studies. This is important because your core MATH or STAT class is a pre-requisite for a required statistics course in the Criminal Justice major (STAT 219).
  • Statistics requirement: STAT 219 is a required course in the Criminal Justice major and should be taken in your sophomore year.
  • Other CJS pre-requisites are as follows:
    • STAT 219 is a pre-requisite for CJS 487
    • CJS 486 is recommended before CJS 487 but it is not a pre-requisite.
    • CJS 487 is a pre-requisite for CJS 415 and CJS 488. Therefore, many CJS students take CJS 486 at the end of their junior year, followed by CJS 487 in the fall of their senior year and CJS 415 and CJS 488 in the second semester of their senior year.
    • CJS 488 is the thesis requirement for a Bachelor of Arts degree in CJS from SCSU and this project is typically started in CJS 487.
  • Students pursuing the law enforcement track: CJS 421, 422, and Skills are required for students pursuing the law enforcement track and will also count towards CJS elective credits. The total elective credits earned through these classes are more than the 12 CJS elective credits required for the major. Therefore, it is recommended that students pursuing the law enforcement track and that are planning on attending Skills should refrain from taking any additional CJS electives. Law enforcement students see question 25, “I want to become a police officer in the state of Minnesota. What is the procedure I must follow to become eligible for that career?”

Students interested in learning more about the general education requirements may view the current undergraduate curriculum.


Q: [+/-]I am considering double majoring, how can the CJ Advising Center help me?


  • The CJS Undergraduate Advising Center assists students with course and academic planning in Criminal Justice and basic information regarding general education requirements. Faculty members in the department of your secondary area of study would be able to best assist you with that particular department’s degree requirements .

Q: [+/-]I transferred to SCSU or am considering transferring to SCSU, what are my first steps?


  1. Students considering attending classes through SCSU must first apply and be accepted with the Admissions Office.
  2. Contact any previous academic institutions and ask them to forward your official academic record to the SCSU Records and Registration Office; 720 4th Ave. S., St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498.
  3. Contact Records and Registration about two weeks after sending in your official transcripts. Once they have received and processed your official records, you may create an account through the e-services sign-in page.  
  4. Review the admissions requirements for transfer students and contact the CJS Advising Office with any further questions.
  5. Become familiar with SCSU’s Degree Audit Report System to find out how your credits transferred in once you are officially enrolled as an SCSU student.
  6. If you are a transfer student within the state of Minnesota, you may visit the state’s “Transferology” website to evaluate how your general education credits might transfer from your current institution into SCSU. Click here for information on SCSU’s current General Education Requirements.

Q: [+/-]I have completed my AA degree and am thinking about getting my BA, where do I begin?


  • General Education Requirements: Under the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum, SCSU considers all General Education requirements met with the transfer of an official Associate in Arts (AA) degree from an accredited MNSCU institution upon completion of SCSU’s PESS 122 class. The university’s PESS 122 class is a 1 credit physical education course required by SCSU for all students.
  • Declare CJS Major When Applying to SCSU: When you apply for admission to SCSU, declare CJS as your major so that your Degree Audit Report reflects the CJS program requirements. This will also help you and your undergraduate advisor better evaluate if there are courses from your previous institution that meet any of our department’s course requirements.
  • Contact the CJS Undergraduate Advising Center: Compare your Degree Audit Report with the CJS program to find out what requirements you have met and which ones you are still required to complete. Then stop by (SH 222), e-mail or call the CJS Undergraduate Advising Center (320-308-3016) to discuss your progress. If you would like further assistance, advisors can also help you customize an academic plan to meet your program goals.
A helpful resource for transfer students is the Transferology website. Transferology is an online tool for students and advisors for determining course equivalencies, program requirements and applicability of coursework when transferring between schools.

Q: [+/-]I have completed my AAS degree and I’m currently considering working toward my BA. I would like suggestions on where to begin.


  • An Associate’s Degree in Applied Science, or an AAS degree is a terminal degree, which means the program is not designed for transfer and is primarily focused on technical skills training. The AAS is intended for students wishing to enter the work force as soon as is practical.  Students graduating with an AAS degree have completed at least 15 general education credits from three of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) goal areas. That means general education courses needed for further education in a liberal arts program will be required because similar course subjects in an AAS program may not cover in the same breadth and depth of a bachelor’s program. Students with AAS degrees are encouraged to refer to "Transferology" to get an idea of what courses have been transferred between schools thus far. See instructions in question 6 for more information.
  • Example:
    1. Go to "Transferology"
    2. Under “look for a course or transfer information,” click “Equivalencies by School.”
    3. In step one, go to the drop-down menu next to “school” and select “St. Cloud State University.”
    4. In step two, go to the drop-down menu next to “type” and select “United States.”
    5. In step two, go to the drop-down menu next to “state” and select “Minnesota.”
    6. Click “go.”
    7. Check the box that says “Add” next to Century Community and Technical College, and then click “Add Schools.”
    8. In step four, click “Create Guide.”
    9. On the St. Cloud State University side drop-down menu, select “CMST.”
    10. Once entered, you will find that “SPCH1021” at Century Community and Technical College is identified as the equivalent to SCSU’s CMST 192 course. This lets you know how your courses taken at your transfer university will transfer in at SCSU.

Q: [+/-]I tried to register for my courses and it said I need an access code. What is this and where can I get it?


  • Access codes are one way that the university helps students maintain appropriate academic progress. They are generated for students who are not yet enrolled in a major. The codes are generally issued to the department that a student has declared as an intended major and it gives you an opportunity to check in with your academic advisor.
  • The Criminal Justice Studies Department has an undergraduate advising center located at Stewart Hall 222, which is where access codes are available for intended CJS majors.
  • If you have questions about what courses to register for, please contact a CJS Academic Advisor for assistance or stop by the Criminal Justice Advising Center during office hours in the spring and fall, Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday .

Q: [+/-]How do I register for courses?


  • Once on the e-Services page click on the link for “Courses and Registration.” Under the list of available options, select “Find a Course.”
  • Select the course you wish to enroll from the drop-down menu and make sure to have the correct semester selected.
  • Next, you have two options:
    • You may register for the class immediately if your registration window is open.
    • If your registration window is not open yet, you may still select courses as described above and place them in your course cart for the semester you selected. Then, when your registration window opens, you can simply go to your course cart, select all the courses you plan to register for and then finalize your registration.
  • If you are not yet admitted into the Criminal Justice Major (See Question 1, How Do I Become a Criminal Justice Major?) you are required to have an access code to finalize your registration. If you have questions regarding the access code please see question 9 above, “I tried to register for my courses and it said I need an access code. What is this and where can I get it?”

Q: [+/-]How do I check my grades?


  • Once on the e-Services web page click on “Grades and Transcripts.” Under that heading “Check Grades” will be listed. Select the semester from the drop-down menu that you would like to check grades for and click “Continue.”

Q: How do I figure my grade point average?


  • The Office of Records and Registration has an online GPA calculator that can be used to figure out your progress or your target GPA. This tool is intended for your personal use but will not provide you with official information. If youneed assistance with calculating your GPAplease call the Office of Records & Registration at 320-308-2111.

Q: How do I find out what my completion rate is and why is it important?


  • Beginning in the fall of 2009, SCSU implemented a policy that could affect a student’s academic standing if the number of classes completed compared with the overall number of credits attempted falls below 66.67 percent. Students whose completion rates fall below 66.67 percent as an undergraduate or graduate student, may risk being put on academic probation and financial aid eligibility will be affected. Click here to view the details of this policy.

Q: [+/-]How do I withdraw from a course?


  • Once on the e-Services web page click on Courses and Registration. On the right hand of the page it displays a column that is headed as “Need Help”? Here you can find a video that explains several common situations students encounter, including withdrawing from a course.

Q: [+/-]How do I know when my registration window opens?


  • Once on the e-Services web page click on Courses and Registration. From the links that appear, click on “Registration Window.” If the semester listed at the top is not correct change it to the correct semester and then go back and select the “Registration Window” link again to view the date and time you are eligible to register.

Q: [+/-]What is a Degree Audit Report?


  • A Degree Audit Report can be accessed through e-Services. This report keeps current track of each student’s academic position. The report will list out which General Education Requirements have been satisfied and which have not. The Degree Audit Report is found under Grades and Transcripts on the e-Services page.

Q: [+/-]I am an online student, where do I take exams?


  • Online students are required to take proctored (monitored) exams for certain courses. There are various options and locations for taking exams which are coordinated through the Center for Continuing Studies. For details regarding scheduling and testing facilities, visit the Center for Continuing Studies web page.

Q: [+/-]Where can I find the texts for my courses?


  • Obtaining a list of your required textbooks and course materials may be found at Husky Books Express

Books may be purchased or rented in person or via the Internet from any campus bookstore:

A student may also obtain textbooks from any online resource, such as Amazon, eBay,, or

Q: [+/-]How do I access my tuition statement?


To access your account, log in to e-services:

  • Click on: Bills and Payments
  • Select: Full account detail  
You can either pay your bill online, by calling the Business Services Office, 320-308-4012, or by mailing your payment to: SCSU, Business Services Accounts Receivables-AS 122, 720 Fourth Ave S, St. Cloud, MN 56301. For further information, visit the Billing and Payment web page.

Q: [+/-]I plan to graduate in three semesters. What needs to be done in preparation for graduation?


  • Verify your degree progress by accessing your Degree Audit Report located under the “Grades and Transcripts” section of the e-services website. If you have questions regarding how to read your Degree Audit Report, contact or stop by the CJS Advising office, SH222.
The office of Records and Registration recommends that students Apply for Graduation one to two full semesters prior to their expected graduation date, which allows time for a preliminary graduation evaluation to be performed. Please visit the CJS Advising Office (SH 222) for help filling out your application for graduation and to obtain an advisor’s signature on your form. Any deficiencies and recommended remedies will then be noted for the student.

Q: [+/-]I’m a new or returning student and I need help researching and writing my papers.  Where can I go for help?


  • The Writing Center is a good resource for on campus to work with tutors to create better work.
  • RefWorks is a web-based program available to students that can help in organizing bibliographies for papers as well as providing additional support for large projects.
  • Ask A Librarian is a 24 hr / 7 day per week resource for undergraduate and graduate students to contact a librarian. Here you can email, call, chat, or set up an appointment with a librarian.This service is good for help with questions regarding research resources both on-campus and through an inter-library network.
  • The Math Skills Center can be a helpful tool for students interested in help with math classes.
  • Additional help available for current students include health and counseling services

Q: [+/-] What is HuskyNet and how do I activate my SCSU e-mail account ?


  • HuskyNet is the technology that connects you to your world, at SCSU and beyond. Use your StarID (username) to log into our technology features, including your SCSU e-mail account, online courses, the campus wired and wireless networks, and personal File and Web storage space. HuskyNet provides your on- and off-campus technology to help you make the most of SCSU.
  • Activate your StarID

Q: [+/-]Who do I contact with problems with my HuskyNet?


SCSU’s Help Desk can solve many technology related problems with your HuskyNet. Ways they can assist you include:

  • Activating your StarID (username)
  • Configuring your laptop for HuskyNet Wireless
  • Using and managing your SCSU e-mail and File/Web Space
  • Learning how to use a computer or storage device
  • Installing Symantec AntiVirus software
  • Removing spyware and viruses from your laptop
  • Using and troubleshooting software
  • Recovering lost or corrupted files

Q: [+/-] What is D2L and who do I contact with problems?


  • D2L, which is short for “Desire 2Learn,” is the online course management system used at St. Cloud State University and all other MnSCU schools. This system lets instructors enhance their courses using the Web as well as offer distance learning options by the creation and distribution of course elements online. It provides a variety of online options including uploading assignments, taking quizzes and listening to course lectures, all through a standard Web browser. Students having trouble with D2L can refer to the D2L help page or contact the D2L help desk by phone (320) 308-2077 or e-mail.

Q: [+/-]I am interested in completing an Internship. Who should I contact?


  • Internships may be taken with agencies or businesses related to the field of Criminal Justice.
  • Before planning an internship, it is recommended that each student meet with an internship advisor to discuss the internship guidelines and possible internship sites. This advisor may be any of the SCSU CJS faculty.

Q: [+/-]I want to become a police officer in the state of Minnesota. What is the procedure I must follow to become eligible for that career?


To become a police officer in the state of Minnesota, one must be “eligible to be Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) licensed.” According to the Minnesota POST board website: “Eligible to be licensed means that you have completed all of the educational or Reciprocity requirements and passed the Minnesota Peace Officer Licensing Exam. Once you have passed the exam, you can be hired anytime within the following three years. After being hired by a law enforcement agency, you can work as a peace officer.”

  • To become eligible to take the POST test, you must first complete a Professional Peace Officer Education program, such as the one offered at SCSU. This includes academic courses, such as SCSU’s CJS 421, CJS 422, and CJS 431, as well as a clinical skills component, which provides you with the technical tools needed for a career in law enforcement.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Minnesota POST Board website and all information pertaining to licensure and education requirements. For questions regarding POST requirements, stop by the CJS Academic Advising Center (SH 222) and speak with the Skills Graduate Assistant.

Q: [+/-]I am interested in attending the Minnesota Law Enforcement Skills program. What needs to be done?


  1. Have an AA degree diploma and/or graduation transcript in hand before you plan to attend skills.
  2. Follow the skills checklist provided in PDF.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the Minnesota POST Board website and all information pertaining to licensure and education requirements.
  4. Watch for an announcement of a “Skills Meeting” early in the fall semester. Skills meetings will be announced on the Department of Criminal Justice Studies website, notices will be posted in the halls around our classrooms, as well as distributed via email. You may also contact the Criminal Justice Undergraduate Academic Advising Center to inquire about being included on the skills distribution list.
  5. Fill out personal information on a roster sheet your academic advisor or coordinator will provide.
  6. A consortium agreement must be filled out and processed if you plan to use financial aid toward your skills training. Stop by the CJS Academic Advising Center for a copy of the forms you need.
  7. For questions regarding POST requirements, stop by the CJS Academic Advising Center (SH 222) and speak with the Skills Graduate Assistant.


Q: [+/-]I am interested in becoming a Licensed Peace Officer in Minnesota. What qualifications must I have?


  • Please see the Peace Office Licensure Advisory: Minimum Selection Standards sheet for the minimum qualifications required to be a Peace Officer in Minnesota found at the Minnesota POST Board website.

Q: [+/-]I already have a degree and am interested in completing a Skills program.  Can I attend the Skills offered at SCSU?


  • To attend the Skills program offered at SCSU you must be an SCSU student.However, completing the prerequisite courses for Skills through SCSU qualifies an individual as an SCSU student.The prerequisite courses for Skills are CJS 111, 431, 421, 422 as well as a recommended First Responder certification.
    1. For those with a degree in a criminal justice field: You will only be required to complete 431, 421, and 422.If you have a four year degree it is suggested that you take these courses at the 500 level (531, 521, and 522) so that it may be applied to a master’s degree if you decide to seek one in the future.For those with a two year degree the regular undergraduate requirements apply.
    2. For those with a degree NOT in a criminal justice field: You will be required to complete all four Criminal Justice courses. CJS 111 is only offered at the undergraduate level however it is suggested that student’s with four year degrees take the remaining courses at the 500 level (531, 521, and 522) so that it may be applied to a master’s degree if you decide to seek one in the future. For those with a two year degree the regular undergraduate requirements apply.
    3. For questions regarding POST requirements, stop by the CJS Academic Advising Center (SH 222) and speak with the Skills Graduate Assistant.

Q: [+/-]What do I do if I am unable to get my homework turned in on time?


  • Be sure you have a good excuse, and adequate photographic documentation as you see here...

(Photo courtesy of Margrit, whose dog did eat the textbook!)









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