Department of Criminal Justice Studies - St. Cloud State University

Department of Criminal Justice - School of Public Affairs

PSEL Advising FAQ

Click on each question to view the answer.



Q: [+/-]How do I apply to the Pubilc Safety Executive Leadership Program?


  •  First, you must apply to a graduate program, such as the Public Safety Executive Leadership program, by submitting an application to the School of Graduate Studies. Application materials can be accessed through the School of Graduate Studies website:

    You should follow all of the instructions on the graduate application and include the additional materials that are required for admission.

    • Students who earned a Baccalaureate degree in related disciplines, including Social Sciences, Business Administration, and Education from an accredited institution are eligible for the PSEL program; they must submit an official transcript reflecting that they have earned a Baccalaureate degree.
    • Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation from current or past work supervisors.
    • Have two or more years of experience in a public safety, probation, parole or private security agency. Applicants with less than two years’ experience can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
    • The applicant must be employed full-time in a public safety agency. Those employed part-time in an agency may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
    • The applicant is required to include a statement of intent not exceeding five typewritten, double-spaced pages describing his or her prior education, relevant professional experience, career goals and how the Public Safety Executive Leadership Program may help them achieve those goals.
    • Complete a SCSU Graduate School application ($35.00 nonrefundable application fee)

    • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is NOT required for admission into the Public Safety Executive Leadership program.  

    Recommendation forms can be retrieved by accessing

    All application materials should be sent to:

    School of Graduate Studies

    St. Cloud State University

    121 Administrative Services

    720 Fourth Avenue South

    St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498

Q: [+/-]If my undergraduate degree is in a field other than Criminal Justice, can I still apply for the Public Safety Executive program?


  •  Yes. The Master of Science in Public Safety Executive Leadership is designed for lower to mid-level managers in public safety, probation, parole, private security.”

    • Students with draw from their public safety experience as a part of their education process.

Q: [+/-]If I am eligible for the Graduate School at SCSU, does this automatically mean that I am admitted to the Public Safety Executive Leadership Program?


  • • No. Admission and acceptance into the SCSU Graduate School does not mean you are automatically admitted to the PSEL Graduate Program. A student will not be admitted into the PSEL Graduate Program until after PSEL Department review of the student's application, and its approval by the Director of the PSEL Graduate Program. Once these steps are completed, the student is officially admitted to the PSEL Graduate Program.

    • Before being accepted by the Graduate School at SCSU, students holding a Bachelor's degree are permitted to complete one academic term of graduate coursework or up to six SCSU graduate credits as a "special student." However, it is important to note that it is possible that your Criminal Justice advisor may not accept these credits as part of your program. Therefore, it is critically important that you work closely with your "tentative" PSEL advisor early in your graduate degree program to avoid taking unneeded courses.

    • You must be admitted to the Public Safety Executive Leadership Graduate program before you complete 16 SCSU graduate credits. However, all of these courses may not be accepted as part of your proposed program of study. In order to avoid such a situation, meet with your PSEL graduate advisor early in your graduate program.

Q: [+/-]What specific admission requirements are considered for the Public Safety Executive Leadership Program?


• Undergraduate GPA is closely reviewed.

• Employment experience relative to public safety, probation, parole, or private sector security or criminal justice matters is required.

• Admission decisions are made as completed application files are received.

• Students must meet all the application procedures for graduate school at St. Cloud State University before being admitted to the Public Safety Executive Leadership program.

• Students who do not meet standard admission requirements may be permitted to demonstrate their scholarship and qualify for acceptance by completing a limited program of graduate course work (probationary status). Contact the School of Graduate Studies or Dr. Hennessy, the director of the Public Safety Executive Leadership program, if you are interested in enrolling as a graduate student in this alternative program.

Q: [+/-]As an international student, do I have to complete additional admissions requirements?


Q: [+/-]Once admitted and accepted into the CJS Graduate Program, how do I go about obtaining a Public Safety Executive Leadership faculty advisor?


• The PSEL Graduate Program Director makes Department Graduate Advisor assignments. On the application to the Graduate Degree Program, a student can request that a certain professor be assigned as his or her advisor. It is recommended that the student inform CJS Graduate Program Director of an advisor preference so that PSEL Graduate Program Director can comply with the student's wishes, if possible, when making advisor assignments. However, even if a student requests a certain professor as an advisor, that professor must also agree with this arrangement. Those students who do not indicate an advisor preference on their application will have one selected for them. Your graduate advisor will be assigned as soon as you are admitted to the PSEL Master's Degree Program. At the time a graduate advisor is assigned, a meeting should be

scheduled with the Public Safety Executive Leadership program graduate advisor. Note that your PSEL Graduate Advisor's role is to offer you sound advice on the Master's Degree Program and curriculum.

• You may change your advisor by utilizing the Change of Advisor form located on the School of Graduate Studies, Current Students Forms page

Q: [+/-]When (How often) should I contact my advisor?


• Newly admitted Graduate Students should contact their advisors prior to their first semester to discuss program options and the specific needs of the student. Additionally, students are encouraged to speak with their advisors at least once per semester to discuss degree progress and to make sure they are effectively working towards the completion of the degree.

• Although most advisors maintain regular office hours, many prefer that students set up appointments in advance. This will ensure that adequate time can be set aside to fully discuss the needs and concerns of the student. The best forms of contact are through E-mail and voice mail.

Q: [+/-]What does it mean to be a Graduate Student?


  • The School of Graduate Studies website is a valuable source of information for newly admitted students. Information on the website includes tips on utilizing campus services and planning of the course of study.
  • The following PowerPoint presentation from the School of Graduate Studies website explains what to expect being a Graduate Student

Financial Aid

Q: [+/-]How will I pay for my degree?


  • There are several different ways to fund a Master’s degree including Financial Aid and Graduate Assistantships. 
    • Financial Aid for graduate students includes loans, employment, and scholarships.  Unlike Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students are not eligible for grants.
      •  In order for the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid to determine loan eligibility for graduate students, a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed by the student.  This form can be completed electronically at   Near the end of the FAFSA, the student must enter the Federal School Code that corresponds with the college that he or she is planning to attend.  By entering the correct Federal School Code, the information entered will be sent directly to the mentioned college.  St. Cloud State University’s Federal School Code is 002377.
      • A detailed description of campus employment opportunities can be reviewed by accessing the employment section of the financial aid website at
      • Scholarships are available to interested applicants who are planning to attend or are already attending St. Cloud State University.  To determine available and applicable scholarships, students should utilize the St. Cloud State Scholarship Search at
      • Graduate Assistantships are academically-related employment appointments reserved for graduate students.  At St. Cloud State, there are three types of assistantships: program assistants, research assistants, and teaching assistant positions.  Students who are hired as a Graduate Assistant (GA) will be paid a salary and will also receive a tuition waiver for up to eight credits per semester during the academic year.  A detailed description of St. Cloud State Graduate Assistantships, including openings, application materials, handbook, and policies, can be viewed through the Graduate Studies’ webpage at The Graduate Assistantship application can be accessed electronically at  or can be picked up at the School of Graduate Studies office in AS 121.

Q: [+/-]How can I apply for graduate assistantships and scholarships?


  • Prospective students may access the graduate catalog to apply for graduate assistantships and scholarships.  U.S. citizens/residents and international students have separate forms to fill out.  Graduate Catalog:
    The graduate catalog also provides prospective students with general admission requirements, admission timelines and deadlines, the application for graduate school, and additional information on the GRE and GMAT examinations, as well as a new student orientation.

Q: [+/-]What is the cost of tuition?


  • The cost of graduate tuition varies according to the number of enrolled credits, course type, residency and reciprocity eligibility.  For an up-to-date, detailed description of graduate tuition, including student fees, please refer to the Graduate Catalog which can be accessed electronically at

Transfer Students

Q: [+/-]I have graduate credits from a previous academic institution. How do I transfer those credits to St. Cloud State, and how will I know when and how they transfer?


    • A maximum of 10 semester credits completed at other accredited universities may be considered for application to the master’s degree. Additionally, the School of Graduate Studies has the following guidelines for graduate program transfer credits:

Acceptable as a Transfer Credit: To be accepted as transfer credit and applied towards a SCSU graduate degree, the following conditions must be met:

  • Credit must be from a regionally accredited educational institution that is approved to offer graduate degree programs in the major field where the credit was earned at the time the credit was earned.
  • Credit must be appropriate to the student's program.
  • Course evaluation and approval by the student's major adviser and the School of Graduate Studies is required.
  • At time of transfer, credit must be officially recorded on the approved program form.

Not Acceptable as a Transfer Credit: The following will not be accepted as transfer credit:

  • Correspondence, individual or similar study.
  • Credit earned at a location in Minnesota through a university headquartered in another state or country.
  • Credit for courses conducted by proprietary groups.
  • Credit applied towards another degree.
  • Extended campus credit from a university that does not accept that credit for its own on-campus graduate programs.
  • Workshops, continuing education courses and in-service training credits.

Additional Transfer Guidelines:

  • The grade recorded for these credits must be a B or above, or an S or P in S/U or P/F grading systems.
  • No transfer credit can be accepted that was earned more than seven years prior to completion of the degree.
  • For the fifth-year program, a maximum of 10 semester credits of graduate and advanced undergraduate work earned after the awarding of a bachelor's degree may be accepted. A grade of C or better must have been achieved in the courses.
  • With the prior approval of the graduate adviser and the graduate dean, a maximum of 16 semester credits of appropriate graduate credit may be transferred from other universities of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System and applied to a program at St. Cloud State University.
  • When transferring credit to a specialist degree program, a minimum of 20 of the last 30 credits must be taken at this institution.
  • After the student's program of study has been approved, no additional transfer credits will be accepted unless the student has received prior approval via the petition process.
  • Any questions or concerns about the transferability of credit earned at other institutions should be directed to the School of Graduate Studies before a student enrolls for that credit.
  • The student must request that an official transcript be sent directly to the School of Graduate Studies by the institution awarding the credit. Official transcripts submitted from other institutions are for use in the applicant's admission process and pursuit of the degree at SCSU. These transcripts, or copies of them, cannot be issued to the student or other institutions.

Transfer Students

Q: [+/-]Can I complete the PSEL degree online?


  • Depending on location, PSEL classes can be attended via person computer with respective software being used at the time or at an ITV site at or close to the students location, if it is a considerable distance away from the St. Cloud campus.  PSEL classes are of a hybrid nature, meeting four or five times per semester as well as on-line.  

Q: [+/-]I want to know the course requirements of a specific online class prior to registration. Aside from the instructor, where can I find online course requirements?


Q: [+/-]My course description suggests that I will need to complete proctored exams. What is a proctored exam?


  • A proctored exam is an exam that must be administered by a supervisor to ensure the integrity of the exam.  Students who are able can complete proctored exams in the Center for Continuing Studies on-campus. 
  • Students who need to complete a proctored exam on-campus must schedule an appointment through the Testing Center at the Center for Continuing Studies at
  • Students who take proctored exams on-campus must bring a form of photo identification.  If a form of photo identification is not provided, the appointment will be cancelled and must be rescheduled for a later time.

Q: [+/-]Can I take my online exams out-of-state or out-of country?


To fill out Monitor Request Form:

  • Download the Monitor Request Form (PDF) .
  • The form must be filled out completely. Use one form to list all courses and exams. Your Monitor must sign the form or it will not be accepted. Your request may be delayed if any of the information requested on the form is missing or you do not follow the guidelines in selecting a monitor.
  • Within one week after we have approved your monitor request, your test materials will be mailed. If your monitor request is not approved, or if we have any questions about your monitor, we will email you at your HuskyNet account.
  • All testing must be completed at a testing facility (University, Community or Technical College).

    If you live in Minnesota click here to locate a campus near your home:

If you live outside the state of Minnesota or you do not live near a MnSCU testing facility, you must find a University, Community or Technical College near you. The monitor you choose must have a four-year Bachelor's Degree, and cannot be a close friend, relative or direct supervisor. Click here to find a Testing Center near you:
Students are responsible for paying any proctor fees incurred, which includes providing the proctor with a postage-paid envelope for mailing the exams back to our office. Exams must be mailed back to our office as soon as the student is done taking them. The proctor is not to hold on to the exams. The exams must be mailed from the proctor’s office.

Q: [+/-]What is D2L?


  • Your online course can be accessed through a program called Desire2Learn (D2L). You do not need any special software for this, only a computer and Internet browser. The majority of your course materials, syllabi, and online discussions or testing (required by some classes) will be housed inside D2L. Once you have officially registered for the course and have activated your HuskyNet account, you will be able to enter D2L and access your syllabi.

Q: [+/-]Who do I contact with problems with my D2L account?


  • For assistance in accessing D2L, contact the Technology Helpdesk at 320-308-2077 or the Helpdesk web page at: Only contact the Help Desk if you are experiencing problems accessing or logging into your D2L. If you have questions on the materials for your course, please contact the Continuing Studies Office, 320-308-3081 or
  • For more information on D2L, log on to the website and look under Student Resources:”



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 provided below.

Download the Peace Office Licensure Advisory: Minimum Selection Standards Sheet at

How many graduate level credits is Skills worth?

Law Enforcement Skills is not worth any college credits for graduate students; however, students may obtain graduate level credits from the prerequisite courses for Skills. These prerequisite courses include:

•    CJS 531: Criminal Procedure (undergraduate: CJS 431), which is worth three graduate credits, and

•    CJS 521 and CJS 522, the Peace Officer Standards and Training courses (undergraduate: CJS 421 and 422), which are worth one graduate credit each.

•    Students with Bachelor degrees are advised to take the Skills prerequisites at the graduate level for a total of five graduate credits.

Q: [+/-]What are the career benefits of a Master's degree in PSEL?


A Master’s degree in PSEL can:

      •  Prepare people currently working in the field for advancement into management and administrative positions.
      • Allow for higher starting salaries for those people entering the field of Criminal Justice.
      • Prepare students for careers in public policy and research by providing skills in statistics and research techniques.

Q: [+/-]What is the purpose of a "Proposed Program of Study Worksheet"?


  • This Proposed Program of Study Worksheet form is your "contract" with the PSEL Department and SCSU Graduate School, describing how you will pursue and complete, with a 3.0 or (above) grade point average, your Master's Degree course requirements.

Q: [+/-]Is there a deadline for completion of this Worksheet?


  • It should be completed as early in the first year of graduate study as possible; and in all cases, before 16 graduate credits are completed. Courses not included in this worksheet may not be accepted as your Master's Degree elective courses.

Q: [+/-]To whom do I submit the completed Program Plan Worksheet?


  • After consultation with your PSEL Department Advisor about your academic goals, degree type and timeline, one copy of your completed Program Plan Worksheet must be signed by your advisor and delivered to the SCSU Graduate School for review and approval.

Q: [+/-]What is a culminating project?


  • A culminating project is the final requirement for completion of a master’s degree. Graduate students in criminal justice are required to complete either a thesis or practicum. The School of Graduate Studies has additional information regarding the culminating project.

Q: [+/-]When are the Preliminary and Final conferences scheduled?


  • Your Preliminary Conference will be scheduled with your three member graduate committee after your first reader approves your Thesis or Practicum Proposal. The Preliminary Conference must be completed at least one semester before the semester of your anticipated degree requirement completion. The Final Conference takes place after your first reader and your graduate committee has read the drafts of your Thesis or Practicum final reports.


Accessing Materials

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.

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: [+/-]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.

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


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

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

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: [+/-]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 progress. The report will list which degree requirements have been completed and which have not. The Degree Audit Report is found under Grades and Transcripts on the e-Services page. .

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.

Student Resources and Networking

Q: [+/-]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.

Q: [+/-]How do I become more involved with the Criminal Justice Program and fellow CJ classmates at SCSU?


  • Try becoming involved in the student based organization, Criminal Justice Association (CJA).  The CJA meets once a month and often has guest speakers and other community activities.  For more information please see the Criminal Justice Association website.

Untitled Document