Georgia College and State University

Georgia College and State University is also featured in our ranking 50 Best Value Colleges for a Criminal Justice Degree.

Criminal Justice at Georgia College and State University

Georgia College and State University (GCSU) offers students both a graduate and an undergraduate degree in criminal justice as part of the Department of Government and Sociology. The bachelor's of arts program provides students with a foundation in criminal justice theory as well as related fields like sociology, public policy, social justice, history, and law. There is also an emphasis on analyzing data and research methods. To graduate, students need to complete 120 credit hours, 30 of these specifically related to the major. This consists of a designated 6-course series including Criminology, Police Systems and Practices, and Statistical Analysis for Criminal Justice as well as at least 6 electives. All students complete their studies with a senior capstone experience for which students choose between a research project, internship, or study abroad class.

While the undergraduate program is on campus at GCSU, the master's of science program is offered entirely online to provide course flexibility for working professionals. This program includes a total of 36 credit hours, eight required classes and four electives. Required courses cover many areas of criminal justice ranging from legal considerations to public policy and ethics to statistics. Students can choose their electives based on their career goals, and the department offers many specialty classes like History of Criminal Justice and Crime, International Terrorism, and Correctional Counseling/Treatment. An internship or capstone research project are available to interested students, but neither one is required. However, all students do need to pass a comprehensive examination during their final semester.

About Georgia College and State University

Georgia College and State University is located in the middle of Georgia in the small college town of Milledgeville. First opening in 1889 as a vocational and teaching institution, the school admitted only women for many years, and it was not until 1967 that it became coed. Currently, the school has a population of about 7000 students in both online and on-campus, graduate and undergraduate programs. Divided into four colleges, Arts and Science, Education, Business, and Health Sciences, there are a total of 38 undergraduate and 34 graduate programs. As a member of the University System of Georgia, GCSU is designated the official Public Liberal Arts University in the state and is known for its emphasis on multidisciplinary studies. All undergrads complete a rigorous and expansive general education curriculum in addition to their individual major courses.

In all areas from academics to campus life, faculty emphasize the importance of working for the common good and the responsibility of all professionals to consider societal and environmental consequences of their decisions. Plus, through experiential learning and workshops, students are encouraged to develop and practice their leadership skills. All of these factors have led to GCSU being recognized as a leading public university in the region. The U.S. News and World Report ranks it the 19th best college for veterans, the 10th best public school, and the 5th most innovative school in the ‘Regional Universities South' category. Additionally, the GCSU program is included on the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs list.

Georgia College and State University Accreditation Details

Regional accreditation is the hallmark of a legitimate post-secondary institution, and the process of getting and staying certified is a continuous cycle during which the college or university must prove that it meets certain standards. In fact, this designation is so important that students are only eligible for federal financial aid and many private scholarships if they are attending an accredited school. Georgia College and State University falls in the region of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and was first accredited in 1925 and recertified in 2014. The SACSCOC evaluates all schools in 11 southeastern states and considers both academic and business-related qualities in six different categories including Student Learning and Transparency.

Georgia College and State University Application Requirements

Freshman undergraduate applicants to GCSU can submit their application and $35 fee by mail, via the Common Application, or using the GAFutures.com portal. In any case, supplemental materials must accompany their application including complete official transcripts, 250-word answers to two essay questions, and SAT or ACT scores. Applicants also have the option of including a letter of recommendation, resume, and list of extracurricular activities. All materials must be received by April 1st at the latest with an Early Action deadline of November 1st. For the graduate school, students need to apply via the GCSU website by July 1st for fall enrollment, November 1st to begin in the spring, and April 1st for a summer start. A completed application consists of undergraduate transcripts documenting completion of a bachelor's degree, GRE, GMAT, or MAT test scores, and a resume. The test score requirement is waived for students with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Individuals with a GPA between 2.75 and 2.99 must have a combined GRE score of 290, a GMAT of at least 450, or greater than a 395 MAT score. In some instances, applicants may not meet these test score markers but show potential based on their resume and experience in the field. Provisional admission can be granted to these students as long as they have a GRE between 280 and 289, GMAT above 400, and an MAT above 380. After one semester of successful full-time graduate coursework, these students receive full admission status.

Georgia College and State University Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate tuition rates are dependent on residency status. Including both tuition and fees, full-time in-state students can expect to pay around $4500 per semester with the number increasing to $14,000 for out-of-state rates. Graduate tuition varies by program, and the online M.S. in criminal justice program costs approximately $325 per credit hour for all students which equates to a total program cost of roughly $11,700. Eight out of ten GCSU students qualify for financial assistance comprised of grants, scholarships, subsidized loans, or work-study programs. Additionally, students who also work full-time are encouraged to ask their employer about tuition reimbursement benefits. Also, upon completing Georgia College and State University's criminal justice programs, many graduates pursue public service positions, and often, there are governmental programs that will provide student loan forgiveness after a specified number of years working in high-need areas.