Criminal Justice, B.A.

Program Overview

You’re committed to protecting our communities, preventing and healing the wide-reaching effects of crime, and restoring justice and peace.

You want to serve your community — protecting others, maintaining justice, ensuring peace, and restoring hope. It’s this desire to widen your influence and responsibility in our society, combined with your unique and valuable experiences, that drives you toward this noble endeavor.

PLNU has partnered with community colleges in San Diego to offer a flexible format tailored to accommodate your work and life commitments — so you can earn your criminal justice degree in as little as 15 months. If you have college credits but not a bachelor’s degree, PLNU’s criminal justice degree completion program is designed for you.

Prepare for Leadership & Responsibility

PLNU’s focus on special topics such as community relations and restorative justice — taught by experienced criminal justice faculty and industry leaders — will prepare you for true leadership roles with greater responsibility and influence.

Career Support That Helps You Succeed

Receive guidance from career advisors who help you succeed while you work through the program, as well as help you to shape and reach your professional goals after graduation.

Designed For Your Life

Enjoy the convenience and flexibility of taking hybrid classes held only one night a week in Mission Valley and at select community colleges in San Diego, allowing you to continue to work as you earn your criminal justice degree from PLNU and advance your career.

“The criminal justice system provides a unique arena to ensure justice and facilitate restoration. At PLNU, we intend to train our students to see opportunities for transformation in every situation, becoming agents of hope in communities they serve.”

Kevin Modesto, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Family Sciences

Program Prerequisites

Graduation requirements: A total of 120 semester hours must be earned with an overall 2.0 GPA and all general core education requirements met.

Complete the required program hours in the major (program) from PLNU with a minimum grade of “C” in each course and an overall 3.0 grade point average for the major (program).

In addition to the program hours earned through the Adult Degree Completion program, additional semester hours must be earned to meet the degree completion requirements of 120 total semester hours. A maximum of 24 hours can be earned through the following non-traditional methods: 

  • Testing (CLEP, Dantes)
  • Prior Learning and Military Experience Credit (PLC, ACE — see below)

Application for graduation must be made prior to the start of the final semester.

All student bills must be paid in good standing.

Students will work with PLNU Graduate and Professional Studies Student Services to create an action plan to complete the additional units required to reach the 120 needed to graduate.

The Adult Degree Completion criminal justice program incorporates 36 units of general education and 36 units of specific core Adult Degree Completion criminal justice program courses, accepts up to 24 units from non-traditional educational methods (listed above), and suggests elective credit courses for student consideration to reach the 120 required units. A minimum of 36 units must be completed through PLNU courses.

Course List


Department Faculty

Application Information

Are you ready to take the next step and apply?

We’re here to make the entire process a simple one. We’ll walk you through the application process, answer your questions, and get you one step closer to earning your degree.

Priority Application Date

  • Fall 2018 – Please reach out to your counselor

All applications submitted after these dates will be reviewed based on availability of space.

Start Application

The Selection Process

We understand your application is not only a reflection of you as a student; it reflects you as a person. That’s why we are committed to reviewing it thoroughly and giving it the individual care and attention it deserves. We believe you have more to offer than just a GPA, which is why there is no numeric formula that determines admittance. Rather, we holistically evaluate your academic history, work and life experience, background, and circumstances to determine admittance into the program. We strongly encourage you to apply, even if you’re unsure of your qualifications.

To be admitted into PLNU's degree completion program, you must have completed at least 40 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of at least a 2.75 from an accredited institution as evidenced by an official transcript sent directly from each college or university attended.*

You must also have attained the minimum age of 23, OR the minimum age of 21 with an associate’s degree or significant work experience.

Application Checklist

Note: The application is completed entirely online with the exception of transcripts, which can be submitted electronically or directly to PLNU, and test scores, which should be submitted electronically.

  1. Submit online application for admissions. 
  2. Submit official transcripts from each institution attended.

    Official transcripts must be sent to:
    Point Loma Nazarene University 
    Office of Graduate Admissions
    3900 Lomaland Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92106

    Official electronic transcripts must be emailed to:
  3. Submit a 500- to 600-word essay with your online application in APA format,  including the following:
    • Provide a personal statement on why you wish to participate in the BA Criminal Justice program.
    • Explain your relevant academic and professional experience.
    • Describe your future career or life goals.
  4. Complete an interview with your enrollment counselor.

Start Application

Note: All students are expected to have some proficiency with computer technology (email, Internet, word processing, etc.).

*Prospective students who meet the other criteria but do not have the required semester hours for entrance or are lacking in the core requirements will be advised how to correct any deficiency. An enrollment counselor will assist these students with the development of a written pre-admission educational plan, which may include bridge courses taken at PLNU. Only courses from an accredited institution where at least a grade of a “C” has been earned will be accepted by transfer. Prospective students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement can be considered for admission under exception. Contact your enrollment counselor for details.

**General Education deficiencies may be completed after admittance, but at least 20 hours must be completed prior to starting the program cohort. Three hours of appropriate prior learning credit (see below) may be used to meet one of the general education areas — with the exception of English composition and math.

***The PLNU General Education Learning Outcomes (GELOs) will be addressed and measured within the PLNU degree program to ensure the outcomes we value are demonstrated.

Financial Aid and Student Support

We take seriously the role of providing you with financial, academic, and career support so you have the tools you need to be successful at PLNU and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Financial Aid and Student Support

Career Opportunities

What you do for a living should mean something — to you and others.

"As our society seeks an increasing level of professional and ethical authenticity, it is imperative for criminal justice professionals to seek educational and training alternatives that position them to excel amid challenges and opportunities while displaying the grace of servant-leadership."

Tim Dabney
Adjunct Professor, Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Completing a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from PLNU can help prepare you for careers that make a real difference in your community, such as:

  • Police, Corrections, Parole, or Probation Officer
  • Security Officer
  • Social Worker or Victim Support Specialist
  • Paralegal or Law Clerk
  • Surveillance Officer
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Detective, Private Detective, or Investigator
  • Emergency Management Director
  • FBI, DEA or Customs Agent
  • Homeland Security Officer

A Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice will also prepare you for graduate-level study in criminal law, criminology, victimology, and other areas related to criminal justice.