Admission to the Public Justice Major

SUNY Oswego Students

At the Time of Admission to the College:
Some new students (either first year or transfer) declare their interest in Public Justice when admitted to the College and become Public Justice majors at that time. Those students are automatically admitted to the major and do not need to do any additional paperwork. You should, however, check your MyOswego account to make sure you are a declared PBJ major.

Internal Transfer into Public Justice:
Other students decide to declare Public Justice after they have been admitted to SUNY Oswego in another major program or as undecided students. These students may apply for admission to the Public Justice major after the completion of 30 semester hours of college work. In order to declare Public Justice as a major (or second major), students must complete the Declaration of  Major form (available from the Public Justice Department) and return it to the Advisement Coordinator. Students must be in good standing (cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better) to be eligible to apply for admission to the major. Admission to the program is competitive and is based upon the applicant's cumulative grade point average, success in basic courses supporting the program, and the number of available openings in any given year.

Since Public Justice is an multidisciplinary program, interested first and second year students are advised to concentrate on fulfilling their General Education requirements and to begin work in the major by enrolling in the appropriate introductory level courses in the social and behavioral sciences.

Transfer Students
Transfer students be aware that, regardless of how many Public Justice-related courses you have taken elsewhere, most of your courses for the Public Justice major must be taken at Oswego. As noted earlier, all Public Justice majors must take 5 core courses and 21 hours of Public Justice-related electives. Students transferring from two-year schools may apply a maximum of 6 hours of lower-division credit (typically, 2 courses) and the equivalent of PBJ 101 ( and PBJ 201, if they have taken an equivalent course) towards these requirements. The typical transfer student from a 2 year Criminal Justice program transfers the equivalent of PBJ 101 and 2 Public Justice electives toward their Public Justice major. Students may transfer no more than 6 semester hours of lower-division Public Justice electives. Additional criminal justice courses count as credits toward graduation, but not toward completing the major. This means that transfer students must take at least PBJ 301, PBJ 397, PBJ 401, and 15 hours of upper-division Public Justice-related electives here at Oswego. All transfer students are required to complete at least 42 upper division credits in order to graduate.

Transferring the equivalent of PBJ 201: You can get transfer credit for PBJ 201 only if you have taken a course that is the equivalent of our PBJ 201 course (Survey of American Non-Criminal Law). That means that you must demonstrate to the Public Justice Department that you have taken and completed a 3-credit course that dealt exclusively with non-criminal law and focused primarily on reading and analysis of judicial opinions. To get credit for PBJ 201, you must provide at least a course description and a syllabus for the course that you completed. No student will be given transfer credit for PBJ 201 without approval of the Public Justice Department. If you are transferring 62 credits from a two-year college, you do not need to transfer in PBJ 201 in order to complete your degree in four semesters; therefore, we will only accept transfer credit for PBJ 201 in cases in which the student has, in fact, completed an equivalent course at another college.

Please Note:
All courses taken at a community college are lower-division courses. That means that a transfer student with a two-year degree must expect to complete 15 semester hours of upper division Public Justice electives at SUNY Oswego, as well as the remaining required core courses, plus enough other courses numbered 300 and above to earn 42 upper division credits. Transfer students should consult the College Catalog for transfer credit policies. You should be aware that most of the required Public Justice courses must be completed at Oswego and not at another institution. PBJ 301, PBJ 397, and PBJ 401 must be taken at SUNY Oswego.

Students attending two-year colleges are strongly urged to take courses in subjects outside their proposed SUNY Oswego major, particularly in the areas of mathematics, natural sciences, and humanities. This will help fulfill your General Education requirements, which all SUNY Oswego students must do. (See the section on General Education requirements. For additional information, see the current College Catalog.) You should also be careful not to re-take at Oswego courses that you have already taken at another school. You can only get credit for a course once, even if the first course was lower-division and the second was upper-division.

Incoming transfer students are urged to register for their Fall semester courses at the earliest possible date. Students entering SUNY Oswego in the fall semester are strongly urged to participate in the summer advisement and registration program in order to take advantage of access to available courses.

**Please see the Advisement Coordinator  for internal transfers into the Public Justice major. All forms for this process may be obtained through the Public Justice Department Office (446 Mahar Hall).