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First-year Criminal Justice students will be working with a first-year advisor. Each student will be assigned a support team including a Professional Advisor and Faculty Mentor. The team will work with students to collaboratively create academic plans; communicate about course selection and registration questions/challenges; problem solve, and provide opportunities for the development of self-advocacy skills.

Traditional advising

Advisement coordinators

Professor Diane Brand
Advisement Coordinator
Office: 442 Mahar Hall
Phone: 315.312.3209
Email: [email protected]

Criminal Justice Peer Advisement
Office: 319 Mahar Hall
Phone: 315.312.3192
Email: [email protected]

Scheduling advisement sessions

The following are especially important times to schedule an advisement session:

  • Pre-registration advisement period;
  • Prior to any change of classes;
  • Prior to a change of major;
  • When you are failing a course (you should also meet with the course instructor);
  • Before the drop deadline, if you are experiencing academic difficulty;
  • Following any report of unsatisfactory work (academic warning or disqualification);
  • Prior to withdrawal from the college;
  • When you are experiencing personal, social adjustment or academic problems;
  • Soon after arrival on campus for new freshmen and transfer students;
  • As soon as possible after declaring the major, in order to plan the balance of your program;
  • To complete your graduation check form.

Academic advisement selection procedure

Every criminal justice major has a faculty advisor. If a student requests a certain faculty member as his or her advisor, the advisement coordinator will try to honor that request. If the student has no preference, he or she will be assigned to an advisor so as to balance the department's advising load among the faculty.

Student responsibility

The primary responsibility for meeting a student's degree and major requirements rests with the student. However, the academic advisor plays a critical role in providing the student with accurate information and appropriate guidance in defining and realizing his or her educational goals. Helping students to fulfill requirements and schedule classes is another critical facet of the advisement process. You should consult your advisor at least once or twice each semester and before making any definitive changes in your academic program.


Student expectations

  • You have the right to ask your advisor to do something for you, such as help with schedules, check requirements, etc.
  • You have the right to ask your advisor to provide information, such as what courses are offered, job market for specific majors, etc.
  • You have the right to ask your advisor for help or advice in solving a problem, such as changing major, thinking about a career or some academic or professional problem.
  • You have the right to ask your advisor to refer you to other sources of assistance for help with non-academic issues.

Advisor expectations
Your advisor has the right to expect that you are willing and able to help yourself. This means that you come to see your advisor about some problem in a timely fashion, not when it is too late for him or her to help, and that when you come, you come prepared with all the information you might need for your advisor to help. Remember, your advisor can help you make decisions, but will not make decisions for you. The advisor is simply that, an advisor. If you want your academic career to run smoothly, you, the student, must take primary responsibility for planning and decision-making. Know when it is necessary to consult your advisor and be prepared for your discussions with him or her.

Advisement procedures

In order for academic advising to be successful, you should prepare for advisement. This is especially the case in criminal justice, where your program of major elective courses is individually designed to meet your interests and needs. Planning is absolutely vital for criminal justice majors! The following are some suggestions intended to help you help yourself:

  • Retain the College Catalog that is in effect at the time you are admitted to the college. If program requirements change, you may be able to choose which set of graduation requirements to meet, either the old ones or the new ones.
  • Throughout the year, invest time in getting to know your advisor. In advisor/advisee relationships (as in all other relationships), an investment of time is necessary to develop trust and concern. Your advisor can not help you to reach a goal if he or she does not know you have that goal!
  • Be sure you understand what is necessary to fulfill graduation requirements.

Major requirements

  • Have you passed all criminal justice core courses with a grade of "C-" or better? Is your core course average at least 2.0?
  • Are you accumulating at least 21 semester hours of approved electives?
  • Do the electives you're planning to take meet your interests and career goals?
  • Are you maintaining a 2.0 average in your electives?
  • Make sure that you do not accumulate more than 54 hours of CRJ courses.
  • If you're a double major, are you meeting the requirements of your second major?
  • Does your second major have cognate requirements you must fulfill?
  • Cognate requirements are courses outside the major department that are required to support studies in the major field.
  • Criminal justice has no cognate requirements, but your second major may!

Upper-division credits

  • You must have a minimum of 42 upper-division credits to graduate. (Upper division means courses at the 300-level or above.)
  • And of your 21 semester hours of criminal justice electives, at least 15 semester hours must be upper division. (These 15 semester hours count as part of the minimum of 42 semester hours that you must earn to graduate.)
  • Where do you stand relative to upper division credits?

Credits required for graduation

  • Your degree requires you to earn a minimum of 120 credit hours in order to graduate.
  • Have you planned your courses so that you can reasonably expect to graduate on time without a heavy overload?
  • If you are behind in accumulating credits, have you considered taking winter or summer session courses here or at another college?
  • If you decide to take courses at another college to catch up, make sure to file an Off Campus Study Approval Form (PDF) before you take the courses, and then make sure to have an official transcript of the courses you took elsewhere sent to the Registrar here at SUNY Oswego. (Note: This last step is your responsibility. It does not happen automatically.)
  • Spend some time before advisement looking at the course offerings on MyOswego. Look first at required courses, then give consideration to the availability of courses that allow you to repeat "D" or "E" grades (if you have any). Finally, give consideration to courses that are not required, but that you would really like to take (like music or art). Make sure you list options for yourself in this group: alternative times, courses, etc.
  • Bring all your tentative schedules with you when you visit your advisor. Again, the more information you give your advisor about yourself, your likes and dislikes, your goals, etc., the better your advisor is equipped to help you.
  • If you elect to do a double major or to have a minor, discuss with your faculty advisor.