All law enforcement and criminal justice majors may fulfill the Criminal Justice Capstone major requirement by completing one of two capstone course options:

1.      CJS 490 Criminal Justice Capstone - Research or

2.      CJS 489 Criminal Justice Capstone - Internship  

Differences and factors to consider when choosing your capstone option.

CJS 489 Criminal Justice Capstone - Internship (4 credits)

  • Internship focused course
  • On-campus sections are hybrid format (likely not meeting every week throughout the semester)
  • Students are responsible for exploring and securing an internship site
  • Course instructor is available for assistance in finding an internship site
  • Good choice for students needing practical experience
  • Good choice for students preparing for entry level employment in a specific field
  • Good choice for those willing and able to commit to a minimum of 160 hours
  • Some internship sites will require more than 160 hours regardless of academic credit
  • Registration final semester

CJS 490 Criminal Justice Capstone - Research (4 credits)

  • Research focused course
  • Offered both on-campus and online
  • On-campus sections are hybrid format (likely 6-8 class meetings throughout the semester)
  • Students research a faculty approved issue and write a series of papers
  • Includes exploration of issues and preparation for areas of passion within the profession
  • Good choice for students considering graduate school
  • Good choice for those already working in the profession
  • Good choice for those unavailable to commit to 160 hours of internship time
  • Registration final semester

Who is eligible to register for Capstone: CJS 489 or CJS 490?

  • Students who have successfully completed or currently registered for the following prerequisite courses with a C- or better:
    • CJS 201 Foundations in Criminal Justice
    • CJS 301 Research Methods in Criminal Justice
    • CJS 320 Criminology and Public Policy
    • CJS 360 Diversity in Criminal Justice
    • CJS 375 Ethics and Professionalism in Criminal Justice
  • Students who are prepared and planning to:
    • Register for their final semester prior to graduation
    • Register for their final semester prior to completion of Summer Skills and graduation 
  • Students must have attended a PAW and be accepted to the major 


  • Students needing concurrent registration of prerequisite(s) and CJS 489 or 490 should discuss with their advisor.
  • SLC is authorized to administratively drop any student who does not meet the eligibility criteria for CJS 489 or 490 Capstone registration at any time. 
  • Student registers for courses in eServices and pays/sets up payment plan by tuition deadline (if after tuition deadline, payment/plan is requested the same day as registration). 
  • If you have additional questions about which capstone option to complete, please contact your academic advisor.