Youngstown State University is a research institute in Youngstown, Ohio that is just over an hour away from Cleveland. Called an urban campus because of its location in that large city, it offers a number of opportunities for its students. Founded in 1908 as a law school, it was the brainchild of the local YMCA, which added the law school to the Youngstown Association School. It became the Youngstown Institute of Technology in the early 1920s and offered nighttime classes for adult students. Once it added more art and science classes to its curriculum, it became Youngstown College. As its curriculum continued expanding, it eventually became Youngstown University. This university was a private college, but when it went public, it became YSU.

Also called Youngstown State, its campus now consists of seven colleges, including a college of arts and sciences and a graduate studies school. It formed a number of partnerships with other colleges in Ohio and other states that allow students to study different subjects and earn degrees in fields that the university doesn't typically cover. Several current and former NFL and MLB players attended YSU, but its famous alumni also include actors, politicians, activists and writers. The university's enrollment includes more than 13,000 undergrads and more than 1,200 graduate students.

Youngstown State University Accreditation Details

Youngstown State University is one of several colleges in Ohio with institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). While this isn't a form of regional accreditation, it works in the same way that accreditation does and allows you to transfer credits and enroll in a PhD program later. The HLC requires that YSU renew its accreditation every decade or more often. Nearly 20 professional organizations granted YSU accreditation for some of its degree programs in business, technology, nursing and other subjects too. Those organizations include:

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology
  • Office of Social Work Accreditation
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.
  • American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences

Youngstown State University Application Requirements

YSU has a limited number of spots open in its graduate programs, which is why it recommends that prospective students submit their applications in the late fall or early winter. The deadline for those hoping to start in the fall is July 15, but the university will only admit students if it has any spots remaining in that program. One of the requirements for new students is an official college transcript. This transcript must show the date that you earned your degree, that you have your undergrad degree and your cumulative grade point average. YSU will only accept students with a minimum GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale. If you do not have your degree when you apply, you can submit an unofficial transcript and provide the university with an official transcript later. Your degree must come from an accredited college or university too.

Many programs require letters of recommendation as well. You can submit these letters online or have the individuals mail copies of their letters to the university. These letters should come from professors you worked with in college or professionals you worked with in the field. You'll also need to complete the online application and check your email regularly in case the university requires any more information from you.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The estimated cost of attending Youngstown State University is around $12,200 a year for Ohio residents. As a full-time graduate student, you can take a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester up to a maximum of 18 credits per semester. If you fall below the minimum amount or go above the maximum limit, you'll pay extra for each credit that you take. The cost for nonresidents is around $18,200 a year. YSU offers an Affordable Tuition Advantage Program for those living in a neighboring state. These figures all include the cost of fees charged by the university. Those students pay a tuition rate of around $12,500 a year. University housing is available for around $9,000 a year.

To qualify for financial aid, you must submit the FAFSA by February 15 the year that you plan to enroll. The university will review your form and determine the type of aid you need. You should receive an award letter by the end of February or the beginning of March. Once you receive that letter, you need to go online, log in with the account information provided to you and accept your award package. Most packages for graduate students include loans and grants. YSU can also give you information about applying for private or alternative student loans too.

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

When you enroll in the Master of Science in Criminal Justice program that YSU offers, you can enroll in the capstone track or the thesis track. Those in the capstone program must take 18 credits of core and required courses and 15 credits of electives. Required criminal justice classes include law and criminal justice, criminal justice studies, practices and theories, applied police management, administration and management theory and research and statistics in health and human services. Capstone students will also do a final paper that they present to professors in the department.

The thesis track reduces the number of electives that you will take because you spend more time working on your thesis. In addition to the 18 core classes that you must take, you'll also take six credits of electives. The university gives you three credits for your thesis and up to six credits for any research and work you do on that thesis. Before starting your research, you must meet with your adviser and get approval. The adviser will work with you to help you narrow down your research. You'll also get two credits for the oral defense that you do of your thesis, which will happen at the end of your final year in the program.

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There is now an entirely online criminal justice program open to graduate students. This program requires that you take the same classes as you would take on campus and that you do either a capstone or a thesis. Youngstown State University can help you decide which of its criminal justice programs is best for you.