Criminology Graduate Certificate Programs

Nov 07, 2019

Criminology is a wide area of study at universities and graduate level certificates are available to post baccalaureate students who wish to further their studies in this academic subject area.

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There are numerous options for graduate-level certificates in the field of Criminology. Many are in specific fields such as criminal profiling or applied criminology; but they may cover a wide variety of subjects including criminal profiling, criminal psychology, and research theory as it relates to criminal investigation.

Typical Program Requirements for a Graduate Certificate in Criminology

Graduate certificates in criminology tend to be 12 credit hours in length and can cover a variety of different topics. Below are a few academic areas of interest that can be covered in criminology coursework for a graduate certificate.

Applied Criminology

Courses in this subject area cover the application of the science of criminology. These courses look at the causes and underlying issues associated with criminal behavior. They take a research perspective and look at the criminal environment from multiple perspectives. Some courses may take geospatial information software to map and analyze crime patterns.


Research-based courses will look at both quantitative and qualitative research as it applies to criminal justice and criminology. Advanced research methods will be taught to students, including the understanding of the research context and constructs as well as the application to theory. These courses lean heavily on social science and its applications.

Criminal Justice

Criminal justice courses will look at administration in terms of criminal justice, as well as exploring interpersonal relationships in criminal justice systems. These courses can also be theoretical in nature and look at broad theories that apply to criminal justice systems. Some schools separate criminal justice studies from criminology and others tend to combine the two fields of study. Criminal justice studies, though, look at the effects of the justice system whereas true criminology is focused on the criminal and the crime, rather than the system to catch and apply justice to him or her.


Profiling courses look at criminal profiling as well as victimology. These classes delve deeply into psychology and research to show students relevant patterns and frameworks. Students will study psychopathy and relevant psychological disorders that are prevalent in leading to crime.


There are a wide variety of theory courses in criminology. Some might cover community relations or neighborhood dynamics. Others might cover the ramifications of race, gender, and other stereotypes. Classes might cover casual relationships and structures as well as policies pertaining to these frameworks. Sociology courses may also come in here to examine how crime fits into the overall human dynamics of society.

Program Admittance Requirements for a Graduate Certificate in Criminology

Graduate certificates for non-degree seeking students may adhere to the same admission standards as the graduate colleges for the universities offering the certificates. Students will be expected to show proof of a bachelor's degree and transcripts will be required for applications. Minimum undergraduate GPAs apply--usually around a 3.0 although some programs can be slightly lower. Most of these programs do not require GRE scores. Some universities may require an interview with a member of the graduate faculty or an essay (usually around 500 words) describing the applicant's professional goals and reasons for applying for the certificate in Criminology.

Graduate certificates in Criminology are readily available. They can be focused on multiple areas of study, including applied criminology and profiling.

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