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Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Criminal Justice

Online graduate certificate programs in criminal justice are available for students with a bachelor's degree and an interest in the field. Read on for specifics on the requirements and course topics for these programs.

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Online graduate certificates in criminal justice offer an advanced credential for criminal justice professionals. These programs cover leadership and management issues relevant to the field and examine foundational policies and philosophies in criminal justice. Although some certificate programs do include an in-person component, many are available completely online.

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Online Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Program Information

These online certificate programs usually require approximately 12 to 18 credit hours of coursework, and classes may be available in increments of approximately six weeks to accommodate working students. In addition to courses like those listed below, students may be able to incorporate independent studies on subjects of particular interest or take classes on special topics.

Criminal Justice Administration

Courses in administration introduce students to key concepts involved in criminal justice management positions. Students receive an overview of the criminal justice system and its role in responding to crime. These classes examine theories relevant to the subject and critically investigate scholarly research on current issues facing criminal justice organizations.

Criminal Justice Policy

Policy classes focus on policies related to crime and responses to crime. Students learn about procedures involved in creating policies and methods of evaluating policies. Classes may include a focus on legal and policy issues within criminal justice organizations such as those related to hiring and disciplining law enforcement employees.

Theory and Philosophy in Criminal Justice

These certificate programs usually include a coursework component that examines theoretical or philosophical bases of criminal justice practice. These classes may adopt a theoretical perspective to examine a particular aspect of justice studies like community theory. Students investigate how criminal justice organizations function within the social and political contexts of their community. These classes also cover how social systems like education and mental health care impact crime and criminal justice.

Program Evaluation

Program evaluation classes cover assessing the impact of criminal justice programs. Participants learn specific methods for evaluating programs addressing criminal justice problems and determining their effectiveness. Students often review case studies outlining the implementation of particular programs or policies.

Interpersonal Psychology in Criminal Justice

Since the field of criminal justice involves intensive work with individuals, certificate programs often include a course with a psychological component. These classes examine interpersonal dynamics relevant to criminal justice professionals and issues including trauma and stress. Additionally, they include a discussion of processes that influence cognition and behavior. These courses may also cover perspectives on leadership from an interpersonal standpoint.

Online Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Program Admissions

Although a particular major is not needed, applicants to these online certificate programs must hold a bachelor's degree. Programs may require a minimum GPA of 2.75 or higher during at least part of an applicant's undergraduate career. Additionally, some certificate programs only accept students with prior experience as a criminal justice professional. Depending on the program, students may need to submit GRE scores and a current resume.

Graduate certificates in criminal justice are available online and generally involve completing between four and six classes. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and can expect coursework in policy and administration along with theoretical and psychological perspectives relevant to the field.

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