Criminal Justice Graduate Certificate Programs

Updated: Jun 8, 2024

Criminal Justice is an ideal career destination for law graduates considering policy & law making and interested in working as defense and prosecution attorneys. With law such a complex and important part of our everyday lives, we need those with extensive law knowledge for a diverse range of professions.

An online Criminal Justice Graduate Certificate is for students who wish to enter criminal prosecutions. However, the niche skills you will learn are also suitable for those interested in police work, correctional agencies, and much more.

What Are the Online Criminal Justice Graduate Certificate Requirements?

Schools in the U.S. offering online Criminal Justice Graduate Certificates require that applicants meet a comprehensive list of criteria. This may include the following:

  • A relevant bachelor's degree in law
  • LLM in a relevant law subject
  • Minimum GPA varies. The lowest is 2.5, though some colleges ask for 2.75 up through 3.5
  • Official transcripts from all prior colleges attended
  • Non-native English speakers must provide evidence of English language proficiency. Accepted certifications are TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE, and ELS112 (not all accept this one). Some colleges may accept DuoLingo certification
  • Two or three letters of recommendation: two is standard, three are sometimes requested. For applicants with little recent academic experience, resume and employer references are acceptable
  • Application fee
  • A short personal statement explaining your background, interests, and highlighting what you expect to get out of the program. Some colleges also ask for a multi-page essay with more extensive details

What Type of Classes Are Included in the Online Criminal Justice Graduate Certificate Curriculum?

Criminal Justice Graduate Certificates are made up of both mandatory classes, and optional courses that allow you to direct your studies to interests and skills. Typical coursework includes:

  • Criminology and Crime Policy
  • Criminal Justice Ethics
  • Research and Evaluation Methods
  • Applied Analytical Methodology
  • Cybercrime
  • Crime and Intelligence Analysis
  • Victimology, Trauma, and Crisis Intervention
  • Issues of Youth Crime
  • White-Collar Crime
  • Terrorism
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Digital Forensics
  • Policy and Planning
  • Policing
  • Leadership and Management for Criminal Justice
  • Financial Management
  • ​​​​​​​Management Techniques & Organizational Behavior
  • Capstone Project

What Type of Careers Can I Pursue with an Online Criminal Justice Graduate Certificate?

An online Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice offers many career options. Some popular pathways include:

  • Lawyer: The most obvious choice, working as a court lawyer – prosecution and defense. You will represent clients in criminal or civil prosecutions.
  • Paralegal: A new type of law professional, paralegals are largely assistants to lawyers, but they have a good grounding in law and can typically complete many of the same tasks as lawyers with the exception of representing clients.
  • Detective: Enter policing as a detective, investigating homicides and a range of other higher-level crimes collecting and researching evidence on criminal cases.
  • Criminal Investigator: Also known as a Private Investigator, you will work as a contractor investigating criminal cases such as missing persons or theft, or non-criminal cases such as infidelity.
  • Federal Agent: Law graduates are also ideally suited to working in homeland security, the FBI, CIA, NSA, and other security agencies against terrorist groups.
  • Forensic Scientist: Not an obvious choice for a law graduate, but if you have a background in STEM and an understanding of the law, you may have skills suitable for a career in forensics.
  • Corrections Officer: Knowledge of the law and its application will be useful in a range of jobs in the prison correctional system.
  • Parole Officer: Also working in the prison system, your job will be to evaluate prisoners due for parole and determine whether they are safe for release.
  • Advocate: If fighting for social justice is more attractive than the court room, you could work in the charitable sector helping people understand their rights and pursue civil suits.

Criminal Justice Graduate Certificate Programs List

Interested in a criminal justice graduate certificate program? Check out our listings below to find a traditional, online, or hybrid program near you.


University of New HavenWest Haven, CTCriminal Justice Management


Indiana Wesleyan UniversityMarion, INOnline - Criminal Justice
Purdue University Global-IndianapolisIndianapolis, INOnline - Management and Supervision in Criminal Justice


University of MarylandCollege Park, MDOnline - Criminal Justice Administration


Oakland UniversityRochester Hills, MICriminal Justice Leadership


Walden UniversityMinneapolis, MNOnline - Criminal Justice


Missouri State UniversitySpringfield, MOCriminal Justice Leadership and Management


Franklin UniversityColumbus, OHOnline - Criminal Justice Leadership
University of ToledoToledo, OHHybrid - Criminal Justice


Mercyhurst UniversityErie, PAOnline - Criminal Justice Administration
Widener UniversityChester, PAOnline - Criminal Justice


Bethel UniversityMcKenzie, TNOnline - Criminal Justice


Sam Houston State UniversityHuntsville, TXOnline - Criminal Justice Leadership and Management
Texas A & M University-CommerceCommerce, TXOnline - Criminal Justice

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