Criminology Graduate Certificate Programs

Updated: Jan 1, 2024

Criminology is the study of crime and criminal behavior. It weaves elements of humanities and traditional sciences – particularly psychology, anthropology, and sociology – to analyze and understand the criminal mind. It also applies aspects of biology in some cases.

For psychologists and sociologists wishing to enter criminal research, an online Criminology Graduate Certificate is ideal for building upon your existing education and experience in this area. You may work in academic psychology or assist police departments in criminal investigations.

What Are the Online Criminology Graduate Certificate Requirements?

U.S. schools currently offering online Criminology Graduate Certificates will expect specific qualifications before admission is granted. While exact requirements vary by school, most will ask for the following:

  • A bachelor's degree in a relevant subject: psychology, anthropology, and sociology
  • A relevant master's degree
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0. Some schools go higher (up to 3.5), while others might consider a lower score on a case-by-case basis
  • Official transcripts from all colleges previously attended
  • Knowledge of the English language, proven through certification, for applicants from non-English speaking countries. Accepted standards include IELTS, PTE, and TOEFL. Some may also accept DuoLingo and ELS112
  • 2 or 3 letters of recommendation. Academic sources are preferred, but employer references may be acceptable with extensive experience
  • The non-refundable application fee
  • A personal statement (around 500 words) or an essay expanding on your interest and background – including research and career expectations

What Types of Classes Are Included in the Online Criminology Graduate Certificate Curriculum?

Online Criminology Graduate Certificate programs usually consist of core courses and several electives. Typical course titles include:

  • Criminal Profiling
  • Forensic Psychology
  • The Criminal Mind and Behavior
  • Mental Health & Criminal Justice
  • Violence in America
  • Criminology Theory
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Sex Crimes & Sex Crime Offenders
  • Victimology
  • Crimes Against Children
  • Issues of Domestic Terrorism & Violent Extremism
  • Substance Abuse
  • Criminal Homicide

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

An online Graduate Certificate in Criminology can open the door to several rewarding careers. Popular pathways include:

  • Criminal Psychologist: For graduates with a background in psychology or psychiatry, you will work helping detectives and lawyers understand the minds of perpetrators and suspects in a case – building a potential profile.
  • Correctional Facility Counselor: Working in prisons or youth detention centers, you can help these inmates adjust to life inside or outside, providing counseling services and compiling evidence for parole hearings.
  • Prison Officer: Similarly, your psychology and understanding of prisoners will help you work with offenders – from low security to maximum security institutions.
  • Witness Protection Program: This type of law enforcement officer helps witnesses adjust to a new life as they go into hiding during and after a criminal case.
  • Victim Support Services: This career focuses on the victims of crime, helping them with counseling, adjustment, compensation, and offering support through a trial.
  • Penology: This academic area studies groups, group dynamics, and social institutions.
  • Detective: Working on the front line of law enforcement, your understanding of crime and psychology will be instrumental in understanding the mind of a perpetrator in, for example, homicide cases.

Criminology Graduate Certificate Programs List

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


Concordia University-ChicagoRiver Forest, ILHybrid - Criminology


Mississippi State UniversityMississippi State, MSHybrid - Criminology

North Carolina

University of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotte, NCCrime Analysis


University of Nebraska at OmahaOmaha, NEOnline - Managing Juvenile and Adult Populations

New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester, NH Justice Studies Crime and Criminology


University of CincinnatiCincinnati, OHAnalysis of Criminal Behavior


California University of PennsylvaniaCalifornia, PAOnline - Applied Criminology
Saint Joseph's UniversityPhiladelphia, PAHybrid - Criminology

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