This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2020-21 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Program goal

The Certificate in Criminal Justice is a post-baccalaureate graduate program designed to help facilitate career advancement in the criminal justice and/or criminology field. The program seeks to develop critical-thinking skills among the students through the use of current criminal justice and criminological topics, reports and research findings.

This certificate program offers specialization for individuals interested or involved in law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice or the courts. It combines survey and theory courses with research, management and policy courses on the justice system. The courses in the certificate program are the same as the master’s courses. With minimum grades of B and upon acceptance into the master’s degree program, these courses are fully transferable to the Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminal Justice degree program.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Students will communicate effectively about criminal justice issues/policies using well-reasoned evidence from empirical studies to support their arguments and/or positions. 
  2. Students will demonstrate critical thinking and articulation of major issues related to the field in a diverse socio-cultural context while also understanding the diversity of lived experiences.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements
Degree:Semester(s) of entry:Deadline dates:Test requirements:
CertificateFallApr 1 (Mar 1 for financial aid)
SpringOct 1

The Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Criminal Justice program offers an abbreviated graduate-level course sequence of 15 credit hours for individuals with an academic and/or professional background in criminal justice. Applicants must meet all general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School.

Degree requirements

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, five courses are required for the certificate, as specified in the list that follows. To receive the certificate, the student must achieve a B average in the five courses and earn no more than one C grade.

Curriculum requirements

CourseTitleHours
Required courses
CRJS 501Principles of Criminal Justice3
CRJS 550Professional Ethics and Liability3
CRJS 617Law and Criminal Justice Policy3
CRJS/GVPA/PADM/URSP 623Research Methods for Government and Public Affairs3
Elective3
One additional CRJS, GVPA, HSEP, URSP, PADM or PPAD course may be used as an elective. Other course(s) may be selected with permission of the criminal justice graduate coordinator.
Total Hours15

The minimum total of graduate credit hours required for this certificate is 15.

Contact
Amy Cook, Ph.D.
Program chair and graduate program director
Email: cookak@vcu.edu

Additional contacts
Christina Mancini, Ph.D.
Assistant program chair
nmancini@vcu.edu

Graduate Student Services and Advising
wsgradvise@vcu.edu
(804) 828-6837

Program website: wilder.vcu.edu/academic/criminal/certificate.html