Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice

Old Colorado Springs Courthouse

"Change is inevitable; you can resist it, or embrace it. By continuing my education I chose to embrace it and help champion the positive changes taking place within the Judicial System."

Leif Strunk, Supervisor
Fourth Judicial District Probation Department

The field of criminal justice is both diverse and vital to a well-functioning society. The Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice offers current and aspiring professionals in the field an opportunity to develop and enhance problem-solving, managerial and leadership skills in the criminal justice context and their chances for career advancement. Students in this program will engage with dedicated faculty and practitioners in a stimulating university environment. This program offers an interim step between completion of an undergraduate degree and entering a graduate program. The Certificate is an important credential for persons pursuing a career in criminal justice.

This certificate focuses on the development of managerial skills for law enforcement, corrections, and other professionals in the field of criminal justice.

Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Brochure


A Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice consists of four required classes. For descriptions of courses see UCCS Academic Catalog

Required Courses:

CJ 5001 Criminal Justice Systems, Policy & Practice 

CJ 5002 Criminological Theory


Plus two of the following courses:

CJ 5005 Law & Society
CJ 5410 Victim Studies
CJ 5420 Violence in Society
CJ 5552 Criminal Justice Ethics
CJ 5560 Comparative Criminal Justice
CJ 5571 Social Organization of Crime
CJ 5572 Race, Crime and Justice
CJ 5573 Organized Crime
CJ 5574 White Collar Crime

Courses may be offered in the classroom or online. Students are not required to apply to a degree program to take these courses but must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Students must earn grades of B- or better in each course counted toward a certificate.

Current Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) students may take these courses and earn the certificate in addition to the MPA or MCJ as part of their degree plan. Students who complete the certificate only may apply these courses to the MPA or MCJ degree if admitted.
However, only courses taken within six years prior to the semester of graduation may be applied to the degree.

This certificate program meets Department of Education regulations for gainful employment programs; students are eligible to apply for financial aid.


To enroll in the certificate program, all students must:
•submit a one-page certificate application and official transcripts to the School of Public Affairs

Students not currently admitted to the MPA or MCJ degree program must also:
•submit a brief application and a $25 processing fee to the UCCS admissions office to be admitted as a nondegree student
•submit official transcripts to the School of Public Affairs

Gainful Employment Disclosures:
The U.S. Department of Education requires us to provide the following information about each of our certificates.

Program Costs:
Program costs vary depending on each student's particular situation. For the 2013-2014 year, Colorado residents who complete all coursework on campus pay around $7,000 for their certificate, while on-campus nonresident students pay around $11,000. Distance and/or local students who complete all degree requirements online will pay around $7,665. Students can estimate specific tuition costs by using the tuition calculator on the Student Financial Services website.

Related Occupations:

Related occupations for each certificate are listed below. Click the links below to view occupational profiles.

Protective Service:
First-Line Supervisors of Law Enforcement Workers
First-Line Supervisors of Correctional Officers
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives
Miscellaneous First-Line Supervisors, Protective Service Workers

Law Enforcement Workers:
Correctional Officers and Jailers
Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers                                         

On-Time Completion & Median Loan Debt:

As this is a newly-approved program, the on-time completion rates and median student loan debt of program graduates are not yet available.