Criminal Justice Certificate

Take the inside track to enter the criminal justice field or advance professionally. Through this online program, you'll develop the analytical skills to solve issues affecting the criminal justice system.

Criminal Justice Certificate Student Smile

Program Overview

Our online criminal justice graduate certificate offers the flexibility you've been looking for to either start your career or advance into leadership positions in the criminal justice system. Learn from professors whose leadership, thinking, and research are shaping this field. They'll ensure you gain the skills to think critically about how to support and improve law enforcement, probation and parole, and the court system. By the time you complete the certificate program, you'll have not only the knowledge, but the support network for a rewarding career.

Program Options

The criminal justice certificate is a good option for busy, working adults who want to explore graduate study without making a full commitment to a longer degree program. The certificate is also designed for professionals who would not benefit from research skills or do not want to complete the thesis or comprehensive exams required by the master's program.

View the Loading... for information regarding the certificate program requirements.

Complete the certificate in criminal justice and then have the possibility to transition to the master's degree.

Students enrolled in the certificate will complete a short application.  If they later apply and are accepted to our master's program all their certificate courses will automatically be applied to the master's degree.  To complete the certificate program, students must earn a B or higher in all courses.

Certificate courses are offered at a significantly reduced rate, enabling you to cut the cost of your graduate degree.

Admissions Requirements

  • Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  • While a 3.0 GPA is required for the graduate program, applicants whose GPA falls slightly below that requirement will still be considered for the certificate program.

Complete our short online application. Write a brief statement describing reasons and expectations for study in this program.

After receipt of your official college transcript and completed application, you will receive notification regarding admission. After making a deposit of $100 that will be applied to your tuition and fees, you will receive a code that will allow you to enroll in the graduate certificate program and make course selections for the upcoming semester.

We review applications on a rolling basis.

Program Highlights

You will learn skills alongside experts and professionals to guide you into rewarding careers in the criminal justice field.

Flexible Online Program

With online courses, this certificate program is designed to meet your needs. Whether you're a working professional or a recent graduate looking to pursue an advanced degree, when earning your certificate you will take courses tailored to your personal interests and professional goals.

Stackable Certificates

The flexibility of our certificates gives you the ability to customize your courses to meet your career goals. In addition, you can stack certificates, which are offered at a significantly discounted rate, to earn your master's degree. 

Distinguished Faculty

At Widener, you'll learn from professors who are either working professionals or are experts practicing in the field. They'll make you the priority and help you build a network that will follow you long after graduation.


Nancy Blank
Chair, Criminal Justice

"Our criminal justice programs provide students with one-on-one individualized attention to nurture the student's growth academically and professionally. I enjoy the small class sizes and teach by facilitating discussions and welcoming diverse worldviews. This pedagogy fosters student participation, listening, and critical thinking skills."

Shana L. Maier
Director of MCJ Program

I enjoy mentoring students inside and outside the classroom. It is a pleasure to watch individuals grow from being criminal justice students to criminal justice professionals, influencing and bettering the system. Seeing their success as alumni is so rewarding for me! In addition, our flexible curriculum allows students to direct their academic career in a way that makes the most sense for their career goals. I am also excited about our accelerated 4+1 program that allows strong students to complete an undergraduate and graduate degree in five years.

Your Inside Track to Success

Your Inside Track to Success

Here, you will have unique opportunities, like our annual criminal justice career fair, to create inside connections with professionals in the criminal justice field.

Outlook & Outcomes

Potential Careers

  • Law enforcement (local, state, and federal)
  • Probation/parole officer
  • Correctional officer

More Careers

  • Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor
  • Victim services

Recent Employers

  • George W. Hill Correctional Facility
  • Delaware Valley Intelligence Center
  • Montgomery County Adult Probation
  • Delaware County Juvenile Probation
  • Diakon Youth Services

Take the Next Steps

Join a leading university dedicated to your success.

Visit Us

To visit Widener is, more often than not, to fall in love with the place. To fit your timeline and schedule, we offer a variety of ways to get to know us.

View Tuition and Fees

Explore program costs and payment options.

Financial Aid

At Widener, opportunities for financial aid extend to graduate students. Discover how Widener can help make obtaining your degree possible.

Next steps to apply

We’re glad you made the decision to apply. All applications and supplemental materials are submitted through the online application system. There is a $35 application fee to apply to Widener.

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