What to Know About Graduate Certificates

graduate certificates

Students pursuing a Master of Arts in Administrative Leadership or a Master of Science in Criminal Justice may choose to further distinguish their credentials with a graduate certificate.

Graduate certificates provide an opportunity for a focused program of study in a specified topic, allowing students to expand their expertise within a particular field subset. This specialization provides professional development for adults currently working in the field.

The College of Professional and Continuing Studies offers three graduate certificates, which range from 12 to 15 credit hours and, in many cases, certificate courses can count toward one’s degree. Alternatively, students may pursue a graduate certificate only instead of pairing it with a degree program.

Administrative Leadership

The Graduate Certificate in Administrative Leadership equips students with a more specialized understanding of the discipline, with 12 hours of required coursework, including studies in the culture of organizations, theories of management and leadership, the individual’s role in leadership and the intersection of ethics and leadership. An elective in decision-making, project management or organizational communication must also be applied to complete this certificate.

Corrections Management

The Corrections Management Certificate provides opportunity for individuals working in corrections, probation and parole, and rehabilitative services fields. Six hours of required coursework include Penology and Ethical Decision-Making for Criminal Justice, and six elective hours in a wide range of topics are required to complete this certificate. Elective hours include courses such as Community Justice in the 21st Century, Restorative Justice Programs for Drug Offenders, Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System, and Gangs in the United States.

Restorative Justice

The Restorative Justice Administration Certificate emphasizes leadership, program and project development, victim and offender services and community-oriented approaches to crime prevention and restoration. Six hours of required coursework includes Ethical Decision-Making for Criminal Justice as well as Victimology and Restorative Justice. Six elective hours must also be applied to complete this certificate. Elective hours include courses such as Human Trafficking, Community Policing and Juvenile Justice.

Students who complete a graduate certificate who are not enrolled in a degree program will receive an official transcript that denotes the certificate program.

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Kayley Gillespie

Kayley Gillespie is a contributing writer for the College of Professional and Continuing Studies. She has contributed to Insight Magazine and a leadership anthology published in 2016. She received her master's degree in human relations in 2015.