The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Criminology and Criminal Justice System Certificate

The Criminology and Criminal Justice System Certificate attracts students planning or continuing careers in the criminal justice system; from law enforcement to probation, courts, or corrections. Our graduates and certificate holders have served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Federal government, and other agencies as police officers, probation or parole officers, special agents, paralegals, criminal defense lawyers, and district attorneys.

Declaring Completion of the Certificate

When a student has enrolled in the final class for the certificate, they must fill out a Completion Form . These forms may be submitted by e-mail or mail to:

CJ Certificate Program
Sociology Department
200 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003

Degree-seeking University of Massachusetts students admitted into the program should expect to possibly take three or more of the required courses online through University Without Walls.

Certificate students who are not currently matriculated at the University of Massachusetts Amherst normally take all of their courses online through CPE.

Note: To receive the Criminology and Criminal Justice System Certificate, a minimum 2.0 GPA must be maintained across courses applied to certificate requirements.



SOCIOL 103 Social Problems (does not count toward the certificate requirements)


SOCIOL 241 Criminology 

Choose one course from the following:

SOCIOL 248 Conformity and Deviance
SOCIOL 323 Sociology of Law
SOCIOL 342 Deviance & Social Order

Choose three upper-level (200+) Sociology / CJ electives:

(Courses offered vary by semester; some are offered only online through CPE.)

SOCIOL 218 The Law, Logic, and Social Science of Courtroom Evidence
SOCIOL 242 Drugs & Society
SOCIOL 248 Conformity and Deviance
SOCIOL 323 Sociology of Law
SOCIOL 342 Deviance & Social Order
SOCIOL 343 Hate Crime
SOCIOL 344 Gender and Crime
SOCIOL 345 Juvenile Delinquency
SOCIOL 346 Communities Crime
SOCIOL 347 Corporate Crime
SOCIOL 349 Race, Class & Crime
SOCIOL 350 Policing and Surveillance
SOCIOL 391M Serial Mass Murder (online)
SOCIOL 392J Race & Policing
SOCIOL 394F Crime & Forensics (online)
SOCIOL 394S White Collar Crime (online)
SOCIOL 395AP American Police (online)
SOCIOL 395K Domestic Violence
SOCIOL 397AM Asylums, Madness, and Mental Illness (online)
SOCIOL 397CL Criminal Legal System (online)
SOCIOL 397CP Crime and Public Policy (online)
SOCIOL 397GF Gender, Crime, and Family (online)
SOCIOL 397MC Mass Incarceration in the U.S.
SOCIOL 397PA  Probation and Parole
SOCIOL 497S Surveillance and Society

One course from a department outside of Sociology may be used toward the certificate:

(Alternative courses may be substituted but must be approved by a sociology undergraduate advisor.)

ANTHRO 297MR Forensics: Myth and Reality
CMPSCI 391LI Computer Crime Law
EDUC 297A School-to-Prison Pipeline
HONORS 322H Criminal Law and Justice in the U.S.
LEGAL 250 Intro to Legal Studies
LEGAL 333 Law & Culture in America
LEGAL 360 Civil Liberties in Wartime
LEGAL 397RE Law & Politics of Race and Ethnicity in the U.S.
POLSCI 162 Intro to Constitutional Law
POLSCI 163 Intro to Civil Liberties
POLSCI 297GL/LEGAL 297R Gender, Law & Politics
POLSCI 360 Constitutional Law
PSYCH 297F Forensic Psychology
PSYCH 355 Adolescent Psychology
PSYCH 380 Abnormal Psychology

Students are strongly encouraged to pursue a Criminal Justice-based internship or practicum in order to apply the skills they will develop in their coursework. Practica credits do not count toward total certificate credits/requirements.

To learn more, watch this informational video.