Program at a Glance
- Online and On Campus
- Full-Time or Part-Time Study
- 16 Credits
- 8–12 Months to Completion
- 4 Full-Time Faculty Members
- No GRE/GMAT
- Tuition & Fees Range—Part-Time Study*: $8,680-$10,180
*Based on 2023–2024 Boston University tuition and fees. Merit scholarship may reduce cost.
Hone Your Criminal Justice Skills with a Graduate Certificate
Available on campus and online, the Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice at Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET) is designed to provide the foundational knowledge of criminal justice needed to face contemporary criminal justice challenges and lead reforms. This certificate combines theory, ethics, and research to prepare students to effectively manage and assess criminal justice policies and programs. Ideal candidates for this certificate would be individuals currently holding, or who seek to hold, policy-making positions in the field of criminal justice, as well as professionals whose work intersects with matters of criminal justice policy, such as social workers, mental health practitioners, journalists, and public health professionals.
#4 in 2023, and top 4 since 2015
MET’s online master’s degree in criminal justice is ranked #4 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 2023.Learn More
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Criminal Justice Career Outlook
Top criminal justice careers in cybercrime, crime analysis, and management.Learn More
“I chose BU MET for my graduate studies because it had everything I was looking for in a graduate program: world-renowned instructors, detailed focus on relevant subject matter (that is, topics relevant to current or recent criminal justice cases), and rave reviews by former students who found that the program really contributed to their success in their chosen fields.”—Madeleine Nay (MET’18), Gang Intelligence Technician, Gang Intelligence Operations, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Why BU Should Be Your Top Choice for Criminal Justice Graduate Study
- Active Learning Environment: Benefit from criminal justice coursework that employs case studies, simulations using real data, and hands-on problem solving to develop practical skills you can immediately apply on the job.
- Engaged Faculty: Collaborate with faculty who have subject-matter expertise, research-based insight, and extensive field experience in law enforcement, corrections, cybercrime investigation and digital forensics, research and policy, forensic mental health, the judicial system, strategic management, and many other areas.
- Extensive Network: Study alongside classmates whose diversity of criminal justice experience inspires discussion and debate, along with the opportunity to form valuable, long-lasting connections in the field.
- 15:1 Class Ratio: Enjoy an exceptional student-to-instructor ratio, ensuring close interaction with faculty and access to support.
- Valuable Resources: Make use of Boston University’s extensive resources, including the Center for Career Development, Fitness & Recreation Center, IT Help Centers, Mugar Memorial Library, Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, Center for Antiracist Research, Initiative on Cities, Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, George Sherman Union, and many others.
- Flexible Options: Study at the pace that works for you, evenings on campus or fully online. Courses begin fall, spring, and summer; online courses have two starts per term.
- Track Record: Learn from the best—BU MET has offered criminal justice education since 1973, introducing its master’s degree in criminal justice in 1980, which became BU’s first fully online program in 2002.
- Fee Waiver: Current members of the American Jail Association (AJA) are eligible for a Graduate Application fee waiver ($25 for applications to the graduate certificate program).
Prepare for the Future of Criminal Justice
The Criminal Justice graduate certificate is part of BU MET’s portfolio of criminal justice programs, which includes the Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) with concentrations in Crime Analysis, Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity, and Strategic Management, along with additional four-course graduate certificates in Crime Analysis, Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity, and Strategic Management in Criminal Justice.
Housed in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at MET, Boston University’s criminal justice programs prepare you to tackle contemporary challenges in the field, providing training in critical specialization areas and emphasizing practical, insightful, and adaptable knowledge that can be immediately applied on the job while informing your career growth for years to come.
Online or on campus, BU MET students of criminal justice come from all walks of life and comprise an intricate network of organizations. Whether you are pursuing or enhancing a criminal justice career, planning for a doctoral program, or considering a future in teaching, BU’s criminal justice programs will give you the foundation to navigate difficult issues, improve your practice, and open new possibilities for your future.
An Essential Foundation in Criminal Justice
Metropolitan College’s Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice will equip you with:
- Advanced knowledge of, and ability to evaluate, criminological and criminal justice theories and their implications for public policy and practice.
- Proficiency in research design and quantitative and qualitative analysis related to the evaluation of criminal justice practices, programs, and policies, and to the etiology of crime in applied settings.
- Competence sufficient to evaluate and resolve the ethical issues in criminal justice practice and implement, manage, and lead organizational changes and reforms to prevent or respond effectively to them.
- An ability to synthesize, evaluate, recognize implications and communicate effectively using scholarly sources of information connected to crime theory and policy.
- An understanding of leadership theories and skills as they pertain to managing and leading criminal justice organizations.
You can earn an MS in Criminal Justice by completing the Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice along with four elective courses from the CJ master’s program. To be eligible for the degree, you must apply for admission and be accepted into the degree program. Consult with a graduate admissions advisor to learn more about this option.
Criminal Justice Graduate Certificate Curriculum
(Four courses/16 credits)
MET CJ 570 Criminology and Crime Policy
This course explores potential answers to complex and important questions about criminal behavior by drawing on the social science of criminology. Criminology is the interdisciplinary study of the development of law, criminal phenomena and societal responses to crime. The course has two primary focuses: 1) to explore and evaluate major explanations or theories of crime and 2) understand and evaluate the policy implications of major crime problems. Because criminology is interdisciplinary, students will examine theories that are grounded in a range of academic perspectives, including sociological, biological, political, psychological and economic explanations for crime. These theories will be centered on important public policy debates about a host of contemporary problems, including: firearm violence, high post- incarceration recidivism, opioid use disorder crisis and human trafficking. Course lectures and discussions focus on the historical development of the theories, their major assumptions and propositions, their relevance for public policy and practice. As the course progresses through each explanation for crime, students will have the opportunity to critically evaluate the validity of different explanations for crime as well as criminal justice policies and practices that they support. [ 4 cr. ]
|A1||IND||Silver||PSY B55||T||6:00 pm – 8:45 pm|
MET CJ 571 Criminal Justice Administration and Ethics
This course will introduce students to the concepts of criminal justice administration and ethics. Students will learn about: the management of justice organizations in the United States, and the various debates as to how best to carry out crime control. Topics covered include: organizational theory and structure, professional ethics, leadership and management styles, organizational deviance and socialization, employee motivation, and management responses to stress and burnout. The course is designed to help students understand the characteristics of effective leadership and policy implementation in the field of criminal justice. Students will also have the opportunity to analyze ethical dilemmas commonly confronted in criminal justice work. [ 4 cr. ]Sum1 2023
|A1||IND||Staff||STH 113||W||6:00 pm – 8:45 pm|
MET CJ 590 Research and Evaluation Methods
The skills used in research method have become central to many positions within criminal justice administration and related areas. Not only are professionals required to understand and critically evaluate the program and policy science in their field to make decisions, they often employ methodological skills in program and policy development, implementation, management and assessment. This course takes students through the research process from question development to administration and reporting. It emphasizes applied research situations and settings and specifically program evaluation and assessment. After examining various research design models, the course focuses on specific techniques that inform both quantitative and qualitative evaluation studies. These include sampling procedures, survey design, interview techniques, participant observation and case studies and process evaluations. [ 4 cr. ]
|A1||IND||Staff||COM 213||R||6:00 pm – 8:45 pm|
Plus one elective from the following list:
MET CJ 511 Rehabilitation and Re-Integration
Community re-integration following imprisonment has long been recognized as a significant problem. Longer sentences and rapid changes have created new problems for both returning inmates and those who provide services both inside and outside the criminal justice system. This course will examine rehabilitation philosophy in theory and practice. Lectures and seminars will address such issues as: the special problems in providing rehabilitation and education in the correctional system, the effect of inmate subculture on rehabilitation, and balancing demands for custody and rehabilitation. [ 4 cr. ]
MET CJ 512 Sexual Violence
This course will engage the topics of sexual deviance and sexual trauma through multiple lens. These lenses will include psychological, sociological, criminal justice, public health and social justice perspectives. The course will explore multiple facets of understanding sexual deviance and sexual trauma including legal and philosophical perspectives, historical activism, understanding and treatment of sexual offending, and survivor responses. The roles of multiple systems including the media, mental health organization and the criminal justice system will be taken into account. This course includes ongoing group work that will engage critical inquiry, addressing relevant topics in sexual trauma in practical ways. Students will utilize knowledge of theory and research methodology to pursue real world responses to issues of sexual violence and trauma. [ 4 cr. ]
|A1||IND||Rousseau||CAS B06B||W||6:00 pm – 8:45 pm|
MET CJ 520 Violence and Trauma
Violence and Trauma examines the psychological impact of crime, terror and disasters on society and the individuals who are members of it. The class is geared toward students in the social sciences including Psychology, Urban Affairs, Criminal Justice, and Sociology. A variety of traumas will be examined (e.g., childhood abuse, domestic violence and crime, war combat, terrorism, and natural disasters). The course examines the social, cultural and political environments in which trauma, trauma research and treatment occur. This course provides an introduction and overview of the field of traumatic stress studies including the nature of trauma, responses to trauma and treatment for disorders of traumatic stress. [ 4 cr. ]
MET CJ 531 Youth Crime Problems
Analysis of policy issues concerning juvenile justice and youth crime. Scope and nature of youth crime and the young offender. Juvenile justice procedures, programs, and institutional roles. Considers delinquency prevention programs, violent offenders, dispositional alternatives, and crimes against youth. [ 4 cr. ]
MET CJ 591 Applied Analytical Methods
Evidence-based and data-driven approaches to crime problems are the industry standard among criminal justice agencies and non-governmental organizations. This course will cover a variety of statistical "tools" from three broad areas: (1) descriptive statistics, (2) inferential statistics and hypothesis testing, and (3) measures of association. Students will learn how to develop research questions, describe and draw conclusions from quantitative data, and interpret statistical research findings, and be able to present these findings to a variety of audiences in a clear and accurate way -- to be able to "tell a story" with numbers. In addition, students will develop a proficiency working with large data sets and conducting analysis with a critical lens, using the analytical software -- Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) -- commonly used in criminal justice and related fields. [ 4 cr. ]Sum2 2023
MET CJ 610 Cybercrime
This course is designed to help students understand and apply the nature of computer crime in the criminal justice field. Several theories (both micro-level and macro-level) will be presented and will be analyzed in depth and applied to computer crime cases both past and present. Students will see how major theories have been re-developed to be applied to computer crime, and by using these theories, students will both develop and explore different strategies for future law enforcement. Students will be presented with common types of fraudulent schemes, as well as several laws that have been enacted and developed specifically for computer crime. In addition, causes, victimization, legal issues, control strategies, and societal costs regarding the "computer-crime" problem will be explored and evaluated. [ 4 cr. ]Sum1 2023
|A1||IND||Choi||MCS B29||M||6:00 pm – 8:45 pm|
MET CJ 612 Crime and Intelligence Analysis
Contemporary law enforcement agencies regularly employ crime and intelligence analysis to develop and inform effective responses to crime. This course provides an in-depth examination of crime and intelligence analysis techniques. It also explores the role of the crime and intelligence analyst within law enforcement organizations and processes, the historical evolution of this approach, key legal and policy issues, and challenges to implementation. Students have the opportunity to apply these skills to case study simulations involving an array of common crime problems and cases using real-world examples and sources of information. [ 4 cr. ]Sum1 2023
|A1||IND||Cronin||CAS 235||M||6:00 pm – 8:45 pm|
MET CJ 620 Cyberterrorism and Cyber Defense
Cyber-terrorists continuously leverage sophisticated techniques in efforts to attack the nation's critical infrastructures by damaging their functionalities and stealing highly sensitive intellectual property, private information, and valuable assets. This course is designed to explore a new explanatory angle for studying cyberterrorism issues from a cyber- intelligence perspective. Major cyberterrorism cases will be empirically analyzed and applied into a lab environment for gaining hands-on-experience and to develop defensive strategies and counter measures. This course aims to examine three main types of cyberterrorism 1) Information Attacks, 2) Infrastructure Attacks, and 3) Technology Facilitation for building both technical capability and a set of policy recommendations to counter these potential threats. [ 4 cr. ]
MET CJ 625 Victimology
The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the discipline of victimology, an emerging area of specialization in the field of criminology. Emphasis will focus on crime victims and their plight, the relationships between crime victims and other social groups and institutions, such as the media, business, politicians, special interest groups, and social movements. The issues of Justice and Redress from the perspective of the victim as well as general society will be stressed. An overview of victim prevention programs and victim assistance programs will be presented. Topics such as the Restorative Justice Model, Victim Repayment, and Victim/Offender Mediation will be included in the course content. While the course follows an interdisciplinary approach and is designed for general interest and appeal, it has particular relevance for students drawn from disciplinary interests in the fields of criminal justice, psychology, sociology, education, health care administration, and political science. [ 4 cr. ]
MET CJ 632 White-Collar Crime
This course introduces students to the concept of white collar crime as an area of scientific inquiry and theory formation. It critically examines the latest scholarship on the subject by looking at white collar crime through a multiplicity of perspectives and reference points. These range from focus on the offense, offender, legal structure, organizational structure, individual, and organizational behavior, to victimization and guardianship, with special attention on the interaction between these components. The course also assesses the nature, extent, and consequences of white collar crime nationally and internationally. To enhance the understanding of white collar crime in today's Information Technology development, the course will pay special attention to roles of IT including fintech and cryptocurrency connections within white collar crime. It will also introduce rapidly emerging cybercrime issues while discussing various challenges of cybercrime investigation and limited digital forensics tools. Finally, the course examines current criminal justice system efforts at controlling white collar crime. Given the relative ineffectiveness of traditional criminal justice responses, alternative systems of control will be examined, ranging from compliance and regulations, private security, and public opinion, to prevention. Students will visit the websites of various government agencies or professional organizations to explore their functions and their current efforts to fight white collar crimes. Finally, many tangible research- based suggestions will be made regarding actions that organizations and businesses can take to reduce losses accrued due to white collar crime. [ 4 cr. ]
MET CJ 640 CJ Management & Accountability Analytics
Data analysis informs administration, management and accountability processes within criminal justice and related organizations. While traditional crime analysis often narrowly seeks to improve the organization's effectiveness towards public safety outcomes, management and accountability analysis seeks to also ensure fair, efficient, transparent, and accountable practices as well. This course examines contemporary management and accountability practices with an emphasis on the ways in which data can be employed to improve these practices. Students will learn skills to work with real data sources across justice-system domains, from policing to corrections, as well as community-based organizations. Contemporary challenges, such as disparate treatment, abuse of force, 'overpolicing,' frame discussions and assignments. Students will understand the strengths and limitations of data-informed approaches. The course is valuable to students seeking careers in analytical roles, other practitioners, non-profit managers, and those interested in justice reform more broadly. [ 4 cr. ]
MET CJ 650 Terrorism
This course will include a general introduction to the overt as well as underlying ideology, history, reasons and causes of terrorism. Both domestic and international terrorism will be discussed. Domestic hate groups will also receive particular attention. The roles of politics and the media will be discussed. Students will be exposed to the philosophies of terrorists and terrorism. Counter terrorism will also be discussed at length. Students are expected to participate actively in the course. There will be written assignments, a midterm, a class presentation, and a final paper. [ 4 cr. ]
MET CJ 660 Gender and Justice
This course examines the role of gender in both criminal behavior and the societal response to crime. Gender affects criminal behavior, structures our responses to crime, and presents unique challenges for the criminal justice system. While the course examines the role of gender in these ways for both men and women, the course focuses on the limitations of research, policy and practice that has focused traditionally on male offenders. The course also examines the role of gender in criminal justice organizations and processes. [ 4 cr. ]
MET CJ 710 Applied Digital Forensic Investigation
This course is designed to engage students for conducting successful forensic examinations of digital devices and computer networks with hands-on-experience within the Virtual Security Lab. The course introduces EnCase forensic software, which has received the high acceptance rate in a court of law as an expert witness. The course aims to cover various cybercrime topics and digital forensic investigation practices using digital evidence samples. In the process of learning, students will explore the nature of specific cybercrime and be able to successfully analyze and document the digital evidence related to the crime. [ 4 cr. ]
MET CJ 711 Criminal Justice Policy and Planning
This course will introduce you to the concepts of criminal justice policy and planning. You will be introduced to two major theories of planning and apply them to criminal justice settings. Additionally, you will learn the techniques for analyzing problems, developing programs and policies resulting from problem analysis, along with program and policy monitoring and evaluation. [ 4 cr. ]
MET CJ 720 Trauma and Crisis Intervention
Trauma and Crisis Intervention examines the psychological impact of trauma on individuals and society. This course will address the important role trauma plays in criminal justice settings, providing a practical understanding of trauma and trauma informed care. This understanding will serve to benefit practitioners in this field. The course will cover key issues in trauma and crisis intervention, addressing both theory and practice. The course examines the social, cultural and political environments in which trauma, trauma research and treatment occur. This course provides an introduction and overview of the field of traumatic stress studies including the nature of trauma, responses to trauma and treatment for disorders of traumatic stress. A variety of traumas will be examined (childhood abuse and neglect, ongoing and complex trauma, interpersonal trauma, international trauma, etc.) In addition, trauma will be explored in a variety of contexts. Students will gain an understanding of the impact of trauma and crisis intervention both within the United States as well as globally. The capacity to foster resilience in survivors as well as the importance of self-care in reducing vicarious trauma will be stressed.
This course is designed to provide an understanding of trauma and crisis response for students who may work in a variety of criminal justice settings. The course will be geared toward and benefit both mental health practitioners as well as those working in law enforcement and correctional settings. The field of criminal justice more generally is clearly moving toward recognition of the importance of trauma informed care and services. The course will address trauma theory and practice in a practical way. The course will be interactive in nature and derive course work and material from real world examples. [ 4 cr. ]
MET CJ 725 Forensic Behavior Analysis
This course will examine the fascinating world of forensic psychology. It will examine the way in which the law and mental health intersect and forensic psychologists help the court in addressing a variety of cases and issues. The course will explore how expert opinions are formed and provided on a variety of issues including; not guilty by reason of mental illness pleas, competency to stand trial, prediction of future violence, sexual predators; psychopaths, the forcible medication of mentally ill patients, and civil commitment. The difference between sound and "junk" science will be discussed. [ 4 cr. ]
MET CJ 750 Policing in a Democratic Society
Police agencies play a critical role in a democratic society. While seeking to maintain order, enforce the law and deliver services effectively, police agencies are held accountable to a wide-variety of values by a number of powerful stakeholders. Police leaders, managers, and other personnel must understand the complexities of the police role in society, the political and legal constraints placed on them in addition to being experts in effective, evidence-based approaches to dealing with crime problems in the community. By applying theory, policy, and evaluation literature to the cutting-edge practices in the field, this course provides students with an advanced understanding in the field of police leadership, management, strategy, and accountability within a democratic society. 4 cr. [ 4 cr. ]
MET CJ 775 Seminar in the Law and Criminal Procedure
This course examines the origins and evolution of contemporary criminal procedure. Case law governing criminal justice functions such as stops, interrogations, arrests, warrants, identification practices, the use of informants, and searches and seizures will be explored through the prism of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. [ 4 cr. ]
MET CJ 801 Special Project in Criminal Justice
Individual faculty supervision of an independent student project demonstrating application of previous program coursework to a selected topic, issue, or theme in criminal justice. [ 4 cr. ]
MET UA 507 Law and Justice in the City
Operation of the criminal justice system in the urban setting. Special attention is paid to the problems of safeguarding individual rights. Examines relationship between social and economic structure of cities and workings of the system of justice. [ 4 cr. ]
Any request for addition or substitution of elective courses requires approval from the department.
Criminal Justice Faculty
Tuition & Financial Assistance
Competitive TuitionOur part-time rates are substantially lower than those of the traditional, full-time residential programs yet provide access to the same high-quality BU education.
Comprehensive Financial AssistanceOur services include scholarships, graduate loans, and payment plans.
Please visit the BU MET admissions page for details on how to apply, financial assistance, tuition and fees, requirements for international students, and more.
What to Read Next: MET Criminal Justice Knowledge Center
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