The Undergraduate Certificate in Criminal Justice program at Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET) provides a comprehensive and in-depth study of law enforcement, the judiciary, and corrections, beginning with introductory principles of criminal justice, and then laying the foundation for deeper study into the critical areas of the justice system.
The certificate program can provide a way to integrate scholarship about criminal justice within an existing program of study at Boston University, or may serve as a stand-alone credential for nondegree students enrolled in Metropolitan College. The certificate will help you lay a foundation in the discipline of criminal justice—whether you seek to prepare for graduate study or are looking for a professional development opportunity.
Program at a Glance
- On Campus
- Part-Time Study
- 16 Credits Required
- 8–12 Months to Completion
A Foundation for Success in Criminal Justice
Metropolitan College’s Criminal Justice Undergraduate Certificate will equip you with:
- Proficient knowledge of the policies, operations, decision-making processes, and strategies of major institutions associated with the criminal justice system.
- Specialized knowledge of content areas connected to domains within the administration of justice (law, policing, adjudication, and corrections) and specific crime- and justice-related social problems.
- A capacity to recognize and analyze legal and ethical constraints, their implications for criminal justice policy and decision-makers, and the effect of justice policy and practice on diverse sets of values and groups in society.
- The ability to synthesize, evaluate, recognize implications, and communicate effectively using scholarly sources of information connected to crime theory and policy.
Why Complete Your Criminal Justice Undergraduate Certificate at BU?
- Engaged Faculty: In BU MET’s criminal justice undergraduate certificate program, an exceptional student-to-instructor ratio ensures close interaction with highly qualified faculty who draw from active research and substantial professional achievements in areas such as policy, police reform, evidence-based practices, and reentry and reintegration.
- Track Record: Learn from the best—BU MET has offered criminal justice education since 1973, introducing the master’s degree in criminal justice in 1980, which became BU’s first fully online program in 2002.
- Extensive Network: Study principles of criminal justice alongside peers with professional experience, learn from faculty who have valuable contacts in community outreach, law enforcement, research, and corrections, and benefit from a global alumni community with strong connections.
- Student Support: Benefit from access to personalized professional academic advice from the team of academic counselors in MET Enrollment & Student Success.
- 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 Schedule: Pursue your studies part-time, at the pace that works for you, evenings on campus.
- Affordable Tuition: Complete your certificate part-time at BU at a substantial savings compared to full-time study.
- Financial Assistance: Undergraduate students at BU MET are eligible for a range of financial aid and community-minded scholarship opportunities designed to support those investing in their education part-time who still need to navigate full-time responsibilities.
Flexible, Part-Time Degree Completion—at Boston University
Boston University’s Metropolitan College offers a wide range of bachelor’s degree completion programs in convenient, part-time evening formats—ideal for busy professionals who seek to earn a Boston University degree without turning their personal lives upside down or putting their careers on hold. Along with self-paced programs in a variety of majors on campus, MET also offers the Online Undergraduate Degree Completion Program, leading to a bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies.
A variety of undergraduate certificate programs provide the opportunity for focused study in a specific subject. Certificates can work into select degree programs at MET, offer breadth to current studies, or build professional skills and knowledge.
Certificate to Degree Pathways at BU MET
By mastering the fundamentals of the field under the tutelage of MET’s world-class Criminal Justice faculty, you develop both the skills and the habits necessary for continuing studies and vital University connections. The Criminal Justice Undergraduate Certificate program at Boston University’s Metropolitan College can serve as a building block to future undergraduate and graduate studies—including the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, the Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice, and the Master of Science in Criminal Justice.
To be eligible for degree programs, you must apply for admission and be accepted into the degree program. Consult with an admissions advisor to learn more about this option.
Undergraduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Curriculum
A total of 4 courses (16 credits) is required.
MET CJ 101 Principles of Criminal Justice
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the criminal justice system (law enforcement, the courts, and corrections) while developing students' critical thinking skills. In addition to class lectures, the course provides multiple venues for learning, to include group activities, guest lectures, a prison tour, and carefully selected films that highlight some of the most contentious issues in criminal justice today. [ 4 cr. ]
|A1||IND||Staff||KCB 104||M||6:00 pm – 8:45 pm|
MET CJ 251 Police and Society
This course provides a foundation for understanding the implications of policing in the United States. The course examines the historical development of policing in the U.S., the role of police in our society, police organizations and decision-making, policing strategies, as well as issues of authority and accountability. Throughout the course, several contemporary issues and controversies facing the police will be discussed including: police discrimination, police use of force practices, and other special topics. [ 4 cr. ]
MET CJ 271 Corrections: Concepts, Systems, and Issues
This course provides an overview of models of punishment and rehabilitation from the perspectives of the humanities and social sciences, including a review of correctional practices and procedures, institutional treatment, probation, parole, prison conditions, programs for juveniles, and comparative systems. Correction administration topics are covered including personnel, legal, operating practices, overcrowding, and planning. [ 4 cr. ]
|A1||IND||Matesanz||BRB 122||T||6:00 pm – 8:45 pm|
MET CJ 352 Courts, Society, and Criminal Procedure
Federal, state, and local criminal courts and their relationship to contemporary social and political issues. Historical background of the current criminal court system. Institutional functions of the courts. Role of the courts in reducing crime. Judicial process and criminal procedure, case studies and court decisions. [ 4 cr. ]
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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