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Applied Correctional Practice Graduate Certificate

This program no longer accepting applications.

Correctional Personnel across the table from an inmate


Applied Correctional Practice Graduate Certificate

Dr. Krista Gehring, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, discusses the new Applied Correctional Practice Graduate Certificate at the University of Houston-Downtown


Applied Correctional Practice Graduate Certificate

The need for individuals with the knowledge and skills to serve justice-involved populations is important for various criminal justice agencies.  The University of Houston-Downtown Department of Criminal Justice and Social Work partnered with professionals in both criminal justice and social work to develop an integrated graduate-level certificate that not only provides knowledge regarding evidence-based practices, but also the necessary skills to interact with various justice-involved populations. The graduate certificate in Applied Correctional Practice provides a unique approach to acquiring knowledge in a hands-on framework that easily transfers to the professional work arena.

Who Should Apply?

Individuals who earn this graduate-level certificate will have an advantage when applying for careers that involve working with justice-involved and at-risk populations. Agencies and organizations are looking for individuals who have both knowledge and skills to work with clients, and earning this graduate-level certificate will open a variety of career opportunities. For those already working in the field, this certificate will provide the most up to date and innovative education related to evidence-based practices and effective client management and treatment services.

Why Earn a Graduate Certificate in Applied Correctional Practice?

Houston-area agencies that serve justice-involved and at-risk populations seek to hire
individuals with the skills and knowledge to reduce recidivism and enhance public safety. The
combination of criminal justice knowledge of evidence-based practices and social work skills for
working with clients will be valuable to many agencies serving these populations. While not an exhaustive list, examples include federal, state, and city parole and probation agencies (adult and juvenile); pretrial agencies; state and federal correctional facilities; city and county jails; federal, state, and local court systems (including drug courts and mental health courts); community-based nonprofit agencies serving offenders, ex-offenders, or reentrants; faith-based agencies; and primary health and behavioral health care providers serving low-income people, including ex-offenders.


The Applied Correctional Practice Graduate Certificate at UHD is discipline driven. Criminal justice and social work professionals have participated in building the program and in recommending the topics that are covered in the courses required for completion of the certificate. The curriculum offers six graduate-level courses taken hybrid, online, and face-to-face modalities over the span of two long semesters, so students can complete the certificate in one academic year. Courses include the following:

  • CJ 6303 Foundations for Practice
  • CJ 6304 Specialized Populations in Criminal Justice
  • CJ 6305 Core Skills 1: Evidence-Based Practices
  • CJ 6306 Core Skills 2: Program Delivery
  • CJ 6340 Administration in Criminal Justice
  • One Elective in Criminal Justice

Curriculum Defined by Professionals in the Field

The topics offered in the coursework were designed using input from criminal justice and social work professionals who identified critical areas that are important for today's work force.

Application Deadline

Summer 2024 Application Deadline: April 12th


Application Process and Materials

1. Completed application at Grad Portal.

2. Submit all official college transcripts (applicants seeking admission to this pro­gram must hold a Bachelor's degree in criminal justice, social work, or related discipline from an accredited university) to Graduate Admissions at

3. Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4-point scale). Emphasis is placed on the final 60 credit hours of study.

4. Personal statement outlining experience and interest in the program (limit statement to 1,000 words). The application for Summer 2024 admission will be available in TK20 beginning November 6, 2023.

5. Applicants whose baccalaureate degree was conferred by a university who's native
language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency with a minimum
composite score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam as
well as a minimal score of 50 on each of the subscales.

Looking to Earn a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice?

This certificate is a good start to earning a master's degree in criminal justice. The courses in this certificate can apply to coursework necessary to complete an MSCJ.

For more information, contact:

Beth Gilmore
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

Kory Kilgore
Assistant Director of Graduate Studies


Information Sessions