Certificate Programs

Advanced Certificate in Criminal Investigation

Program Summary:

Credits Required: 12
Tuition Per Credit:

Next Start Date:


The Advanced Certificate in Criminal Investigation is designed for students who wish to engage in research, become homeland security professionals at local, state or federal levels, or join U.S. agencies concerned with criminal investigation. Upon successful completion, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the Constitution as it relates to criminal investigations
  • Apply the rules and ethics of evidence to case studies
  • Use the rules and ethics of crime scene investigation to analyze diverse examples of crime scenes


The Advanced Certificate in Criminal Investigation is an interdisciplinary program. All courses are offered by the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program. This is a stand-alone certificate at the post-baccalaureate level. A student may pursue the Certificate independent of a master's program or while pursuing a John Jay master's degree.

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Curriculum Courses

Course Name
CRJ 708 Law, Evidence, and Ethics
Course Description
Examines the rules of evidence followed in criminal investigations, criminal trials and administrative proceedings. Pays special attention to the methods and ethical obligations of government agents assigned to gather evidence.
Course Name
CRJ 733 Constitution & Crime and Justice
Course Name
CRJ 751 Crime Scene Investigation
Course Description
Analyzes issues related to the investigation of crime scenes. Reviews the legal rules, derived from the Fourth Amendment and the laws of evidence that investigators must master in order to maintain the legal integrity of the crime scene search and that of any evidence seized during the crime scene investigation. Examines, in depth, the scientific principles and procedures essential to thorough, effective handling of physical evidence at a crime scene investigation. Discusses specific types of evidence, including fingerprints, firearms evidence, arson evidence and DNA evidence.

ELECTIVES (Students select 1 from the following)
Course Name
CRJ 745 Legal Aspects of Undercover Activity
Course Description
The use of undercover agents and operations in recent years has proven to be an essential technique in not only the detection but also the investigation of white collar crime, political corruption, and organized crime. However, the use of this technique inherently involves an element of deception and may require cooperation at times with persons whose motives and conduct are open to question. Thus, there are many legal and ethical issues to consider. This course will identify these legal issues and analyze them in conjunction with the ethical and moral justifications that may or may not exist in the use of undercover techniques.
Course Name
CRJ 753 Investigating Cybercrime
Course Description
Study of the legal, ethical and organizational issues, as well as investigative techniques associated with forensic computing cases. The various organizational models used in computer crime investigations and transnational cooperation are considered.
Course Name
CRJ 762 Investigating Violent Crime
Course Description
This course considers theoretical and practical issues related to violent crime investigation. As a theoretical matter, it examines the special issues associated with the investigation of violent crime, in particular the problems that arise in addressing public concern when violent crimes are unsolved and the different kinds of investigative strategies appropriate for rape as opposed to other types of violent crimes. Court materials are employed to introduce students to legal issues associated with search and seizure, interrogation of suspects, and production of bodily fluids. Students are also introduced to investigative techniques associated with homicides, serial murders, kidnapping, and activities by gangs.


Before enrolling into the Advanced Certificate in Criminal Investigation program, applicants must first meet the following requirements:

  • An undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Personal Statement

Career Options

The online program is suitable for students interested in pursuing a career in homeland security at local, state, or federal levels; joining national and international counter-terrorism agencies; conducting research on terrorism in academia; or seeking opportunities in relevant industries.