Online Postbaccalaureate Certificate

Criminology & Criminal Justice Postbac Online

Postbaccalaureate Certificate Program

Program Description

The fully online Postbaccalaureate (Postbac) Certificate in Criminology and Criminal Justice is designed to complement your existing bachelor’s degree. Regardless of whether you have background in criminal justice, the fully online post-bachelor’s certificate is intended to equip you with the knowledge and skills need to advance or change your career. The flexible curriculum allows you to tailor the program to suit your individual interests and career goals. In this online program, you will learn about crime, criminal justice, and crime control using data, theory, and research. You will build the foundation necessary to help develop comprehensive crime prevention approaches and better crime control strategies.

While CCJ Online offers the same postbac certificate as the CCJ campus-based program, there are important differences in terms of program admission steps, course tuition, advising, and course pacing. Complete information is available on the CCJ Online Pathway page. 

Certificate Requirements

Portland State admits two types of postbaccalaureate students—those who are seeking a second bachelor’s degree and those who are pursuing a post-bachelor’s certificate. Students seeking a second bachelor’s degree should visit the CCJ Online bachelor’s degree page for those requirements.

Students in the online postbaccalaureate certificate program complete 40 credits made up of courses in three distinct categories:

Required Courses (20 credit hours)

Complete all five of these required courses.

  • CCJ 300 Criminology and Criminal Justice (4 credits)
  • CCJ 320 Theories of Crime (4 credits)
  • CCJ 330 Crime Control Strategies (4 credits)
  • CCJ 380 Criminal Justice Research (4 credits)
  • CCJ 420 Criminal Law and Legal Reasoning (4 credits)

Specialization Courses (8 credit hours)

Choose two of the following three courses.

  • CCJ 301 Policing in America (4 credits)
  • CCJ 303 Punishment and Corrections (4 credits)
  • CCJ 310 American Courts (4 credits)

CCJ Elective Courses (12 credit hours)

To satisfy the elective requirement, students select additional CCJ courses (totaling 12 credits) that match their interests. At least 8 of these elective credits must be from courses at the 300-level or above. All electives offered through CCJ Online satisfy this requirement.


Course Calendar & Descriptions

CCJ Online is a year-round program, meaning that students need to take some courses in the summer in order to complete their program. The schedule for all courses is released at least one year in advance to help students plan for upcoming terms. 

Since they are only open to admitted CCJ Online students, CCJ Online courses cannot be found in PSU’s Schedule of Classes. Registration for CCJ Online courses takes places through a separate, customized process. Schedules and registration information is provided directly to CCJ’s online students each term, along with individual advising to assist with selecting courses. CCJ Online makes space for each of its students to register for any course offered by their online program. This means that online program students don’t have to worry about losing the opportunity to register for a CCJO course because it’s already full.

Visit CCJ Online course page for course descriptions and CCJ Online course calendar.

Transfer Credits

Transfer credit may be used to complete up to 16 of the 40 credits required for the postbac certificate. Transfer credits are accepted from regionally accredited colleges or universities. All credits need to be college-level with a passing grade.

For all Oregon and some Washington community colleges, CCJ has pre-approved a set of criminology or criminal justice courses that automatically substitute for specific CCJ Online program courses.

Find the list of pre‐approved substitution courses from your Oregon or Washington community college here.

Get Started & Getting Help

CCJ Online students are provided consistent support and specialized advising to assist them with completing their fully online program. Students are proactively assisted in each phase of the program with a wide variety of matters, including course planning, registration, connecting with academic resources, understanding and navigating university processes, and preparing for graduation.

Incoming and new students are provided exceptional advising and support by CCJ Online's Enrollment Advisor Chelsey Huff. Chelsey works with prospective students exploring the CCJ Online program options, incoming CCJ Online students who have started the PSU application process, and new CCJ Online students getting ready for their first term.  Chelsey can answer a wide variety of questions about admissions requirements, transfer credits, financial aid, CCJ course content, career opportunities,  PSU resources, and more.  CCJ Online's Enrollment Advisor can be reached at   

For established students, CCJ Online's Academic Advisor is Angela Barrett, CCJ’s resident expert on successfully guiding online students through PSU and CCJ’s fully online programs. Angela is a former PSU student herself and has been working with CCJ’s online students for a decade. Angela can be reached at and (503) 725-5131. General advising information and university contacts available through the CCJ Online Advising Center.