Criminal Sentencing and Sentencing Advocacy (Graduate Certificate)

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Social media and nightly news are filled with events influencing the justice system. As a practioner and advocate seeking advanced expertise, you will develop the skills needed to serve confidently as a presentence investigator, mitigation specialist, sentencing advocate or victim advocate through this certificate.

Social workers, criminal justice professionals and recent graduates of psychology and other social and behavioral sciences perform a number of roles in the disposition and sentencing of public offenders. They also provide support for victims of crime during the criminal justice process.

The certificate program in criminal sentencing and sentencing advocacy assumes that in order for any professional to function effectively they must have a fundamental knowledge of the respective roles sentencing professionals play during various phases of the criminal justice process.

In keeping with this viewpoint, all students are required to take courses for practice as both a presentence investigator and a sentencing advocate. Those courses are seminars in courts and sentencing, in presentence investigations, and in alternatives to penal sanctions. After taking these required courses, they select an area of specialization to further their expertise as either a probation professional, mitigation specialist or victim advocate. They take these courses from a range of electives available in the schools of Criminology and Criminal Justice and Social Work.

This interprofessional certificate program also provides participants with content on the relationship between mental disorder and crime and the way in which differential sentencing frameworks affect the sentencing of offenders suffering from mental disorders. This course is highly recommended for social workers desiring to practice as mitigation specialists and in criminal justice professions responsible for making recommendations about the appropriateness of sentencing alternatives.

At A Glance

Criminal Sentencing and Sentencing Advocacy (Graduate Certificate)

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in social work, criminology, criminal justice or a related field, or if they are individuals who are currently enrolled in the master of criminal justice program.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

There are no required admission examinations for this program.

What are ASU's Online Programs?

ASU Online offers programs like Criminal Sentencing and Sentencing Advocacy (Graduate Certificate) in an entirely online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year.

More information on the program is available directly from ASU Online.