Graduate Certificate in Justice Leadership

Program Format

Online and evenings
(Ankeny and WDM Campuses)
8-week courses

Credit Hours

16 credit hours (4 courses)


$550/ credit hour

When Can I Start?

Fall Semester


Find out more

New beginning in Fall 2017

New beginning in Fall 2017, the Graduate Certificate in Justice Leadership will provide a 16-credit (4 course) series to post-baccalaureate learners who have a strong interest in continuing their education in the area of leadership, criminal justice, and ethics.

These core areas are essential to public and private sector professionals who work, or strive to work, in the areas of criminal and social justice.

History of excellence in social sciences

  • Simpson has more than seven decades of experience in providing educational opportunities to students in the area of social sciences.
  • The Department is unique in that it offers a strong liberal arts foundation to professional areas of study such as criminal justice and human services at the undergraduate level, and to the graduate level.

Your learning objectives

Students who complete the Graduate Certificate in Justice Leadership will gain greater understanding of:

  • procedural justice and fairness;
  • bias awareness, inclusivity, human rights, and tolerance;
  • ethical perspectives and ethical problem-solving, and
  • leadership development in the areas of government, non-profits, and the private sector.

Students will be able to formulate ethical responses to professional situations, and students will be able to develop leadership skills needed in working with diverse populations.

Why A Graduate Certificate in Justice Leadership at Simpson?

Simpson has been committed to education in the social sciences for over 70 years, and has been offering the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ) since 2009.

Graduates of the MACJ program can be found throughout Iowa and the Midwest, working in policy and analysis, corrections, human services, law enforcement, and in a variety of private sector agencies.

Course Requirements (16- credits)

This unique graduate certificate includes these four courses:

  • Leadership in the Criminal Justice System – Required (4 cr.)
  • Social Justice and Human Rights – Required (4 cr.)
  • Standards of Professional Behavior – Required (4 cr.)
  • Graduate Course – Elective (such as Correctional Practices in the U.S., Criminal Law and the Legal Processes, and others) (4 cr.)

All 16 credits can be applied toward the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program, which consists of a nine course (36 credit) program.

This allows students who may be wish to complete graduate work in criminal justice to earn a shorter certificate, rather than solely a master’s degree, or to decide at a later point to continue graduate work to earn the master’s degree, with only five courses remaining.

When Can I Begin?

The Graduate Certificate in Justice Leadership begins in the fall of each year.

Students can complete the program in one year (Term 1 and Term 2 during Fall semester, and Term 3 and Term 4 during Spring semester) or choose to take additional time, if their particular circumstances warrant doing so.


Contact Director Dr. Samantha O’Hara at or Ankeny Campus Director and Graduate Advisor Craig Peck at for details!

As a working mother of two in my forties the thought of going back to school was both exciting and frightening. I was concerned that the learning environment of the college classroom had passed me by. However, at Simpson I felt welcomed and encouraged to challenge myself in areas I had not yet encountered in my work life or previous college career… I can proudly say I have a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Simpson College. But more than that, Simpson taught me to look at things in ways I hadn’t done before, it challenged me outside my learning comfort zone and provided me with a wonderful experience, friendship, as well as education that I can use in my profession and beyond!

Stacy Hartsfield, MACJ ’16, Lutheran Services of Iowa

Simpson college has been a veteran friendly college with a faculty and staff who are infectiously enthusiastic about their area of expertise. As a MACJ graduate, I can say that the professors and advisors are committed to knowing each student on a personal level and strive to help each reach his or her goals.

Michael Credidio, MACJ ’17, U.S. Department of Homeland Security