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Academic Certification

ACJS Certification Standards

ACJS Certification Standards for Academic Programs were initially approved May 2, 2005, and updated as needed by the ACJS Executive Board.  The goal of ACJS in adopting these Standards and implementing a Certification Review process is to measurably improve the quality of criminal justice education.  For several years, ACJS had Minimum Standards for Criminal Justice Education and these standards were used in a peer review process through ACJS Academic Review.  The new standards and process represent an evolution from “peer review” to “certification”.  The ACJS Certification is designed to evaluate evidence-based compliance with the Certification Standards.

What do we mean by compliance with standards?  The ACJS Executive Board will Certify those programs that undergo ACJS Certification Review and that have demonstrated, through substantive, credible evidence, the program meets or exceeds all parts of every standard.  The emphasis is on evidence, not intention.  Programs are required to provide evidence of program quality & effectiveness based on program outcome assessment.

The Certification Standards are broken into nine sections, each of which has specific Standards & Recommended Indicators.  The sections are:

  • A: Program Mission and History
  • B: Program Structure and Curriculum
  • C: Faculty
  • D: Admission and Articulation
  • E: Resources
  • F: Student Services
  • G: Integrity
  • H: Program Quality & Effectiveness
  • I: Branch Campuses, Additional Locations, and Other Instructional Sites

The Certification Standards for Academic Programs and Process for Undergoing Review are available for Associate, Baccalaureate, and Master’s degree programs.  Click on the degree type below to view the document that includes the process and standards.  The certification process is the same for each of the three levels of degree programs.

Associate Degree Process and Standards
Baccalaureate Degree Process and Standards
Master’s Degree Process and Standards

Refer to the Certification FAQ for answers to questions, clarification about the process, and interpretation of specific standards. 

Certification FAQ

Application for Program Certification requires the completion of a single Part I form and one Part II for each program to be reviewed for certification.

Application Part I:  Information Form
Application Part II:  Program Profile

Self-Study Templates for Associate, Baccalaureate, and Master’s degree programs are provided below, along with the required supplemental forms. 

Self-Study Template for Associate Degree Programs
Self-Study Template for Baccalaureate Degree Programs
Self-Study Template for Master’s Degree Programs

Supplemental Forms for Self-Study

Certification Reviewer Standards and Application.  Only ACJS Executive Board Certified Reviewers who have undergone certification reviewer training are eligible to serve on a review team.  To nominate an individual as a potential reviewer, please email the nomination letter including the individual’s contact information to Dr. Robert Jerin,  The nominee must complete the Certification Reviewer Application Form and provide a current vita before action will be taken by the ACJS Executive Board.

Standards for Certification Reviewers at the Associate, Baccalaureate and Master’s levels
Certification Reviewer Application Form

ACJS Certified Programs.  The list of programs certified by the ACJS Executive Board are posted to the following webpage: 

ACJS Certified Programs

Certification Contact for Further Information:
ACJS Academic Review Committee Chair, Dr. Robert Jerin,