The online Graduate Certificate in criminal sentencing and sentencing advocacy is offered collaboratively by ASU's School of Social Work and the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. This program is ideal if you are a criminal justice professional looking for career advancement or additional expertise in your field.

ASU Online offers start dates every 7.5 weeks.
Multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year.
Required number of credits to complete this degree.

The program also caters to those in social work or other related fields who are looking for specialized skills in criminal sentencing. The curriculum focuses on information needed for practice as pre-sentence investigators, sentencing advocates, liaisons or consultants to problem-solving courts, and as mitigation specialists in felony, parole and death penalty cases.

As a student, you will be introduced to various court processes, principles of justice, sentencing schemes, and best practices for writing reports and assessing offenders. You will learn investigation methods and the ethical standards that apply in the cases of neutrals (probation officers), expert witnesses, mitigation specialists, and sentencing advocates. You will also learn how to perform accurate assessments and examine best practices for managing various categories of offenders.

The electives offered in this certificate program allow for various levels of specialization, including specialized knowledge and training as mitigation specialists, as victim advocates, and as probation officers.

Top-Tier Program:

  • Home to ASU’s most diverse student body —and the largest community of first-generation college students.
  • #1 university in the U.S. for innovation
  • Named a prestigious global university
  • #2 university in the country for online undergraduate degree programs


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Recent Faculty Highlights Include:

  • Fellow by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
  • Fellow of the American Psychological Association
  • Director inducted into the National Academy of Public Administration

Program Summary

Total Hours:


Related Careers

Graduates with an ASU Online Criminal Sentencing & Sentencing Advocacy Graduate Certificate have career opportunities illustrated in the following list. Career examples include but are not limited to:


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

All applicants must submit:

  1. Graduate admission application
  2. Official transcripts
  3. Proof of English proficiency

Students not admitted to a graduate degree-granting program at ASU (nondegree-seeking students) must also submit two letters of recommendation and a current resume.

Additional Application Information

An applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) must provide proof of English proficiency.

There are no required admission examinations for this program.

Affording College

Learn about the different types of financial aid and scholarship opportunities available. ASU offers a Cost Calculator, Budget Worksheet and Scholarship Search to make the college planning process easier.

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