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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.

ACJS Associate Degree Process and Standards

ACJS Bachelor Degree Process and Standards

ACJS Master's Degree Process and Standards


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

ACJS Certification FAQ


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

ACJS Certification Application Part I:  Information

ACJS Certification 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. 

ACJS Associate Degree Program Self-Study Template

ACJS Bachelor Degree Program Self-Study Template

ACJS Master's Degree Program Self-Study Template

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. Harvey McMurray, hmcmurray@nccu.edu.  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


A listing of current ACJS Certified Programs can be found here.


Certification contact for further information:  ACJS Academic Review Committee Chair Dr. Harvey McMurray, hmcmurray@nccu.edu.