Certificate in Fundamentals of Correctional Psychology

Supports mental health professionals working within, or seeking to work within, correctional systems to attain the skills, knowledge, and attitudes essential to success and safety.


Certificate Overview


Our Advanced Practice Certificate Fundamentals of Correctional Psychology supports mental health professionals working within, or seeking to work within, correctional systems to attain the skills, knowledge, and attitudes essential to success and safety.

The program is designed to support mental health professionals who seek to work within correctional systems to attain the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that support efficacy and safety within the correctional environment.  It is also designed to support those already within the system to enhance their knowledge and skillset.

Faculty and Admissions

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Certificate Highlights


Pathway to Master’s

The credits from this certificate coursework can be applied toward earning your Master of Science Degree in Forensic Behavioral Science or Forensic Leadership Administration.


Entirely Online

Our Certificate in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies is offered fully online. All classes and coursework can be completed virtually, allowing flexibility with your schedule.


Explore your Professional Identity

Students in this program will be given the skills and knowledge to help build their professional identity in the field of correctional psychology while mastering evidence-based practices in clinical intervention in correctional settings.


Curriculum Plan

Course One: Developing a Correctional Professional Identity

This course provides an introduction to and overview of the field of correctional psychology, and of the unique relational factors that contribute to and/or hinder realization of professional identify within correctional settings. Students will learn about the unique culture of correctional institutions, and the health professional’s role as a member of an inter-professional team. Students will explore the factors associated with successful and intentional development of a solid professional identity, including addressing difficult situations within corrections, common lapses in judgment and missteps that occur in correctional institutions, conditions that lead to burn out, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, strategies for self-care, and best practices for conflict resolution in an adversarial environment. Special emphasis will be placed on ethical decision-making in the correctional setting.

Course Two: Developmental Bases of Criminal Behavior

This course will explore the major distinctions between normative and criminal human development, including the major theories of personality development as related to criminal behavior. The impact of various factors on criminal behavior, including macro-level factors (culture, media, political context), neuroscientific factors, and major theories of cognitive development, related to criminal behavior.

Course Three: Evidence-based Practices in Corrections

This course reviews the particular impact of common and co-morbid physical, psychological, and environmental conditions on clinical intervention in correctional settings.  The impact of institutional resources and priorities on treatment planning is explored. Common treatment interventions utilized in the correctional environment, including motivational interviewing and various cognitive-behavioral and psychoeducational interventions, are reviewed and practiced. The course will also review basic psychopharmacology commonly used in correctional settings. Additional best practices specific to correctional settings, including establishing a therapeutic alliance, including the strategies for working with resistant patients; counter-transference issues that arise when working within correctional settings; and special considerations, such as screening for and treating suicality and homicidality.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the modality of this program?

    The Certificate in Fundamentals of Correctional Psychology program is offered fully online. All classes and coursework can be completed virtually, allowing you flexibility with your schedule.

  • What scholarship and financial aid options are available to me?

    Private and public scholarships can help you meet the cost of your education. Alliant International University is pleased to be able to offer a significant number of institutional scholarships for many of our students. Learn more about these scholarship opportunities here. Additional Financial aid is available for those who qualify in the form of loans, grants, federal work study, and military aid. Learn more in our Financial Options Guide.


Degree Campus Locations

The Institute’s Certificate Programs are online. Explore all of our programs below.


Why Alliant

At Alliant, our mission is to prepare students for professional careers of service and leadership and promote the discovery and application of knowledge to improve the lives of people in diverse cultures and communities around the world. Our Vision is an inclusive world empowered by Alliant alumni.



The California School of Forensic Studies is dedicated to graduating rigorously educated and trained professionals who impact society, public opinion, and policy by applying science in the service of preventing, investigating, and mitigating conflict and violence.


What will your impact be?

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