With every criminal event there are two main parties involved - the offender and the victim. However, much of the criminal justice system and the field of criminology focus predominantly on the offender. As a result, this leaves many students with very little knowledge of how crime impacts those who experience it. Why are some people more likely to become victimized? What type of impact does victimization have? What does our system do to help crime victims. In order to help shed light on these and many other questions, students have the opportunity to engage in a field of study that focuses specifically on victimization by participating in the Certificate in Victimology and Victims Services (VVS) program.
What is the Victimology & Victim Services Certificate Program?
The VVS Certificate program includes a series of classes that provide students with specialized knowledge of victimology, victim issues, and the systemic responses to victims. Students will gain the background necessary to better understand causes, impact, and treatment of victimization. Completion of the certificate program will better prepare students for careers that directly involve working with crime victims, including careers in criminal justice, social work, teaching, counseling, and many other human service fields.
Who Can Participate in the Certificate Program?
All undergraduates have the opportunity to participate in the VVS Certificate program, including criminal justice majors. In order to declare the VVS Certificate, students must have complete the major/minor declaration form located on the registrar's website. You can access the form by clicking here. Given the high demand, there are limited spaces available within the certificate program.
What are the Requirements for the Certificate Program?
The VVS Certificate program consists of 12 credit hours of victimology-related coursework, passing each course with a "C" or higher. Students are required to complete CRJ CRJ 326: Victimology - The Victim and the Law, CRJ 469: Victim Treatment & Services, and two other CRJ victimology-focused elective courses. Criminal Justice students who declare the certificate must first complete CRJ 309: Theories of Crime & Crime Control before beginning the certificate courses. In order to review the course options, please see the Victimology & Victim Services Certificate Planning Sheet below.
VVS Certificate Planning Sheet (PDF)