• Course Delivery
  • Total Credits
  • Tuition
  • Duration
    1 year

Program Highlights:

  • 100% online, no visits to campus required 
  • This program is one of the first in the nation designed to prepare students to enter a correctional health care setting as a health care administrator  
  • The course curriculum was designed by Newton E. Kendig, MD, clinical professor of medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) and retired medical director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons  
  • The program requires 15 total credits and can be finished in 12 months 

Graduate Certificate in Correctional Health Administration 

Our online Graduate Certificate in Correctional Health Administration (CHA) will help you develop a solid foundation and the critical training required for a career in correctional health care administration. Earn your certificate with confidence knowing that you'll be prepared to manage a health care delivery system that is effective and financially sustainable while meeting the needs of incarcerated patients.

You'll learn to: 

  • Design a health care services plan for incarcerated patient populations that meets diverse needs and is constitutional, evidenced-based and fiscally prudent 
  • Develop value-based strategies to mitigate risks and improve clinical outcomes 
  • Lead a correctional health care team and engage internal and external stakeholders 
  • Establish scope of services, meet staffing needs, manage budget and oversee public relations needs 

Who is the Ideal Student for this Program?

This program is ideal for current correctional health administrators who are interested in advancing their career and taking on a more challenging role in health services delivery. Students who are new to the field will be prepared to serve in an internship as an assistant correctional health administrator in a U.S. jail or prison.

The program is delivered completely online, meaning you can work around your current professional commitments and earn your certificate in one year on your own schedule.

Correctional Health Administration Career outlook

In late 2017, health care surpassed both manufacturing and retail as the largest employer in the United States due, in part, to its ability to resist economic downturns.1 Employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 20 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is more than double the average rate of growth for all other occupations.2

With your Correctional Health Administration graduate certificate, you'll be prepared to take on several leadership roles in correctional health: 

  • Health Care Administrator, median salary $64,4193 
  • Health Services Administrator, median salary $71,6854 
  • Director, Nursing, median salary $81,9615 
  • Director of Health Services, median salary $77,1026 

1. https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2018/01/health-care-america-jobs/550079/?utm_source=atltw

2. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm

3. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Healthcare_Administrator/Salary

4. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Health_Services_Administrator/Salary

5. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Director%2c_Nursing/Salary

6. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Director_of_Health_Services/Salary

Admissions Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree

  2. 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
  3. A written personal statement

    Please include a 250-500 word essay describing your reasons for undertaking study at the George Washington University, and your academic objectives, career goals, and related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, relevant to your program of interest. Include any substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application form.

  4. Completed Application
  5. Resume/CV
  6. Application Fee: A non-refundable application fee of $80 is required. The application fee is waived for active-duty U.S. military, current GW students, degree-holding GW alumni, current McNair Program Scholars.
  7. 1 Letter of Recommendation
  8. Official transcripts from every college and university attended. All non-U.S. transcripts (including those in English) must be evaluated by an accredited foreign credential agency. Please find the list of member organizations here: https://www.naces.org/members
  9. International Students: Applicants who are not U.S. citizens are also required to submit official test scores for Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Pearson’s Test of English (PTE) Academics or the academic International English Language Test System (IELTS). The following are the minimum scores for admission consideration: TOEFL: 250 computer-based or 100 Internet-based GW's school code for the TOEFL is 5246. PTE: overall score of 68 IELTS: overall band score of 7.0, with no individual band score below 6.0 International applicants may be considered for admission without submitting the above scores if: You are a citizen of a country where English is the official language, You hold a bachelor’s degree from a country where English is the official language and language of instruction, You hold a bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting agency.
NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.


The Graduate Certificate in Correctional Health Administration is an online program that requires successful completion of 15 credit hours.

  • CML 5020Correctional Health Care Administration for Special Populations3 Credits

    This course will address health care policy and programmatic requirements for managing incarcerated populations with special health needs. These patient populations include women, juveniles, detainees, sexual minorities, the elderly, disabled persons, and persons with serious mental illness and chronic addiction.

  • CML 5023Correctional Health Care Fiscal Management3 Credits

    This course will cover the essential fiscal management responsibilities of the correctional health care administrator, including cost efficient health care staffing; budgeting and inventory management; contract development and oversight; cost containment strategies; and the effective use of financial metrics.

  • CML 6020Fundamentals of Correctional Health Care3 Credits

    This course will provide an overview of the US criminal justice system; an analysis of the legal framework that underpins correctional health care; an exploration of the essential elements that define the correctional standard of care; and an evaluation of ethical dilemmas frequently encountered by the correctional health care administrator

  • CML 6025Correctional Health Care Oversight3 Credits

    This course will cover the essential policy and programmatic requirements that ensure effective oversight of a correctional health care program. Additionally, content will cover the core components of a correctional health quality improvement programming.

  • CML 6050Correctional Health Care Delivery3 Credits

    This course will cover the key operational responsibilities of the correctional health care administer to include, policy development; staffing and managing a multidisciplinary health care team; ensuring access to efficiently run sick call and chronic care clinic services; and providing necessary oral health care and ancillary services.

Tuition & Fees

Note: Tuition rates are subject to change and additional fees may vary by program. Please call at (844) 386-7323 for more information.

  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $1,040
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $3,120

What's it like to earn this degree online?

  • Study on your schedule
    The flexible anytime, anywhere approach to online learning at GW means that you can study and work on assignments when and where it’s convenient for you. Balance your personal and professional commitments. At GW online, you can advance your career without stopping it.
  • Personalized learning
    Many of our online programs have a student-instructor ratio that’s lower than on-campus classes, making it easier to interact with fellow students and get personalized attention from your instructors. Plus, you have access to one-on-one tutoring to help ensure your success.
  • The prestige of a GW degree
    Now you can earn a GW degree without relocating your life, giving you access to the distinguished connections and opportunities we provide. When you earn a degree from an online program at GW, you earn a degree from the George Washington University. Entrusted with its rights, privileges, and honors, you’ll join the ever-expanding GW alumni community who make the world a better place.
  • Connect to campus from anywhere
    GW is your link to leading authorities in policy and health care in Washington, D.C. You’ll be able to research, collaborate, and discuss with classmates and instructors using online learning management systems. Engage with all the resources GW offers, including tutors, the writing center, career services, and libraries—all online.
  • A dedicated advisor from day one
    Each GW online student is assigned an academic advisor who will support your journey to graduation. You’ll get help finding resources, guidance on scheduling classes, answers to your questions, and more. As an online learner at GW, you’re never alone.
  • Round-the-clock tech support
    A late-night software malfunction won’t keep you from getting your assignment in on time. GW provides 24/7 technical support for our online students, ensuring you have complete access to what you need, when you need it.

Want to learn more?