Graduate Certificate in Correctional Health Administration

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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

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Total Credits



10-12 months

Average Duration

Accreditation and Rankings

  • GWU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • #62 Best National University*
  • #15 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs*
  • #8 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans*

* The U.S. News & World Report – 2023 Rankings

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
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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

Meet the Program Director

Newton Kendig


GW’s experienced faculty provide you with the rich, practical knowledge and support needed for you to succeed in the program and in your career.

Newton E. Kendig, MD

Read Full Bio

Dr. Kendig is an internal medicine and infectious diseases physician with 25 years of experience as a correctional health care administrator having served in both the State and Federal systems. He served for many years as the Medical Director for the Federal Bureau of Prisons and as an assistant surgeon general of the US Public Health Service. Dr. Kendig is supported by other faculty who are nationally known experts in the field of correctional health administration.

Tuition Details

The Graduate Certificate in Correctional Health Administration program at GW consists of 15 credit hours. Please find the cost per credit hour and total estimated program costs here.

Note: Tuition rates are subject to change and additional fees may vary by program.


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