Law and Public Policy

Law and Public Policy Online Graduate Certificate

About Law and Public Policy

Examine the intersection of law and government to advance your career.

Study the roots of the Constitution and how laws and policies have emerged in today's society with a graduate certificate in law and public policy at PennWest California.  

This graduate certificate's focus highlights the intersection of legal and policy issues at all levels of government. Earn the certificate as a standalone credential or as part of the master's degree program in legal studies. 

Examine the law's comprehensive impact on society. 

  • Choose our fully online graduate certificate program for access to recognized faculty experts in Pennsylvania and across the country.
  • Earn your graduate certificate in just 12 months to begin a new career or prepare for advancement in your current employment.


Core principles

Courses in this graduate certificate program focus on the law and public policy; law, civil liberties and the Constitution; law and legal method; law and civil litigation; and law and administrative agencies.

Solid foundation
The certificate's cornerstone course, Law and Public Policy, examines how the law plays out in a multitude of settings, from political and legal institutions, schools and educational entities to business and free enterprise, social structures, and cultural institutions. Students learn how the law impacts individuals; they analyze the effects of proposed and enacted legislation in a wide array of contexts, including police and the citizenry, correctional institutions and the incarcerated, government benefit plans and targeted recipients, entitlement programs and the public treasury, tax policy and the incentive-based model,

Learn more about applying

As a fully online program, PennWest California's graduate certificate in law and public policy is flexible, accessible and affordable.  
PennWest California Global Online offers more than 75 degree and non-degree programs to meet today's career and professional needs.
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Certificate Benefits

The graduate certificate in law and public policy is designed for working professionals and serious students to analyze and apply the law in myriad settings.

  • Critique the law and its implications from many perspectives: social, administrative, judicial and more.
  • Examine ethical considerations in legal decision-making.
  • Assess how the law influences our culture, the community and individuals.
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Graduate Outcomes

Earning a graduate certificate in law and public policy at PennWest California is a cost-efficient way for professionals in law enforcement, the court systems and related areas to enhance their resumes and broaden career opportunities.


Curriculum, Admission Requirements and Related Programs

The certificate program develops important critical thinking and analytical skills related to society's most critical legal and policy issues.



Course Credits
LAW 600  Law and Public Policy  3
LAW 602  Law, Civil Liberties and the Constitution 3
LAW 603  Law and Legal Method 3
LAW 608  Law and Civil Litigation 3
LAW 701  Law and Administrative Agencies 3
Total 15
Admission Requirements

Regular Admission Requirements

  • Regionally Accredited Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Official transcripts from a regionally accredited undergraduate institution

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:
    • Regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.9 and below will be reviewed for a decision once the following documentation has been received:
      • Resume with contact information for three professional references with an overview of professional work experience
      • 500-word essay supporting the application
        • If admitted, students will be required to earn a 3.0 in their first term to remain in the program

Provisional Admission:
Applicants who have provided unofficial documentation of test scores, prerequisite courses, transcripts or lack of letter(s) of recommendation may be admitted provisionally.

This policy also applies to undergraduate students who apply for graduate admission pending bachelor degree completion. Upon receipt of all official documents, a student will be changed from Provisional Admission to either Regular Admission or Conditional Admission. Provisional Admission students may take classes for one term but will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid.

How to Apply:

  • Complete the Graduate School Application
  • Submit the nonrefundable $35 Application Fee
  • Submit required documentation by mail or email:
    • Mail:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
PennWest California
Box 91
250 University Ave. 
California, PA 15419

For additional information:
Phone: 1.866.595.6348

Related Programs
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Valuable network

The graduate certificate in law and public policy program attracts a wide range of professionals from law enforcement, police, military, paralegals, private sector security, government agents and more. Certificate students can make important networking contacts for future career work. 

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Professional resource

The Institute for Law and Public Policy at PennWest California provides continuing education for a wide range of professionals in southwestern Pennsylvania through degree and certificate programs, and professional development and training opportunities.

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Degree option

PennWest California's online certificate in law and public policy prepares you for rewarding careers in the legal environment. PennWest California graduates are sought by leading employers in the legal and public policy sectors, including:

Law and Public Policy Graduate Certificate Faculty

Larry Bassi

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Jeffrey Davidson

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Kevin Govern, J.D., LL.M.

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David Heller
Adjunct Professor

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Brian Kohlhepp, M.A.
Assistant Professor

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William Morgan, J.D.
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David Smith, M.S., M.A., J.D.

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Dr. Christina A. Toras, J.D., M.A.
Professor, Legal Studies Program Coordinator, Director of the Institute for Law and Public Policy

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Michael Vennum, J.D.

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Dr. Karl Williams, M.D., M.P.H.

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