Spanish for Law Enforcement

Spanish for Law Enforcement Online Certificate

About the Spanish for Law Enforcement Certificate

Work more effectively in Spanish speaking communities with specialized language skills.

Learn how to speak and understand Spanish in a law enforcement context with an online certificate in Spanish for Law Enforcement from PennWest California. This 12-credit program combines a series of beginner and intermediate level Spanish language courses with a class dedicated entirely to building the Spanish skillset needed by law enforcement professionals. 

PennWest California’s Spanish for Law Enforcement certificate program empowers students who are criminal justice practitioners to enter the field better equipped to work with victims, witnesses, and suspects who may have limited English speaking capabilities. The program also incorporates exposure to Hispanic culture and customs so students can gain a better understanding of the needs of members of Spanish-speaking communities.


100% Online: PennWest California’s Spanish for law enforcement certificate program consists of state-of-the-art courses that are delivered asynchronously online. This means you can receive a top quality education from anywhere and adapt your workload to even the busiest of schedules.

Hands-on Experience: PennWest California can assist you in finding immersion or Spanish-speaking law enforcement experience in the United States and abroad. Past students have gained experience throughout Pennsylvania, as well as in communities in Spain, Puerto Rico, Miami, Fla., and elsewhere.

Learn more about applying

43 million
Spanish is the fastest growing language in the United States. The number of Spanish speakers is expected to rise to almost 43 million by 2020. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
Being able to work directly with non-English speakers through a shared language establishes trust and rapport, two essential elements of effective law enforcement.
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Certificate Benefits

Earning your PennWest California Spanish for law enforcement certificate will enable you to: Utilize Spanish in basic law enforcement situations. Formulate appropriate strategies to respond to Spanish-speaking victims of crime. Critically analyze crime in the Hispanic community including organized crime, local, national, and international crimes. Organize and implement methods of working with Hispanic communities for safer neighborhoods. Understand how the Hispanic culture in America relates to the criminal justice system.

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Graduate Outcomes

Criminal justice is one of the fastest growing fields in the United States, and when one considers Spanish as the fastest growing language, PennWest California’s Certificate in Spanish for Law Enforcement brings added value in securing employment. You’ll graduate with the ability to work more effectively in Spanish-speaking communities. PennWest California’s program alumni are actively employed by local, state and federal law enforcement and corrections agencies, including the U.S. Border Patrol. Job titles include: Police officer. Border patrol agent. Corrections officer. Federal agent.

Spanish for Law Enforcement
Students on campus.

Hispanic Club

PennWest California has its own Hispanic Club. All students, regardless of ethnicity or language capabilities, are welcome to join.

A student swabs for DNA at crime scene.

Advanced Research

Certificate program students have the opportunity to work with the Pennsylvania Center for Investigative and Forensic Sciences, which is housed at PennWest California, to undertake advanced research, perform real-time investigative consulting and take part in professional training programs.

Police lights at night.

Course Spotlight: Spanish for Law Enforcement

This certificate course emphasizes the Spanish communication skills and vocabulary used in the application of arrest situations, assisting victims of crimes, conducting searches, undertaking criminal interviews and interrogations, and reading Miranda rights.


Spanish for Law Enforcement Certificate Courses


Course Credits
SPN 101  Elementary Spanish I 3
SPN 102  Elementary Spanish II 3
SPN 203  Intermediate Spanish I 3
SPN 304  Spanish for Law Enforcement  3
Total 12


Admission Requirements


Criminal Justice