Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice Program

Ph.D. of Philosophy in Criminal Justice

The Department of Criminal Justice offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice.  The Ph.D. in Criminal Justice is a degree that prepares graduates for careers in academic (e.g., teaching and research) as well as public sector organizations (e.g., research, policy analysis and development, planning, program development and evaluation).

The program consists of a core curriculum and electives that students may use to develop their particular areas of specialization. The core provides a broad orientation, and the electives enable students to develop expertise in a particular field. The curriculum includes 54 credits:18 hours of core, 18 hours electives, 6 hours of qualifying project, 12 hours of dissertation research.  Students qualify for official candidacy to the Ph.D. by satisfactorily completing all course work and qualifying examinations in the core curriculum.

Both full and part­ time study is permitted.  Part­ time students are required to meet residency requirements consisting of 4 continuous semesters of enrollment and participation in departmental activities offered to meet the need for scholarly integration and academic immersion in the program.


IMPORTANT UPDATE: GRE no longer required for Ph.D. applicants.

Application Materials Required

•  Official transcripts from all schools attended.

•  3 letters of recommendation

•  Personal statement

•  Writing sample

•  Curriculum vita or resume

•  Completion of graduate-level statistics and graduate-level research methods courses

The Department of Criminal Justice has adopted the Council of Graduate Schools recommendation for a holistic approach to our admission criteria. Successful applicants will typically have strong scores on standardized tests, a strong undergraduate record, and excellent letters of recommendation that speak to the nominee’s scholarly ability and potential to succeed in a doctoral program. However, candidates may have other documented strengths that speak to the potential for success as evidenced by: prior research experience; exceptional community engagement or service; leadership experience; evidence of creativity or resilience; unique experiences or background that will contribute to our program.

Those applicants whose native language is not English and who do not hold a degree from a university where the language of instruction is English must also submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language, with a minimum score of 80 on the internet ­based test (iBT) or 213 paper-based test (PBT) or 550 (old test).

Application Deadline is January 15 for those seeking Graduate Assistantships and March 15, for those not seeking assistantships.


The Department of Criminal Justice offers a limited number of Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant positions (GRAs) which are awarded competitively and are intended to support full­ time study. Students in the Ph.D. program may receive a maximum of three years of support as a Graduate Assistant. The Ph.D. Graduate Assistants are provided a stipend of $19,000 over 12 months as well as full tuition remission and health insurance. The application submission deadline is January 15. Email completed application to

Download Application

Core Courses

CJ 745 Advanced Theories of Crime and Delinquency (3)

CJ 748 Seminar in Criminal Justice Program Evaluation (3)

CJ 749 Advanced Statistical Analysis in Criminal Justice (3)

CJ 750 Field Research (3)

CJ 751 Computer Applications in Criminal Justice (3)

CJ 752 Research Methods (3)

Qualifying Project (6 hours are required)

CJ 795 Criminal Justice Qualifying Project – CGE (6) 

Elective Courses (18 total hours, minimum of 9 from Department of Criminal Justice Courses)

Students may take any combination of the elective courses within the department.  Students may also take a maximum of 6 credits from previously approved courses outside the department.

Criminal Justice Electives

Criminal Justice electives are offered spanning a wide range of criminal justice topics such as Women and Crime, Critical Issues in Corrections, Communities and Crime, Computer and Cyber Crime, etc.

Dissertation (12 credits are required)

CJ 799 Dissertation Research (1-12 credits)