Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

School of Criminal Justice

Graduate Study
Criminal Justice - Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in criminal justice focuses on criminal justice and criminology and theory-based knowledge of crime, criminal justice organizations and processes and the law. During the course of doctoral study, students are expected to develop the depth, breadth and consistency of their training in research methods and their applications of analytical capabilities to administrative and policy issues.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.


To be eligible for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy program in Criminal Justice, an applicant must have:

  1. Completed an undergraduate degree in criminal justice or related social science field.
  2. An overall grade-point average of at least 3.2 in the most recent academic degree (master’s or bachelor’s).
  3. Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test as judged by the faculty.
  4. Evidence of experience in social science research, such as the completion of a master’s thesis.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Criminal Justice

Students who are enrolled in the Doctor of Philosophy degree program in Criminal Justice must complete a minimum of 72 credits.

  1. Completion of 24 credits in Criminal Justice 901, 904, 906, 907, 908, and 909.
  2. Students admitted directly from an undergraduate degree program must take Criminal Justice 811 and 887 as prerequisites to Criminal Justice 906, 907, and 909. Criminal Justice 811 and 887 may not be counted toward doctoral program requirements.
  3. Completion of 6 credits of additional criminal justice courses at the 800 level or above.
  4. Completion of 12 additional credits outside the School of Criminal Justice as approved by the student’s guidance committee.
  5. Completion of two 3-credit doctoral research methods courses in the College of Social Science as approved by the student’s guidance committee.
  6. Satisfactory completion of 24 credits of Criminal Justice 999 and defense of a doctoral dissertation.

Normally students complete the requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in four years.