List of Doctorate in Criminal Justice Programs – Campus & Online

A doctoral degree in criminal justice gives you the tools necessary to dive into, analyze, and conduct your own research on topics like policing, law and society, gender and crime, and criminal behavior. You’ll be able to look at crime statistics in an area, hypothesize what caused the current situation, and determine methods that public and private justice agencies can use to enact positive change. With this criminal justice degree, you can also teach at colleges and universities.

A PhD in Criminal Justice is the most commonly offered doctoral degree for this field. While PhD programs can focus heavily on research methodologies and criminal justice issues, they are also often interdisciplinary and provide the opportunity for you to take electives or pursue concentrations in areas such as sociology, psychology, public health, economics, and political science. Some universities will let you enroll in a criminal justice doctoral degree program with only a BA/BS degree, while others require an MA/MS degree prior to being accepted into the program.

Dr. Allison D. Redlich

Graduate Criminal Justice Programs with Dr. Allison D. Redlich

If you’re considering advancing your education to a PhD in Criminal Justice, listen to this episode of the YesCollege Podcast. Scott is joined by Dr. Allison D. Redlich, professor and Director of Graduate Programs at the George Mason University College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Click here to view this episode’s show notes.

 

Where Can I Earn My Doctorate in Criminal Justice Degree?

While you’re listening to the podcast, check out our list of schools with criminal justice programs in the US. For each school, we provide a few highlights, including program offerings, course breakdown, and accreditation. Use the links below to jump to a specific state for available programs, or click here to learn more about degree types and accreditation.

Online

Northcentral University
Accredited by WASC

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The DBA in Criminal Justice degree program at Northcentral University focuses on the historical and cultural relevance of various types of crimes, and develops students’ analytical and problem-solving skills. Students in this program can take classes like Institutional Corrections, Ethics and Criminal Justice, and Effective Police Tactics, Techniques, and Methodologies.
University of the Rockies
Accredited by HLC

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At the University of the Rockies, students can earn a PsyD in Criminology and Justice Studies that allows them to focus on extensive research, and delve deeper into the criminal behavior, the correctional system, and rehabilitation methods. Students in this program can take classes like Juvenile Justice, Mental Health and Crime, and Adult Psychopathy and Treatment.
Walden University
Accredited by HLC

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Walden University’s PhD in Criminal Justice degree program is designed to teach students to evaluate the causes of crime and its impact on criminal justice practices, and to evaluate the role of the criminal justice system. Students in this program can take courses in subjects like risk factors for criminal behavior, human services, technology and law enforcement, and homeland security.

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Arizona

Arizona State University
Accredited by HLC
The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University offers a PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice. This highly-ranked program emphasizes criminal justice theory, research, and policy and is designed to produce highly skilled criminology and criminal justice faculty and agency researchers and administrators.

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Arkansas

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock offers a PhD in Criminal Justice with a primary goal of developing scholars in the field of criminology and criminal justice. This program focuses on developing high-quality research and teaching skills. The curriculum consists of 63 graduate semester hours.

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California

Northcentral University
Accredited by WASC
The DBA in Criminal Justice degree program at Northcentral University focuses on the historical and cultural relevance of various types of crimes, and develops students’ analytical and problem-solving skills. Students in this program can take classes like Institutional Corrections, Ethics and Criminal Justice, and Effective Police Tactics, Techniques, and Methodologies.
The PhD program in Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine focuses on the causes, manifestations, and consequences of crime. The program aims to prepare students’ for faculty positions at major universities and colleges or for research, training, and administrative work in the justice system.

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Colorado

Colorado State University provides students an opportunity to earn a Doctor of Management with a Concentration in Criminal Justice (DM-CJ) degree program. This program is designed to teach the skills necessary to be leaders in the field by combining a mentorship with CTU faculty. The program can by completed in three years.
University of the Rockies
Accredited by HLC
At the University of the Rockies, students can earn a PsyD in Criminology and Justice Studies that allows them to focus on extensive research, and delve deeper into the criminal behavior, the correctional system, and rehabilitation methods. Students in this program can take classes like Juvenile Justice, Mental Health and Crime, and Adult Psychopathy and Treatment.

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Connecticut

University of New Haven
Accredited by NEASC
The University of New Haven Criminal Justice PhD program is a selective program located in the greater New Haven community. The program includes both full-time and part-time options includes traditional classroom based courses and hybrid courses with courses that include both online and classroom instruction.

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Florida

Florida State University
Accredited by SACS
The PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University trains students to conduct original research as well as emphasizes comprehensive training in theory, research methods, and statistics What’s unique about this program is that there are not a fixed number of credit hours required for the PhD. The student’s doctoral committee determines how many credits must be complete
Nova Southeastern University
Accredited by SACS
The PhD in Criminal Justice at Nova Southeastern University is offered in an online environment and allows for specialty training through various tracks. Graduates are prepares for job opportunities in research, academia, and management. This program requires successful completion of sixty credit hours that includes core courses, specialty track courses and dissertation.
The University of South Florida recently added a program of study leading to the Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice. The program focuses on criminal justice and examines criminal justice issues at multiple angles and levels. Students are required to complete 57-credits.
University of South Florida
Accredited by SACS
A PhD in Criminology at the University of South Florida requires a student to complete a dissertation as well as 55 hours beyond a master’s degree. The Department of Criminology has funds to support selected graduate students on a competitive basis. The program also requires to pass a qualifying exam.

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Georgia

Georgia State University
Accredited by SACS
Georgia State University Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology offers a PhD in Criminal Justice and Criminology, a program designed to train researchers and teacher-scholars in this field. The program provides a flexible curriculum and an intensive one-on-one mentorship.

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Illinois

The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Southern Illinois University offers a PhD program designed to prepare students for positions in academia, research, and management. Doctoral degree requirements include 11 seminars, 24 hours of dissertation credits, passage of the preliminary exam and qualifying paper, and completion of the dissertation.
The University of Illinois at Chicago offers a PhD in Criminology, Law, and Justice that requires both the successful completion of a preliminary examination and a dissertation. Three areas of concentration are offered, including Law and Society, Criminology, and Organizations and Administration.

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Indiana

The Department of Criminal Justice at Indiana University Bloomington offers a PhD in Criminal Justice, a program that requires students to also complete a minor. The program is interdisciplinary with carryover into the departments of departments of Anthropology, Developmental Science, Law, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, and Sociology, among others.

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Kentucky

University of Louisville
Accredited by SACS
At the University of Louisville, students can earn a PhD in Criminal Justice that is designed to prepare them for teaching, analytical, and research careers in academia, and public sector organizations. Students in this program can take elective classes in Emergency Management, Critical Issues in Criminal Justice, Economic Analysis of Crime, and Law and Justice.

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Maryland

University of Maryland
Accredited by MSCHE
The PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice degree program at the University of Maryland is designed to provide students with a well-rounded background to prepare them for careers in academia and research. Students can enter this program with a BA/BS or with an MA/MS. In this program, students may have teaching opportunities as instructors or through teaching assistantships.

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Massachusetts

Northeastern University
Accredited by NEASC
At Northeastern University, students can earn a PhD in Criminology and Justice Policy degree that is designed to develop the theoretical, methodological, qualitative, quantitative, and practical skills needed to prepare students for leadership and research careers within this field. Students in this program can take classes like Law and Psychology, Criminal Violence, Juvenile Justice, and Gender, Crime, and Justice.
The criminology and criminal justice doctoral degree at UMass Lowell is an interdisciplinary, research-focused program, designed to prepare students for analytical and administrative leadership careers. Students must pick a concentration in Terrorism, Justice System and Policy, Technology and Criminal Justice, Global Perspectives on Crime and Justice, Victims and Crime and Justice, or Crime, Criminals, and Community.

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Michigan

Michigan State University
Accredited by HLC
MSU’s doctoral degree in criminal justice focuses on enhancing students’ understanding of the problems of crime, crime control, and justice administration. Students in this program must complete a minimum of 72 semester credits, and they can take classes like Criminal Justice Organizations and Processes and Crime Causation, Prevention, and Control.

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Minnesota

Capella University
Accredited by HLC
At Capella University, students can earn their PhD in Criminal Justice completely online. This program focuses on developing ethical, analytical, and decision-making skills to prepare students for leadership and research positions in academia and other justice systems. Students in this program can take classes like Assessing Criminal Justice Theory, Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice, and Justice, Security, and Democracy.
Walden University
Accredited by HLC
Walden University’s PhD in Criminal Justice degree program is designed to teach students to evaluate the causes of crime and its impact on criminal justice practices, and to evaluate the role of the criminal justice system. Students in this program can take courses in subjects like risk factors for criminal behavior, human services, technology and law enforcement, and homeland security.

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Mississippi

The PhD in Criminal Justice degree program at the University of Mississippi is designed to prepare students for teaching and justice administration and research careers. Students must complete a minimum of 54 credit hours, and can take classes like Corrections, Civil Liberties and Criminal Law, Qualitative Research and Analysis, and Professional Development in Criminal Justice.

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Missouri

USML’s criminal justice doctoral degree program is designed to develop students’ analytical skills and criminological knowledge. Students must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours, and they can take classes like Crime Justice Process and Policy, Law and Social Control, Victimology, Property Crime, and Evaluating Criminal Justice Interventions.

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Nebraska

The PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice at UNO is designed to hone student’s abilities to develop and conduct basic and applied research regarding the causes of crime and societal responses to crime. Students in this program can take classes like Criminal Court System, Police and Society, Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice, and Women, Crime, and Justice.

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Nevada

University of Nevada Las Vegas
Accredited by NWCCU
UNLV’s PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice is designed to enhance students’ understanding of the nature, causes, and consequences of crime and crime control as well as society’s reactions. Students can receive training in areas like crowd management, surveillance studies, human trafficking, forensic testimony, and comparative criminal justice.

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New Jersey

Rutgers University
Accredited by MSCHE
At Rutgers University, students can earn a PhD in Criminal Justice degree that is designed to develop their understanding of criminological theory, research methods, and criminal justice policy. Students must complete a minimum of 60 credits with at least an overall 3.2 GPA.

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New York

City University of New York
Accredited by MSCHE
The PhD in Criminal Justice degree program at the CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice is designed to prepare students for academic and research careers. Students can also choose to pursue the policy, oversight, and administration (POA) specialization. In both programs, students can take core courses in research design and statistics.
University at Albany
Accredited by MSCHE
The Criminal Justice PhD program at the University of Albany consists of a minimum of 60 credits, and students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA. Students in this program can take courses in areas like the nature of crime, law and social control, criminal justice process and policy, planned change in criminal justice, and research methodology and practice.

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North Dakota

At NDSU, students can earn a PhD in Criminal Justice degree that focuses on urban issues and the impact they have on crime and criminal justice. Students will take core courses in theory, policy, and research methods, along with classes in substantive areas such as criminology, policing, and corrections.
University of North Dakota
Accredited by HLC
UND’s PhD in Criminal Justice degree program is designed to prepare students for career s in research, policy, administration, and academia. This program also focuses on rural and/or American Indian tribal jurisdictions and the operation and administration of criminal justice agencies and systems within them. Students in this program can take classes like Victimology and Human Nature and Crime.

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Ohio

University of Cincinnati
Accredited by HLC
The doctoral degree program in criminal justice at the University of Cincinnati is designed to hone the skills required to be a successful social scientists in an academic- or agency-based research setting. In addition to a foundation concentration in Criminal Justice or Criminology, students in this program can pursue a substantive specialization in Corrections, Policing, or Crime Prevention.

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Pennsylvania

California University of Pennsylvania’s Doctor of Criminal Justice degree program is designed for mid- and senior-level criminal justice professionals looking to enhance their careers. Students must complete a minimum of 42 credit hours and can take classes like Leading Criminal Justice Agencies, Corrections and Crisis Management, and Contemporary Forensic Science and Technology for Criminal Justice Leaders.
The PhD in Criminology degree program at IUP is designed to develop the qualitative, quantitative, analytical, writing, and teaching skills needed for research position in this field. This program consists of a minimum of 42 hours, and students can take classes like Advanced Theoretical Criminology, Advanced Criminal Justice Policy, and Ethical and Philosophical Issues in Criminology.
Pennsylvania State University
Accredited by MSCHE
The criminal justice doctoral degree program at Penn State is designed to develop the analytical, writing, and problem-solving skills necessary for careers in research and academia within the criminal justice field. Students in this program must also pick a concentration in an applicable social science study like urban sociology, social psychology, human development, American government institutions, and more.
Temple University
Accredited by MSCHE
Temple University’s PhD in Criminal Justice is designed to prepare students for careers in academia, private and governmental research agencies, and policy-level positions in criminal justice and related organizations. Students in this program can take classes like Law and Order, Decision Making in Criminal Justice, and Theories of Crime and Deviance.
University of Pennsylvania
Accredited by MSCHE
At the University of Pennsylvania, students can earn a PhD in Criminology degree that combines a variety of disciplines like public health, biology, economics, sociology, demography, law, statistics and more, in addition to traditional criminology courses. Once the foundational courses in criminology and empirical methods have been completed, students will construct their curriculum to meet their goals and interests.

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South Carolina

University of South Carolina
Accredited by SACS
The University of South Carolina’s PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice is designed to prepare students for careers in research and higher education within this field. Students in this program can take classes like Law and Justice, Research Design in Criminology and Criminal Justice, and Crime, Law, and Public Policy.

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Texas

Sam Houston State University
Accredited by SACS
Sam Houston University’s PhD in Criminal Justice is designed to develop the writing, researching, analytical, and problem-solving skills needed to understand and delve deeper into crime and justice related issues. In this program, students must complete a minimum of 58 credit hours and can take classes in subjects like criminological theory, criminal justice administration and legal issues in criminal justice.
Texas State University
Accredited by SACS
The PhD in Criminal Justice degree program at Texas State University is designed for students who are criminal justice professionals wanting to advance their education, and for students who wish to have careers at colleges and universities. In this program, students can take courses like Policing, Ethnography of Criminal Justice, and Environmental Criminology.
The PhD in Criminology degree program at UT Dallas is designed to focus on criminal behavior theories, criminology research methods, and society’s response to crime. This program consists of a minimum of 75 hours and students can take classes like Professional Development in Crime, Evidence-Based Crime Prevention, and Correlations and Measures of Crime.

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Virginia

George Mason University
Accredited by SACS
George Mason University’s PhD in Criminology, Law and Society degree program aims to prepare students to conduct scientific research to implement changes to the development and evaluation of justice policies and practices. Students must take at least three classes from two of the three following categories: Justice and Law, Crime and Crime Policy, and Justice Organizations, Administration, and Leadership.
Old Dominion University
Accredited by SACS
At Old Dominion University, students can earn a PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice that focuses on social inequality and public policy, and is designed to prepare students for careers in higher education and/or research at public and private organizations. Students in this program can take classes like Advanced Criminological Theory, Criminology and Public Policy, and Inequality, Crime, and Justice.

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Washington

Washington State University
Accredited by NWCCU
The PhD in Criminal Justice degree program at WSU is designed to hone students’ research, writing, methodological, and analytical skills in order to conceptualize current issues and changes within the criminal justice field. Students can take elective courses like Juvenile Justice, Gender and Justice, and Drugs, Alcohol, and Crime.

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Exploring Degree Types and Accreditation

While a PhD is the most common doctoral degree in criminal justice, there are other types of programs available too:

  • PhD in Criminal Justice/Criminology – an advanced criminal justice research degree with opportunities for interdisciplinary studies in areas like sociology, psychology, public health, economics, and political science
  • PsyD in Criminal Justice/Criminology – an advanced psychology research degree with a focus on criminal behavior and rehabilitation methods
  • DBA in Criminal Justice/Criminology – an advanced professional business administration degree with a concentration in criminal justice
  • DM in Criminal Justice/Criminology – an advanced professional management degree that focuses on leadership skills and management styles as they pertain to the field of criminal justice

Accreditation is important for all degrees, ensuring you receive a qualified education. The accrediting bodies featured in our list are:

  • CIHE – Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
  • DEAC – Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • HLC – Higher Learning Commission
  • MSA – Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • MSCHE – Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • NEASC – New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • NCA – North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools
  • NWCCU – Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • SACS – Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • WSCUC – WASC Senior College and University Commission

Find A Doctorate in Criminal Justice Degree

Research your Doctorate in Criminal Justice options with our database of over 120 schools. Search by subject, tuition, campus or online to find a program that fits your needs.

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