SKIP navigation
School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology and Criminal Justice

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice is designed to train the next generation of criminologists to develop and conduct basic and applied research regarding the causes of crime and societal responses to crime. Successful graduates often obtain faculty positions at universities or research positions in criminal justice and social service agencies. For detailed information on the Doctoral Program in Criminology and Criminal Justice, prospective and current students should download the Doctor of Philosophy Student Handbook for the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.


Doctoral students are required to complete 36 hours of required and elective coursework beyond a Master’s degree.

Comprehensive Examination

Near the completion of their coursework, all doctoral students are required to establish a comprehensive examination committee and successfully pass a comprehensive examination. For students preparing for the comprehensive examination, the comprehensive examination committee approval form can be found here.


Doctoral students must complete and orally defend a dissertation that reflects original scholarship and contributes to the body of knowledge on criminology and criminal justice. For current doctoral students, approval forms related to the dissertation can be found here.

Funding Opportunities

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice attempts to provide tuition support and a graduate assistantship to all full-time doctoral students. To be considered for a graduate assistantship, prospective students must apply to the Doctor of Philosophy program for the coming fall semester by February 1 of that year.  

How to Apply

The application process is described online at the Office of Graduate Studies. All required materials should be sent to the Office of Graduate Studies.

For More Information

Questions regarding the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice’s Master of Arts degree can be directed to Pauline Brennan, Ph.D. Doctoral Program Chair.

Pauline Brennan, Ph.D.
(402) 554.2205