Criminology & Criminal Justice, PhD

About the program

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

The PhD program is organized around five components:   

  1. A core of required courses in theory and research on crime and the criminal justice system;
  2. A core of required courses on research methods and analytical techniques;
  3. Elective courses in criminology, criminal justice and related fields;
  4. A comprehensive examination; and 
  5. A dissertation.

Benefits of program

  • Highly ranked graduate program
  • Courses designed and taught by nationally ranked faculty 

Plan of study 

The doctoral program in criminology and criminal justice includes a minimum of 72 credit hours of course work and 12 credit hours (and only 12) of dissertation. A maximum of 30 credit hours of course work from a previously awarded master's or JD may, with the approval of the supervisory committee, be applied toward the doctoral plan of study.

Each student is required to complete course work in two core areas. This includes six credit hours of course work in theory and research on crime and the criminal justice system and nine credit hours of course work on research methods and analytical techniques. Elective courses comprise the remainder of the course work required for the doctorate. All students must demonstrate proficiency in research design and quantitative and qualitative methods.

Credit hours for course work from master's or JD (30)

Core courses:

CRJ 601 Seminar on Criminological Theory (3)
CRJ 602 Seminar on Criminal Justice Policies and Practices (3)
CRJ 603 Advanced Research Design (3)
CRJ 604 Advanced Statistical Analysis (3)
CRJ 605 Special Problems in Quantitative Methods (3)

Electives: Choose a minimum of nine courses in consultation with the supervisory committee (27)

Elective courses may include graduate courses in criminology and criminal justice and related disciplines (e.g., sociology, political science, public administration, psychology).

Dissertation (12)

Students will take a comprehensive examination and will write a dissertation that reflects original scholarship and contributes to the body of knowledge in criminology and criminal justice.

Note: All requirements for the degree must be completed within ten years from the date of the first course listed on the program of study.

Admissions deadline:  January 1st each year for fall admission only 

A reminder

All colleges, schools, divisions, and departments establish certain academic requirements that must be met before a degree is granted. Advisors, directors, department chairs, and deans are available to help the student understand these requirements, but the student is responsible for fulfilling them. At the end of a student's course of study, if requirements for graduation have not been satisfied, the degree is not granted. For this reason, it is important for all students to acquaint themselves with all regulations, to be informed throughout their college careers, and to be responsible for completing all requirements.