Criminology and Criminal Justice, PhD

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The doctoral program in criminology and criminal justice offers students the opportunity to study with world renowned faculty. Students also work with professors on innovative research projects exploring a range of important topics. Graduates leave the program with the skills to be successful in academic, research, policy and justice professions.

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University offers an on-campus program of coursework and research leading to the PhD in criminology and criminal justice.

This 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.

The doctoral program is organized around five components: a comprehensive examination, a core of required courses in research methods and analytical techniques, a core of required courses in theory and research on crime and the criminal justice system, a dissertation and elective courses in criminology, criminal justice and related fields.

At A Glance

Criminology and Criminal Justice, PhD

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Application deadline

January 1st each year for Fall admission only

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

An applicant should hold a master's degree from an accredited institution; it may be in criminal justice, criminology or another field (e.g. sociology, political science, history, social work, public administration, psychology or philosophy). In exceptional cases, the admission committee will consider applicants who hold only a bachelor's degree.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. GRE scores
  4. two letters of recommendation
  5. current curriculum vitae or resume
  6. personal statement
  7. sample of the applicant's written work
  8. proof of English proficiency.

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency. Requirements can be found at

Official transcripts must be submitted from every university or institution in which a degree was awarded.

GRE scores must be from within the last five years.

The letters of recommendation must be from faculty members or others qualified to evaluate the applicant's academic potential for doctoral study.

The personal statement should not exceed five pages, and it should describe the applicant's prior education, relevant professional experience and career goals. The statement must explain how the doctorate in criminology and criminal justice will help the applicant attain his or her career goals. The statement should explicitly explain how the student's plans are consistent with the role and mission of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at ASU.

The applicant's sample of written work should be submitted electronically. The writing sample may be an article (published or unpublished), a research paper, or any other extended sample of expository skill, and the sample must be no longer than 35 pages in length. Longer writing samples should not be submitted without first consulting the graduate director. Documents should not be password protected. Acceptable file types are .rtf, .pdf, and .doc.

Students should see the unit website for application deadlines.

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