Criminology and Criminal Justice, PhD

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You can work with professors on innovative research projects exploring a range of important topics and study with world-renowned faculty in this doctoral criminology and criminal justice program, then 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 this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Application deadline

January 1st each year for Fall admission only

Degree requirements

Required Core (12 credit hours)
CRJ 601 Seminar on Criminological Theory (3)
CRJ 602 Seminar on Criminal Justice Policies and Practices (3)
CRJ 604 Regression Models (3)
CRJ 605 Topics in Quantitative Methods (3)

Theory Coursework (6 credit hours)
CRJ 521 Seminar in Criminological Psychology (3)
CRJ 523 Seminar in Network Criminology (3)
CRJ 524 Theories of Punishment (3)
CRJ 525 Seminar on Life-Course Criminology (3)

Criminal Justice Systems Coursework (9 credit hours)
CRJ 512 Seminar in Policing (3)
CRJ 513 Seminar in Courts and Sentencing (3)
CRJ 514 Seminar in Corrections (3)
CRJ 517 Seminar on Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice (3)

Criminal Procedures Coursework (3 credit hours)
CRJ 537 Criminal Procedure of Investigations for Social and Forensic Scientists (3)
CRJ 538 Criminal Law and Social Control (3)
CRJ 539 Topics in Law, Crime, and Justice (3)

Research Methods (6 credit hours)
CRJ 510 Criminal Justice Planning and Program Evaluation (3)
CRJ 531 Crime Mapping (3)
CRJ 540 Qualitative Methods (3)
CRJ 560 Topics in Research Methods (3)

Electives (36 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (12 credit hours)
CRJ 799 Dissertation (12)

Additional Curriculum Information
A maximum of 30 credit hours of coursework from a previously awarded master's degree or JD may, with approval of the supervisory committee and the Graduate College, be applied toward the doctoral plan of study.

For the theory, criminal justice systems, criminal procedures and research methods courses, students select the number of required credit hours from the list provided.  Other courses may be substituted with approval of the academic unit.

The following professional development workshop courses are recommended, but not required.
CRJ 614 Professional Development Workshop I: Professionalism (0)
CRJ 615 Professional Development Workshop II: Preparing to Teach Effectively (0)
CRJ 616 Professional Development Workshop III: Navigating the Academic Job Market in CCJ (0)

All students must demonstrate proficiency in research design as well as quantitative and qualitative methods.

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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