College of Education, Criminal Justice, & Human Services

College of Education, Criminal Justice, & Human Services

Programs & Degrees

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Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice

The PhD program in Criminal Justice began in September 1992 and had its first graduate in 1996. The doctoral program is designed to develop social scientists ability to consume, transmit, and independently produce research knowledge on crime and criminal justice to prepare them for careers in academia and/or in agency-based research.  Students enrolled in the Doctoral Program receive intensive training in consuming, producing, and transmitting scientific knowledge on crime and criminal justice.  This training occurs both in the classroom and through teaching and research opportunities that offer students the chance to apply the skills that they have developed.  Students also have opportunities to attend professional conferences and obtain funding to pursue their specific interests.  The program is research-intensive and the School’s faculty has been ranked #1 for its scholarly productivity in recent publications.  UC's School of Criminal Justice was ranked #3 in the most recent US News and World Report survey of graduate education in criminology and criminal justice. 

Program Goals

The criminal justice faculty at the University of Cincinnati are very serious about the education of our graduate students.  We are demanding but also supportive; our goal is to motivate students to achieve new intellectual levels and to maximize opportunities for success within and beyond the graduate program. We want our students to play an integral role in shaping the future of criminal justice research and education.

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Quick Info

Program Code

18PHD-CJ

Duration

varies

Location

Main Campus

Department

Criminal Justice
College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services

Contact

Jean Gary
Email: jean.gary@uc.edu
Phone: 513-556-1819

Student Success Factors

Ph.D. students in criminal justice leave the program with a thorough understanding of crime and the justice system.  Students learn, apply, and demonstrate mastery of a variety of skills through research in criminology and criminal justice.  The Ph.D. program prepares students for careers in academic or other research and educational settings.  Ninety-five percent of all the graduates from the doctoral program in Criminal Justice have been hired into faculty position or other jobs in criminal justice research and policy.

Career Possibilities

The Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice degree is in high demand in academic and other settings.  Recent research suggests that there are more academic positions in the field than there are new criminal justice PhDs to fill them.  Federal, State, and local criminal justice agencies and private “think tanks” offer research positions to criminal justice PhDs as well.

The demand for persons with advanced graduate degrees in criminal justice is expected to continue to increase as agencies continue to become more evidence-driven and the discipline continues to develop.

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Major Details

Students earning a PhD in criminal justice at the University of Cincinnati are required to complete a minimum of 90 semester hours beyond the baccalaureate degree or 60 semester hours beyond the master's degree (including doctoral dissertation hours).

The criminal justice faculty has designed a customized curriculum that firmly grounds students in the core of the discipline of criminal justice/criminology.  Our goal is to ensure that all Cincinnati graduates share a common, rigorous training that will prepare them for the rapidly growing field of criminal justice research.  At the same time, through selection of specialties, choice of electives, and dissertation research, students have the flexibility to develop expertise consistent with their unique interests.

Required Coursework:

  • Theory and  Research on the Criminal Justice System
    •  Examines the factors that affect criminal justice policies and practices 
  • Theory and Research on the Nature of Crime
  •  Examines the substance and empirical status of theories of crime
  • Research Methods and Statistics
  • Introduces and develops understanding of research design, data collection, and statistical methods as applied to crime and criminal justice topics
  • Professional Development
  • Introduces students to best practices in teaching and the research process and gives them opportunities to apply what they learn

Core and Specialty Areas:

The School also requires students to focus on a core and specialty area that reflect faculty expertise.  Each area involves course sequences that expose students to important theoretical issues and empirical research.  Students will identify two areas of focus by the second year of study.  They will satisfy course requirements and take the Comprehensive Exam in their primary area.  Students will satisfy the course requirements in their secondary area.  Core options comprise Criminology and Criminal Justice.   The specialty area options are Corrections, Crime Prevention, and Policing.

Networking and Professional Development:

During doctoral study, students develop professionally through their association with fellow students and professors (e.g., working on research projects, mentoring.)  A distinctive feature of our doctoral program is that Professional Development coursework is included as part of our curriculum through a Research Practicum course.   Students learn the nature of the discipline, the publishing process, how to secure employment, the nature of the faculty role and professional duties and opportunities.

Teaching:

The Teaching Practicum trains students in the instruction of criminal justice. This course reviews course development, methods of classroom instruction and issues related to teaching within a college setting. All students are required to teach at least one criminal justice course.

Project for Demonstrating Proficiency in Research Methods and Statistics:

Upon successful completion of the required course sequences in research methods and statistics,doctoral students must satisfactorily complete a research paper in order to demonstrate their proficiency in the topics covered in those courses. The paper presents a quantitative analysis of a secondary data set and is similar in format to a journal article.  This paper will be completed during the summer immediately following completion of the research methods and statistics course sequences.

Comprehensive Examination:

Students are required to complete a comprehensive examination in a core or substantive area: Criminal Justice, Criminology, Corrections, Crime Prevention, or Policing. These examinations are administered twice each academic year on the second Friday in September and March. Students complete relevant

coursework before taking the comprehensive examination.

Doctoral Dissertation:

Each doctoral student is required to complete a dissertation.  The dissertation is the capstone graduate

experience wherein the candidate conducts and presents original criminal justice research to the School’s faculty.  The dissertation project is planned with the consent and guidance of a faculty committee.  The first step in the dissertation research process is selection of a dissertation committee.  This is followed by development and defense of a dissertation research proposal.  The final step is presentation and defense of the dissertation.

Curriculum

These tools assist students to identify course requirements and individual progress toward completion of academic programs. It is important to utilize these resources with personalized guidance from a UC academic advisor regularly to ensure timely graduation..

My Degree Audit - for confirmed and current students

My Transfer Course Equivalencies - for students considering transfer to UC

UC Schedule of Classes - search course availability and descriptions

Curriculum Guide Versions:

PhD Curriculum Guide

Predominant Program

    Groupings:
    Seminar
    • CJ8010, Seminar in Criminal Justice Theory, 3
    • CJ8011, Seminar in Criminal Justice Process, 3
    Foundation Concentration: Criminal Justice
    • CJ8010, Seminar in Criminal Justice Theory, 3
    • CJ8011, Seminar in Criminal Justice Process, 3
    • CJ8012, Seminar in Legal Issues in Criminal Justice, 3
    • CJ8013, Seminar in Juvenile Justice , 3
    • CJ8014, Seminar in Criminal Courts, 3
    • CJ8015, Seminar in Critical Perspectives in Criminal Justice, 3
    • CJ8016, Seminar in Criminal Justice Program and Policy Evaluation, 3
    • CJ8095, Special Topics in Criminal Justice, 3
    Foundation Concentration: Criminology
    • CJ8021, Biological and Individual Theories of Crime, 3
    • CJ8022, Life-Course Criminology, 3
    • CJ8023, Seminar in Drugs and Crime, 3
    • CJ8024, Seminar in Gender and Crime, 3
    • CJ8025, Seminar in International Criminology, 3
    • CJ8026, Individual Theories of Crime, 3
    • CJ8027, Seminar in Macro-Level Criminology, 3
    • CJ8071, Community and Environmental Criminology, 3
    • CJ8072, Seminar in White-Collar Crime, 3
    • CJ8096, Special Topics in Criminology, 3
    Research
    • CJ8042, Philosophy of Science in Criminal Justice, 3
    • CJ8050, Qualitative Methods in Criminal Justice, 3
    • CJ8051, Meta-Analysis in Criminal Justice, 3
    • CJ8052, Criminal Justice Survey Design, 3
    • CJ8053, Introduction to Data Management and Analysis with SPSS, 1
    • CJ8054, Multi-level Modeling, 3
    • CJ8056, Growth Modeling in Criminal Justice, 3
    • CJ8057, Longitudinal Data Analysis, 3
    Substantive Specialization: Corrections
    • CJ8060, Seminar in Correctional Rehabilitation, 3
    • CJ8062, Seminar in Community Corrections, 3
    • CJ8063, Seminar in Institutional Corrections , 3
    Substantive Specialization: Policing
    • CJ8071, Community and Environmental Criminology, 3
    • CJ8074, Applied Crime Prevention, 3
    • CJ8080, Policing in Context, 3
    • CJ8081, Seminar in Police Decision-Making, 3
    • CJ8082, Seminar on Police Effectiveness, 3
    • CJ8099, Special Topics in Policing, 3
    Substantive Specialization: Crime Prevention
    • CJ8071, Community and Environmental Criminology, 3
    • CJ8072, Seminar in White-Collar Crime, 3
    • CJ8073, Seminar in Victimology, 3
    • CJ8074, Applied Crime Prevention, 3
    • CJ8098, Special Topics in Crime Prevention, 3
    Faculty Approved Criminal Justice Electives
    • CJ6060, Early Intervention in Criminal Justice, 3
    • CJ7010, Seminar in Criminal Justice, 3
    • CJ7012, Criminal Justice Policy Analysis, 3
    • CJ7013, Criminal Justice Management, 3
    • CJ7020, Seminar in Criminology, 3
    • CJ7041, Basic Research Methods in Criminal Justice, 3
    • CJ7060, Correctional Theory and Policy, 3
    • CJ7070, Theory and Practice of Crime Prevention, 3
    • CJ7080, Theory and Practice of Law Enforcement, 3
    • CJ7090, Directed Studies in CJ, 1 - 15
    • CJ8028, Biosocial Factors in Serial Offending, 3
    • CJ8029, Sex Offenders, 3
    • CJ8061, Applied Corrections, 3
    • CJ8064, Minorities and Corrections, 3
    • CJ8065, Offenders with Mental Illness and the Correctional System, 3
    • CJ8090, Advanced Individual Work in CJ, 1 - 15
    • CJ8097, Special Topics in Corrections, 3

Admission Requirements

Application Deadline and Procedures

Prospective students will complete the on-line application for their requested program by the posted application deadline.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required materials and support documents are successfully submitted.  Incomplete applications will not be processed or reviewed.

Review of applications for Fall Admissions begins January 10th

Admission requirements include:

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Scores (50th percentile or above is preferred) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), if applicable

Unofficial Transcript with Grade Point Average (a minimum of 3.5 is preferred)

Recent Writing Sample

A personal statement with discussion of relevant experience, goals, and fit with the UC program

3 Letters of Recommendation

Inclusion of Curriculum Vitae highlighting any prior research or teaching experience is recommended

Transcripts:

Providing academic records during the application process. All applicants are required to upload their unofficial transcripts during the application process. The university defines “unofficial” transcripts as transcripts that have been in the hands of students, are typically printed on plain paper, and do not have a college seal or registrar's signature. Applicants should NOT send official transcripts as part of the application process.

Providing academic records after admission. Once an applicant has been extended an offer of admission to the University of Cincinnati and has accepted the offer, s/he must submit an official transcript showing conferral of a baccalaureate degree or higher as soon as possible to the address below. The university defines “official” transcripts as transcripts that have been received from a secure, authenticated issuing institution and bears validation (e.g., a seal, logo, or watermark), including a date, and an appropriate signature. Official transcripts MUST be sent forward in their original, sealed envelope. The absolute final deadline for submission of official transcripts is one week before the start of the student’s first semester. Students will NOT be allowed to complete a full semester without providing verification of an earned baccalaureate degree or higher. Any discrepancy later found between student-provided unofficial transcripts and official transcripts will be grounds for dismissal. Official Transcripts should be sent to one of the following addresses:

 

Regular U.S. postal mail:               Delivery via parcel delivery service (FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.):

Graduate School                             Graduate School

University of Cincinnati                 University of Cincinnati

110 Van Wormer Hall                    2614 McMicken Circle

P.O. Box 210627                            110 Van Wormer Hall

Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627         Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627

 

UC Alumni

Students who have received degrees from the University of Cincinnati do not need to submit official paper copies of their UC transcripts.

 

Students with degrees received in China

Applicants who have received degrees in China will upload their unofficial transcripts during the application process. The university defines “unofficial” transcripts as transcripts that have been in the hands of students, are typically printed on plain paper, and do not have a college seal or registrar's signature. Unofficial transcripts do NOT need to be verified at this stage of the application process.

 

After being accepted to join a graduate program

Applicants who have earned a degree in China must submit an English-version verification report from the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) of their final transcripts and degree certificates.  All verification reports must be sent to the University of Cincinnati directly by the CDGDC to be considered official. No other verification will be accepted. Applicants with Chinese transcripts must contact the CDGDC after their degree is completed and request that their degree verification report be submitted directly to the University of Cincinnati. Students who request a verification report prior to degree conferral will be required to submit a second report after conferral.

Verification reports can be ordered at the following websites:

 

Verification reports are due to the Graduate School one week prior to the start of the student’s first semester. Failure to submit verification reports on time will result in a student being placed in non-matriculated status and loss of his/her student visa status. Verification reports should be sent to one of the following addresses:

Regular U.S. postal mail:               Delivery via parcel delivery service (FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.):

Graduate School                             Graduate School

University of Cincinnati                 University of Cincinnati

110 Van Wormer Hall                    2614 McMicken Circle

P.O. Box 210627                            110 Van Wormer Hall

Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627         Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627

Accreditation

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.



The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.