Criminal Justice


Why study Criminal Justice?

The Criminal Justice faculty has devoted considerable time to designing a curriculum that will firmly ground doctoral students in the core of the discipline of criminal justice/criminology. Our goal is to ensure that all University of Cincinnati graduates share a common, rigorous training that will prepare them for criminal justice and criminology research. At the same time, through electives and dissertation research, students have the flexibility to develop expertise consistent with their unique interests.

On completion of the Ph.D., doctoral students will be well-versed in criminal justice, criminology, and research methods. Doctoral students must complete course requirements in a Foundation Area of either Criminal Justice or Criminology and in a Substantive Specialization area in Corrections, Policing, or Crime Prevention. To enhance professional development, the curriculum also includes practicum courses on teaching effectiveness and the research process.

Admission Requirements

Prospective students will complete the UC Graduate Admissions Application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required materials and support documents are successfully submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be processed or reviewed.

The Doctoral program only admits for Fall semester start. Review of applications typically begins in early January.

Admission requirements include:

  • A baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited institution
    • Preferred minimum grade point average of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale)
    • Applicants without a graduate degree may be admitted at the doctoral level or referred to the master's program (or denied admission)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
    • Preferred scores in 50th percentile or above
  • At least two (2) letters of recommendation (3 preferred)
  • A personal statement describing relevant qualifications, goals, and program fit
  • Recent writing sample
  • Curriculum Vitae highlighting any prior research or teaching experience is recommended

Additional requirements for International applicants:

Our Ph.D. graduates 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 Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice degree is in high demand in academic and other settings, like state and federal governments and “think tanks.” The demand for persons with advanced graduate degrees in criminal justice is expected to continue as agencies become more evidence-driven.

Application Deadlines

The priority application deadline for Fall semester admissions is January 10. The final application deadline for Fall semester admission is April 1.

The review of completed admission applications begins in early January. 

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

Contact Information

Betsy Yeakle
2610 McMicken Cir
School of Criminal Justice
Cincinnati, OH 45221
(513) 556-1819

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Program Code: 18DOC-CJ-PHD