ASU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
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Ph.D in Criminology and Criminal Justice


About the program

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University offers a program of coursework and research leading to the Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. 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 

A minimum of 84 credit hours are required to complete the degree. This includes a minimum of 72 hours of coursework and 12 hours of dissertation. A maximum of 30 hours of course work from a previously awarded master's degree or juris doctor degree may, with the approval of the supervisory committee, be applied toward the doctoral program of study.

The theory and research on crime and criminal justice core includes two required courses:

  • Seminar on Criminological Theory and
  • Seminar on Criminal Justice Policies and Practices.


The research methods and analytical techniques core includes three required courses:

  • Advanced Research Design;
  • Advanced Statistical Analysis; and
  • Special Problems in Quantitative Method

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

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 six years from the date of the first course listed on the program of study.

Hear from recent Ph.D. graduate, David Pyrooz


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