PhD Degree in Criminal Justice

A Doctor of Philosophy degree, or PhD, in criminal justice is an academic degree that can usually be completed in two to three years of full time study. A prerequisite to obtaining a PhD, however, is the requirement of having first earned a master’s Criminal Justice degree. A PhD can be earned at four-year colleges and universities, including working online using the Internet where you have the ability to earn a degree as your schedule allows.

By having a PhD, you are preparing yourself for applying the theories and the practice of the criminal justice profession in ways that lead to structuring an organization, the controlling operations of an organization, the managing, and the full directorship of how an agency might proceed into the future. Organizations that might look for a PhD graduate would be the local and state police enforcement, private security services, parole and probation, social welfare, and other federal law enforcement agencies. With a PhD in criminal justice, employment opportunities can also be found with policy writing agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and private law firms. A PhD graduate also has the opportunity to teach on the subject of criminal justice at the college and university level.

As a PhD graduate in criminal justice, you will have reached the highest level of an educational degree in the subject. You will have the credentials to be a policy maker, to establish new forms of criminal justice services, and to have a front row seat in testing out your theories in practice. The benefits for a PhD having experience in criminal justice will have annual salaries in excess of $80,000 and up.

Specific to obtaining a PhD is the requirement that you specialize in a particular area of interest in the criminal justice profession. This may include:

  • A PhD in Human Services of Criminal Justice where the specialization focuses on the current issues of a society as they relate to public safety, juvenile delinquency, the court system, the prison system, and the study of criminal psychology. A course of study in human services usually includes the economics and demographic shifts that pertain to racial and ethnic groups, modern urban problems, interpersonal violence, drug abuse, and poverty on criminal behavior.
  • A PhD in Public Policy of Criminal Justice where specialization prepares you for the many challenges that can face state and federal government officials and the policies that they write for an effective means in delivery of the criminal justice system into society.
  • A PhD in Business Administration of Criminal Justice that prepares you for the policies that are written in regards to business-related issues and criminal justice. Such a PhD can especially lead to advantages for employment in the corporate world. Typically this course of study places an emphasis on research and how to go about performing a systematic inquiry to solve business-related issues in the areas of material security, trade policies, and commerce exchange.
  • The PhD programs that are offered in criminal justice actually allow for an expansion of the master’s degree level of education but with more in-depth study and analysis on the behavioral and social science aspects of crime prevention. By having a PhD, you are ready to specialize and focus into an area of your choosing that can be applied to positions in corporate business, academia advisory boards and teaching, or in organizations for the community, state, or federal governments.

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