Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology

The Ph.D. program in criminology is designed around a highly interdisciplinary approach from a variety of academic disciplines in addition to traditional criminology: public health, biology, sociology, demography, law, statistics and others. Applied training and traditional academic training are represented. The faculty in the Department come from a number of disciplines and students are also encouraged to take courses outside of the department. A key feature of the program for Ph.D. students is that they are encouraged to construct their own mix of graduate courses to properly inform their interests.

Program Features

  • Admission is directly into the Ph.D. program.
  • Students can earn an MA degree as a way station to the Ph.D. after two years of course work with a B average or better.
  • Soon after arriving, each student selects a mentor and with the mentor, the graduate chair and one other member of the graduate group, designs a hand-tailored curriculum. That curriculum will include several “core” courses taken in the first year. The proposed curriculum can be revisited and revised as needed.
  • There is a “comprehensive exam” designed by the student, the mentor and at least one other member of the graduate group. The exam can take a variety of forms depending on what seems most appropriate. For example, it could be a traditional written examination, an oral presentation, or one or more review papers meant to synthesize areas in criminology and/or related fields. The paper(s) could draw from the material already covered in course work and additional readings to broaden and deepen coverage. Ideally, a significant part of this work will serve as a literature review for the dissertation.
  • The Ph.D. dissertation can be a single document or a set of several published papers consistent with the rules of the Graduate Division of the School of Arts and Sciences.
  • The Ph.D. program conforms to the course load and time-to-degree requirements of the Graduate Programs in the School of Arts and Sciences.