Ph.D. Program

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A doctoral degree through the College of Criminal Justice will sharpen your analytical abilities, expand your expertise, and generate new intellectual skills and theories. We do not simply graduate students; we launch our doctoral graduates into successful criminal justice careers.

Our alumni consistently expand our knowledge of current criminal justice professions and hold leadership positions in numerous academic associations across the field of criminal justice. The academic experience our students receive is enhanced by the quality of our faculty, who hold a variety of interests and expertise amongst numerous career fields in criminal justice. A visiting lecturer program further expands our students' exposure to world-renowned scholars, illustrating the numerous career options with a criminal justice degree.

Reasons to pursue a Ph.D. through the College of Criminal Justice:

  • Competitive Funding - Up to $26,000 available in college course funding.
  • Research Opportunities - First-and second-year Ph.D. students are assigned to individual criminal justice faculty members as research assistants. These assistantships build the critical skills and credentials necessary to obtain a quality academic position upon graduation.
  • Teaching Opportunities - Third year Ph.D. students qualify for a doctoral teaching fellowship. After completing a specialized course in pedagogy, students may take full instructional responsibility of a criminal justice course and teach up to two courses a semester. These students are instructors, not instructional assistants.
  • One-On-One Mentorship - Our prestigious faculty provide one-on-one mentorship to doctoral candidates throughout the process of building their Research Assessment Portfolio, including submission of manuscripts to prestigious journals and criminal justice publications. Our goal is to have all doctoral graduates published before they enter the job market.
  • Worldwide Networking - Students join the global criminal justice international community and create a network of professional contacts from around the world.
  • Travel Funding - In the academic year 2013-2014, criminal justice Ph.D. students were provided up to $1,000 to present at a national conference. At the November 2013 American Society of Criminology (ASC) conference in Atlanta, 28 of our Ph.D. students presented papers. At the February 2014 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) conference in Philadelphia, 23 of our Ph.D. students presented papers.
  • International Scholars - Through the Beto Chair Lecture Series, students interact with top scholars from the fields of criminology and criminal justice in formal and informal settings.
  • Unique Research Opportunities - The Correctional Management Institute of Texas and the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas both have strong research and development programs. Our focused research institutes include the Crime Victims Institute, the Police Research Center, Texas Regional Center for Policing Innovation, and the Institute for Legal Studies.

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