The Department of Criminal Justice has recently launched a
program of study leading to the Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal
UCF's Doctoral Program in Criminal Justice is
composed of a substantive core focused on criminal justice theory
and institutions; a research methods core that prepares social
scientists in the scientific method and social-science statistics;
and a selection of substantive criminal justice specializations
(policing, corrections or juvenile justice). The program focuses on
criminal justice and takes advantage of the city of Orlando and
surrounding cities and counties to examine criminal justice issues
at multiple angles and levels.
The program is
intended to serve many purposes. Chief among them are to:
prepare disciplinary stewards capable of advancing scholarship
in criminal justice
prepare a qualified workforce to assume criminal justice
instructional responsibilities in post-secondary institutions
prepare analysts competent to staff state and local criminal
improve safety and justice in communities through research
partnerships with neighborhood, city, county and state agencies and
Students completing the Doctoral Program in Criminal
Justice at UCF will be exceptionally well prepared to
pursue academic positions in universities, research positions in
criminal justice agencies, and consultancies in program evaluation
and needs assessment.
program is a 57-credit, post-master's program of study and
research. Substantive emphasis is placed on core course work in
criminal justice theory and institutions, and on in-depth
concentrations in policing, corrections or juvenile justice.
Students will complete a minimum of 42 credits of post-master's
course work and 15 credits of dissertation research.
Prospective students with questions are encouraged to contact
the department's Graduate Advising Office at 407-823-2603.
SUBSTANTIVE CORE (15
Seminar in the Nature of Crime (3
Seminar in Criminal Justice
Seminar in Criminal Justice
Teaching Criminal Justice (3
Criminal Justice Research in the Community (3
METHODOLOGICAL CORE (12 credits): (Entering Ph.D. students are expected to have
qualifying graduate course work in statistics and research methods
equivalent to two semesters of graduate research methods course
work and two semesters of graduate statistics.)
Advanced Research Methods in Criminal
Justice (3 credits)
Advanced Quantitative Methods in
Criminal Justice (3 credits)
Two additional methods/statistics courses with advisor
approval (6 credits)
CONCENTRATION AREA (9 credits): Students will select an area
of concentration and complete the assigned coursework. Entering
doctoral students must have completed a master's-level precursor in
their chosen area (e.g., Master's-level survey course in policing
if the area chosen is Policing Theory and Research). Areas of
Policing Theory and Research (9 credits):
Policing Urban Communities (3 credits)
Seminar in Police Culture (3 credits)
Police Administration (3 credits) -or-
Correctional Theory and Research (9 credits):
Seminar in Institutional Corrections (3
Seminar in Community Corrections (3
Seminar in Correctional Effectiveness (3 credits) -or-
Juvenile Justice Theory and Research (9
Seminar in Policing and Prevention in the Juvenile Justice
System (3 credits)
Seminar in Prosecuting Juvenile Offenders (3 credits)
Seminar in Juvenile Corrections (3 credits)
WORK (6 credits)
will select two classes, of three credits each, from an approved
list of electives in the department, college and university.
EXAMINATIONS (credits unspecified)
of cumulative examinations will ensure expertise in the
substantive, methodological and concentration areas. Students may
enroll in doctoral research credits during the period of study
preceding the examinations.
DISSERTATIONS (15 credits)
successful completion of all examinations, students will enter
candidacy and complete a dissertation. The topic should be grounded
in the student's selected concentration area.
One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each
An earned or in progress Master's degree in criminal justice or
a closely related discipline from an accredited institution with at
least a 3.5 GPA.
Official, competitive GRE score taken within the last five
Three letters of recommendation, with at least two being from
university faculty members who can assess the student's ability to
succeed in a doctoral program.
A personal narrative of 500 - 1,000 words describing research
interests, educational expectations, career aspirations, level of
computer skills, and any special qualifications that may enhance
the overall learning environment of the CJ PhD program.
A curriculum vita.
A writing sample that is at least 2,000 words long, is academic
in nature (e.g., paper written for a Master's class), and
demonstrates the applicant's ability to complete graduate-level
composition. Should not be published work and applicant must be the
Applicants may be requested to participate in an interview (by
Skype) with the Department's Doctoral Program Committee and
coordinator. Students will simultaneously be considered for both
admission and funding.
Students should be aware that admission to any graduate program
is granted on a competitive basis. There may be cases where
students meeting minimum requirements are denied admission based on
such factors as program capacity or academic discretion. Students
are expected to be full time and are required to be in residence.
Application materials are due by January 15th to be
reviewed for fall admission.
Qualified students are awarded research or instructional
assistantships. These assistantships include a tuition waiver,
stipend, work experience, health insurance and qualifies the
student for in state residency.
For more information, contact the Department of Criminal Justice
Graduate Program Director.
One of the benefits of conducting international fieldwork is the opportunity to become engrossed in a different culture.
— William Moreto,
The people I worked with ... put me in every scenario possible and allowed me to experience it first hand.
— Max Thedy,
former student intern who worked with law enforcement rangers in Cape Town, South Africa
I cannot stress enough the importance of the basic research skills and knowledge, combined with an understanding of data analysis for those planning to be leaders in the field of criminal justice.
— Roberto Hugh Potter,
Criminal Justice Department Professor
I would not be in the position I have today if it weren’t for the Criminal Justice Program at UCF.
— Carl Metzger,
M.S. in Criminal Justice, '03; Deputy Chief, University of Central Florida