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This criminal justice program is designed around industry standards, with curriculum crafted to help you meet the needs of today.
Apply new knowledge and theories to create efficient and forward-thinking ideas to support criminal justice.
Evaluate theories and their application to the field, while assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of a criminal justice organization.
Source: Alumni Outcome Survey, 2018.
Generate valuable criminal justice research guided by experts in the
Source: Gallup Research Study, 2016.
Our PhD in Criminal Justice program is designed to remove roadblocks
for you and demystify the dissertation process. This unique approach
centers on supporting you in three ways: through program structure, a
dedicated faculty and support team, and online resources. To help
generate momentum toward graduation, you’ll begin your dissertation
early in the program. Our faculty, support team, and online resources
will help guide you every step of the way.
Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you
need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way
around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however
Our original learning format offers extra structure for those who
want it. We'll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines.
Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.
If you're an active-duty military service member, spouse, or veteran, discounts may be available.
We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools.
If your employer or organization is a partner with Capella, you may be eligible for a tuition discount.
The online PhD in Criminal Justice curriculum gives you the critical
and analytical skills to develop strategies and policies for criminal
justice administration. You’ll conduct original research and evaluate
current issues and systems. The program includes dissertation research seminars which allow you to
get an early start on your dissertation.
Justice, Security, and Democracy
This course introduces learners to the central functions of law
enforcement agencies, the courts, and corrections in preserving and
protecting the security, safety, rights, and liberties of their
respective communities. Learners examine the principles of
constitutional democracy, with particular focus on the roles and
responsibilities of the criminal justice system. Learners analyze the
complex reciprocal interactions and influences of politics, society,
and the criminal justice system.
Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in
|4 quarter credits|
Criminal Justice Policy and Administration
This course focuses on the organizational challenges that criminal
justice leadership typically encounters in contemporary society.
Learners critically examine the intended and unintended effects of
political, social, and legal policies and pressures on how criminal
justice organizations function. Learners assess organizational and
administrative theories, strategic models, and best practices for
leadership and administration in criminal justice. Learners analyze
innovative policies and change initiatives to achieve specific ethical
and functional objectives.
Prerequisite(s): CRJ7015, PSL7030.
|4 quarter credits|
Assessing Criminal Justice Theory
Learners in this course identify, define, and assess criminal justice
theory. Learners apply criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of
selected theories in explaining the structure and functioning of the
formal components of the criminal justice system, law enforcement, the
courts, and corrections. Learners use theories to account for the
responses of officials assigned to process persons identified as
criminal. Learners examine testable hypotheses and theses statements
derived from these theories in relation to their implications for
research, policy formation, and practice. In addition,
learnersformulate their own research questions and policy proposals
from the criminal justice theories that they find most compelling.
Prerequisite(s): CRJ7015, CRJ7025.
|4 quarter credits|
Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
This course introduces learners to contemporary issues faced by the
criminal justice system, with particular focus on innovative, ethical,
problem-oriented approaches to various criminal justice issues,
problems, and crime types. Learners develop specialized scholarly
interests by examining issues such as community relations,
militarization of policing, use of deadly force, private security,
national drug control policy, sentencing guidelines, correctional
approaches, and alternative treatment modalities. Learners investigate
how a chosen topic will impact policing, courts, and/or corrections.
Learners also assess the implications and consequences public
perceptions have on policy.
Prerequisite(s): CRJ7035, CRJ8015.
|4 quarter credits|
Analysis of Crime Data
Learners in this course apply quantitative and qualitative tools to
assess law enforcement performance, consequences of sentencing
policies, effectiveness of correctional policies, and recidivism
rates. Learners analyze the conceptual and technical foundations of
crime databases and criminal justice secondary datasets; assess the
development of criminal justice databases and examine their uses and
limitations; and investigate secondary datasets, particularly those
with vulnerable and protected populations, and their use in research.
Prerequisite(s): CRJ8035, PSL7868,
|4 quarter credits|
The right education can change everything. Discover your path to making a difference with a PhD in Criminal Justice.
Concentrations let you hone in on your specific area of interest that
can get you even closer to your exact career goals. The concentrations
you earn will be included on your transcript.
Learn the philosophy of punishment and the scope of corrections
programs, such as probation, parole, incarceration, and
Deepen your understanding of crime prevention, treatment programs,
and criminal justice system interventions.
Prepare to teach using your personal teaching philosophy and applying
ethical decision-making, multicultural competence, and more.
Apply research and theory to inform policy and practice to design and
manage resilient systems.
Technology has become a key factor in helping to solve crimes more
efficiently and effectively.
See why Dean Charlyn Hilliman’s broad educational background makes her a perfect fit to guide Capella’s School of Public Service Leadership.
Before pursuing a doctorate, Donna Bradley already had an educational and professional background that was both broad and deep.
I almost quit during the first semester. I thought, "I’m a special agent for the FBI. Why am I doing this?" But I’m so grateful I never gave up.
PhD in Criminal Justice
Read full interview »
Your education can help you reach your goals, professionally and personally. Here are some of the jobs and employment settings to consider with a PhD in Criminal Justice.
*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some
positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure,
certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because
many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella
cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a
promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you
to research requirements for your job target and career goals.
Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit?
The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one
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