Your browser does not support JavaScript! or JavaScript is currently disabled.

Criminal Justice Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice

School of Public Service Leadership

Show course with description

 

Residency Requirement(s):

Three ten-week courses with a four-day embedded residency experience (PSL-R8925, PSL-R8926, PSL-R8927).  See university policy 3.04.05 Attendance at Residencies and the Residencies page on Campus for more information. Also see each graduate school’s residency courses.

 

Twenty-Two Required Courses

 

80 quarter credits

PSL7010, PSL7020, and PSL7030 taken in a prescribed sequence.

PSL7010
21st-Century Communication and Leadership

This course begins the three-course sequence designed to enhance professional communication, scholarly competencies, and leadership effectiveness. Learners apply theoretical models of leadership and interpersonal relations to practical situations in the workplace. Learners also use contemporary technology to communicate effectively as scholars and professionals in real-world situations.  Must be taken during the learner’s first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or prior learning assessment.

4 quarter credits
CRJ7015 *
Criminal Justice Theory

This course focuses on the applications of both criminal justice and criminological theories by scholars and professionals in research, policy formation, and practice. Learners gain and apply an understanding of key criminal justice theories that pertain to the structures and operations of the criminal justice organizations, including law enforcement, courts, and corrections. Learners analyze and evaluate the behaviors of state officials, the legal apparatus, and criminal justice organizations. Learners assess trends in criminal control in relation to political processes, social groups, economic changes, and ideological factors. Prerequisite(s): PSL7020, completion of or concurrent registration in PSL7030. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer. 

4 quarter credits
CRJ7025 *
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 CRJ7015; PSL7030.

4 quarter credits
CRJ7035 *
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
CRJ8015 *
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
CRJ8025 *
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
CRJ8035 *
Globalization and the Criminal Justice System

Learners in this course analyze the theories, actors, characteristics, and legal instruments associated with globalization and the criminal justice system. Learners examine International bodies of crime control and interactions between U.S. agencies and other national and international organizations. Learners identify Issues and problems that arise from addressing transnational crime and criminal organization, and interpret the role of international politics, world conflicts, drug and human trafficking, cross-border problems, and other criminal activities. Learners also explain the relationships between local policing, federal law enforcement agencies, and foreign bodies and analyze a criminal justice issue of international significance.  Prerequisite(s): CRJ8025.

4 quarter credits
CRJ8045 *
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, PSL-R8926. 

4 quarter credits
PSL-R8925 *
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 1

The intensive, ten-week PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 1 includes both an online courseroom and a face-to-face weekend residency experience. Learners interact with peers and faculty as they participate in online courseroom and weekend residency activities that emphasize applying the research skills necessary to initiate the development of a dissertation research plan. Throughout the course, learners focus on identifying a theory, topic, and research problem appropriate for their specialization. Track 1 learners must also complete PhD Dissertation Milestone 1 (Research Ethics Education). Following the weekend residency experience, learners complete a final assessment that demonstrates Track 1 learning outcomes. For PhD in Criminal Justice and PhD in Emergency Management learners only. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in PSL7860. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer. 

3 quarter credits
PSL-R8926 *
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 2

The intensive, ten-week PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 2 includes both an online courseroom and a face-to-face weekend residency experience. Learners interact with peers and faculty as they participate in online courseroom and weekend residency activities that emphasize applying the research skills necessary to develop a research question and to select an appropriate dissertation topic. In Track 2, learners complete PhD Dissertation Milestone 2 (Topic Approval). Following the weekend residency experience, learners complete a final assessment that demonstrates Track 2 learning outcomes. For PhD in Criminal Justice and PhD in Emergency Management learners only. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in PSL7864. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits
PSL-R8927 *
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 3

The intensive, ten-week PhD Dissertation Seminar Track 3 includes both an online courseroom and a face-to-face weekend residency experience. Learners interact with peers and faculty as they participate in online courseroom and weekend residency activities that emphasize applying the research skills necessary to detail a methodological design, sampling plan, and strategy for data analysis. In Track 3, learners complete PhD Dissertation Milestone 5 (Research Plan Approval). Following the weekend residency experience, learners complete a final assessment that demonstrates Track 3 learning outcomes. Learners must complete Track 3 prior to beginning the comprehensive examination phase of the program. For PhD in Criminal Justice and PhD in Emergency Management learners only. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in PSL8110 or PSL8120. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer. 

3 quarter credits
PSL7020 *
Professional Practice and Collaboration in a Diverse and Dynamic World

Learners in this course examine a variety of social and professional situations to build their skills in effective and creative collaboration across an organization. Learners analyze and benchmark best practices from an organizational, team, and individual perspective to create an environment of inclusivity and collaborative results. In addition, learners examine conflict management, diversity management, group dynamics, cultural competence, ethical decision making, followership, and social responsibility. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in PSL7010.

4 quarter credits
PSL7030 *
Introduction to Critical Analysis and Research

This course reinforces the leadership knowledge and skills gained during previous coursework, and enables learners to be more effective consumers of data and to better utilize research in applied and academic endeavors. Learners develop and demonstrate skills to evaluate source quality, credibility, and relevance to practice; assess research concepts and strengthen their ability to critically analyze; and apply information literacy, research ethics, and methods of inquiry. Prerequisite(s): PSL7010, completion of or concurrent registration in PSL7020.

4 quarter credits
PSL7860 *
Survey of Research Methods

Learners in this course critically evaluate research in order to gain an understanding of the scientific methods of inquiry and the ethical considerations of research. Learners focus on becoming educated consumers and creators of research. Learners also use their research design skills to analyze and apply research methodologies, validity, reliability and other components of scientific research related to their field of interest. Prerequisite(s): DPA8400 or MPA5400 or PSL7030 or PSL8106 or completion of or concurrent registration in HMSV8216 or SWK8035. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
PSL7864 *
Quantitative Design and Analysis

In this course, learners investigate the fundamental concepts needed to conduct quantitative research. Learners examine and apply quantitative research techniques; appropriate applications of quantitative research; research design, measurement, and analysis, and their associated interdependencies; variable types and levels of measurement; sampling; descriptive and inferential statistics; and hypothesis testing. Learners define the strengths and limitations of descriptive statistics, analyze the quantitative scales of measurement, review the logic of probability and null hypothesis testing, and leverage technology when applicable. Learners also determine the steps necessary to ensure human subjects protection, and consider methodological adaptations when conducting research with vulnerable and diverse populations. Prerequisite(s): PSL7860. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
PSL7868 *
Qualitative Design and Analysis

Learners in this course assess the fundamental concepts needed to conduct qualitative research. Learners practice qualitative research techniques; appropriate applications of qualitative research; the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research design, sampling, and analysis and their associated interdependencies; and leverage technology when applicable. Learners also determine the steps necessary to ensure human subjects protection, and consider methodological adaptations when conducting research with vulnerable and diverse populations. Prerequisite(s): PSL7864. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

Choose one from the following courses:

PSL8110 *
Advanced Qualitative Analysis in Public Service Leadership

In this course, learners strengthen and apply their understanding of qualitative research approaches in depth, using books and articles considered to be primary sources within the field. Learners develop a research question and choose a research methodology to conduct the proposed study. In addition, learners evaluate the chosen methodology and use primary sources to collect, analyze, and apply data to the chosen methodology. Prerequisite(s): PSL7868.

4 quarter credits
PSL8120 *
Multivariate Analysis in Public Service Leadership

Learners in this course use SPSS to conduct multivariate analysis methods, including multivariate regression and ANOVA, and multivariate classification. Learners also examine nonparametric and/or categorical adaptations of traditional multivariate normal analyses, and assess existing datasets to gain and demonstrate knowledge and skills in analyzing, presenting, and interpreting numerical data. Prerequisite(s): PSL7868.

4 quarter credits

Upon completion of all required coursework:

PSL9919 *
Doctoral Comprehensive Examination

This course includes an overview of the comprehensive examination process, the university’s expectations of academic honesty and integrity, the three core themes of the examination, and the evaluation criteria. The courseroom mentor provides three questions addressing the core themes. Learners write answers to the comprehensive examination questions. Answers are evaluated by faculty readers using point-scale scoring rubrics. Upon passing the comprehensive examination, learners are eligible to register for the first dissertation course. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): Completion of all required and elective coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Completion of practicum courses, if applicable. Fulfillment of all residency requirements. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits

Learners must register for PSL9960 a minimum of four times to fulfill their program requirements.

PSL9960 *
Dissertation Courseroom

This course provides learners with resources, guidance, and peer and mentor support during each dissertation course as they complete the required milestones. Grading for this course is S/NS. Learners must register for this course a minimum of four times to fulfill their specialization requirements. Prerequisite(s): PSL9919. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer. transfer. 

3 quarter credits

 

Four Elective Courses

 

16 quarter credits

Choose any graduate course(s).

 

Total

 

96 quarter credits

 

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Admission to the PhD in Criminal Justice degree program requires learners to complete and submit the SoPSL Course Registration Acknowledgment.

PhD in Criminal Justice Online Degree Program | Courses - Capella University

Concentrations

If you have elective courses yet to satisfy in your program, you may be able to add a concentration and satisfy those degree requirements at the same time, with no additional program cost or time commitment. Concentrations available for this program include:

  • Continuity Management
  • Corrections
  • Criminology
  • Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR)
  • Higher Education
  • Human Resource Management
  • Project Management

What Can I Expect?

Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

Learn more about online learning at Capella.

Transfer Credits

There are many ways to reduce tuition costs, including transferring credits which may help save time and money. You can transfer up to 20 credits into this specialization.

Ever Wonder What a Capella Course is Like?

Sign up for a free GuidedPath Trial Course and see all the great benefits each online learning format has to offer.

Get started

PhD in Criminal Justice Online Degree Program | Courses - Capella University

Take an Individual Course

Whether you're completing additional credits for your own education, want to see if online learning is right for you, or are simply interested in a specific topic, you can enroll in many of Capella's online courses without committing to a degree program. We recommend speaking with an enrollment counselor to discuss your goals and ensure that the credits you earn now may be applicable to a Capella degree program.

Learn more about individual courses.

Ready for the Next Step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.