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Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice and Criminology

The Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice and Criminology is available on the Pullman campus. A student aspiring to earn a Ph.D. degree should expect to spend three to four years, depending on the individual, in study and research beyond the M.A. degree, of which at least two years must be enrolled at Washington State University, and at least two consecutive semesters must be spent in residence as a graduate student in criminal justice. This degree program is designed for students who already have a masters degree. Students currently enrolled in the M.A. program at WSU must inquire with the Graduate Director and Coordinator for directions on how to apply.

Coursework

72 credits total – 48 graded credits (credits earned for your M.A. count towards this total; if you enter our program with an M.A. from another university, some of your credits may transfer), and 24 dissertation research credits.

Teaching/Research

In addition to the course requirements, each student in the Ph.D. program is required to have formal teaching and/or research experience in an institution of higher learning before receiving the Ph.D. degree. Serving as a teaching assistant in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology satisfies this teaching requirement. Collecting original data also fulfills this requirement.

Qualifying Exam

Students (who started the doctoral program during the Fall 2019 semester) shall take the first segment (Research and Quantitative Methods) of the qualifying exam at the beginning of their fourth semester of study. Segment 1 will be based on the following courses:

  • CRM J 520 – Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • CRM J 522 – Introductory Quantitative Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • CRM J 523 – Intermediate Quantitative Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • CRM J 540 – Seminar in Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation

Students shall take the second segment (the Criminal Justice System) of the qualifying exam at the end of their fifth semester. Segment 2 will be based on the following courses:

  • CRM J 530 – Criminal Justice: Processes and Institutions
  • CRM J 555 – Seminar in Criminological Theory
  • CRM J 541 – Seminar in Corrections OR CRM J 542 – Community Corrections
  • CRM J 560 – Prosecution and Adjudication
  • CRM J 570 – The Police and Society OR CRM J 572- Comparative Policing

Dissertation Prospectus

The Ph.D. aspirant becomes eligible to attempt preliminary (i.e. prospectus) examinations after completion of qualifying exams and is in the process of completing the final courses included in his or her Ph.D. program. Only after a student has successfully passed “prelims” does he or she become formally a “candidate for the Ph.D.” (or ABD, “All But Dissertation”). The next requirement for the Ph.D. candidate is preparation. The candidate will work under the guidance of a dissertation committee, of a dissertation presenting the results of a thorough and systematic investigation of a significant problem in one of the specialty areas in criminal justice and criminology the candidate wished to research.

Dissertation Final Defense 

After the prospectus is successfully defended, students need to review and summarize the relevant literature’s, prepare the necessary and agreed methodological tools, collect the information which will be used to answer the dissertation question and write up the first draft of chapters. Upon completion of the dissertation and final defense, a final copy of the dissertation (and related required forms) must be submitted in digital format to the Graduate School within 5 working days for final acceptance.

Graduate Director
Dr. Zachary Hamilton

Graduate Program Coordinator:
Rebeca Orozco
criminaljustice@wsu.edu