Criminology and Criminal Justice, PhD

School of Criminology & Criminal Justice, College of Public Affairs & Community Service

Vision Statement

The vision of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice is to be a program that is recognized nationally for its quality and impact on research and instruction. In terms of doctoral education, the aim is to foster a learning environment in which graduate students may gain the necessary knowledge, skills, and competencies to prepare them for careers in academia or in the public or private sectors. The curriculum emphasizes written and verbal communication skills, methodological competency, a strong statistical foundation, and hands-on research experience. Doctoral students will actively engage in research under the supervision of the Director of the School’s Nebraska Center for Justice Research, the Director of the Juvenile Justice Institute, and/or with faculty on local, national, and international projects. Such instruction and experiences will serve to enhance the national visibility of our students and faculty.

Program Contact Information

Todd Armstrong, PhD, Doctoral Graduate Program Chair (GPC)
218 College of Public Affairs and Community Service Building (CPACS) 
402.554.2326
toddarmstrong@unomaha.edu

Program Website

Admissions

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: January 10

Program-Specific Requirements

  • An earned Master of Arts or Master of Science degree in criminology or criminal justice from an accredited institution is required for unconditional admission into the program.
  • Applicants with a master’s degree in an allied field (sociology, political science, public administration, etc.) and who lack substantial coursework in criminology & criminal justice may be granted provisional admission. They will be granted unconditional admission upon successful completion of 18 hours of criminology & criminal justice coursework from the core curriculum.
  • Applicants who have completed a baccalaureate degree must first complete the requirements for the Master of Arts degree prior to admission into the Ph.D. program.
  • Applicants are required to have a command of oral and written English.  Those who do not hold a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from the U.S., OR a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from a pre-determined country on the waiver list, must meet the minimum language proficiency score requirement in order to be considered for admission.

    • Minimum required scores are as follows:
      • IELTS: minimum score of 7.5 is required; 8.0 is preferred
      • Internet-based TOEFL: minimum score of 21 in each of the four areas, and a minimum overall score of 95 (the paper TOEFL will NOT be accepted).
      • PTE: 76 or higher
      • NOTE: all English-as-second-language students will be required to take a proficiency assessment examination upon admission. That assessment will be used to determine if further assistance is required.
  • Decisions regarding admission to the program are made by the Graduate Recruitment and Admissions Committee in the School of Criminology & Criminal Justice. The Committee will evaluate applicant materials and make recommendations for student admissions during the spring semester of each year, and newly admitted students will begin taking courses in the fall semester of each year. Admissions decisions are competitive. If more students than the School can reasonably handle apply for admission in any given year, the Committee will admit those most qualified.
  • Entrance Exam: GRE is required
    • A combined score of at least 300 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the revised Graduate Record Examination (GRE); students demonstrating exceptional academic potential may be considered with a GRE score of less than 300.
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
    • Individuals who are qualified to comment on the applicant’s ability to pursue doctoral-level coursework. At least two of the three letters must be from academics who have known the applicant as a student and/or as an individual who worked under their direct supervision.
  • Statement of Purpose
    • A statement of purpose, not to exceed five (5) typewritten, double-spaced pages, describing the applicant’s prior education, relevant professional experience, career goals, and the specific relationship of the Ph.D. degree to the achievement of these goals, must be submitted. Within their statements, applicants should note their research interests and the faculty with whom they may wish to work.  
  • Writing Sample
    • This may be a chapter from a master’s thesis, a published article, or a manuscript written in a scholarly style.
  • Resume

Degree Requirements

Required Courses21
SEMINAR ON THEORIES OF CRIME
ADVANCED STATISTICAL APPLICATIONS (Statistics 2)
SPECIAL PROBLEMS IN RESEARCH METHODS (either quantitative or qualitative) 1
SPECIAL PROBLEMS IN STATISTICAL ANALYSIS (Statistics 3)
ACADEMIC WRITING
TEACHING CRIMINAL JUSTICE AT THE COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY LEVEL
ADVANCED RESEARCH DESIGN
Select one of the following required three-hour diversity courses:3
SEMINAR ON RACE, ETHNICITY, AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
SEMINAR IN WOMEN AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Or a master’s-level or higher course from another department as approved by the Supervisory Committee Chair and the Doctoral Program Chair
Electives18
All doctoral students will select six (6) courses from the electives list for a total of 18 hours.
SEMINAR IN POLICE AND SOCIETY
SEMINAR IN CORRECTIONS
SEMINAR IN THE CRIMINAL COURT SYSTEM
SEMINAR IN CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE
SEMINAR IN JUVENILE JUSTICE
SEMINAR IN THEORETICAL CRIMINOLOGY
CRIMINAL JUSTICE ORGANIZATION, ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT
SEMINAR IN WOMEN AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
PROGRAM EVALUATION AND POLICY ANALYSIS
TERRORISM
SPECIAL PROBLEMS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE
SEMINAR ON LAW & SOCIAL CONTROL
SEMINAR ON RACE, ETHNICITY, AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
COMPARATIVE CRIMINOLOGY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS
SPECIAL PROBLEMS IN RESEARCH METHODS
ADVANCED RESEARCH ON POLICING
SPECIAL TOPICS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE RESEARCH
SEMINAR IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS
SEMINAR ON INSTITUTIONAL CORRECTIONS
SEMINAR ON THE CRIMINAL COURT SYSTEM
SEMINAR ON VIOLENT CRIME AND CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR
ADVANCED CRIMINOLOGICAL THEORY AND THEORY CONSTRUCTION
DIRECTED READINGS IN CRIMINOLOGY & CRIMINAL JUSTICE (1-9 hours)
CRCJ 9990DISSERTATION (see details below)20
Total Credits62

Both 8000- and 9000-level elective courses are available to doctoral students.

There is a series of 9000-level courses that are required for doctoral students.

A maximum of six (6) hours of dual-level courses (4---/8—6 course number) can be included in the program of study.

A maximum of three (3) hours of directed readings (CRCJ 9980) may be included in the program of study; these three (3) hours must be used in preparation for the comprehensive examination.  All coursework, excluding coursework in the form of directed readings related to the comprehensive examination, must be completed within two and half (2.5) years from the time a student’s program of study is approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies. Three (3) hours for directed readings are to be used for the comprehensive examination in the fall semester of the student’s third year in the program. All students will be required to complete all courses listed as required courses. Students also must take elective courses in criminal justice or related fields.

Students are expected to complete 36 hours of coursework within two years.  Except in extraordinary circumstances. Some of these hours may be taken during summer semesters.

Comprehensive Examination and Admission to Candidacy

After completion of 36 hours of coursework, doctoral students will be required to pas a comprehensive examination.  The examination has two parts-criminological theory and criminal justice systems.  Students are expected to work on their comprehensive examinations during the fall and spring semesters of their third year in the program. During this time, students may take three (3) hours of CRCJ 9980. It is, therefore, expected that a doctoral student will complete 42 hours of coursework by the end of the fall semester of their third year.

Dissertation

Students may begin work on the dissertation after successful completion of the comprehensive examination. The dissertation must reflect original scholarship and contribute to the body of knowledge on Criminology & Criminal Justice. The dissertation topic must be approved by the student’s Dissertation Committee, which consists of a chair and three other members. One Committee member must be a faculty member from outside the School of Criminology & Criminal Justice. The dissertation topic, prospectus, and the dissertation all require the approval of the Dissertation Committee. A doctoral student will be required to take at least one hour of CRCJ 9990 each fall and spring semester while working toward the completion of the dissertation. A minimum of 20 credit hours of CRCJ 9990 is required for all doctoral students.

Total Credit Hours

A minimum of 92 graduate hours beyond the baccalaureate degree. This includes up to 30 hours earned in a master’s degree. Satisfactory completion of a teaching practicum is also required.