Criminal justice ensures that laws are followed and that people who break the law get the punishments they deserve. Graduate programs look at crime and justice from a theoretical and methodological point of view. Undergraduate degrees look at the logistics and procedures of the criminal justice system. With a Ph.D., the field is studied in-depth, focusing on research, analysis, and critical thinking. The goal is to learn more about why crime happens and how to promote justice effectively.
Why a Ph.D. Degree in Criminal Justice?
A Ph.D. in criminal justice is a big deal because it takes several years of independent research to finish. But you need a bachelor’s degree if you want to do research and teach in criminal justice as a job. A master’s degree also looks at the criminal justice system from a theoretical point of view, but it is meant to help you in your career in the field. You need a Ph.D. if you want to work in academia. If you do well in school, pay close attention to details, and want to find ways to fix problems in the criminal justice system, a Ph.D. will give you the knowledge and research and analysis skills you need.
Inside a Ph.D. Degree Program in Criminal Justice
A Ph.D. program in criminal justice takes about 30 to 60 hours of coursework. Before starting full-time research for the doctoral thesis, it can take at least two to three years to finish all of these things. You’ll get your degree when the doctoral dissertation is done and the review committee says it’s good. But the total amount of time it takes to get a Ph.D. depends on when the doctoral thesis is done.
The most important courses for a Ph.D. in criminal justice are advanced courses that focus on theory, policy analysis, statistical analysis, and research methods. Criminal justice policy and criminological theory are likely to be covered. In online Ph.D. programs in criminal justice, course lectures are often given through video conferencing. For added flexibility, some programs let you finish courses at any time of day. This is called “asynchronous learning.”
What’s Next for People with a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice?
With an online Ph.D. in criminal justice, you can work as a researcher and university professor in the academic world. Many universities want faculty candidates to have a Ph.D. and have a published degree, so getting a Ph.D. is your best bet if you’re working in academia. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that university professors can expect their jobs to grow at a normal job. But keep in mind that academia is a very competitive field with a wide range of job opportunities.