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Ph.D. in Criminal Justice

The Ph.D. in Criminal Justice trains individuals through an interdisciplinary focus in an online environment. The program prepares students through the core curriculum and allows for specialty training through various tracks. The Ph.D. in Criminal Justice opens opportunity in areas of research, academia, and management to those who are ready to advance as well as to individuals considering a career change.

This doctoral program comprises 60 credits: 33 credits (11 courses) of core curriculum, 15 credits (5 courses) of a specialty concentration, and 12 credits of dissertation work.

Application Requirements

To ensure that your application is complete, please use the checklist below and follow the detailed instructions provided for each item. All documents that are submitted to the University will need to include your name on each page.

  1. Complete online application form.
  2. All applicants must hold a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  3. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher in last 60 semester hours of undergraduate coursework or a master's degree with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better.
  4. Application fee of $50 (in U.S. dollars) made payable to Nova Southeastern University will be charged for each application submitted.
  5. Submit three letters of recommendation from current professors, employers, supervisors, or similar people most familiar with your professional experience. Letters of recommendation must be less than one year old.
  6. Official electronic transcripts can be sent to electronictranscript@nova.edu or mailed to the address below.

    Applicants who have attended foreign universities or colleges are required to have their academic credentials evaluated for U.S. institutional equivalence. Please visit the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services for more information. International students are encouraged to contact the Office of International Student Services at (954) 262-7240 or 800-541-6682, ext. 27240, or by email at intl@nova.edu, or visit the Office of International Students and Scholars.

     

  7. Provide a personal statement of 300 words detailing your goals in research interests and special qualifications for the program. This statement must be attached to the application.
  8. Submit one of the following
    1. Copy of completed master's thesis or equivalent capstone deliverable; the paper must reflect original work, be exclusively of the applicant's authorship and should have been supervised and evaluated by a faculty member.
    2. GRE score of 300 or better on the combined verbal and quantitative sections based on the new score reports (Effective November 2011). Test scores are valid for five years after the testing year in which you tested.
    3. Sample of published work from a refereed publication within the criminal justice or related discipline;
    4. Successful completion of J.D. or doctorate in related field
  9. Submit a copy of current curriculum vitae
  10. Interview

 

Please Mail Items To

Nova Southeastern University
Enrollment Processing Services
Attn: Abraham S. Fischler College of Education
3301 College Avenue P.O. Box 299000
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33329-9905

If you have any questions about the admissions process, call (866) 239-7345 / (800) 986-3223, ext. 28500, or email to eduinfo@nova.edu.

 

Deadlines

term offered application deadline interview period
Fall  May 22 June

Core Curriculum (33 credits)

All Criminal Justice students must take 11 Core Courses.

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE AND DESCRIPTION CREDITS
CJI 0700 Theories of Crime 3
CJI 0701 The Police and Society 3
CJI 0702 Criminal Law, Procedure and Individual Rights 3
CJI 0703 Applied Statistics I 3
CJI 0704 Applied Statistics II 3
CJI 0705 Qualitative Methods 3
CJI 0706 Research Methods I 3
CJI 0707 Research Methods II 3
CJI 0708 Program Evaluation I 3
CJI 0709 Program Evaluation II 3
CJI 0710 Data Analysis and Interpretation 3

Concentration (15 Credits)

Students must choose one concentration below and complete 15 credits within the concentration.

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE AND DESCRIPTION CREDITS
CJI 8110 Criminal Justice Organization and Management 3
CJI 8120 Criminal Justice Organizational Planning and Change 3
CJI 8130 Ethical Practices in Criminal Justice Leadership 3
CJI 8140 Current Trends and Issues in Criminal Justice Organizations 3
CJI 8150 Advanced Study: Ideas, Issues and Practices in Criminal Justice 3

(Offered through the College of Psychology)

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE AND DESCRIPTION CREDITS
CJI 8210 Risk Assessment 3
CJI 8220 Gender Violence: Domestic Violence & Sexual Abuse 3
CJI 8230 Mental Health Courts and Therapeutic and Restorative Justice 3
CJI 8240 Sexual Offenders 3
CJI 8250 Psychological Issues for Children and Adolescents in the Legal System 3
COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE AND DESCRIPTION CREDITS
CJI 8310 Contemporary Challenges in Juvenile Justice Leadership 3
CJI 8320 Legal and Ethical Issues in Juvenile Justice 3
CJI 8330 Comparative Juvenile Justice Systems 3
CJI 8340 Advanced Juvenile Justice Policy 3
CJI 8350 Advanced Study: Ideas, Issues and Practices in Juvenile Justice 3

Dissertation (12 Credits)

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE AND DESCRIPTION CREDITS
CJI 9000 Dissertation I 3
CJI 9001 Dissertation II 3
CJI 9002 Dissertation III 3
CJI 9003 Dissertation IV 3
CJI 9004 Continuing Services 1
CJI 9005 Continuing Services 1

Degree Plan

Below is a sample of a degree plan for a full-time student (3 classes per semester) who begins studies fall semester. Because students will be admitted to a cohort and the degree plan is sequential, it is expected that students will take three classes per semester as outlined below.

Degree Plan: 60 Credit Hours

Important Financial Aid Notice:Please be advised that financial aid is awarded to students based on a fall/winter/summer academic year. Federal regulations permit the posting of financial aid to student's account 7 days prior to his or her earliest scheduled class start date.

YEAR 1
Fall CJI 0700 - Theories of Crime CJI 0701 - The Police and Society Track Course
Winter CJI 0703 - Applied Statistics I CJI 0706 - Research Methods I Track Course
Summer CJI 0704 - Applied Statistics II CJI 0707 - Research Methods II Track Course
YEAR 2
Fall CJI 0705 - Qualitative Methods CJI 0708 - Program Evaluation I Track Course
Winter CJI 0710 - Data Analysis CJI 0709 - Program Evaluation II Track Course
Summer CJI 0702 - Criminal Law CJI 9000 - Dissertation I  
YEAR 3
Fall Dissertation II Dissertation III
Winter Dissertation IV Defend

Frequently Asked Questions

From getting started to graduation, we have answers to some of your most important questions: 

What will my degree say?

It will say Doctor of Philosophy. You will also receive a certificate stating Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice and your specialty track.

Is the program accredited?

NSU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

What are the benefits of an online environment?

Traditional courses require you to attend classes in person two or three days per week. With the online environment, you can check your e-mail and bulletin board at any time convenient to you in your own home.

Do you limit the number of students who can enroll in the program?

Yes, we do limit the number of students who are admitted. We typically accept 20 students per year.

How long will it take to complete my Ph.D. in Criminal Justice?

There are three semesters offered each year: Fall (Aug), Winter (Jan), Summer (May) and typically students complete the program in two (2 1/2) years by taking three (3) courses per semester; however, never enrolled in more than 2 at a time. Please see suggested course of study.

How many classes do I need to take to be considered a full-time student?

A student who is registered for a minimum of 2 courses is considered to be a full-time student.

Can I take two or more specialty tracks?

Yes. It is possible for students to take additional specialty tracks. Students must complete all five (5) courses within a given track to get credit for that track.

How do I apply to the Ph.D. in Criminal Justice program at Nova Southeastern University?

Assemble your application materials (e.g., test scores, transcripts, etc.) and mail them to:

Nova Southeastern University
Enrollment Processing Services (EPS)
Attn: Abraham S. Fischler College of Education
P.O. Box 299000
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 33329-9905

Note: Documents and materials submitted in support of the application become property of the university and will not be returned to the applicant/student.

If you have any questions about the admissions process, call (954) 262-8500 / (800) 986-3223, ext. 28500, or email to eduinfo@nova.edu.

What materials do I need to complete my application?

To ensure that your application is complete, please use the checklist below and follow the detailed instructions provided for each item. All documents that are submitted to the University will need to include your name on each page.

Check List

  1. Complete online application form.
  2. All applicants must hold a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  3. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher in last 60 semester hours of undergraduate coursework or a master's degree with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better.
  4. Application fee of $50 (in U.S. dollars) made payable to Nova Southeastern University will be charged for each application submitted.
  5. Submit three letters of recommendation from current professors, employers, supervisors, or similar people most familiar with your professional experience. Letters of recommendation must be less than one year old.
  6. Official electronic transcripts can be sent to electronictranscript@nova.edu or mailed to the address above.

    Applicants who have attended foreign universities or colleges are required to have their academic credentials evaluated for U.S. institutional equivalence. Please visit the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services for more information. International students are encouraged to contact the Office of International Student Services at (954) 262-7240 or 800-541-6682, ext. 27240, or by email at intl@nova.edu, or visit the Office of International Students and Scholars. 
  7. Provide a personal statement of 300 words detailing your goals in research interests and special qualifications for the program. This statement must be attached to the application.
  8. Submit one of the following
    1. Copy of completed master's thesis or equivalent capstone deliverable; the paper must reflect original work, be exclusively of the applicant's authorship and should have been supervised and evaluated by a faculty member.
    2. GRE score of 300 or better on the combined verbal and quantitative sections. Test scores are valid for five years after the testing year in which you tested.
    3. Sample of published work from a refereed publication within the criminal justice or related discipline;
    4. Successful completion of J.D. or doctorate in related field
  9. Submit a copy of current curriculum vitae
  10. Interview

Is financial aid available for students taking online courses?

Yes, financial aid is available for online courses. Individuals should evaluate their eligibility for financial aid by calling the Office of Student Financial Aid at (954) 262-3380 or 800-522-3243.

Do I need a master's degree?

Yes. In order to be admitted into the program you need a master's degree. A Master of Science in Criminal Justice Program is available online at the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education. For more information, please complete the request for information form or call (954) 262-8500 or toll free at 800-986-3223 ext. 28500.

When should I complete an Application for Degree?

An application for degree should be submitted with payment no later than the last term in which your program will be completed.

Where do I obtain an Application for Degree Form?

To access the Online Application for Degree/Diploma, you must first read these important instructions.

How do I register for courses?

To register for courses you must first be formally accepted into one of our programs. To learn how to become a student, please visit our admissions page.

Students must register for courses during the registration periods each term. To register for your courses, please login to SharkLink where you will find all of your course planning and registration tools, how to order your books online, access to your online courses, and other useful academic information.

How do I request more information?

If you would like additional information, please call (954) 262-8500 or toll free at 800-986-3223 ext. 28500.

Please watch our own Dr. Grace Telesco discuss important and supportive information for all of us in staying vigilant for children and families during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

Criminal Justice Facebook Live Chats

NSU professor Dr. Grace Telesco and criminal justice reform activist/advocate Desmond Meade discuss the system and how to turn your passion into action.

 

Dr. Marcelo Castro, Associate Dean of the School of Criminal Justice

Click on the image above to learn more about the undergraduate and graduate programs in Criminal Justice that can help you become the hero your community needs!

Alumni Success Story

Jay Fortenbery

Jay Fortenbery

Ph.D. Criminal Justice | Class of 2016

"Earning a Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice from NSU has provided me with the knowledge and credentials necessary to enter into the professions of research and academia. As a full-time police chief, the program offered by NSU afforded me the opportunity to achieve my goals from a highly recommended and SACS-accredited institution. I found the level of instruction from each professor to be exemplary in every way, and the courses provided were both challenging and rewarding. The concentration choice of organizational leadership also supplied very useful information and broadened my knowledge, which has assisted me greatly in my current position.

During my course of study, I was able to publish three articles in the FBI Bulletin and have submitted a fourth for publication in this highly respected worldwide online magazine. My dissertation on “Physical Fitness Policies among Police Departments in North Carolina” has been published and is generating interest among my colleagues in the law enforcement profession. I have started working on a law enforcement training book and hope to begin a new career teaching future cops at the undergraduate and graduate level upon my upcoming retirement from law enforcement. I highly recommend this course of study and would like to thank the entire staff of NSU for a great educational experience!"

 

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