Jul 15, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Criminology, Ph.D

College of Behavioral and Community Sciences  
Department: Criminology 

The Ph.D. is a research degree granted in recognition of high achievement in criminology. This achievement requires accomplishments beyond the completion of coursework that demonstrate the ability to work independently and contribute to criminological knowledge.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • A master’s degree from an accredited institution and a GPA of at least 3.40 or better (on a 4.00 scale) during graduate study.
  • A preferred minimum score of 154 Verbal (62nd percentile), 145 Quantitative (17th percentile) or higher on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). All applicants must submit GRE scores taken within five (5) years of the desired term of entry.
  • Three 3 letters of recommendation speaking to the applicant’s academic capabilities
  • A statement of purpose detailing reasons for seeking a Ph.D. degree in Criminology, future career plans and research interests.
  • A sample of written work providing evidence of the applicant’s academic capabilities. If an applicant has completed a master’s thesis, it should be submitted.

Curriculum Requirements

Total minimum hours: 55 Credit hours post-master’s

  • Core Requirements - 22 Credit hours
  • Additional Required Course - 1 Credit hour
  • Electives - 9 Credit hours
  • Advanced Research - 6 Credit hours
  • Dissertation - 18 Credit hours

Core Requirements (21 Credit Hours)

* For students who have taken  CCJ 6937 , CCJ 6485  and/or CCJ 6707  or the equivalent as M.A. students, those credit hours will be substituted with additional major electives.

** An introductory research methods course at the graduate level prior is a pre-requisite to taking this course.

† An introductory quantitative analysis at the graduate level prior is a pre-requisite to taking this course.

Additional Required Course (1 Credit Hour)

Electives (9 Credit Hours)

Six graduate credit hours may be taken outside the Major with approval from the Graduate Director. All courses must be USF courses.

Options include but are not limited to:

Advanced Research (6 Credit Hours)

Qualifying Examination

Students must pass two exams and produce an approved publishable manuscript (see Criminology Student Handbook for additional information) as determined by a graduate faculty member.  The comprehensive exams assess the student’s comprehensive knowledge of (a) theories of criminology, (b) research methods and data analysis and the student’s (a) innovative, critical and analytical thinking and (b) writing skills.

Dissertation (18 Credit Hours)

Student’s must complete 18 credit hours of dissertation hours minimum.