Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice

The program will prepare students for research, teaching and professional employment at universities, research institutes, and criminal justice related agencies, including, governmental agencies, related non-profit agencies, public policy institutes, or the private sector.

The Criminology and Criminal Justice Ph.D. provides an interdisciplinary, research oriented perspective for advanced understanding of the nature and causes of crime, consequences of crime and crime control, society's reaction to these phenomena, as well as the organizations that are designed to deter, apprehend, prosecute, and punish criminal offenders.

Unique Features

The UNLV Criminology and Criminal Justice Ph.D. program capitalizes upon the strengths of our faculty, and unique opportunities that exist as a function of our location in one of the most dynamic regions in the country, to allow us to offer a variety of exciting educational opportunities.

The Ph.D. program provides training in unique areas including: crowd management, surveillance studies, human trafficking, forensic testimony, and comparative criminal justice. These areas allow the department to produce graduates who are nationally and internationally recognized scholars and experts in innovative and entrepreneurial areas of growth. In addition, we offer training in more traditional areas of criminology and criminal justice, including policing, corrections, juvenile delinquency, gender and crime, and white collar/corporate crime.

In addition to traditional course work, students in the program will complete both a research and teaching practicum. These practicums are designed to provide a more well-rounded education for our students than other Ph.D. programs typically offer.

Research Practicum

The Research Practicum is designed to supplement students’ ability to present data in not only a traditional academic format, but for other audiences including professional organizations and media outlets. In addition students will prepare a research brief for publication through the Center for Crime and Justice Policy.

Teaching Practicum

The Teaching Practicum is designed to prepare students to develop professional presentations and teach independent courses and the university level. Students who complete the practicum will be educated in the best practices in teaching, enabling them to be better prepared to ultimately assume academic positions and/or deliver dynamic presentations in professional settings.

Additional Opportunities for Criminology and Criminal Justice Ph.D. students

Students will have the opportunity to work in a variety of research settings including, the Center for Crime and Justice Policy, the Crowd Management Research Council, the Forensic Testimony Laboratory, and Victimization Laboratory.

Admissions Requirements

 

Students may seek admissions after completing either a Bachelor’s degree in (Post-Bachelor’s Track) or after completing a Master’s degree (Post-Master’s Track) in Criminal Justice or related area.

The application deadline is February 1st.

Post-Bachelor's Track Admissions Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with at least 18 hours of criminal justice-related courses
  • A final minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale - competitive GPAs are expected to be 3.5 or higher
  • Submission of Verbal, Quantitative, and Writing Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores - competitive minimum GRE scores are 153 for Quantitative Reasoning, 155 for Verbal Reasoning, and 4.5 for Analytical Writing
  • Three letters of recommendation that address the applicant's character, work ethic, and potential to successfully complete a doctoral program - letters from faculty or academic supervisors are preferred
  • One academic writing sample
  • A personal statement of approximately 500 to 1,000 words describing personal and academic background, research interests, professional goals, a primary faculty member with whom the applicant wishes to work, and any other factors that suggest the applicant will perform well in the program
  • A personal interview with program faculty members if selected as a finalist

Post-Master's Track Requirements:

  • A master's degree in criminal justice from an accredited institution - exceptions may be made in exceptional cases if the candidate holds a master's degree in a criminal justice-related discipline
  • A final minimum cumulative graduate GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale - competitive GPAs are expected to be 3.7 or higher
  • Submission of Verbal, Quantitative, and Writing Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores - competitive minimum GRE scores are 153 for Quantitative Reasoning, 155 for Verbal Reasoning, and 4.5 for Analytical Writing
  • Three letters of recommendation that address the applicant's character, work ethic, and potential to successfully complete a doctoral program - letters from faculty or academic supervisors are preferred
  • A master's thesis and/or at least two original research papers written solely by the applicant - all submissions must be in English
  • A personal statement of approximately 500 to 1,000 words describing personal and academic background, research interests, professional goals, a primary faculty member with whom the applicant wishes to work, and any other factors that suggest the applicant will perform well in the program
  • A personal interview with program faculty members if selected as a finalist