The doctoral curriculum is flexible so that programs of study can be tailored to suit the individual needs of each student. Thus, there are few required doctoral courses. Students should not, however, infer that only required courses are needed to pass the comprehensive exams or to successfully complete a dissertation. Students should consult with their major professor regarding which elective courses (possibly including some from outside the College) would benefit them and should also consider which courses would best prepare them for their post-doctoral careers.

Credit Hours

There are not a fixed number of credit hours required for the Ph.D. The student’s doctoral committee determines how many credits must be completed. That number varies depending on the student’s prior education; mastery of research methods, statistics, theory, and a substantive area in the discipline; their level of preparation for the comprehensive exams; and the successful completion of the dissertation. Given these considerations, there may be considerable variation in the actual number of hours that doctoral students are required to finish. Many doctoral students complete 30 to 45 credit hours of actual coursework.

Required Courses

  • CCJ 5109 Theory in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • CCJ 5285 Survey of Criminal Justice Theory and Research
  • CCJ 5606 Survey of Criminological Theories
  • CCJ 5705 Research Methods in Criminology
  • CCJ 5706 Applied Statistics in Criminology
  • CCJ 5740 Data Analysis in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • CCJ 5981r Prospectus Development
  • CCJ 6065 Professional Development in Criminology
  • At least two of the following advanced research methods courses:
    • CCJ 5707 Qualitative Methods in Criminology
    • CCJ 5709 Survey Research Methods in Criminology and Criminal Justice
    • CCJ 6741r Advanced Data Analysis in Criminology and Criminal Justice


  • CCJ 5016 Crimes of the Powerful
  • CJJ 5020 Juvenile Justice
  • CCJ 5028r Seminar in Criminal Justice
  • CJE 5024 Police and Society
  • CCJ 5029 Political Economy of Crime and Justice
  • CCJ 5050 Proseminar in Criminology
  • CCJ 5320 Penology
  • CCJ 5420 Criminal Laws, Criminal Procedure, and Individual Rights
  • CJL 5520 Structure and Process of the American Court System
  • CCJ 5546 Prevention and Treatment of Crime and Delinquency
  • CCJ 5607 History of Criminological Thought
  • CCJ 5609 Conduct of Inquiry in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • CCJ 5625 Ecology of Crime
  • CCJ 5636 Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • CCJ 5669 Race, Ethnicity, Crime, and Social Justice
  • CCJ 5672 Gender, Crime, and Justice
  • CCJ 6608r Advanced Seminar in Criminological Theory
  • CCJ 6665 Victimology
  • CCJ 6708 Seminar in Crime Research
  • CCJ 6920r Seminar in Theoretical Criminology

In all required courses, students must earn a ‘B’ or above or retake the course. The course may only be retaken once. Students should recognize that this list of required courses represents a bare minimum of course work. It should not be regarded as sufficient for passing comprehensive exams or completing a dissertation.


Want to know what to expect before class starts? You can find detailed coursework information in the professors’ syllabi.

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