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School of Criminal Justice
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  School of Criminal Justice 2021-2023 Doctoral Program General Requirements  

General Requirements
The Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice

Program Overview
The criminal justice doctoral program is designed to provide students with a command of criminological theory, research design and methods, and criminal justice policy; as well as indepth knowledge in areas of specialization within criminology and/or criminal justice. The doctoral degree is awarded based on evidence that the candidate has achieved a high level of proficiency in independent scholarship and research. This is assessed through course grades, the comprehensive exam, the production of a publishable quality empirical paper, and successful defense of the dissertation.

General Requirements
The doctoral program in criminal justice requires students to complete a minimum of 60 credits towards the degree, including 42 hours of coursework and 18 hours of dissertation research. All requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy should be completed within five (5) years, and must be completed within seven (7) years of the first matriculation in the criminal justice Ph.D. program. Students who do not complete the degree within seven years may apply to the Graduate School-Newark for a one year extension, although a waiver may not be granted.

As part of their doctoral education, students are expected to regularly participate in professional development activities, including Professional Development Seminars, SCJ Colloquia, Distinguished Speaker Series, meeting with job candidates and attending their presentations, and attendance/presentation at professional conferences such as the American Society of Criminology Annual Meetings.

Specific Credit Requirements for the Ph.D. in Criminal Justice Include:
  1. A minimum of 60 credits for the doctorate.
  2. A minimum of 42 credits of coursework, including 7 required 3-credit courses (described below) and 21 hours of electives.
  3. A minimum of 18 credits in dissertation research taken toward the degree.
  4. Grades of a B or better in all required courses. A grade of less than a B in a required course indicates an academic deficiency. Any required course in which the student earns less than a B must be repeated until a B grade is earned.
  5. No more than 6 credits with a grade of C or C+ or lower are allowed in meeting the requirements for the degree; these cannot be in a required course.
  6. The overall GPA for coursework in the program must be a 3.2 or better.
  7. No credits from undergraduate courses may be used for the doctoral degree.
  8. Up to 40% of graded coursework (15 credit hours), not research credits, may be transferred from other graduate degree-granting institutions. Note that at least 6 credit-hours of electives must be taken in the School of Criminal Justice during the degree, irrespective of the number of credit hours that students transfer in from a masters degree granted by another institution.
  9. A full-time, one-year residency (9 credits per semester for the first two semesters) is required for the first year of the program.
  10. Courses taken to satisfy the requirements for the master's degree in Criminal Justice at Rutgers may, with approval, be counted toward the doctorate.
For additional information, contact RU-info at 848-445-info (4636) or
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