2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    Jul 14, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Criminal Justice, Ph.D.

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Program Outcomes

  • Evaluate the major theoretical models used to study crime and the administration of justice.
  • Assess contemporary problems in crime and the administration of justice by utilizing a range of quantitative and qualitative research tools.
  • Appraise the relationship between theory, research, and policy as applied to the study of crime and the administration of justice.
  • Analyze complex problems and research questions related to crime and the administration of justice.
  • Create and deliver oral and written communications that evaluate complex problems in crime and the administration of justice.


All Ph.D. Programs must adhere to core admissions requirements. Programs of the various colleges may augment the core requirements with additional ones as appropriate. However, the minimum (core) requirements may not be waived or substituted under any circumstances. The core qualifications and admission requirements shall be as follows:

  1. Given the specification of the program requirement below, applicants must possess a minimum of a Master's degree from an accredited college or university recognized and approved by the university. However, programs may admit students with Bachelor's degrees into their own Master's program with a plan of studies for transition to the Ph.D. upon successful completion of the Masters. One official transcript from each institution attended must accompany the application. These documents are to be submitted by the issuing academic institution(s) directly to the university.
  2. If the applicant's most recent degree was awarded more than ten years prior to the initial academic term of enrollment in the Ph.D. program, the candidate must demonstrate currency in the field to the satisfaction of the program administrator.
  3. Applicants must provide official reports of scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or other equivalent standardized examinations acceptable to the program, which have been taken no more than two years prior to the date of application to the university. These are to be submitted by the testing authority directly to the university.
  4. Applicants must furnish three confidential letters of recommendation. Two of the letters are to be from persons familiar with the candidate's scholarly abilities. The letters are to address specifically the applicant's (a) ability to conduct research in the proposed field of study, (b) writing ability, and (c) integrity. These letters are to be submitted directly to the university.
  5. Applicants must submit an essay of no more than 1,500 words describing the area of interest that the applicant proposes to pursue and the motivation for pursuing the degree.
  6. Applicants must submit an additional writing sample of previous academic, professional, or published work.
  7. Applicants must furnish a detailed resume or a curriculum vita.
  8. In the case of an applicant whose first language is not English, that applicant must furnish documented evidence of their ability to communicate (write, read, and speak), in English. All applicants to the university whose native language is not English must present satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the IELTS. Minimum TOEFL scores for admission to the Ph.D. program are 250 on the computer-generated score, 100 on the Internet-based test, or 600 on the paper-based test, or the IELTS equivalent. That test must have been taken within the two years immediately preceding the requested trimester of admission. In extraordinary circumstances, applicants who do not meet the above TOEFL scores may be admitted, but only with approval from the Dean of the College and the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies. Applicants who have completed requirements for a bachelor's or a master's degree from an accredited U.S. university are not required to submit a TOEFL score. When a TOEFL score is a requirement for admission, individual graduate departments may require a TOEFL score higher than the threshold scores previously listed.


Application Deadlines

Candidates are strongly encouraged to submit their application documentation as early as possible. This is important because financial aid/assistantship/fellowship requests may have deadlines that do not mirror matriculation deadlines. Students may seek admission to begin enrollment during any term except where individual programs have restricted start terms. A letter of intent and the application may be submitted at any time for a specified future academic year. But, unless specified earlier by the particular program, the Office of Graduate Admissions must receive all of the documentation required by the College Program for which the applicant has applied no later than one and one-half months prior to the anticipated date matriculation is to begin (July 15th for fall matriculation). The applicant will be notified by the university of its decision to admit or not no later than one month prior to the anticipated date matriculation is to begin.

Program Residency (Credit) Requirements

A minimum of forty-two credit hours beyond the master's degree are required for the Ph.D. degree apportioned as follows:

  • A minimum of 30 credit hours of course work corresponding to 10 or more courses is required.
  • A minimum of three credit hours of research culminating in a prospectus for the dissertation is required. Candidates who do not complete their prospectus within the prescribed time will register for an additional three credit hours of prospectus research giving them additional time to complete the work.
  • A minimum of 9 credit hours of dissertation research is required. Candidates will register for 3 credit hours of dissertation research per term while conducting the dissertation research. During these three academic terms, each 3-credit enrollment will be considered equivalent to full-time status.
  • Candidates must register on a Continuing Registration basis upon completion of the 42 credit-hour requirements if they have not completed their dissertation.
  • The minimum of 42 credit hours beyond the Master's degree presupposes that the applicant's Master's degree has been approved by the academic unit managing the Ph.D. as being sufficiently preparatory to that program.
  • Full-time or part-time study may be pursued, subject to all time and qualitative requirements for the degree being satisfied. However, regardless of the mode of study, a candidate is required to devote at least three consecutive terms, or the equivalent, of full-time study for the dissertation research in residence at the main campus (or at a location appropriate to the dissertation research as approved by the dissertation committee and the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies.)

Time Limits

  • It is expected that full-time students complete the 42 credit hours of course work, prospectus research, and dissertation research and writing within four calendar years.
  • Students who have completed the 42 credit requirement without having actually completed the dissertation must register on a Continuing Registration basis.
  • The maximum time allowed to earn the Ph.D. with the applicant having the Master's as a base is six years from the time one enrolls in the doctoral program. Under extraordinary circumstances and upon approval of the dissertation committee, and the Dean of the College, and the Provost's designee, an extension may be granted to complete the dissertation research, its defense and submittal.

Registration/Enrollment Requirements/Advisement

Incoming doctoral students will work closely with the departmental coordinator of the program, or designee, to select appropriate courses and to plan for qualifying examinations. This coordinator will serve as the adviser of record until the student completes the required course work. At intervals determined by each program, a faculty committee chaired by the program coordinator will evaluate each student’s progress in the program, using criteria developed by the program. These written evaluations will be shared with the student. Doctoral students are encouraged to establish relationships with other faculty within the program during the first terms of study, and soon after passing the qualifying examinations, doctoral students should identify a primary dissertation adviser. This adviser will be designated the chair of the student’s doctoral dissertation committee. This committee will consist of three members or more, members and will be formed through consultation among the student, the adviser, and the coordinator of the graduate program and/or departmental chair. Doctoral dissertation committees must include at least two members of the department hosting the doctoral degree; at least one member from outside the home department, and, where appropriate, a member from outside the University.

Grades and Satisfactory Progress

  • Valid grades are those from the existing graduate set, A through F (including +/-), P/F for the dissertation credits, W, INC.
  • Satisfactory Progress is defined as a cumulative QPR of 3.0 or greater. A student who falls below 3.0 (cumulative) would not be allowed to register without permission from the academic adviser. The adviser may permit a student not making satisfactory progress to register, but only with written conditions being set. If the conditions are not subsequently met, the student would not be permitted to continue in the program.

Leave of Absence

  • A leave of absence (LOA) from the Ph.D. program is an interruption in the formal program of study for extenuating circumstances and may only be taken with approval of Associate Provost for Graduate Studies, considering the academic department's recommendation.
  • A LOA may be for personal, medical, professional, or parental reasons and may be granted for up to one year at a time. If more than one year is needed, another application would be required.
  • A student must notify the registrar in writing of the intent to end the LOA and resume registering.
  • Students may complete INC grades during a LOA, but no other formal program progress may be made during that time.
  • The duration of an approved LOA will not be counted toward the time limits set to complete the Ph.D. program or its component phases.
  • A LOA cannot be back-dated.
  • A student not registered without an approved LOA will be presumed to have withdrawn from the program and will be notified in writing to that effect.

Withdrawal and Re-admission

  • Discipline and/or dismissal for non-academic causes follows existing university procedures and practices.
  • Dismissal for academic cause follows the existing graduate policy and procedures.
  • A student who voluntarily withdraws from a Ph.D. program or withdraws by virtue of non-registration may subsequently re-apply for admission. Such applications are judged by the admissions standards in force at the time of the subsequent application. If the student is re-admitted, they are subject to the program requirements in force at the time of re-admission. Previous credit earned will be evaluated in that light.

Transfer Credit/Advance Standing

A maximum of six credits may be transferred from other institutions with similar doctoral or relevant Master’s programs upon approval of the Dean and program coordinator.

Foreign Language Requirements

There is no University-wide language requirement for the doctoral degree. Please consult the requirements for individual programs to see whether a foreign language may be required for a particular program.

Qualifying Examinations

The student is required to complete qualifying examinations in order to be admitted for candidacy for the dissertation. The program faculty is responsible for determination of the qualifying examination process and procedure as well as the exams themselves. The promulgated process and procedure must include a statement that addresses whether re-taking failed examinations are permitted and, if so, in what ways. The detailed schedule of requirements will be set and published by the specific program.

Phases of Study – Candidacy for the Ph.D., Admission to Candidacy, Prospectus for the Dissertation—Acceptance

Successful completion of qualifying exams are required for admission to candidacy for the dissertation . Candidacy for the Ph.D. is formalized and recorded upon academic acceptance of the dissertation prospectus by the academic department. The latter is a pre-requisite for registration for any of the nine credits of required dissertation research. The dissertation must be successfully defended and approved and properly submitted for the Ph.D. degree to be granted.

Program Oversight

The responsibility for the college-wide oversight of the doctoral program rests with the Dean of the College where the program resides. The Dean may appoint a Director of the Doctoral Program if the volume of activity warrants it. The Dean’s Office or Director will work closely with assigned faculty advisors to facilitate and monitor student progress throughout the various phases of the program.

The Associate Provost for Graduate Studies has university-wide oversight of all doctoral programs to ensure that institutional standards are met and procedures are followed.

Dissertation Format

The format for the dissertation is based on the University of New Haven’s Dissertation and Thesis Manual.

Dissertation Defense, Completion

Upon recommendation of the student’s dissertation committee, the doctoral candidate will arrange a date for the dissertation defense. The defense should be scheduled prior to November 1 to allow for a Winter graduation or April 15 for the Spring commencement. At the defense, the Committee may request that additional corrections be made to the Dissertation, and will specify a timeline for the completion of these revisions. Final acceptance of the dissertation is contingent on approval by the dissertation committee, the Dean of the College, and the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies.

Financial Requirements/Financial Support

Please refer to the graduate catalog for a schedule of tuition, doctoral program fee charges, and tuition assistance. A limited amount of tuition assistance based on need may be available. Support for tuition in the form of fellowship stipends, teaching fellowships, or research assistantships may be available from the specific college.


Personal Conduct/Ethics

Students in the doctoral program must strictly adhere to all elements of the university’s Academic Integrity Policy, which addresses issues of research misconduct as well as plagiarism.

Sponsored, Classified, Proprietary Research

Dissertation research proposals that involve national security classification implications or commercial undertakings related to the student’s employment interpreted as proprietary by that private-sector enterprise will be evaluated for acceptability as valid dissertation subject on a case-by-case basis.

Intellectual Property

The student’s Intellectual Property rights are governed by the University’s guidelines as set forth in the Faculty Handbook.

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