Skip to Content - Skip to Navigation

Two students talk in a classroom

Making Degree Progress in Your Criminology PhD

The PhD program in criminology is designed to be completed in approximately three to four calendar years of full-time study beyond the master’s. The curriculum requires a minimum of 54 semester hours of acceptable graduate credit. Each student must complete requirements for (a) coursework; (b) special proficiency requirements; (c) qualifying exams; (d) skill requirement, if needed; and (e) dissertation.

Required Course Work

Core Courses (21 semester hours):

CRIM 810 — Advanced Theoretical Criminology, 3 credits

CRIM 817 — Advanced Qualitative Methods, 3 credits

CRIM 818 — Quantitative Strategies for Analysis in Criminology, 3 credits

CRIM 820 — Advanced Quantitative Methods, 3 credits

CRIM 830 — Ethical and Philosophical Issues in Criminology, 3 credits

CRIM 840 — Advanced Criminal Justice Policy, 3 credits

CRIM 851 — Doctoral Colloquium in Criminology, 3 credits

Criminology Electives:

Six semester hours minimum

Advanced Applied Research:

Nine semester hours minimum

CRIM 901 — Advanced Applied Research I

CRIM 902 — Advanced Applied Research II

CRIM 903 — Advanced Applied Research III

Other Electives:

Six semester hours from Criminology or related disciplines

  • Qualifying Examination: Upon completion of 18 semester hours, a student must take qualifying examinations in core subject areas. After successful completion, a student may proceed towards fulfillment of remaining degree requirements.
  • Comprehensive Area of Specialization Competence Review: Areas of Concentration—Each student must decide upon one subspecialty within criminology. Upon consultation with the student, the student’s advisory committee, and the doctoral coordinator, a proficiency review will be conducted.
  • Skill requirement: (0–6 semester hours) A deficiency in this area may be remedied by completing one of the following alternatives:
    • Foreign language competency
    • Computer
    • Advanced statistics
    • Advanced research methods
    • Other appropriate areas as approved by the doctoral coordinator

Further details regarding any of these skill requirements can be obtained from the doctoral coordinator.

  • Dissertation: In accordance with university guidelines, successful completion of a doctoral dissertation is required (12 semester hours).

In short:

  • Average Transfer Credit from MA: 6
  • Course Credits: 36
  • Dissertation Credits: 12
  • Total Minimum Number of Credit Hours Required: 54
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice Department
  • Wilson Hall, Room 200
    411 North Walk
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2720
  • Fax: 724-357-4018
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.