Ph.D. in Criminology

  • IUP graduate programs in Criminology are designed to prepare students for careers in academia and for upper-level administrative positions in various fields of justice. 

    Admission Criteria

    It is expected that students entering the Ph.D. program in Criminology will have completed a master’s degree in either Criminology or a closely related discipline. However, in exceptional cases, a highly qualified applicant may enter the doctoral track with a baccalaureate degree. Such students would obtain the M.A. degree en route to the Ph.D.

    Applicants must meet all School of Graduate Studies and Research admission requirements. Additionally, the doctoral coordinator, after consulting with the department Ph.D. committee, will submit a recommendation regarding applicants to the School of Graduate Studies and Research. The following criteria are reviewed:

    1. All official college transcripts
    2. Three letters of recommendation
    3. Statement of goals
    4. Example of written work (thesis, articles, reports, etc.)
    5. GRE scores (A combined score of at least 900 on the verbal and quantitative sections is expected. Some flexibility may be granted at the discretion of the screening committee.)
    6. Skill requirement (foreign language, computer or statistical ability, or other skills approved by the Ph.D. committee or the department’s graduate curriculum committee
    7. Personal interview (may be requested by department Ph.D. committee or by applicant)

    Program Requirements

    The Ph.D. program in Criminology requires a minimum of 54 semester hours of acceptable graduate credit. Each student must complete requirements for (a) course work; (b) area of specialization requirements; (c) qualifying examinations; (d) skill requirement; and (e) dissertation.

    A. Required Course Work

    I. Core Courses (21 semester hours):

    CRIM 810 Advanced Theoretical Criminology 3 cr.
    CRIM 817 Advanced Qualitative Methods 3 cr.
    CRIM 818 Quantitative Strategies for Analysis in Criminology 3 cr.
    CRIM 820 Advanced Quantitative Methods 3 cr.
    CRIM 830 Ethical and Philosophical Issues in Criminology 3 cr.
    CRIM 840 Advanced Criminal Justice Policy 3 cr.
    CRIM 851 Doctoral Colloquium in Criminology 3 cr.

    II. Advanced Applied Research (9 semester hours):

    CRIM 901 Advanced Applied Research I 3 cr.
    CRIM 902 Advanced Applied Research II 3 cr.
    CRIM 903 Advanced Applied Research III 3 cr.

    III. Criminology Electives: 6 semester hours minimum

    IV. Other Electives: 6 semester hours from Criminology or related disciplines

    B. Qualifying Examination

    Upon completion of 18 semester hours, a student must take qualifying examinations in three core subject areas. After successful completion, a student may proceed toward fulfillment of remaining degree requirements.

    C. 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.

    D. Skill Requirement (0-6 semester hours):

    This requirement may be fulfilled by demonstrating knowledge in one of the following areas:

    • Foreign language
    • 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.

    E. Dissertation:

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


    The following options are available to doctoral students for satisfying residency requirements:

    1. Completion of a minimum of nine graduate credits at IUP in each of at least two consecutive semesters
    2. Completion of a minimum of nine graduate credits at IUP for at least one semester immediately preceding or following a summer of nine semester hours of study
    3. Completion at IUP of at least nine graduate credits in each of two consecutive summers plus six graduate credits during the intervening academic year

    Part-Time Study

    This program may admit each year some students whose intention is to complete the program on a part-time basis. Course offerings can be expected to fluctuate, especially in the expansion of new course offerings. A complete and updated description of any changes can be obtained from the Department of Criminology.