Requirements include completion of a total of fifty-four (54) credit hours, passing comprehensive examinations, admission to doctoral candidacy, completion of a residency requirement, preparation and acceptance of a dissertation proposal, completion of the dissertation and an oral defense. These requirements are described below.


The doctoral degree will require the completion of 54 semester hours (See Table 1). All students will complete six (6) required core courses and eight (8) elective courses. Students have the option of completing four (4) elective courses in a specific area of administration of justice. Students may also select electives from approved courses offered at the doctoral level by other departments. Twelve (12) dissertation credits are required. Required core courses include Advanced Seminar in the Administration of Justice Organizations and Processes, Advanced Seminar in Administration of Justice/Criminological/Criminal Justice Theory, Advanced Seminar in Administration of Justice Research Methods, Seminar in Advanced Quantitative Methods I, Advanced Seminar in Race, Class, Gender, Crime and Administration of Justice, and a Research Colloquium. The elective courses will be selected based upon student interests in consultation with the graduate program director. Students may also select a cognate area of specialization outside of the program with permission of their advisor and the GPD. Students are required to complete all courses with at least a grade of “B.”


Comprehensive Examinations

Doctoral students must successfully complete comprehensive examinations in three areas: 1) Theory and Race, Class, Gender, Crime and the Administration of Justice; 2) Research and Quantitative Methods; and 3) Special Topics. Students who fail to pass a comprehensive examination may retake it only once. Failure to pass two comprehensive examinations will result in dismissal from the doctoral program.


Admission to Candidacy

Students must satisfy all of the requirements listed below in order to be admitted to doctoral candidacy:

  1. Unconditional admittance to the Doctor of Philosophy in Administration of Justice program.
  2. Satisfactory completion of 42 semester hours of doctoral level course work.
  3. Successful completion of the doctoral comprehensive examinations.
  4. Satisfactory completion of the residency requirement.



After admission to candidacy the doctoral student will consult with his or her academic advisor to select a dissertation committee. Dissertation committees should consist of a chairperson and three graduate faculty members. The dissertation committee must be approved by the Graduate School. The Graduate School dean will then appoint a graduate school representative to the dissertation committee. Once approval is granted, the student can prepare the dissertation proposal. The dissertation proposal must be a written document, presented orally, and approved by the dissertation committee. The dissertation must contribute to the administration of justice body of knowledge and be successfully defended orally.

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