According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the demand for criminal justice and security professionals is greater than ever before.* Qualified individuals continue to be needed to lead, educate, and motivate these professionals.

Make a greater impact within your organization and your field with Walden’s Ph.D. in Criminal Justice, one of the first online criminal justice doctoral programs available to meet the needs of working professionals. You can attain a new level of credibility and influence with a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice. Whether you want to pursue leadership roles within the field or begin a career in criminal justice education, this doctoral program can give you the skills and knowledge you need to embrace exciting new career opportunities.

In this online program, you’ll explore contemporary theory and practice as well as national and international issues in the administration of criminal justice. Taught by seasoned doctoral-level faculty with practical experience in the field, coursework spans topics such as risk factors for criminal behavior, leadership theory, human services, technology and law enforcement, homeland security, and public management. Walden’s Ph.D. in Criminal Justice gives you the opportunity to integrate scholarly research with your experience to create effective solutions to real-world problems.

*U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “FY 2014 Budget in Brief,” on the Internet at https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/MGMT/FY%202014%20BIB%20-%20FINAL%20-508%20Formatted%20(4).pdf (viewed online March 11, 2014).

Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

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The Ph.D. in Criminal Justice features two tracks, depending on your previous education. A General Program and specializations are offered in each of the two tracks:

Track I

This program of study is for students who have a master’s degree in criminal justice or a related field. Students may choose the General Program (which includes three elective graduate courses) or any of the following specializations:

Track II

This program of study is for students who have a master’s degree in a discipline other than criminal justice. Students are required to take the General Program (which incorporates the coursework from the Justice Administration specialization). For an additional 15 credit hours, students can also choose to pursue one of the following optional specializations:

General Program—Track I

From heightened national security to concerns about cybercrime, the landscape of today’s criminal justice system is rapidly changing. In this General Program, you’ll examine expert theories on the root causes of crime and explore how historical events have affected and shaped the criminal justice system. Current practices in crisis management also will be addressed.

Track I is a program of study for students who have a master’s degree in criminal justice or a related field. If you have a master's degree in an unrelated discipline, see Track II.

Completion Requirements

  • 77 total quarter credits
    • Introductory courses (6 cr.)
    • Core courses (36 cr.)
    • Electives (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 cr.)
  •  Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days 

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336. 

Introductory Courses

Core Courses and Electives

Dissertation

    • Course Code
    • Course Title
    • Credits

*You may select any five-credit-hour graduate course from the Ph.D. in Criminal Justice specialization courses.

General Program—Track II

Today’s rapidly changing criminal justice system demands new skills and specialized knowledge. In the General Program, you will cover a range of topics from cybercrime to homeland security. Explore current crisis management practices in addition to theories on the root causes of crime. You will also analyze how historical events—including recent national security issues—have impacted and altered the criminal justice system.

Track II is a program of study for students who have a master’s degree in a discipline unrelated to the criminal justice field. If you have a master's degree in criminal justice or a related field, see Track I.

Completion Requirements

  • 77 total quarter credits
    • Introductory courses (6 cr.)
    • Core courses (51 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 cr.)
  •  Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days 

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336. 

Introductory Courses

Core Courses

Dissertation

    • Course Code
    • Course Title
    • Credits

Emergency Management—Track I

In an era of increased awareness of the global impact of natural and man-made disasters, a new leadership approach to emergency management is required. This specialization can prepare you with the skills you need to effectively lead, motivate, and manage others during times of crisis. You will explore the ethical issues inherent to certain situations as well as the art and science of building strong, capable teams.

The Emergency Management specialization will help prepare you to apply for certificates from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute.

Track I is a program of study for students who have a master’s degree in criminal justice or a related field. If you have a master's degree in an unrelated discipline, see Track II.

Completion Requirements

  • 77 total quarter credits
    • Introductory courses (6 cr.)
    • Core courses (36 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 cr.)
  •  Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days 

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336. 

Introductory Courses

Core and Specialization Courses

Dissertation

    • Course Code
    • Course Title
    • Credits

Emergency Management—Track II

In the event of an impending hurricane or in the aftermath of a man-made disaster, effective leaders who can manage and motivate response teams are in demand. In this specialization, you will focus on both skill development and methods for building robust, effective teams. You also will explore new emergency management leadership tactics required in today’s global world and industries, including ethical issues that can arise in some situations.

This specialization will help prepare students to apply for certificates from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute.

Track II is a program of study for students who have a master’s degree in a discipline unrelated to the criminal justice field. If you have a master's degree in criminal justice or a related field, see Track I.

Completion Requirements

  • 92 total quarter credits
    • Introductory courses (6 cr.)
    • Core courses (51 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 cr.)
  •  Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days 

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336. 

Introductory Courses

Core Courses

Specialization Courses

Dissertation

    • Course Code
    • Course Title
    • Credits

Global Leadership—Track I

With a specialization in Global Leadership, you can gain insight into how to lead effectively in the international environment—particularly in developing countries or regions. Evaluate sustainability frameworks and models, learn how global leaders create capacity for community change, and gain tools and skills for effective and timely decision making in uncertain conditions. You will also engage in the development of a strategic plan for an international public or nonprofit organization or for a U.S. organization with an international focus.

Completion Requirements

  • 77 total quarter credits
    • Introductory courses (6 cr.)
    • Core courses (36 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 cr.)
  •  Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days 

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336. 

Introductory Courses

Core and Specialization Courses

Dissertation

    • Course Code
    • Course Title
    • Credits

Global Leadership—Track II

The Global Leadership specialization can provide you with the skills needed to be an effective leader in the international landscape, particularly in developing regions. Examine models and frameworks for sustainability, gain tools and strategies for making timely decisions in complex circumstances, and learn how global leaders build capacity for change within communities. This specialization also enables you to participate in the creation of a strategic plan for an international public or nonprofit organization or for a U.S. organization with a global focus.

Completion Requirements

  • 92 total quarter credits
    • Introductory courses (6 cr.)
    • Core courses (51 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 cr.)
  •  Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days 

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336. 

Introductory Courses

Core Courses

Specialization Courses

Dissertation

    • Course Code
    • Course Title
    • Credits

Homeland Security Policy and Coordination—Track I

The rising tide of threats in recent years has made homeland security a major focus of public policy in America. In this specialization, you will examine how protective measures and policies can be implemented without infringing upon individual rights and freedoms. Explore trends and issues related to homeland security, such as how public security agencies work together and applications of the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Track I is a program of study for students who have a master’s degree in criminal justice or a related field. If you have a master's degree in an unrelated discipline, see Track II.

Completion Requirements

  • 77 total quarter credits
    • Introductory courses (6 cr.)
    • Core courses (36 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 cr.)
  •  Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days 

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336. 

Introductory Courses

Core and Specialization Courses

Dissertation

    • Course Code
    • Course Title
    • Credits

Homeland Security Policy and Coordination—Track II

Now more than ever, America’s security rests in the hands of those with the ability to navigate the intricacies of public policy. Explore how public policy designed to safeguard the nation can be enacted without infringing upon individual rights and freedoms. In this specialization, you will study homeland security-related trends and issues, such as how national security agencies collaborate to keep the public safe as well as applications of the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Track II is a program of study for students who have a master’s degree in a discipline unrelated to the criminal justice field. If you have a master's degree in criminal justice or a related field, see Track I.

Completion Requirements

  • 92 total quarter credits
    • Introductory courses (6 cr.)
    • Core courses (51 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 cr.)
  •  Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days 

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336. 

Introductory Courses

Core Courses

Specialization Courses

Dissertation

    • Course Code
    • Course Title
    • Credits

Justice Administration—Track I

Due to the dynamic nature of crime and criminality, the criminal justice system continues to evolve. Today’s criminal justice administrators must possess deep insight into contemporary crime, trends, and emerging solutions. In this specialization, you’ll engage in a holistic, in-depth study of theoretical perspectives on the causations of crime and explore historical events that have impacted and shaped the criminal justice system landscape. The latest modalities in managing crises will also be examined.

Track I is a program of study for students who have a master’s degree in criminal justice or a related field. If you have a master's degree in an unrelated discipline, see Track II.

Completion Requirements

  • 77 total quarter credits
    • Introductory courses (6 cr.)
    • Core courses (36 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 cr.)
  •  Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days 

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336. 

Introductory Courses

Core and Specialization Courses

Dissertation

    • Course Code
    • Course Title
    • Credits

Law and Public Policy—Track I

Whether you want a deeper understanding of the law or are encountering public policy questions in the workplace, this specialization can prepare you with vital foundational knowledge. Examine key legal concepts, landmark cases, and current trends as you explore the link between law and public policy. You will also gain access to important legal knowledge that is available to public policy practitioners.

Track I is a program of study for students who have a master’s degree in criminal justice or a related field. If you have a master's degree in an unrelated discipline, see Track II.

Completion Requirements

  • 77 total quarter credits
    • Introductory courses (6 cr.)
    • Core courses (36 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 cr.)
  •  Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days 

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336. 

Introductory Courses

Core and Specialization Courses

Dissertation

    • Course Code
    • Course Title
    • Credits

Law and Public Policy—Track II

The Law and Public Policy specialization is ideal if you are interested in gaining a better understanding of the law or exploring legal situations in the workplace. Explore the connections between law and public policy as you examine key legal theories, revolutionary cases, and current legal trends.

Track II is a program of study for students who have a master’s degree in a discipline unrelated to the criminal justice field. If you have a master's degree in criminal justice or a related field, see Track I.

Completion Requirements

  • 92 total quarter credits
    • Introductory courses (6 cr.)
    • Core courses (51 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 cr.)
  •  Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days 

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336. 

Introductory Courses

Core Courses

Specialization Courses

Dissertation

    • Course Code
    • Course Title
    • Credits

Online Teaching in Higher Education—Track I

Translate your criminal justice expertise into an online teaching career with the Online Teaching in Higher Education specialization. Whether you aspire to work in an academic or vocational setting, this specialization integrates adult learning theory with practical instruction strategies to help you acquire advanced skills for teaching online. Explore the unique attributes of adult learners, teaching and learning theory, trends in higher education, and the key elements of instructional design and delivery. You will also be introduced to the various cutting-edge technologies that are transforming adult education today.

Track I is a program of study for students who have a master’s degree in criminal justice or a related field. If you have a master's degree in an unrelated discipline, see Track II.

Completion Requirements

  • 77 total quarter credits
    • Introductory courses (6 cr.)
    • Core courses (36 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 cr.)
  •  Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days 

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336. 

Introductory Courses

Core and Specialization Courses

Dissertation

    • Course Code
    • Course Title
    • Credits

Online Teaching in Higher Education—Track II

Inspire future criminal justice professionals by sharing your expert knowledge in an online education setting. Focusing on adult learning theory and practical instruction strategies, the Online Teaching in Higher Education specialization helps prepare you to work in both academic and vocational environments. You will explore today’s cutting-edge online education technologies, teaching and learning theory, the foundations of instructional design and delivery, and the unique characteristics of adult learners.

Track II is a program of study for students who have a master’s degree in a discipline unrelated to the criminal justice field. If you have a master's degree in criminal justice or a related field, see Track I.

Completion Requirements

  • 92 total quarter credits
    • Introductory courses (6 cr.)
    • Core courses (51 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 cr.)
  •  Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days 

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336. 

Introductory Courses

Core Courses and Electives

Specialization Courses

Dissertation

    • Course Code
    • Course Title
    • Credits

Public Management and Leadership—Track I

Faced with mounting performance demands and new financial challenges, managers in today’s public and nonprofit institutions must be able to increase efficiency and effectiveness across their organizations. In this specialization, you will develop strategies for sparking transformative change in a public organization of your choosing. Gain leadership and interpersonal skills that can help you be a competent leader, shape public policy, and inspire and motivate your employees.

Track I is a program of study for students who have a master’s degree in criminal justice or a related field. If you have a master's degree in an unrelated discipline, see Track II.

Completion Requirements

  • 77 total quarter credits
    • Introductory courses (6 cr.)
    • Core courses (36 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 cr.)
  •  Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days 

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336. 

Introductory Courses

Core and Specialization Courses

Dissertation

    • Course Code
    • Course Title
    • Credits

Public Management and Leadership—Track II

From increasing performance requirements to new financial obligations, today’s public and nonprofit institution managers face more challenges than ever. The Public Management and Leadership specialization helps prepare you with the skills to boost both organizational efficiency and effectiveness. While acquiring the leadership and interpersonal skills necessary to be a strong institutional manager, you will develop strategies for instituting transformative change that inspires employees and shapes public policy.

Track II is a program of study for students who have a master’s degree in a discipline unrelated to the criminal justice field. If you have a master's degree in criminal justice or a related field, see Track I.

Completion Requirements

  • 92 total quarter credits
    • Introductory courses (6 cr.)
    • Core courses (51 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 cr.)
  •  Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days 

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336. 

Introductory Courses

Core Courses

Specialization Courses

Dissertation

    • Course Code
    • Course Title
    • Credits

Curriculum Component Requirements  Cost  Total* 
Tuition 77 total quarter credit hours  $550 per quarter hour $42,350
Residency Fee Four 4-day residencies
(Residency 2 and Residency 4 may be virtual)
$1,160 each (travel, lodging, and other expenses are additional)
Virtual: $1,260 each
$4,640
Technology Fee  Per quarter $120 $2,640
    Total $49,630
    Transfer up to 38 credits  $22,220
    Total with Maximum Transfer Credits $27,410

*Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Maximum transfer credit total includes reduction in technology fee as related to reduced number of courses over time.

*Books and materials are not included and may cost up to an additional $4,000.

*Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Call 1-866-492-5336 for information about a full range of options for:

Transfer credits for you doctoral program

The turbulent times we live in have necessitated a nationwide focus on criminal justice, emergency management, and public safety. Whether you aspire to lead in the workplace or the classroom, Walden’s Ph.D. in Criminal Justice can prepare you with the skills and knowledge needed to advance in your profession.

According to the employment website Indeed, the number of job postings related to PhD criminal justice have increased 200% over the last five years.*

With a General Program and six specializations to choose from, Walden’s Ph.D. in Criminal Justice can help prepare you for a variety of positions, including:

  • Professor/instructor
  • Government contractor
  • Intelligence analyst
  • Research consultant
  • Consultant to law enforcement agency
  • City administrator
  • Police captain
  • Bureau chief
  • Corrections facility director
  • Warden
  • Police chief
  • Private investigator
  • Probation or parole officer
  • Corrections specialist, supervisor, or officer
  • Criminal investigator
  • Sheriff, deputy, or patrol officer
  • Director of homeland security
  • Director of emergency management
  • Senior criminal justice associate

*Indeed.com, “Criminal Justice PhD Job Trends,” on the Internet at http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends?q=Criminal+Justice+PhD&l=&relative=1  (viewed online December 16, 2013).

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Walden’s Ph.D. in Criminal Justice program features:

  • Multiple specializations, including a unique Online Teaching in Higher Education specialization for students who wish to pursue a career as a professor or instructor.
  • Scholar-practitioner faculty members who are active as subject matter experts in the field of criminal justice and have years of hands-on experience.
  • Face-to-face residencies designed to enhance both your development as a scholar-practitioner and your ability to effect positive social change.

When you choose Walden’s Ph.D. in Criminal Justice, you can benefit from the flexibility of online learning and from MobileLearn®. Offered exclusively at Walden, MobileLearn not only enables you to choose where and when you learn, but it also gives you the ability to choose how you learn.

As a graduate of this program, you will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the root causes of crime and its impact on criminal justice policies, practices, and procedures.
  2. Evaluate philosophies on managing human resources in criminal justice organizations. 
  3. Synthesize theory and research on the historical trends and current perspectives in criminal justice.
  4. Apply data analysis techniques and research design methods to scholarly research in criminal justice.
  5. Evaluate the role of the criminal justice system in advancing social justice and positive social change. 

For assistance in deciding which online degree program fits your goals, request information or speak with an enrollment advisor by calling 1-866-492-5336. A list of international toll-free phone numbers is available for students outside the United States.