Criminal Justice Self-Designed

Automatically waive six courses* if you have earned a master’s degree in a related field**, shortening your journey to a PhD.

Gain a broad understanding of the intersection between forensic psychology and criminal justice fields. This self-designed specialization allows you to create a unique learning program to deepen your knowledge of forensic psychology as well as focus on criminal justice practice and theory. You will select electives that will build your comprehension of how forensic psychology professionals, criminal justice practitioners, and victim advocates work together.

Minimum Completion Requirements

  • 110 quarter credits
    • Core courses (75 cr.)
    • Elective courses (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (minimum 20 cr.)
  • PhD residencies (4 four-day sessions)

Walden students have 8 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.

In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.

To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an enrollment advisor at 844-675-1718.

*FPSY 8252 Themes and Theories of Psychology, FPSY 8720 Abnormal Behavior, FPSY 8135 Criminal Behavior, FPSY 8116 Understanding Forensic Psychology Research, RSCH 8210 Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis, RSCH 8310 Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

**Related fields include psychology, human services, social work, and counseling.

Core Courses

Course Code Course Credits
Course Code FPSY 8002 Course Foundations of Graduate Study in Psychology Credits (3 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8252 Course Themes and Theories of Psychology Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8720 Course Abnormal Behavior Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8135 Course Criminal Behavior Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8116 Course Understanding Forensic Psychology Research Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8126 Course Understanding Violence, Risk, and Threat Assessment Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8762 Course Teaching of Psychology Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code RSCH 8210 Course Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8XXX Course Elective 1 Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code RSCH 8310 Course Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8314 Course Program Evaluation Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code RSCH 8260 Course Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8XXX Course Elective 2 Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code RSCH 8360 Course Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8700 Course Dissertation Literature Review Lab Credits (2 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8400 Course Advanced Issues in Forensic Psychology Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8214 Course Consulting for Organizational Change Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8XXX Course Elective 3 Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8115 Course Writing A Quality Prospectus in Psychology Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 9000 Course Dissertation I-IV Credits (5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion)

Completing the program may require enrollment for additional terms and cost if the student petitions to extend the 8-year maximum time frame.


Doctoral Writing Assessment

Course Code Course Credits
Course Code DRWA 8000 Course Doctoral Writing Assessment Credits (0 cr.)

Elective Courses

For your elective courses, select from these courses:
Course Code Course Credits
Course Code CRJS 8137 Course The Nature of Crime and Criminology  Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code CRJS 8215 Course Controversies in Criminal Justice Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code CRJS 8511 Course Special Populations Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code CRJS 8203 Course Victimology Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code CRJS 8300 Course Disaster Response and Recovery Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code CRJS 8100 Course Critical Issues in Emergency Management Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code CRJS 8810 Course Fundamentals of Law and Public Policy Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code CRJS 8812 Course Contemporary Cases and Issues in the Courts Credits (5 cr.)

20 credits is the minimum requirement for FPSY 9000 – Dissertation. Actual time to complete your dissertation depends on numerous factors and while some students complete with 20 credits, some take longer. Please contact your enrollment advisor.

Note: Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic, such as tuition and fee increases; transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; use of external data for the doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities, or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances.
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