Graduate / Advanced standing for the PhD program

Already earned a Masters degree? Students wishing to study for a PhD and who already have a Master’s degree in a related field can receive advanced standing for some of their previous study.


Ph.D. students who have completed a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Temple University will receive credit for the graduate courses they previously completed. These students must complete an additional 4 courses (12 credit hours) beyond the M.A. in order to complete the required 48 credit hours of the taught component for the PhD. The additional courses that are required are the two additional PhD core courses (CJ602 Advanced Methods in Criminal Justice and CJ605 Advanced Statistical Issues in Criminal Justice Data) and a further two elective courses (6 credit hours, excluding independent studies).


A student who has a Master’s degree from another university and wants those credits to count toward their Ph.D. degree at Temple University can apply for Advanced Standing. You are eligible to apply for advanced standing as long as 1) you did not graduate with your Masters degree more than 5 years prior to matriculation into the Criminal Justice graduate program at Temple, and 2) you achieved at least a B grade in each course.


Our PhD program may accept a maximum of 30 elective credits that count toward the required credits, however we still require the completion of the seven PhD core courses. At the completion of the taught component of the PhD the student is therefore likely to have 30 advance standing credits, and 21 credits from completion of the seven core courses. Please note that depending on the Master’s degree institution and the type of training that the student has had, the Faculty Advisor may request that the student take additional courses to prepare for the Preliminary Exam and their Dissertation research.


Please note that The Dean of the School/College has final authority to accept or deny the recommendation for advanced standing as long as the number and type of credits accepted do not exceed those allowed by the Graduate School. Normally, students should expect that if their MA is in a cognate discipline, the request for advanced standing would likely be approved, subject to the limitations noted above. Cognate disciplines include Anthropology, Geography, Urban Studies, Sociology, Psychology, History, Political Science, and Women’s Studies. Law school graduates (i.e., the J.D. degree) do not receive Advanced Standing.

If you started, but did not complete, a Masters in Criminal Justice at another institution, applicants should also be aware that we may accept (at the discretion of the department and the Dean of the Graduate School) up to six transfer credits from another institution, however these are never available to use in place of core courses. Also please note that we rarely waive core courses for any reason.


Read about the application process