2003 - 2005 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Criminal Justice, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15

Applications are evaluated as they are received throughout the year.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Ideally, the letters should be from college/university faculty members familiar with academic competence. Letters from employers and other non-academic assessors are accepted but generally carry far less weight.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:


Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:


Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

Yes. Sociology, geography, history, political science, social work, law and related fields

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should be approximately 500-1,000 words and should include the following elements: your interest in Temple's program; your research goals and how they relate to Temple's program; your future career goals; and your academic and research achievements.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required. The minimum GRE scores are 500 Verbal and 500 Quantitative. Applicants with scores just below are considered if other aspects of their application are especially strong.

Minimum TOEFL score or range of scores needed to be accepted: 600 or higher on the standard test. 250 or higher on the computerized test. Students with scores of 575 to 600 (standard) or 230 to 250 (computerized) may be admitted on the condition that they take the SPEAK test before entering. If the SPEAK test is failed they must enroll in remedial English courses designed specifically for international students in the first semester of matriculation.


A resume is required.

Writing Sample:

The writing sample should demonstrate your ability to research and write a scholarly paper. The paper should be no more than 10 pages long and fully referenced according to a professional, scholarly style manual. It need not be related directly to criminal justice.

Advanced Standing:

An applicant must supply an official transcript from their prior graduate institution to the Graduate Chair. The transcript must clearly show "M.A. awarded" and provide the date. The graduate committee will review the request. All grades must be "B" or better. If a request is accepted, the student receives advanced standing and is awarded a maximum of 30 credits. Even though a student may receive advanced standing, he/she should still discuss with the graduate chair which required M.A. courses he/she should complete. The 30 credits are counted as electives. The maximum number of advanced standing credits awarded is 30.

Program Requirements
Campus Location:

Main Campus

Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are able to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m.

General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 12

Required Courses:

CJ401: Decisionmaking

CJ402: Research Methods I

CJ404: Law & Social Order

CJ405: Statistics I

CJ406: Theories of Crime

CJ601: Research Seminar

CJ602: Research Methods II

CJ605: Statistics II

Ph.D. students without a master's degree:

Criminal Justice Electives = 9 to 18 credit hours

Electives Outside the Department = 6 to 15 credit hours

Ph.D. students with a master's degree:

3 Ph.D. course requirements and successfully complete additional elective courses.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Additional Requirements:

Pass two comprehensive examinations -- in 'Justice' (Criminal justice system focus) and 'Crime' (Theory focus) Develop and successfully defend Ph.D. prospectus Complete and successfully defend dissertation.

Culminating Events:

Preliminary Examination:

The purpose of the preliminary examination (prospectus defense) is to demonstrate critical and interpretive knowledge in specialized areas of both the criminal justice system and criminal justice theory. The examination evaluates the student's ability to apply specific research and/or analytic methods to the questions addressed in the prospectus. The defense will occur within several weeks of the student's advisor confirming, in writing to the graduate chair, that the student is ready to defend their prospectus.

The preliminary examination consists of a short (30-40 minute) presentation of the prospectus by the student to faculty and graduate students. Following the presentation, the graduate chair will mediate a question and answer session between the student and the audience. The defense will take no longer than 2 hours.

Ideally, the prospectus defense should be completed within one academic year of the prliminary examinations.

The members of the student's Dissertation Advisory Committee normally pose the initial questions at the defense. When these have been completed, other audience members are asked to put forth any questions they have for the student.

The Dissertation Advisory Committee will evaluate the prospectus defense. Each member votes to pass or fail the student. Members can also vote to pass pending the completion of specified changes to the prospectus. In order to pass, a majority of the committee members must agree that the defense has been satisfactorily completed.

The advisory committee must evaluate the quality of the presentation and of the answers provided during the question and answer session. Advisory group members look for evidence of a breadth and depth of understanding of specific substantive and methodological areas. In addition, they are looking at the ability of the student to utilize their knowledge to address the questions posed during the defense.

Students who are preparing to defend their prospectus should arrange some dates/times of the defense with their advisory committee. The student should then inform the graduate chair of these dates/times and confirm the final date/time selected. The graduate chair will provide confirmation for the time, date and room.


Dissertation Advising Committee Information The Dissertation Advising Committee is formed to oversee the student's doctoral research and is comprised of at least three Temple Graduate Faculty members. Two members, including the Chair, must be from the Department of Criminal Justice. Committee compositions must be approved by the department's graduate committee. The Chair is responsible for overseeing and guiding the student's progress, coordinating the responses of the Committee members, and informing the student of his or her academic progress.

Dissertation Examining Committee Information The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's dissertation and oral defense. This committee is comprised of the Doctoral Advising Committee and at least one additional Graduate Faculty member from outside the Department of Criminal Justice. The Outside Examiner should be identified no later than the beginning of the semester in which the student will defend the dissertation.

Advisor/Committee Information If a student needs to change a member of a Committee, the new member must be approved by the department's graduate committee and registered with the Graduate Secretary and the Graduate School.

Dissertation/Monograph Philosophy The Doctoral Dissertation is an original empirical study that makes a significant contribution to the field of criminal justice. It should expand the existing knowledge and demonstrate the student's knowledge of both research methods and a mastery of his or her primary area of interest. Dissertations should be rigorously investigated, uphold the ethics and standard of the field of criminal justice, demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the primary area of interest and the broader field of criminal justice, and be prepared for publication in a professional journal.

Philosophy of the Proposal The Prospectus includes the following: * title page * an abstract of no more than 250 words * list of tables * list of figures * table of contents * a detailed literature review describing the problem, the empirical work in the area, and the implications of the problem for theory, policy, and practice * a clear statement of the problem or questions to be addressed * a detailed description of the data to be gathered, and how it is to be obtained. * a detailed analysis plan * a timeline for completion of the project * a plan for addressing issues related to the Protection of Human Subjects and complying with IRB procedures * a complete bibliography

Criterion for Passing the Dissertation and the Defense. The Committee will evaluate the student's ability to express verbally his or her research question, methodological approach, primary findings, and implications. The Committee will vote to pass or fail the dissertation and the defense at the conclusion of the public presentation.

Dissertation Defense Scheduling Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation should confirm a time and date with their Dissertation Advisory Committee and register with the Graduate Secretary at least 30 days before the defense is to be scheduled. The Graduate Secretary will arrange the time, date, and room. and forward to the student the appropriate paperwork.

Announcing the Dissertation Defense After the Graduate Secretary has arranged the time, date, and room, for the defense, the student must send to the Graduate School (501 Carnell Hall) a completed "Announcement of Dissertation Defense" form at least 10 working days before the defense. The Department will post fliers announcing the defense.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of Criminal Justice

Gladfelter Hall, 5th Floor
1115 W. Berks Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Department Contacts:


George F. Rengert

Program Coordinator:

Stephanie Hardy


Graduate Chairperson:

George F. Rengert



Ralph B. Taylor

About the Program

The Ph.D. degree program in Criminal Justice is designed to produce criminal justice scholars who will provide the future leadership for the field in academia, private and governmental research agencies, and policy level positions in criminal justice and related organizations. The Ph.D. degree requires the completion of a minimum of 48 hours of coursework (though students may take additional courses to prepare themselves for subsequent stages of their graduate career).

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:

Main Campus

Students are able to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m. Students are able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

Dept. of Criminal Justice

Gladfelter Hall, 5th Floor
1115 W. Berks Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122



There is no formal ranking of criminal justice programs, though the Journal of Criminal Justice Education has produced occasional articles on program productivity. Temple University's Criminal Justice Program is classed among a number of schools which are acknowledged to have extremely strong faculty, within the top three in faculty publication in 2002.


Not applicable.

Areas of Specialization:

Faculty members specialize and offer substantial coursework in a wide array of areas. Some of the broader topics covered are: criminological theory, corrections and community corrections, issues in policing, court processes, white collar crime, organized crime, crime and the physical/social environment, crime mapping and spatial analysis, juvenile justice, criminal law, criminal justice policy-making and strategic management, discretion in criminal justice, restorative justice, socialization and deviant behavior, and research methods (qualitative/quantitative) and statistical analysis. More specific details of faculty research and publications can be found at the Department's Graduate program website.

Job Placement:

The Ph.D. program is primarily dedicated to producing well-trained criminologists, researchers and criminal justice practitioners. The job market for an individual with a Ph.D. degree in the field is extremely good. Most of our graduate students enter the academy as university profesors while others advance their careers in research for government or private agencies.


Not applicable.

Interdisciplinary Study:

The program encourages interdisciplinary coursework, research, and interactions among faculty and students with interests in a wide range of fields. Many of the students entering the Criminal Justice graduate program have backgrounds in subjects such as history, political science, psychology, social work, counseling, sociology, geography, urban studies, and economics.

Study Abroad:



Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students are eligible to take some of the graduate Criminal Justice courses offerred. If accepted to the program, those courses may be applied toward the degree program. For some courses, permission of the instructor is required before registration by non-matriculated students can occur.

Financing Opportunities

Teaching Assistant (TA): The principal duties of a Teaching Assistant include assisting faculty members in classroom (field, observatory) instruction, conducting tutorials and discussion sections, and grading quizzes. Research Assistant (RA): Research Assistants are expected to devote 20 hours per week on average to research obligations. RA's are assigned to a faculty member or principal investigator who is investigating a specific research project. The appropriate subjects are determined by consultation between the student and the student's research and academic advisors. Both Teaching and Research Assistantships carry a stipend and full-tuition remission (up to nine credits). Applications should include: (a) a statement of previous teaching and/or research experience, areas of interest and future goals; (b) unofficial transcripts; and (c) a curriculum vitae. The department makes offers of assistantships in late Spring of each year. Applications should be directed to the Department address noted above.

Other Financial Opportunities