Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 18
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 48

Required Courses:

Core Courses
CJ 8101Decision Making in Criminal Justice3
CJ 8102Research Methods in Criminal Justice3
CJ 8104Law and Social Order3
CJ 8105Statistical Issues and Analysis of Criminal Justice Data3
CJ 8106Theories of Crime and Deviance3
CJ 8302Advanced Methods and Issues in Criminal Justice Research3
CJ 8305Advanced Statistical Issues in Criminal Justice Data3
Two Additional Required Ph.D. Courses6
Research Courses6
Preliminary Examination Preparation
Pre-Dissertation Research
Doctoral Dissertation Research
Total Credit Hours48

Culminating Events:
Comprehensive Examinations:
Two comprehensive examinations must be passed. One is in "Justice," which has the Criminal Justice system as its focus. The second is in "Crime," which has theory as its focus. The purpose of the comprehensive exams is to demonstrate critical and interpretive knowledge in specialized areas of both the Criminal Justice system and Criminal Justice theory.

Prospectus Defense:
The prospectus defense evaluates the student's ability to apply specific research and/or analytic methods to the questions addressed in the prospectus. The defense occurs within several weeks of the student's advisor confirming, in writing to the Graduate Chair, that the student is ready to defend her/his prospectus.

Ideally, the prospectus defense should be completed within one academic year of the comprehensive examinations. The prospectus defense 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 mediates a question-and-answer session between the student and audience. The members of the student's Doctoral Advisory Committee normally pose the initial questions at the defense. When these have been exhausted, other audience members are asked to put forth any questions they have for the student. The defense is scheduled to last no longer than two hours.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee must evaluate the quality of the presentation and of the answers provided during the question-and-answer session. Committee members look for evidence of a breadth and depth of understanding of specific substantive and methodological areas. In addition, they gauge the student's ability to utilize her/his knowledge to address the questions posed during the 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.

Students who are preparing to defend their prospectus should arrange some dates/times for the defense with the Doctoral Advisory Committee. The student should then inform the Graduate Chair of these dates/times and confirm the final date/time selected. Finally, the Graduate Chair provides confirmation of the time, date, and room.

The dissertation is an original empirical study that makes a significant contribution to the field of Criminal Justice. It should expand the existing database and demonstrate the student's knowledge of both research methods and a mastery of her/his primary area of interest. Dissertations should be rigorously investigated; uphold the ethics and standards 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.

The Doctoral Advisory 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 her/his academic progress.

The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's dissertation and oral defense. This committee is comprised of the Doctoral Advisory 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 term in which the student will defend the dissertation. The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's ability to express verbally her/his research question, methodological approach, primary findings, and implications. The Committee votes to Pass or Fail the dissertation and the defense at the conclusion of the public presentation.

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.

Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation should confirm a time and date with their Doctoral Advisory Committee and register with the Graduate Secretary at least 30 days before the defense is to be scheduled. The Graduate Secretary arranges the time, date, and room and forwards to the student the appropriate paperwork. After the Graduate Secretary has arranged the time, date, and room for the defense, the student must send the Graduate School a completed "Announcement of Dissertation Defense" form, found in TUportal under the Tools tab within “University Forms,” at least 10 working days before the defense. The department posts flyers announcing the defense.