2006 - 2007 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Criminal Justice, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15

Applications are evaluated from the end of October until the deadline.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

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

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

No specific coursework is required for admission.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:


Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree in Sociology, Geography, History, Political Science, Social Work, Law, or a related field is required.

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 acceptable 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 needed to be accepted: 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based.


A resume is required.

Writing Sample:

The writing sample should demonstrate your ability to research and write a scholarly paper. The paper should not be too lengthy (up to 10 pages is preferable) and should be fully referenced according to a professional, scholarly style manual. Although it need not be related directly to Criminal Justice, it should reflect your ability to prepare a social science paper.

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. Only grades of "B" or better will be accepted. If the request is granted, the student receives advanced standing and is awarded a maximum of 30 credits.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

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

Required Courses:

CJ 401/8101: Decision Making in Criminal Justice

CJ 402/8102: Research Methods in Criminal Justice

CJ 404/8104: Law and Social Order

CJ 405/8105: Fundamental Statistical Issues in Analysis of Criminal Justice Data

CJ 406/8106: Theories of Crime and Deviance

CJ 602/8302: Advanced Methods in Criminal Justice

CJ 605/8305: Advanced Statistical Issues in Criminal Justice Data

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

Criminal Justice Electives = 9 to 18 credit hours

Electives Outside the Department = 0 to 15 credit hours

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

2 Ph.D. course requirements

Successful completion of additional elective courses

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

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 evaluates 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 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.

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 semester 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 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 flyers 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:


Dr. Jerry H. Ratcliffe

Program Coordinator:

Stephanie Hardy


Graduate Chairperson:

Dr. Jerry H. Ratcliffe


Dr. John S. Goldkamp

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. although students may take additional courses to prepare themselves for subsequent stages of their graduate career.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Doctoral students are expected to be enrolled full-time.  Part-time students are accepted in exceptional circumstances.  All students should be aware that classes are scheduled both during the day and in the evening as scheduling demands, and students are expected to be available for classes when they are scheduled.

Department Information:

Dept. of Criminal Justice

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


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.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



No formal ranking system exists for Criminal Justice programs, although 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 that 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 include 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 www.temple.edu/cj/grad.

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 professors while others advance their careers in research for government or private agencies.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students are eligible to take some of the graduate courses offered in Criminal Justice. If accepted into the program, up to nine credits 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

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 Assistants are expected to devote 20 hours per week on average to research obligations. They are assigned to a faculty member or principal investigator who is working on 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 per semester). 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.

Updated 5.2.07