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PhD in Criminal Justice - Law & Public Policy

From public policy trends to implementation, Walden University's PhD in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Law and Public Policy program provides extensive studies in the legal aspects of criminal justice. Read more about this online doctorate program here.

Official Program Name:

Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Law and Public Policy

School Offering Program:

Walden University

Degree Level:

Doctoral

Program Prerequisites:

A master's degree is required for those seeking to enter this PhD in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Law and Public Policy program; Track I candidates must hold a master's in criminal justice or a related area, while Track II candidates may have a master's in another subject area. All applicants to Walden University should have a high school diploma or equivalent; some programs may have additional requirements.

Program Description:

Students of the online PhD in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Law and Public Policy program at Walden University have the opportunity to learn about criminal behavior, criminal justice systems, and leadership theories while focusing on legal issues, legal research methodologies, and policy development. Topics that could be addressed in specialization courses include the influence of court decisions on legislation, the roles of the Supreme Court, legal research resources, and state and federal public policy development; topics are examined through case studies and current issues in criminal justice law. Track I students take core courses covering the evolution of crime and philosophies of policing and terrorism; criminal justice policy analysis; trends in policy development; and theories relating to criminal justice administration. For Track II students, all of the same core course are taken in addition to those discussing criminal profiling and criminal behavior theories; criminology; legal interpretations of the Constitution and relevant laws; and the use of technology in criminal investigations. All students take research-focused classes and complete a dissertation. Fast track options are available to all students.

Learning Format:

Online

Program Length:

83 credits for Track I, 98 credits for Track II.

Financial Aid Available:

Eligible students could be able to receive financial aid in the forms of grants, loans, and scholarships. Contact Walden University's financial aid office for more information.

Tuition, Financial Aid & Start Dates

Since every student is different, there isn't a "one size fits all" for school information. Start dates and tuition often vary between selected programs, and financial aid opportunities are unique to each student's circumstances. Complete the form to the right to get the most up-to-date and accurate information based on your selected program and circumstances.

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Required Courses for a PhD in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Law and Public Policy:

All students of this program must complete 15 credits in Law and Public Policy specialization courses, 20 credits in research courses, a 3-credit foundation class, and 25 credits for a dissertation. Core classes for Track I students comprise 20 credits of the 83 total needed to graduate, while the core curriculum for Track II students consists of 35 credits. Degree program and course requirements are subject to change. Contact Walden University to confirm the most accurate information before enrolling in a program.

Track I (for students with a master's degree in criminal justice)

Foundation Course (3 credits)

  • Foundations of Doctoral Study

Core Courses (20 credits)

  • History and Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
  • Policy and Analysis in Criminal Justice Systems
  • Leadership: Putting Theory into Practice in Criminal Justice Administration
  • Program Evaluation

Specialization Courses: Law and Public Policy (15 credits)

  • Fundamentals of Law and Public Policy
  • Legal Research for Public Policy
  • Contemporary Cases and Issues in the Courts

Research Courses (20 credits)

  • Research Theory, Design, and Methods
  • Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • Students choose one of the following:
    • Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
    • Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
    • Advanced Mixed-Methods Reasoning and Analysis

Doctoral Dissertation (25 credits)

  • Writing a Quality Prospectus
  • Dissertation (5 credits per term for a minimum of 4 terms for writing courses)

Track II (for students with a master's degree in a discipline unrelated to criminal justice)

Foundation Course (3 credits)

  • Foundations of Graduate Study in Psychology

Core Courses (35 credits)

  • The Nature of Crime and Criminology
  • Controversies in Criminal Justice
  • Technological Solutions and 21st Century Crime
  • History and Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
  • Policy and Analysis in Criminal Justice Systems
  • Leadership: Putting Theory into Practice in Criminal Justice Administration
  • Program Evaluation

Specialization Courses: Law and Public Policy (15 credits)

  • Fundamentals of Law and Public Policy
  • Legal Research for Public Policy
  • Contemporary Cases and Issues in the Courts

Research Courses (20 credits)

  • Research Theory, Design, and Methods
  • Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • Students choose one of the following:
    • Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
    • Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
    • Advanced Mixed-Methods Reasoning and Analysis

Doctoral Dissertation (25 credits)

  • Writing a Quality Prospectus
  • Dissertation (5 credits per term for a minimum of 4 terms for writing courses)

Post-Graduation Opportunities

Career Paths:

Having earned Walden University's PhD degree in Criminal Justice - Law and Public Policy, graduates could be ready to explore administrative or directorial positions in courts or federal agencies. They might also consider positions in security consulting firms or academic careers at the postsecondary level.

Possible careers graduates could consider include:

  • Criminal justice professor
  • Professor of public policy
  • Policy researcher
  • Public policy analyst

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