Online Doctorate in Criminal Justice


It’s possible to enjoy a career in criminal justice without ever earning a doctorate. After all, detectives and investigators acquire many of their skills through on-the-job training and years of work experience, and they might even be hired to teach at community colleges and universities. However, a person interested in teaching criminal justice can enhance his or her marketability by earning a PhD in criminal justice. A PhD may also be beneficial to a person interested in:

  • Computer forensics investigations
  • Policy making
  • Public office
  • Private consulting
  • Leadership positions in criminal justice

What will I study in a PhD program?

Doctoral students in criminal justice are expected to become expert researchers. All students take research methods courses. Some other primary areas of study include criminology and deviance, forensic psychology, and law. Some online PhD programs offer specializations in these and other areas.

How is the job market?

The field of criminal justice is projected to grow more than 20% between 2008 and 2018, and a surge in demand for well-qualified criminal justice instructors is expected. PhDs in criminal justice might also find jobs with think tanks and in social science departments such as psychology and sociology.

How much can I earn with a PhD in criminal justice?

Postsecondary instructors who taught criminal justice at business schools, community colleges, and universities reported incomes of about $60,000 in 2008. Large metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles and Philadelphia offered better pay, on average. Criminal justice and law enforcement teachers in Los Angeles’s Long Beach district reported median annual incomes of about $98,000 in 2008.

Which schools offer online doctorate programs in criminal justice?

Capella University

NorthCentral University

University of the Rockies (psychology with an emphasis on criminology and justice)

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