UAlbany PhD students conducting research with inmates at the Albany County Correctional Facility

Doctor of Philosophy

Criminal Justice

Program of Study


You will study theories of crime and the criminal justice process and policy, as well as advanced statistics and methods. Next, you will put your skills to practice through your own research under the mentorship of faculty.


Required Courses

  • Theories of Crime
  • Theoretical Foundations of Criminal Justice
  • Research/Analytical Writing Seminar


Support Sequence

  • Statistical Techniques in Criminal Justice II
  • Research Design in Criminal Justice II


Research Tool Requirement

Demonstrated proficiency in a relevant area such as statistical analysis, legal research, foreign language proficiency, historical research, computer utilization, survey design, techniques of field observation, and clinical research techniques.

Comprehensive Examinations

The doctoral comprehensive examination provides you with the opportunity to practice and be assessed on important skills. Exams include the completion of a research project, involving a written report that is suitable for publication in an academic journal and an oral presentation.


Dissertation Prospectus

A written prospectus detailing the research questions, data, and methods you will use in conducting your selected dissertation research. It should also address the relevance of your dissertation topic to the field of criminal justice, describe the conceptual and research content, and specify the uniqueness of the proposal.


Present and Successfully Defend a Dissertation

Your dissertation should investigate a problem of significance and make a unique contribution to the field of study. It must demonstrate independent research and analysis, careful professional writing, and a high degree of scholarly competence.

Additional Information

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact the Student Services Office at 518-442-5210 or [email protected].

Applied Learning

Benefit from opportunities to develop and teach your own course, work on policy proposals, write articles for publication in academic journals and attend or conduct lectures on your specialized area of interest.

You can also take advantage of UAlbany's location in the capital of New York State by engaging in hands-on learning opportunities, including research and internships in government agencies that affect criminal justice.


A criminal justice student explains her research during a poster session
Frankie Bailey conducting research with a student
Career Paths

Share the knowledge you've developed with others by pursuing a career in roles such as:

  • Assistant professor
  • Postdoctoral research associate
  • Research analyst
  • Crime analyst
  • Director of research
  • Criminal justice consultant

"The University at Albany School of Criminal Justice is home to some wonderful faculty who truly consider the success of their students a priority. In my time there I enjoyed having both the independence to pursue my own interests as well as excellent support and guidance from my mentor when I needed it. More concretely, the program did a great job of preparing me to go on the job market. I had ample opportunities to conduct publishable research as well as gain teaching experience. By my final year at UAlbany I was comfortable engaging in independent research and teaching, which is exactly what I'm doing now as an assistant professor at Rutgers. Last (but definitely not least) the UAlbany Criminal Justice program fosters a collaborative, supportive graduate student culture that provided me with mentors, coauthors, and friends."

— Jason Silver, PhD ’18, Assistant Professor at the Rutgers University-Newark School of Criminal Justice

Admissions Requirements


Departmental Assistantship Consideration

Fall: December 31
Spring: Not Available
Summer: Not Available

No Departmental Assistantship Consideration

Fall: December 31
Spring: Not Available
Summer: Not Available

Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE scores
  • Statement of goals

The statement is generally one to two pages discussing what you have to offer the program and what you wish to get out of the program.  It should include a brief description of the applicant's field of interest, related background, desired area of study and research emphasis or career goals.

Special Notes

This program offers an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience in the course listing as an option to fulfill course requirements. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions. If applicants have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of the intended academic program.

Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

  • Demonstrate familiarity with the theories of crime and criminal justice.
  • Ability to translate theory into empirical research questions.
  • Ability to design research studies.
  • Ability to analyze data appropriately.
  • Professional acculturation.
  • Ability to organize a course.
  • Ability to evaluate student performance.
  • Ability to lead class discussions.