Criminal Justice Doctorate
Crime is an unfortunate part of any human society as those who feel slighted by society, or who feel they don’t have enough, seek to take out their anger on those who they perceive as being better than themselves. As a result, the career field of criminal justice was born and as crime rates have risen and fallen, so too has the career field. Generally speaking, criminal justice is devoted to protecting society by preventing crime, punishing those who commit them, and rehabilitate criminals. Those wishing to participate in the highest levels of the criminal justice system may need a criminal justice doctorate in order to realize their full potential.
Criminal justice programs are designed to provide students with an advanced knowledge in fields specifically and indirectly related to criminal justice and social sciences. Doctorate level programs provide individuals with an advanced knowledge in several fields of study with the goal of applying their experience at the highest levels of public and private criminal justice systems.
Individuals pursuing a criminal justice doctorate can expect a mixture of coursework, research, and field experience in their area of study to appropriately prepare them for having a positive effect on the criminal justice system upon completion of their doctorate. Criminal justice programs often include intensive coursework and research in the following areas:
- Criminal behavior
- Prevention and intervention
- Penal systems
- Public policy strategies for the community, state, and national levels
Given the relatively recent arrival of criminal justice as a degree program unto itself, there are few institutions that offer a specific criminal justice doctorate. Instead many colleges and universities offer doctorate programs in related fields with a focus on criminal justice. Some of the many doctorates an individual can expect to see offered by institutions include:
- PhD in Public Policy
- PhD in Public Policy and Administration
- PhD in Human Services
- PhD in Business Administration
Many of these degrees are offered with an emphasis in criminal justice and can be applied to varying career fields upon graduation. For example, an individual who pursues a degree in public policy and administration may be seeking higher employment in the public sector working to either craft public policy to protect against crime or in the development of programs aimed at rehabilitating criminals. On the other hand, an individual pursuing a business administration degree may be looking for an administrative role in a police department, prison, or private security firm.