Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Criminal Justice (Ph.D. CJ)

Program Information
The Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice is a comprehensive, hybrid program designed to guide students through an advanced, supervised course of study in criminology, crime and the criminal justice system.  It also educates students on contemporary crime problems and the viability of potential policy and criminal justice agency responses to crime.  There is a residency requirement to this program.  The hybrid nature of the program requires students to attend classes in person at the TAMIU campus during the first semester.  Subsequent semesters are completed synchronously online.  Students taking less than 9 hours the first semester (part time) will need to return to campus for the remaining in person class the following fall semester.

The program takes one cohort of students each year.  The application deadline is April 1.  Classes begin in August.    


Admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice degree program requires prospective students to meet specified standards provided by the Graduate School at TAMIU.  Students seeking admission to the proposed PhD in Criminal Justice degree program must have completed a master’s degree before beginning coursework.  International students seeking admission to the program must meet the TAMIU Graduate School’s requirements governing admission of international students.  Applications with only a juris doctorate (J.D.) will be required to complete and pass with at least a “B” a master’s level statistics course.  The PhD in Criminal Justice degree program faculty will review all applications and determine admissibility to the program.  TAMIU’s proposed PhD in Criminal Justice degree program requires the following materials to be submitted by an applicant to the Graduate School at TAMIU:

1. Official Texas A&M International University online doctoral degree application and an application fee of $35.00.

2. A master’s degree in criminal justice or a closely related field. Students with a Master’s degree in a discipline other than Criminal Justice/Criminology or closely related disciplines will be reviewed and determined on a case by case basis. 

3. Official transcripts from each post-secondary school attended.  If the applicant has completed a master’s degree, then a final official transcript must show evidence of degree completion. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required in the last 60 hours graduate/undergraduate coursework.

4. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Applicants with a completed J.D. may use an official LSAT report in lieu of the GRE if this was taken within the past five years and the applicant scored 155 or higher.

5. Two letters of recommendation from university faculty members familiar with the applicant’s academic work; if the applicant desires, a third letter of recommendation may be submitted from another person qualified to evaluate the applicant’s potential for doctoral study.

6. Applicants must submit a personal statement, limited to 1,000 words (12-point font, double spaced).   An applicant will need to address the following questions in his/her personal statement: [1] What are your research interests and discuss some of your research experiences. [2] Which faculty member(s) in the PhD program would you most likely work with? Why? [3] What are your career goals and how do you see our PhD Program helping you to achieve those goals?  [4] What personal assets (talent, skills, experiences, etc.) can you bring to our program? Note that only a few students will be admitted each year and applicants are unlikely to be successful if there is no suitable supervisor available within the program.

7. A resume or curriculum vita. Please limit this to no more than 10 pages.

8. A writing sample that illustrates the applicant’s ability to synthesize information and think critically.  Examples of acceptable writing samples are a thesis, a peer-reviewed publication, or a technical report written by the applicant. For a multi-authored peer-reviewed publication, the applicant should be the first and/or the primary author.   

9. International students must comply with all admission requirements set by the Graduate School at TAMIU, including TOEFL requirements (  

10. Upon acceptance, students are expected to complete the graduate school online orientation ( 

Required Coursework22
Proseminar in Criminal Justice 1
Advanced Research Methods CJ 1
Advanced Statistics I 1
Sem in Criminological Theory 1
Adv Qualitative Methods
Program and Policy Evaluation
Teaching CJ Seminar
Criminal Law Procedure Law
Select five courses from the following:
Advanced Statistics II
Advanced Mixed Methods
Seminar in Corrections
Contemporary CJ Issues
Seminar in Law Enforcement
Neighborhoods, Crime, & Maps
Homeland Security
Human Trafficking & Smuggling
Immigration & Crime
Advanced Topics in Victimology
Intelligence Gathering
International Criminal Court
Criminal Justice Management
Special Topics in Crim Justice
Research Portfolio6
Research Portfolio I
Research Portfolio II
Dissertation I
Dissertation II
Total Semester Credit Hours49

Required courses to be taken in residence on the TAMIU campus.