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PhD in Criminal Justice Programs in South Dakota


What Can I Do With My PhD in Criminal Justice in South Dakota?

The criminal justice industry requires cooperation, communication, and collaboration to run smoothly. This includes everyone from front-line workers like police officers and investigators to legislators and advocates. Professionals on the front lines do a lot to keep different agencies and systems running every day, but the industry depends on leaders, researchers, and policymakers for ongoing growth and improvement.

Ready to use your experience to change the future of your industry? Find out how criminal justice PhD programs can get you on the right path.

Drug laws are one area where experts believe South Dakota could use some serious reform (Argus Leader, 2016). Though South Dakota has been successful in many ways in its prison reform efforts, current drug laws do not offer enough treatment options and put too many nonviolent offenders behind bars.

The correlation between crime and mental health is often misunderstood, which is the case in South Dakota (Rapid City Journal, 2016). Experts note that there is a backlog of court-ordered assessments, due to the lack of qualified professionals to perform these assessments. The state has recently secured a number of grants and awards to directly address this issue.

Earning a doctorate in criminal justice may help you strengthen your income potential and job outlook. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average salary of $95,080 per year for South Dakota judges (2016). Per O*Net, job openings for judges may see a 3% increase through the year 2022 (2016).

Criminal justice professors, who work in teaching and research, bring in an average income of $66,230 annually (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). A 10% increase in job openings is expected through 2022 (O*Net, 2016).

What Will It Take to Earn My Criminal Justice Graduate Degree in South Dakota?

You may qualify for admission to a criminal justice doctoral program with either a Bachelor's degree or a Master's degree. With a Master's degree, you may graduate in as little as three years. If you only have a Bachelor's degree, your overall time commitment may be closer to five or six years.

The first stage of your degree should be completed in the classroom. This involves completing a set curriculum of courses that develop your understanding of criminal justice, your ability to think critically about criminal justice issues, and your research abilities.

Depending on the school you choose, your curriculum may include courses like:



In addition to the campus based programs, there are numerous online programs available for many of the common Criminal Justice degree types (Associate, Bachelors, Masters, PhD) and specialties. Please feel free to use the links on the left-hand side of this page to explore some of the online degree programs available. Thanks for visiting!