PhD in Criminal Justice Programs in Arkansas
No matter where you live, criminal justice is a balancing act. Professionals must provide fair and appropriate treatment to offenders and suspects without taking unnecessary risks and harming community members. This challenge requires cooperation at all levels of the justice system. With criminal justice PhD programs, you may be able to learn how to affect change from the top.
What Can I Do With My PhD in Criminal Justice in Arkansas?
Arkansas, according to many experts, is in great need of criminal justice reform. Statistics show that crime rates are down across the state, but felony convictions have increased (ArkansasMatters.com, 2016). This includes many nonviolent offenders and first-time offenders, putting a huge financial burden on taxpayers. Creating policies and programs that minimize incarceration may be possible with a PhD.
You may also use an advanced degree to work with people in other industries. Boone County recently received a grant to fight substance abuse, an effort that requires the work of criminal justice experts and mental health care experts (Harrison Daily, 2016).
A doctoral degree may qualify you to work as an administrative law judge in a local, state, or federal courtroom. The average salary for an Arkansas administrative law judge is $54,300 per year, and job openings may increase 10% by 2022 (O*Net, 2016).
You may also choose to go into legislation at this level. Arkansas legislators bring in an average of $17,600 per year (O*Net, 2016). Anticipated job growth is in line with what is expected for administrative law judges (O*Net, 2016).
Finding the right doctoral program is a big part of your academic success. Compare criminal justice PhD programs in AR below to get started.
What Will It Take to Earn My Criminal Justice Graduate Degree in Arkansas?
A PhD involves a significant amount of time and work, which is why it is so important to find a school that meets your needs. Like many students, you may be concerned about the cost of a graduate degree. While graduate programs often have limited funding, PhD programs tend to have a significant amount of funding for students, due to the focus on research at this level.
If you are a particularly good fit for a school, you may work as a teaching assistant or research assistant to have your tuition costs covered. If you do have to pay out-of-pocket, most programs in Arkansas cost between $4800 and $9200 per semester. There are outside financial aid opportunities. The Arkansas Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners awards one scholarship to a criminal justice student every year.
With a Master’s degree, you may be able to graduate with a PhD in three to four years. If you have a Bachelor’s degree, your total time in school may be closer to six or seven years. Curricular requirements often include courses like those listed below:
- Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology
- Secondary Data Set Management and Analysis
- Survey of Theories of Justice
- Advanced Criminological Theory
- Theories of Neighborhoods and Crime
You get multiple types of practical experience at this level, which may help you feel confident about the next phase of your career. Many Arkansas schools require a three-credit internship. By outlining your career goals and interests, you may be able to find an internship that directly relates to your career. In addition, a PhD typically involves the completion of a 12-credit dissertation. This part of your education generally takes between one and two years. You must defend your dissertation in front of a panel of professors and PhDs to earn your doctoral degree.
The field of criminal justice needs visionary thinkers who are willing to implement necessary changes. Discover what your next step is by contacting criminal justice schools in Arkansas.
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