PhD in Criminal Justice Programs in Colorado
One of the biggest differences between United States and other countries is their approach to criminal justice. Historically, criminal justice in the United States has focused on punishment and incarceration, rather than rehabilitation and prevention. Colorado has adopted many programs and laws as part of criminal justice reform. If you take your education to the next level with a PhD in criminal justice, you may be part of the future of Colorado justice reform.
What Can I Do With My PhD in Criminal Justice in Colorado?
Criminal justice experts and legislators indicate that sentencing reform is a major priority for 2016. Legislators hope to reduce the state’s prison population by removing mandatory sentencing for certain crimes and permitting concurrent serving of sentences over consecutive sentences (Denver Post, 2016).
With a criminal justice degree Colorado, you may learn how to analyze data to find what’s working, what’s not, and how to improve the system. The Colorado Division of Criminal Justice indicates that overall crime in Colorado decreased from 2013 to 2014 (2016). However, the violent crime increased over this time period, particularly in the areas of rape and aggravated assault (CDCJ, 2016).
Throughout your education, you should explore the career opportunities that may be open to a PhD. Criminal justice professors currently bring in an average salary of $36,800 per year, and job openings are expected to increase 21% by 2022 (O*Net, 2016). You may also consider a career in legislation. Colorado legislators earn a median income of $57,300 per year (O*Net, 2016). Projected job growth indicates a possible 9% increase in job openings through 2022 (O*Net, 2016).
Discover more about what it takes to earn a doctoral degree by requesting information from criminal justice PhD programs below.
What Will It Take to Earn My Criminal Justice Graduate Degree in Colorado?
There are several PhD programs in Colorado, as well as online universities that provide this degree. The educational experience you get depends on the school you choose, so take your time contacting schools, meeting with professors and advisors, and thinking about what you want out of your education before selecting a school.
Tuition rates vary quite a bit in Colorado, since both public and private colleges have this program. Tuition rates fall between $5200 per semester and $14,800 per semester at most programs.
Your doctoral education should build on your Master’s degree to enhance your understanding of research, statistics, policies, laws, and leadership. You may have the opportunity to select an area of specialty. Areas of concentration include:
- Law Enforcement
- Judiciary Systems
- Correctional Systems
- Juvenile Justice
Throughout your education, your coursework should explore various areas of the justice system. Examine your curriculum for courses like:
- Criminal Justice Systems, Policies, and Practice
- Law and Society
- Special Topics in Criminal Justice
- Criminological Theory
In addition to high-level classroom and laboratory courses, you gain practical experience as an intern and researcher. Not all programs require an internship, but most at least give you the opportunity. Use your internship to make professional connections and figure out your ideal work setting.
If you are interested in the academic side of criminal justice, your PhD program may prepare you for a career in this area. Many schools offer full funding to selected students in exchange for work as a teaching assistant or research assistant. Some schools actually require you to work as both, providing you a well-rounded work experience.
Perhaps the most crucial component of your degree is your dissertation. Early in your degree, you develop a dissertation topic and hypothesis with the help of an advisor. You then spend multiple years writing your dissertation before defending it in front of a panel of experts.
If you want to understand the full range of complex criminal justice issues and their possible solutions, a PhD may give you the experience you need. Take the first step now by contacting criminal justice programs in Colorado.
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