Home Doctoral Degree in Criminal Justice PhD in Criminal Justice Programs in Illinois

PhD in Criminal Justice Programs in Illinois

As the heart of the Midwest, Illinois has a responsibility to maintain safety, lead the way in criminal justice reform, and be a model for other states in the area. You may be in a great position to influence change after earning a PhD in criminal justice.

It’s no secret that criminal justice reform is sweeping the nation. In a recent poll, 75% of Illinois voters indicated that they are in favor of criminal justice reform (CI News Now, 2016).

What Can I Do With My PhD in Criminal Justice in Illinois?

Budget estimates indicate that the state could save over $300 million over the next four years with the current reform plan (Rock River Times, 2016). This plan includes access to mental health treatment at prisons, improved work training options, and more judicial discretion.

If you already work in criminal justice, you may be interested in a PhD for your own personal growth or to advance in your current position. However, there are several positions at this level that you may consider after earning a PhD criminal justice in Illinois. Judicial law clerks may experience a 3% increase in job openings by the year 2022, and the average annual salary of $60,900 is over $10,000 above the national average (O*Net, 2016).

Criminal justice professors work in universities and colleges all over the state. The demand for criminal justice professors may jump 12% between 2012 and 2022 (O*Net, 2016). On average, professors in this field earn $41,900 per year (O*Net, 2016).

Illinois is an ideal place to explore your educational options. Take a look at our list of schools and contact criminal justice graduate programs for additional information.

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

The process of choosing between criminal justice colleges in Illinois involves solidifying your research interests, thinking about the future of your career, and connecting with faculty members. Although you may work with many professors and instructors while earning between 50 and 80 credits, you spend most of your doctoral student time working with a dissertation advisor. It’s important to form a strong relationship with your advisor to make your dissertation is as strong as possible.

The courses you take and the amount of time you spend earning your degree depend on your prior education. While you may have to complete 80 credits of work if you have a Bachelor’s degree, your course load may be closer to 50 credits if you already have a Master’s degree.

At this level of education, you may take courses like:

  • Qualitative Methods and Design
  • Quantitative Methods and Design
  • Criminal Justice Process and Institutions
  • Advanced Criminological Theory
  • Statistical Applications in Criminology
  • Advanced Methods and Criminology

After completing the core courses in your curriculum, you may have the opportunity to select an area of concentration. Each school has its own options, so you may want to make that an important factor in your school selection. Common options in Illinois include law and society, organizations and administration, and criminology.

The research courses you take are preparation for the dissertation process. A dissertation is meant to hone in on a specific question about research or policy, explore all current research relating to that question, and conclusively answer the question posed in the beginning of the dissertation. Criminal justice schools in Illinois have expert advisors and professors in many specialized areas, which may give you the chance to work closely with someone who is important in your area of research.

A PhD may prepare you to explore work in research, academia, leadership, and legislation. Reach out to criminal justice graduate programs in Illinois to start the application process.

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