PhD in Criminal Justice Programs in Iowa
The ultimate goals of criminal justice are a safer society, successful reintegration of offenders into society, and fair treatment for all people. While current laws and policies do a lot to keep Iowa safe, future changes in the industry are dependent on highly educated professionals with industry experience.
Iowa is following in the nation’s footsteps with a strong focus on improving criminal justice reform. Per Senator Grassley, “Rather than locking up people convicted of nonviolent, lower-level crimes for lengthy sentences that do nothing to protect public safety, we ought to put our taxpayer dollars toward the most violent threats our communities and reducing recidivism.” This will ensure that law enforcement resources are concentrated on what’s needed, the most violent threats.
What Can I Do with My PhD in Criminal Justice in Iowa?
The growing criminal justice infrastructure has created many job openings throughout the country. In Iowa, job openings for administrative law judges are expected to increase 2% between 2016 and 2026 (CareerOneStop, 2017). Administrative law judges in this state currently earn a median salary of $113,100 per year (O*Net, 2017).
Similarly, statewide demand for judges may increase 3% by 2026 (CareerOneStop, 2017). The average salary for an Iowa judge is $48,330 annually (O*Net, 2017).
It’s clear that earning a PhD in criminology may have a positive impact on your career options. Start preparing for the next step in your education by contacting criminal justice graduate schools in IA.
What Will It Take to Earn My Criminal Justice Graduate Degree in Iowa?
Before you start narrowing down your list of Iowa criminal justice schools and scheduling interviews, it is important to look at your previous education and work experience. In Iowa, the majority of PhD programs accept master’s graduates and bachelor’s graduates.
If you do not have a master’s degree, you generally catch up by taking 30 credits of additional coursework at the master’s degree level. This amounts to approximately 70 to 80 credits. Those who hold master’s degrees may complete their PhD with 40 to 50 credits.
You are also expected to meet the academic standards of your chosen program. A GPA of 3.5 at the undergraduate or graduate level is the baseline at most Iowa schools. However, you may be going up against other students and there may be limited funding opportunities. A high GPA combined with relevant work and volunteer experience, a strong essay, and clear research goals may help you get accepted or receive PhD funding.
To earn the title of PhD, you must be considered an expert in the world of criminal justice. Reaching this goal involves succeeding in a challenging curriculum that may include courses like:
- Criminological Theory
- Advanced Criminal Justice Statistics
- Advanced Criminal Justice Research Methods
- Crime Policy Analysis
- Seminar in Corrections
- Seminar in Juvenile Justice
- Seminar in Law Enforcement
The background you get in these courses may be extremely advantageous during your dissertation. Being able to reference research from various criminal justice specialties and tie it back to your topic may help you write a more complex, multilayered dissertation.
In addition to your dissertation, you may complete a three-credit internship prior to graduation. This internship may provide valuable real-world experience that you can utilize in the crafting of your dissertation.
If you are ready to earn a PhD in criminal justice and impact the future of this growing field, you can learn more today. Just check out Iowa PhD programs and contact programs that interest you to learn more.
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