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

PhD in Criminal Justice Programs in Massachusetts

As part of New England, Massachusetts has undergone significant changes in recent years as part of sweeping criminal justice reforms throughout the region. Change is never complete, though; there are always more ways to promote fair treatment of suspects and offenders while keeping residents as safe as possible. Committing to a PhD program can give you special insight in these areas.

Find out more about your education opportunities by contacting criminal justice PhD programs in MA.

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

Whether you currently work in criminal justice or you are just starting to get involved, learning about the advances being made in this field can show you some of the possibilities that may come with a PhD in criminal justice. Massachusetts legislators and researchers are striving to create an age-appropriate justice system for juvenile offenders, which would increase the age of juvenile jurisdiction from 18 to 21 (Bay State Banner, 2018). Through these efforts, they hope to stop the cycle of recidivism that is common for juvenile offenders.

Across offenders of all ages, recidivism is a serious problem in Massachusetts (Daily Free Press, 2018). Current laws and bills aim to shorten incarceration periods while helping offenders readjust to life in society by offering educational options.

The impact you have in this industry may depend on the career path you choose. Through 2026, job openings for criminal justice professors are expected to increase 17% (CareerOneStop, 2017). The average salary for a Massachusetts criminal justice professor is $72,500 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). The job outlook for administrative law judges, who earn an average of $140,690 per year, is expected to increase 5% during this time period (CareerOneStop, 2017).

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

As an aspiring PhD student, you must do some serious thinking about your career goals and what you hope to achieve with your doctoral degree. Some programs in Massachusetts focus heavily on research and post-secondary teaching skills, while others are targeted toward those who hope to work in management or legislation. If you want to work in a specialized area of criminal justice, look for schools with various options. One option in Massachusetts is terrorism studies.

In general, criminal justice PhD programs last between four and six years. During this time, you take traditional classroom courses, internship courses, research seminars, and dissertation coursework.

To discover what you may get out of your education, look at each school’s learning outcomes. They should outline specific competencies and activities included in the program.

Common inclusions are listed below:

  • Conduct interdisciplinary research and gain teaching experience at the graduate and undergraduate levels
  • Prepare for analytical and administrative management positions
  • Excel in policy analysis
  • Explore the growing field of criminology and its potential in this industry

To meet these high expectations, you may take between 40 and 70 credits of courses. You may find courses like those listed below in your curriculum:

  • Administration of Criminal Justice
  • Managing Criminal Justice Organizations
  • Courts and Sentencing
  • Juvenile Justice and Youth Crime
  • Economic Crime
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Contemporary Security Studies

Teaching experience is a crucial part of criminal justice doctorate programs, since many PhDs go on to become professors. Many schools strive to provide full or partial funding for PhD candidates in exchange for teaching hours. Other resources may provide grants and scholarships, including the Massachusetts Association of Women in Law Enforcement.

Although your actual dissertation may only require two or three years of work, you should be thinking about it before you even begin your education. Before you start work on your dissertation, you must select an advisor, come up with theories and topic ideas, and get your initial dissertation plan approved.

Whether you are looking to earn a PhD criminology or another criminal justice specialty, Massachusetts programs may have the opportunities you need. Get in touch with advisors now by requesting information below.

Online programs may not be available in all areas.

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