Home Doctoral Degree in Criminal Justice PhD in Criminal Justice Programs in New Jersey

PhD in Criminal Justice Programs in New Jersey

In any society, the criminal justice system is one of the most important parts of keeping people safe and ensuring order. Even before formal government became a structure in society, communities had ways of punishing wrongdoers and protecting victims.

New Jersey is in the middle of rigorous criminal justice reform, following the trend of many other states. Proposed laws are set to be implemented in April of 2017 (Bergen Dispatch, 2016). At this point, suspects will get a guarantee of a speedy trial and fair bail amounts proportionate to different crimes. The state is expected to add more funding to the system for overtime and additional personnel.

In addition, the state is shifting its priority from all drug offenders to those who deal, are at risk of violent crime, and who reoffend (New Jersey Herald, 2016). This is part of the state’s Smart on Crime initiative.

What Can I Do With My PhD in Criminal Justice in New Jersey?

Overall, the field of criminal justice seems stable for PhD graduates. The job outlook for judges is not expected to change significantly through 2022, while job openings for criminal justice professors may increase 8% during this period (O*Net, 2016). The average salary for a criminal justice professor is $69,750 per year and judges earn a median income of $163,170 annually (BLS, 2016).

If you’re considering a doctoral degree, find out what your options are in New Jersey. Take a look at our list of criminal justice PhD programs below and contact them for more information.

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

Completing a PhD criminal justice is a full-time endeavor that generally requires five to seven years of study beyond your Bachelor’s degree. If you already have a Master’s degree, you may be able to earn your PhD in a shorter timeframe.

The majority of criminal justice schools in New Jersey expect you to complete at least 60 credits by graduation. Depending on the school, between 12 and 18 of these credits are dedicated to your dissertation. Your dissertation should comprise approximately two years of your training; during this time, you develop a concept, consult research, and make a case for a specific point of view. The final step in your dissertation involves defending it to a panel of experts appointed by your program.

Prior to your dissertation, however, you must build your knowledge in courses like:

  • Foundations of Criminological Theory
  • Research Methods
  • Intermediate and Advanced Statistics
  • Contemporary Criminological Theory
  • Criminal Justice Policy
  • Advanced Research Methods

Whether you’re coming to this field from a professional career or directly from your undergraduate degree, you are expected to build your professional presence and network as a PhD student. Throughout this state, schools help you make the most of your education by encouraging participation in conferences, job interviews, speaker series, and seminars.

Another way in which you may expand on your education is an internship. It’s common for doctoral programs to require a semester-long internship at a local criminal justice agency.

While balancing the other demands of your degree, you must also think about your funding options. PhD students are commonly funded on a full or partial basis in exchange for full-time residency. This involves working on research and teaching undergraduate courses. If you select a program that offers a monthly stipend on top of discounted or free tuition, you may be able to devote the next several years exclusively to your education.

If you are passionate about criminal justice, a PhD could give you the qualifications you need to influence massive change in this field. Explore the list of schools below and contact New Jersey schools to learn more about earning a doctorate in criminal justice.