Home Doctoral Degree in Criminal Justice PhD in Criminal Justice Programs in North Carolina

PhD in Criminal Justice Programs in North Carolina

Are you ready to take your North Carolina criminal justice career to the next level? You may have already studied criminal justice at the undergraduate or graduate level, or you may have found this field from an adjacent area of study. Either way, your interest in criminal justice and your willingness to study it at the doctoral level could help you instigate positive change.

Considering a PhD in criminology or criminal justice? Check out our list of North Carolina schools below and contact them to learn more about your options.

What Can I Do With My PhD in Criminal Justice in North Carolina?

Criminal justice is a hot topic in North Carolina. While political lines tend to be drawn fairly clearly on most topics, there is bipartisan agreement that the state needs criminal justice reform (News & Observer, 2016). When polled, 69% of voters said that they believe the federal prisons have too many nonviolent offenders.

You may even contribute to research that is meaningful in this industry. A study out of North Carolina showed that two-thirds of poor North Carolina kids never reach middle class (WUNC, 2016). One of the primary worries with this finding is the fact that poverty and crime rates have a strong correlation.

A doctoral degree may increase your list of potential career options. Demand for administrative judges is expected to remain stable in North Carolina through 2022, and the average salary for this role is $88,200 per year (O*Net, 2016). Criminal justice professors may see a 14% increase in demand by 2022 (O*Net, 2016). Their average salary is $54,200 annually (O*Net, 2016).

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

The path to earning a criminal justice PhD is very straightforward, but it does have many steps. The key is to prepare ahead of time to streamline the process and save time. First, consider which programs are open to you based on your current degree.

Some programs combine Master’s-level and PhD-level courses into one program for a cumulative total of about 90 credits, which takes the average student seven years.

Other programs are only open to those who have already earned a Master’s degree, a path that is about two years shorter. In addition, you should look at the work experience requirements for different North Carolina schools. Programs intended for recent graduates may not have any work requirements, while degree programs created for working professionals may require a specific amount of experience working in this industry.

Once you have selected a school and got accepted, it’s time to learn about your funding options. If you are a strong PhD candidate, you may be in a great position to receive partial or full funding. In exchange for providing you free or discounted tuition, the school expects you to teach undergraduate courses, contribute to research, and design new research studies. If you do not receive any funding, you can look into loans or private grants.

As a doctoral student, you may spread your time across classroom courses, research and teaching obligations, practical experience, and your dissertation. Some of the courses you may take at this level include:

  • Advanced Topics in Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice Policy
  • Research in Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice and Social Control
  • Criminal Justice Management and Decision Making
  • Legal Issues in Law Enforcement
  • Prosecution and Adjudication Processes
  • Police Problems and Practices
  • Juvenile Justice Systems

The final step before earning your PhD is writing and defending your dissertation. A dissertation is a highly focused piece of research that is directly relevant to your area of expertise. This piece of research may determine what kind of job opportunities you have after graduation, so have a strong plan in place before you begin writing.

For students interested in criminal justice degrees, North Carolina schools may be the ideal option. Discover what the next step is by contacting criminal justice PhD programs below.

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