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

PhD in Criminal Justice Programs in Texas

The field of criminal justice is one of the cornerstones of society. In large states like Texas, it’s especially important—protecting residents and preventing crime strengthens the state as a whole. A PhD in criminal justice is a valuable investment, particularly if you want to work in research, administration, or legislation.

With a bachelor’s degree, pursuing a PhD is a viable option. Contact criminal justice schools Texas to explore programs near you.

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

Texas has successfully navigated many areas of criminal justice reform. In fact, it was one of the first states to lead reform efforts. Legislation focused on reducing the sizable prison population of Texas and creating diversion programs for low-level drug offenders (Eurasia Review, 2016).

Within Texas, counties and cities are spearheading more targeted reform plans. Harris County recently received a $2 million grant from MacArthur Foundation to address overcrowded jails and racial disparities in criminal justice (Houston Chronicle, 2016).

Taking your education to the PhD criminal justice level can benefit your long-term career options. You may consider becoming a judicial law clerk, a field in which people earn an average salary of $46,720 per year in Texas (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). Job openings may increase 16% through 2022 in Texas (O*Net, 2016).

You may also go into academia as a criminal justice professor. The average annual salary for a criminal justice professor is $59,200 per year (BLS, 2016). Between 2012 and 2022, job openings may jump 20% (O*Net, 2016).

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

As the highest level of education in this field, a PhD is a major commitment. To complete this degree, you’ll need to earn close to 80 credits beyond your bachelor’s degree. If you’ve earned a graduate degree in a field similar to criminal justice, you may need between 40 and 50 credits to finish out a doctoral program.

Most of your degree may entail conventional classroom work that tackles theory and research. Some of the courses you may take include:

  • Philosophy of Law, Justice, and Social Control: Review of the criminal justice system, including how the system functions, what state needs it meets, and how it may change in the future
  • Advanced Criminological Theory: Causes of crime and deviant behavior; an analysis of criminology using scientific perspectives
  • Criminal Justice Ethics, Administration, and Public Policy: The role of ethics in criminal justice agencies, ethical review systems, codes of ethics, and ethical decision making for criminal justice professionals
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods: Practical aspects of conducting criminal justice research
  • Advanced Research for Planning and Evaluation: Using research for the critique and planning of criminal justice systems
  • Criminal Justice Leadership and Management: Identifying problems and creating solutions in criminal justice management; leadership styles and organizational environments

Practical experience may be required in your program. It’s likely that you’ll need to complete an internship if you have little or no experience in the criminal justice industry.
One requirement that is common across criminal justice doctorate programs is the dissertation. The work you do for your dissertation makes up 12 to 18 credits at most institutions. In terms of time, you may spend between one and two years writing and editing your dissertation.

Through the course of your dissertation, you work with an advisor. At most institutions, advisors solely work with students whose research interests are close to their own. Look into potential advisor options as you compare criminal justice degrees Texas.

The benefits of earning a PhD extend into many career paths and specialties. Take the next step in your education now and contact criminal justice PhD programs.