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

PhD in Criminal Justice Programs in Virginia

In the last decade, the field of criminal justice has undergone massive changes. Professionals at every level of responsibility have contributed to these changes, but in most cases, it takes advanced research work and advocacy to influence significant developments in legislation.

If you would like to put your criminal justice skills to work in legislation and leadership, earning a PhD criminal justice may very well be the first step. Keep reading to learn more and contact Virginia schools below for more information.

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

Among recent changes in Virginia is the new voting rights law. This law has restored voting rights for ex-felons, a move that is estimated to have affected over 200,000 Virginia residents (ARL Now, 2016).

With this law passing, officials are turning their focus to other types of criminal justice reform. They hope to move from a culture focused on punishment to one focused on reconciliation and redemption (News & Advance, 2016).

Criminal justice PhD programs may help you tackle more challenging job postings. Criminal justice professors in Virginia earn an average salary of $78,920
per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). According to O*Net, job openings in this field may jump 19% by the year 2022 (2016).

If you still want to work in a criminal justice setting, rather than academia, consider becoming a judicial law clerk. The average salary in this position is $52,770 per year (BLS, 2016). Job openings for judicial law clerks may jump 16% through the year 2022 (O*Net, 2016).

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

As you evaluate criminal justice schools, Virginia programs may be at the top of your list. There are private and public school options throughout the state, including some that allow you to attend courses online. This is an excellent option for working professionals.

Consider your previous education while looking for a program that fits you. If you stopped after earning a Bachelor’s degree, you may need to spend up to six years earning a PhD. If you also have a Master’s degree in criminal justice, your time commitment may be as little as three years. In both cases, you have to take advanced theory courses and research coursework.

Some of the classes you may be required to take include:

  • Professional Ethics and Liability
  • Justice Policy and Administration
  • Research Methods for Government and Public Affairs
  • Criminal Justice Politics and Planning
  • Criminal Justice Management and Leadership
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
  • Principles of Public Administration

You may want to spend some time covering the learning goals of each program you’re considering. Doing so may help you find a program that is directly relevant to your goals, whether your goals are in research, teaching, legislation, or leadership. By the time you graduate, you may need to know how to analyze public policy, use research to inform your recommendations, successfully lead different groups of criminal justice workers, and collect data to determine the efficacy of different programs.

Since this degree may lead to a career in administration, it must prepare you for the practical aspects of your career. For that reason, plan on completing an internship prior to graduation. Most schools offer three-credit internships that last one semester. This work is in addition to your dissertation, which may take well over one year to complete and defend. A lot depends on your advisor, how succinct your research goals are, and how focused you are in your research.

If you are ready to expand your education by drilling down into one area of criminal justice, a PhD is the degree for you. Start learning more about different options now by contacting criminal justice doctorate programs below.

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