Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology


Professors: Bruce Jacobs, James W. Marquart, John Worrall
Associate Professors: Thomislav Kovandzic, Lynne Vieraitis
Assistant Professors: Karen Hayslett-McCall, Robert Morris, Denise Paquette-Boots
Clinical Assistant Professors: Timothy Bray, Danielle Lavin-Loucks


The Mission of the Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology program at the University of Texas at Dallas is threefold, to:

1. Deliver high-quality education to a diverse body of graduate students regarding the etiology, control, and variation of law-breaking across space and time.

2. Serve local, regional, and national communities through professional development programs, public policy analyses and evaluation research, program and policy design, and as a forum for new ideas and approaches to the study of crime.

3. Advance the understanding of criminology through a multidisciplinary mix of theoretical and applied research.


The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Criminology is an interdisciplinary, research-oriented program that provides students with a coherent and intellectually challenging research degree that prepares them for an academic appointment as a university professor or an administrative appointment with oversight of research and development within criminal justice organizations.  Graduates of the Ph.D. program will be competent to teach and conduct interdisciplinary research at both graduate and undergraduate levels in aspects of criminology and/or criminal justice depending on their specific areas of specialty.  They also will be well prepared for analytical and administrative posts in international and domestic research and policy institutions and in the private sector. 


Students have access to the computing facilities in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences and the University’s Computing Center.  The School has two computing laboratories which house over 50 computers that are network linked and equipped with major social science software packages, including E-Views, R, RATS, SPSS, and STATA. A computerized geographic information system, the Lexis Nexis Database, and WestLaw are also available for student use. The University’s Computing Center provides personal computers and UNIX workstations. Many important data and reference materials are available online from professional associations or at U.T.Dallas via the Library’s and School’s memberships in the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the Roper Center, the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS), and other organizations. The Library has a substantial number of Criminology journals.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate teaching and research assistantships are available to the most outstanding new applicants.  Prospective students interested in receiving assistantships must submit materials including application forms are due February 1.  Applications may be obtained from the program director’s office. 

Application and Admission Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology Program seeks applications from individuals with a baccalaureate, masters of Art or Masters of Science degree in Criminology, Sociology, or a relevant discipline.  A GPA of least 3.2 GPA or better and a minimum combined verbal and quantitative GRE score of 1200 are required to enter the program.  A score of at least 4.5 in analytical writing is desirable. Students who marginally fail these requirements may be admitted at the Graduate Committee’s discretion.  Students must also submit all transcripts, three letters of recommendation (preferably academic references), and a one-page essay describing their background, education, and professional objectives.  All applications will be reviewed by the Criminology Graduate Studies Committee.  For more information about what should be included in the application package, please visit our web site. 

Students who lack the necessary background to start the Program are advised to take courses that strengthen their preparation, but these courses do not receive credit towards the Ph.D. Program.

Degree Requirements

On admission to the Ph.D. in Criminology, a student must complete a minimum of 90 semester credit hours of graduate coursework and requirements (including a writing requirement, qualifying exam, and doctoral dissertation).  Specifically, students will be required to take graduate classes across three tiers of course work.  Tier 1, or the Core Curriculum, involves 36 hours, including 9 hours of research methods and statistics, 21 hours in various aspects of criminology (i.e., contemporary criminological theory, pro-seminar in criminology, law and social control), and six hours of independent research to satisfy a writing requirement.

Upon successful completion of these 36 hours the students must pass a qualifying examination which tests a student’s knowledge in key areas of criminology (i.e., historical and contemporary criminological theory, research methods, policy).  Students who successfully complete the examination are admitted into candidacy and form a dissertation committee, and move into Tier 2 graduate coursework, which consists of 18 hours:  6 hours of Criminology electives (e.g., Victimology, Communities and Crime) and 12 hours of advanced methods and statistics.  Students, who fail the qualifying examination or seek to leave the program for some reason, including transfer to another program, may complete the M.S. degree by writing a thesis or analytical paper.

The remaining 36 credits (to arrive at U.T.Dallas’s requirement of 90 hours for the Ph.D.) will consist of (a) 6 hours of a criminology research seminar; (b) no less than 18 hours of dissertation credit; and (c) up to 12 hours of electives (which can include courses in other disciplines as well as independent studies) or 12 more hours of dissertation credit.

Students would be required to defend a dissertation proposal and complete and defend a dissertation.  Upon Committee approval, the student does further work on the doctoral dissertation while enrolling continuously for credit in research seminars and in dissertation.

The dissertation has multiple chapters that consist of a clear statement of the research problem, the theoretical framework and research design, the methods of analysis and findings, and an appropriately development conclusion.

Semester Credit Hour Requirements

Core Courses in Criminological Theory and Methodolog              30
Freely chosen electives in Criminology                                      12
Elective Credit in EPPS Methods and Statistics                          12
Other Electives in Criminology and EPPS                                   12
Dissertation and analytic writing or thesis                                   24-30
Total (Minimum)                                                                         90

Core Courses

CRIM 5310 Research Design I
CRIM 5313 Descriptive and Inferential Statistics
CRIM 5316 Advanced Regression Analysis
CRIM 6300 Proseminar in Criminology
CRIM 6303 Etiology of Crime and Criminality
CRIM 6305 Law and Social Control
CRIM 6307 Extent of Crime and Measurement Problems in Criminology
CRIM 6311 Crime and Justice Policy
CRIM 6324 Correlates of Crime and Justice
CRIM 6996 Master Thesis Research
CRIM 7300 Advances in Criminology Theory

Criminology Electives

PSCI 5302 Law and The Policy Process
CRIM 6308 Victimology
CRIM 6309 Communities and Crime
CRIM 6310 Delinquency and Juvenile Justice
CRIM 6311 Crime and Justice Policy
SOC 6312 Social-Economic Theories
CRIM 6313 Corrections
CRIM 6314 Policing
CRIM 6315 Violent Crime
CRIM 6317 Courts
CRIM 6322 Crime Prevention
GISC 6332 GIS Applications in Criminology
CRIM 6340 Qualitative Criminology
CRIM 6346 Qualitative Research Methods
CRIM 6348 Drugs and Crime

EPPS Electives

POEC 6304 Advanced Analytic Techniques
POEC 6316 Proseminar in Quantitative Methods
POEC 6318 Structural Equation and Multilevel (Hierarchical) Modeling
POEC 6342 Research Design II
POEC 6344 Categorical and Limited Dependent Variables
PSCI 5360 Data Collection and Analysis in Political and Social Science
PSCI 5362 Multivariate Models for Analyzing Political and Social Science Data
PSCI 5364 Mathematical Models in Political and Social Science
PSCI 5366 Statistics in Law
ECON 5309 Mathematical Economics
ECON 5311 Applied Econometrics
ECON 6309 Econometrics I
ECON 6310 Econometrics II
ECON 6311 Statistics for Economists
ECON 6315 Time Series Econometrics
ECON 6316 Spatial Econometrics
GISC 7361 Spatial Statistics

Other Courses

CRIM 7301 Seminar in Criminology Research
CRIM 7302 Seminar in Criminology Research
Dissertation hours