Ranked No. 18 in Criminology
U.S. News & World Report, 2021

What does it cost?

Check out our cost calculator or visit student financial services for information on estimated costs.

How long will it take?

Minimum of 60 semester hours of graduate coursework must be completed. The doctoral program in criminal justice and criminology requires completion of 54 credit hours beyond the master’s degree. This includes 24 credit hours of required courses, 12 credit hours of elective courses and 18 credit hours in directed work, including dissertation credits.

Where will I take classes?
Atlanta Campus

Application Deadlines View Admissions Requirements

Fall: January 15

Spring: Does not admit

Summer: Does not admit

Criminal Justice & Criminology, Ph.D.

The Ph.D. in Criminal Justice and Criminology program is designed to train researchers and teacher-scholars in criminal justice and criminology. The program provides intensive one-on-one mentorship, a flexible curriculum, and core teaching and research skills that enable graduates to excel in university settings as well as research think tanks. Current and former doctoral students are involved in presenting their research at regional and national conferences. Faculty members in the department have involved doctoral students in their research projects, resulting in numerous publications with students. In addition, graduate students help plan and attend research colloquia and participate in student governance.

Program Details

A completed application includes:

  • Submitted Online Application. Online applications must be submitted by the deadline. Paper applications are not available.
  • Application Fee: A non-refundable fee of $50 is required for each application. This fee must be paid online by credit card.
  • Statement of Professional and Academic Goals: In two- to three pages, address the following topics in an essay: academic goals, field(s) of interest, how GSU’s program will contribute to achieving these goals.Specifically, please address:

1. Your career goals and main research interests and how these interests align with our faculty

2. The relevant research, course work, and/or work experience that has prepared you to complete a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice and Criminology at Georgia State University

3. How completing a Ph.D. In Criminal Justice and Criminology at Georgia State University help you achieve your long-term goals

4. Challenges you have faced achieving your academic goals to date and how you overcame them.

5. Your strengths that have contributed to your research, academic, and/or work success

6. Weaknesses or areas of growth that you want to address

7. Your views of diversity and inclusion as goals in graduate education

  • Academic Paper/Writing Sample: Single-authored writing sample that demonstrates the applicant’s writing ability. Examples include a chapter from the applicant’s thesis or a paper written for course credit. The paper submitted should not be longer than 35 double-spaced pages.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems) Academic scores (International applicants only): International applicants are required to submit official TOEFL or IELTS academic scores.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation should be submitted through the online application. At least two of these letters should be from current or former college instructors/professors who can describe the applicant’s academic ability and assess readiness for the Ph.D. in Criminal Justice and Criminology degree program at GSU.
  • Upload Transcripts from each Post-secondary College/University Attended:
    • Upload each transcript to the Academic History section of the online application before submitting your application or upload to your application status page under the Upload Materials section if your application has been submitted.
    • Review requirements for submitting transcripts here.
    • Failure to follow these requirements will delay your application processing.

The program is comprised of three primary components

  • Required Courses (24 hours)
  • Elective Courses (12 hours)
  • Directed Work (18 hours)

View Curriculum Details

Students admitted to the doctoral program in criminal justice and criminology are typically offered a graduate assistantship that includes a yearly stipend of $18,000 and a full tuition waiver.

By completing the requirements of the doctoral program, students become knowledgeable of the substantive areas of criminology (knowledge about the extent and causes of crime) and the criminal justice system (society’s response to crime). In addition to general knowledge of these areas, they will also acquire advanced knowledge in one or more areas of specialization within criminology or criminal justice (e.g., policing, victimization, criminological theory). Students also learn to apply appropriate and sophisticated analytical techniques necessary to conduct original research in criminology and criminal justice. In addition, our doctoral students are socialized into the related roles of scholarship, teaching and service. At graduation, students who successfully complete the doctoral program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate  scholarly expertise in one or more specialty areas within the field of criminal justice or criminology.
  2. Develop and apply advanced conceptual and technical skills to conduct high-quality, independent research.
  3. Teach graduate and undergraduate courses in criminology and criminal justice.



Career opportunities for graduates are numerous, diverse, and rewarding. Most GSU Ph.D. graduates have found employment as tenure-track professors at colleges and universities in the U.S. Other GSU Ph.D. graduates have found employment in the private sector as research analysts and the research branches of federal, state, and local agencies.

Upon graduation, students may also work at the following: FBI, ATF, GBI, EPA, Secret Service, numerous local and state law enforcement and correctional agencies, probation and parole agencies, juvenile justice agencies, and the research branches of federal, state and local agencies.


Criminal Justice
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 404-413-1020

Office Location:
55 Park Place NE
Ste. 506
Atlanta GA, 30303

Mailing Address:
Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology
Georgia State University
P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, Georgia 30302-3992

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
14 Marietta St
Atlanta, GA 30303Academic Assistance
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 404-413-0021

Office Location:
AYSPS Office of Academic Assistance
55 Park Place NE
Atlanta, GA 30303

Andrew Young School Logo55 Park Place NE
Atlanta, GA 30303

The information shared provides an overview of Georgia State’s offerings. For details on admissions requirements, tuition, courses and more, refer to the university catalogs.