Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (Ph.D.)
The purpose of the Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (Ph.D.) is to prepare law-enforcement professionals for senior leadership roles in criminal-justice organizations at all levels of government, and graduate students seeking careers in criminal-justice education in order to instruct, inspire and motivate the law-enforcement professionals of the future.
Program Specific Admission Requirements
In addition to the general admission requirements, specific requirements for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (Ph.D.) are as follows:
- Earned master’s degree or its equivalent from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (e.g., SACSCOC, TRACS, ABHE, etc.).
- A cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above (on a 4.00 scale).
- TOEFL Scores for students who speak English as a second language (score of 600 paper-based test; 250 computer-based test, 80 internet-based test)
Transfer of Credit
Students may transfer up to 15 hours of graduate-level credit from an accredited institution. In order to transfer credit, students must have earned the minimum grade of B-, and courses must have been completed within 7 years of the start date of the student’s program at Liberty University. Credits from a prior degree on the same academic level earned through Liberty University are considered transfer credits.
Program Learning Outcomes
The student will be able to:
- Critique the theories within the fields of criminology, justice policy, and criminal justice administration.
- Construct innovative change proposals to policies that address crime problems.
- Integrate a Christian Worldview into the analysis of crime and crime policy.
- Design and conduct independent research that makes an original contribution to the criminal justice field.
Delivery Format: Online Only
- Administration/Management (Federal, State, or Local)
- Administrator (Department Chair, Dean, Chancellor)
- Crime scene investigation unit manager
- Criminal Justice Writer
- Forensics Investigator
- Lead Detective/Investigator
- Lead/ Senior Researcher
- Police Chief
- Polygraph examiner/operator
- Prison Warden
- Public Policy Advisor
- Security Analyst
- Threat Analyst
This course offers an advanced exploration of the theories of crime causation. Biological, psychological, sociological, cultural, and political theories may be examined using a "cause of crime" perspective. Emphasis is placed around the key concepts used in theories of crime and the multidisciplinary source of these concepts, how they are applied to criminological theory, and their importance for understanding the present state of criminological theory.
Typically, undergraduate and master's programs examine criminal justice from the United States lens. This course is an advanced in-depth analysis of the various courts, corrections, and law enforcement systems worldwide.
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the origin, philosophy and objectives of the juvenile justice system. An extensive and systematic analysis of juvenile justice policies and practices will be undertaken, especially those reflecting any recent philosophical shifts. Students will be challenged to critically examine present policy and propose practical new policies related to juvenile justice.
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the origin, philosophy and objectives of the prison system. As an advanced corrections course, students explore the far-reaching impacts of prisons policy on society. Policies related to prisons, rehabilitation, re-entry, alternative court, community corrections, recidivism and other recent relevant topics may be explored. Additionally, students will prepare new evidence-based practice corrections policy.
Online Prerequisite: CJUS 801
To be an organizational leader demands an understanding of the basic principles and practices underlying the management of large and diverse organizations. The contrast of management of stability and control with the management of chaos and instability suggests different techniques of leadership and management. Modelling, inspiring, challenging, enabling, and encouraging subordinates toward the organization mission is key to solid organizational leadership. Additionally, having tools to make leadership decisions in extreme situations is necessary for all criminal justice leaders. This course covers sound leadership principles necessary for an ethical high performing law enforcement organization by student self-reflection, peer feedback, and subordinate feedback. Additionally, students are challenged to create sound leadership policies necessary for a high performing criminal justice organization.
Online Prerequisite: CJUS 730
This course studies strategic planning models, forecasting methods, trend analysis, systems thinking, and futuring. Participants will learn how to manage growth, change, and organizational innovation. The use of strategic planning tools such as scenarios, systems thinking, and change strategies will be presented through case studies and projects that utilize the principles of problem-based learning. Students will have the opportunity to design a mock strategic plan and develop scenarios to apply principles learned in this course.
Online Prerequisite: CJUS 732
This course studies human resource law associated with leading a criminal justice organization. Advanced topics of selection, discipline, retention, criminal investigations, and internal investigations will be investigated. Additionally, this course studies the recent relevant internal and external implications of 42 U.S.C. 1983. Participants will focus on creating an ethical organizational environment with respect to HR Law and 42 U.S.C. 1983.
This course provides advanced human resource development techniques for criminal justice organizations. Topics include skills needed for planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling, communicating, motivating, decision-making, priority setting and time management toward effective objectives and organizational goals. Focused areas include job performance, employee development, management of a diverse work force, employment law, harassment and health issues, and disabilities and discrimination in the workplace.
The overall purpose of this class is to familiarize the student with the language and major issues confronting criminal justice research and researchers. As such, students will learn the basic rudiments of social science inquiry with special focus on how one conceptualizes a problem, uses theory to structure research questions, designs a method to examine the problem and answer the questions of interest, and implements that research approach. This is the first of a required multi-course sequence. The mastery of SPSS will be required in this class. Students will demonstrate competency through the design of a brief research project.
Online Prerequisite: CJUS 740
This course will introduce concepts and methods in descriptive and inferential statistics. The course is designed to provide students with the statistical background required for doctoral level applied research. Application of statistics and educational and human services research will be emphasized. Areas of study will include estimation, probability, variables, normal distribution, t-distribution, chi-square distribution, F-distribution, confidence intervals, hypotheses testing, and correlation. This course will provide the skills necessary to properly apply descriptive and inferential statistics by helping students understand the role of statistics in scientific research. Further, the assignments are designed to help students identify and implement the correct statistical procedure for a research question through data analysis using a computer (e.g., SPSS). Students will gain the requisite knowledge necessary to learn more complex statistical/research procedures and become more critical of various statistical presentations in academic journals and the mass media.
Online Prerequisite: CJUS 740
This course will suggest the kinds of phenomena for which qualitative approaches are most apt to be useful, and equip students with the skills necessary in order to successfully conduct sound and ethical studies. The epistemological bases for such approaches and the complementary aspects of qualitative approaches will be explored in great detail. Emphasis will be on a hands-on approach on how to do field research, case studies, interviews, etc.
This course will examine key concepts, methods, and approaches in the field of program evaluation research. Students will be exposed to the theoretical and methodological diversity inherent in current evaluation practices across a number of substantive areas. The comprehensive range of activities involved in designing, implementing, and assessing the utility of criminal justice programs. Evidence based practice will be one of the focal points of this class.
This course provides a comprehensive review of organized crime and gangs. This course will review gang organizational traits, traditions, criminal activities, violence, origin and structure. Students will examine organized crime in the US, organized crime in other countries, and/or transnational organized crime networks. An exploration in the connectedness between organized crime, gangs, and terror organizations will be conducted.
This course will focus on terrorism and the law, including topics such as anti-terrorism legislation, terrorism investigations and prosecutions, the Classified Information Procedures Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and military detention and prosecution of suspected terrorists. There may be comparative analysis of other countries' anti-terrorism laws.
This course examines the nature, varieties, causes, and manifestation of criminal justice organizational conflict. The focus of this course is internal organizational conflict. Students will research organizational issues and apply alternative resolution techniques and transformational leadership at the organizational level.
This course provides an in depth review of stress management in law enforcement. The course will cover the physiological and psychological basis of the stress response. The physical, emotional, mental, rational, and spiritual signs of distress will be examined. Understanding, recognizing, and coping with the stressors associated with modern policing helps prevent maladaptive responses such as domestic violence and suicide. Participants will develop an original brief stress management program for law enforcement personnel.
The course is designed to develop research skills, culminating in the development and approval of a research concept. The research concept approval process is under the direct supervision of the student’s dissertation chair. The research concept must be written and approved prior to enrollment in dissertation courses.
The course focuses on structure and design of a concept for PhD dissertation research that includes peer/collegial review and scholarly discourse leading to a draft of Chapter one of the proposal development. A comprehensive examination must be taken and successfully completed prior to enrollment in CJUS 989.
Registration Restrictions: Completion of all Ph.D. CJUS course requirements
Online Prerequisite: CJUS 885
This course is the first step for doctoral candidates in the process of developing and completing their research study and dissertation. Doctoral candidates will develop Section 1, which includes the Foundation of the Study, to include a detailed Literature Review relevant to the proposed research study.
Online Prerequisite: CJUS 987
This course is the second step for doctoral candidates to develop and complete their dissertation. Doctoral candidates will develop Section 2, which includes their methodology for conducting the study, and combine it with Section 1 into a single document. Candidates will also complete and submit their IRB package to complete their proposal defense.
Online Prerequisite: CJUS 988
This course is the final step in developing the dissertation manuscript. Doctoral candidates will conduct their field study, analyze their data, and present their findings and develop Section 3 of their dissertation. Candidates will combine all three sections into their completed dissertation manuscript in preparation for their dissertation defense.
Online Prerequisite: CJUS 989
This course is the last step in the doctoral program. Doctoral candidates will defend their dissertation and finalize their dissertation manuscript for publication.