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Doctor of Criminal Justice, DCJ

Keiser University

This program is available in the following Florida campuses:

Graduate School

The Doctor of Criminal Justice (DCJ) program was developed to prepare practitioners capable of making contributions to the criminal justice field in the academic and applied components of the discipline. The curriculum is designed to ensure that graduates are well equipped to participate in criminal justice positions emphasizing research, theory, evidence-based practice, and the administration of justice.

Candidates best suited for this program are current criminal justice practitioners and/or military personnel with at least three-years of experience in the areas of law enforcement, probation, corrections, parole, security, juvenile justice, government and/or investigations who want to demonstrate academic and leadership preparedness in the pursuit of career advancement opportunities.

Program Objectives

The degree of Doctor of Criminal Justice is designed to produce students of crime and justice who possess:

  • A thorough understanding of criminal justice and criminology issues;
  • The intellectual and methodological skills necessary for the continuing process of discovery and understanding of crime- and justice-related issues;
  • The capacity for integrative and analytical thinking;
  • Competency at transmitting knowledge;
  • Problem-solving skills;
  • The ability to disseminate research findings in published scholarship.

The DCJ program will produce students capable of making contributions to the criminal justice discipline in the academic and applied components of the discipline. The curriculum is designed to ensure that graduates are well equipped to participate in criminal justice positions emphasizing research, theory, evidence-based practice, and the administration of justice.

Program Goals

The overall objective of the program is to provide the student with the highest level of educational value in order to provide the tools necessary for success in today’s law enforcement.  The program goals are:

  • Evaluate an agency’s ability to meet the safety needs of a community including corrections, law enforcement, Homeland Security and administration of justice.
  • Evaluate, research and critically analyze gaps or deficiencies in the criminal justice discipline.
  • Effectively and ethically lead and manage criminal justice organizations.
  • Evaluate contemporary criminal justice systems and their policies and practices.
  • Evaluate the causes of crime and apply effective intervention and prevention strategies.
  • Develop an Applied Doctoral Project that makes a theoretical and practical impact in the criminal justice field.

Prerequisites for Major Courses

  • Students may enter the Doctor of Criminal Justice with a Master’s degree from an accredited institution.

Note: Courses in the DCJ program are eight-weeks in length, and students are scheduled for one course at a time. Applied Doctoral Project courses are eight-weeks in length and students are scheduled for two applied doctoral project courses per semester.

Program-Specific Entry Requirements

Admission Requirements:

  • Application for Admission to the Graduate School
  • $55 Application Fee
  • Minimum of two-years professional work experience in criminal justice or related field.
  • Submission of an unofficial transcript from an accredited school. Official transcripts are due by the end of the first semester of attendance. *Failure to provide an official transcript by the end of the first semester will lead to dismissal from the program and Graduate School.
  • Master’s or Doctorate degree from an accredited institution
  • Provide proof of Foreign Language Equivalency with calculated GPA
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA at the graduate level
  • Personal Statement of Intent, not to exceed one page, on academic preparedness for a doctoral program

Program Outline

To receive a Doctor of Criminal Justice degree, students with a master’s degree must earn 44 graduate semester credit hours as described below. Depending on the transfer or credit and scheduling variables, the DCJ program can be completed in as little as 2.5 years or less.

Upper Division Courses

Foundation Courses (27.0 credit hours)
Proseminar in Criminal Justice and Criminology 3.0 credit hours
Criminological Theory 3.0 credit hours
Advanced Criminological Theory 3.0 credit hours
Criminal Justice Policies and Practices 3.0 credit hours
Police and Society 3.0 credit hours
Criminal Justice Program Evaluation 3.0 credit hours
Advanced Criminal Justice Leadership 3.0 credit hours
Special Topics 3.0 credit hours
Crime and Punishment 3.0 credit hours
Research Courses (9.0 credit hours)
Advanced Research Design 3.0 credit hours
Quantitative Research I 3.0 credit hours
Qualitative Research 3.0 credit hours
Applied Doctoral Project Courses (8.0 credit hours) - Students must complete four Applied Doctoral Project Courses.
Applied Doctoral Project 2.0 credit hours

Residency Requirement

Doctoral students must complete one residency prior to Applied Doctoral Project Courses.

  • Doctoral Residency

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