PhD in Criminal Justice

Earn one of the most highly respected degrees in the criminal justice profession.

Whether you aspire to be a leader or a scholar and professor in the criminal justice arena, Walden University’s online PhD in Criminal Justice program can prepare you with the skills you need for career advancement.

  • Ours is one of the first online criminal justice doctoral programs available to meet the needs of working professionals.
  • Choose from seven specializations, including Online Teaching in Higher Education.
  • Attend face-to-face residencies, which enhance both your development as a scholar-practitioner and your ability to effect positive social change.

Fast Facts

Next Start Date: October 9, 2023

Transfer Credits: Up to 38 credits

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Explore the ethical issues that need to be managed during crisis, and become prepared to lead effectively in emergency situations.

Gain an understanding of international environments, communities, sustainability frameworks, and more.

Explore recent trends and issues within homeland security, and learn how to implement protective measures and policies.

Study theoretical perspectives on the causations of crimes and the latest modalities in managing crisis.

Gain a deeper understanding of law and legal situations in the workplace through our Law and Public Policy specialization.

Explore the foundations of instructional design and delivery so you can inspire future criminal justice professionals to further their careers.

Develop strategies for instituting transformative change that inspires employees and shapes public policy.


Program Tracks

The PhD in Criminal Justice features two tracks, depending on your previous education.

  • Track I: This program of study is for students who have a master’s degree in criminal justice or a related field.
  • Track II: This program of study is for students who have a master’s degree in a discipline other than criminal justice.

Doctoral Degree Coach

A Personalized Guide to Completing Your Doctorate

Earning your online PhD in Criminal Justice requires commitment, perseverance, and hard work. You can do it, and Walden is here to help—with our Doctoral Degree Coach™.

  • Man at Crossroads

    Map and Track Milestones

    Break your research down into manageable, sequential steps. See where you are, what’s ahead, and what you’ve already accomplished—all in one place.


    Meet Weekly Targets

    No more guesswork. Set prompts based on your to-do list and receive reminders and updates directly to your inbox.

  • Shaking Hands

    Connect With Faculty

    Stay on the same page and keep your progress on track. With shared access to your dashboard, your chair can easily guide you through your checklists, goals, and timelines.

  • Three Books Lined Up

    Access Helpful Resources

    Quickly find support from the right person at the right time. Our comprehensive resource guide points you in the right direction—no more frustrating searches.

More about our PhD in Criminal Justice program

Walden’s PhD in Criminal Justice can help prepare you for a variety of positions, including:*

  • Professor/instructor
  • Research consultant
  • Consultant to law enforcement agency
  • City administrator
  • Police captain
  • Bureau chief
  • Criminal investigator
  • Sheriff, deputy, or patrol officer

*Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

A master's degree or higher is required for entrance into this program. You will also be required to submit a completed online application, employment history, and official transcripts.

Your enrollment specialist will help you gather all of the required materials starting with your application all the way through your first day of classes.

Walden’s Enrollment Specialists are committed to helping you identify and leverage opportunities to save money on your education. Get in touch with an Enrollment Specialist today at 888-968-5331 to learn more.
Our Enrollment Specialists are ready to answer any questions you may have regarding this program. Fill out the form on this page to be contacted or call 855-203-5779.

Why earn your PhD in Criminal Justice at Walden?

"Having an advanced degree allowed me to gain new job duties and responsibilities,which will in turn help me in all areas of my life."

Meleny Thomas | PhD in Public Policy and Administration Student

Enrollment Restrictions by State

Walden currently cannot enroll residents of the following states/districts into the PhD in Criminal Justice program: Wisconsin.


A 15% tuition reduction for servicemembers, veterans of the U.S. armed forces, employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and their spouses.*

*A 15% tuition reduction is available to new students who are servicemembers, veterans of the U.S. armed forces, or employees of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This tuition reduction is also available if you are a spouse of a servicemember, veteran, or employee of the VA. This tuition reduction cannot be retroactively applied. Tuition reductions are applicable to tuition only and do not apply toward books, materials, and other supplies or fees needed for a course.

Walden may change the tuition reduction offered hereunder at any time, but such change will not affect the tuition reduction for students who are currently enrolled at Walden and using the existing tuition reduction. All tuition reductions, grants, or scholarships are subject to specific eligibility requirements. Contact a Walden University Enrollment Specialist for details.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,