Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice

Advance your leadership career in Criminal Justice.

Gain the skills needed to develop strategies and policies for criminal justice leadership and administration in the context of contemporary global society. Explore how globalization along with international bodies of crime control and new technologies are creating new challenges and opportunities for criminal justice researchers and practitioners. Graduates of this program may seek leadership roles, conduct policy and scholarly research, accept academic appointments, or undertake consulting positions that have a positive impact on criminal justice systems and society.

Outcome goals and graduates' proficiency levels

Each doctoral program and specialization is designed around expected learning outcomes (see Expected Program Outcomes below). End of program performance is determined during the comprehensive exam and dissertation process. Because the work is unique to each learner's dissertation or research topic and the criteria for evaluation are aligned to that work, we do not collect data on proficiency levels for doctoral programs.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Criminal Justice

  • Criminal Justice

Quality and Professional Relevance

  • Capella University has been designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cybersecurity (CAE IA/CD) for academic years 2014-2021.
  • Capella is a preferred provider of higher education for the FBI National Academy Associates (FBINAA).
  • Capella is one of very few online universities to offer a full progression of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in public safety, criminal justice, and emergency management.
  • Capella faculty have extensive public safety experience in organizations such as the FBI, NYPD, Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Customs, U.S. Army, and the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Expected Program Outcomes for All Specializations

  1. Evaluate criminal justice theories and their application to criminal justice research.
  2. Critically analyze democratic principles applied to criminal justice.
  3. Analyze ways to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of a criminal justice organization through the application of valid, reliable, and ethical research.
  4. Analyze legal, ethical and diversity accountability in aav criminal justice context.
  5. Integrate valid, reliable, and ethical research to inform policy and decision-making in the field of criminal justice.
  6. Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with the expectations for members of the criminal justice profession.

Doctoral Public Service Leadership Degree Program Graduates

Data from graduates across all Public Service Leadership doctoral programs have been combined for these Career Outcomes results.

The graphs below show some key findings from Capella's Alumni Outcomes Survey. We use this information to help improve our courses, programs and services and to give you an idea of how alumni are using their degrees.

Satisfaction with Job Doctoral Degree Graduates

Percentage of respondents who answered "strongly agree" or "agree."
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2015 - Q2 2016.


Career & Professional Accomplishments Doctoral Degree Graduates

Percentage of respondents who indicated they had accomplished each item.
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2015 - Q2 2016.

Doctoral Public Service Leadership Degree Program Graduates

Data from graduates across all Public Service Leadership doctoral programs have been combined for these Student Experience results.

The graphs below show some key findings from Capella's Alumni Outcomes Survey. We use this information to help improve our courses, programs and services and to give you an idea of how alumni feel about Capella and what general skills and abilities they gained.

Satisfaction with Capella Doctoral Degree Graduates

Percentage of respondents who answered affirmatively.
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2015 - Q2 2016.

Our doctoral graduates report they have gained practical knowledge and expertise which are applicable in a range of professional settings.

Improvement in Skills and Abilities Doctoral Degree Graduates

Percentage of respondents who rated themselves as "proficient" or "exceptional" on ability to demonstrate the skill or ability on the job.
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2015 - Q2 2016.


Expense, completion, & career information (Gainful Employment)

Capella believes in being clear about the real cost, time, and value of a Capella degree The Gainful Employment disclosures, required by the US Department of Education (ED) (under 34 CFR 688.6 ), provide some information about completion, expenses and occupations based on learners who graduated between July 2014 and June 2015. Most of our students are part-time so they might not take a full course load or attend all 4 quarters each year. We took that into account in calculating these data. For example, we define program length for certificates and master's and doctoral degrees as the number of calendar quarters it takes a typical student to complete a program. The ED has defined time to complete for a Bachelor's degree as 4 years. Program cost is based on the specific pricing structure for each program which is either a cost per credit or a cost per active quarter.

Other related information may be found on the Learning Outcomes, Career Outcomes, and Student Experience tabs on this page.

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Learn more about these values and how they are calculated»

See Gainful Employment data for this program's specializations

Earn Your Doctoral Degree

Become an expert in your field. Enroll in an online PhD, PsyD, or EdD program at Capella.


Alumni Success Story Quote

Photo of Laura Pettler, PhD Laura Pettler, PhD

"Another aspect that was very important was the partnership Capella has with the Federal Bureau of Investigation— it lent credibility to the program."

Watch Laura's story »