Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice and Criminology

Total Graduate Faculty in Program:
Total Core Graduate Faculty in Program:
Graduate Students in Program:
Students Receiving Assistantships:
Priority Deadlines:

  • Fall January 10th


  • Pullman

International Student English Proficiency Exams

International students may need to surpass the Graduate School’s minimum English language proficiency exam scores for this program. If the graduate program has unique score requirements, they will be detailed below. Otherwise, please refer to the Graduate School’s minimum score guidelines.

  • TOEFL Minimum 90 The Department may request an interview for applicants with lower scores
  • IELTS Minimum 7

Additional Degree Program Admission Requirements

  • GRE Optional
  • Optional
  • None

Degree Description:

The mission of Criminal Justice Ph.D. program is to advance the development of criminological and criminal justice research and theory, and to train graduate students to conduct and understand theoretically based research involving crime and the criminal justice system. Upon completion of their graduate program, graduate students in criminal justice will be able to read and evaluate data and social science research, analyze and develop criminal justice policy, conduct independent research related to criminology and criminal justice, and communicate original research findings and analyses of secondary research cogently for consideration by multiple audiences.

Admission Requirements:

  • Master’s level degree
  • For students entering from a foreign university, evidence of English proficiency (i.e., Test of English as a Foreign Language) and financial resources.
  • Cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0, although 3.5 or higher is preferred by the admissions committee.
  • Personal Statement
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation. At least one of the letters of recommendation must be from a professor with a Ph.D. degree.
  • Transcripts (including all colleges or universities from which you have earned or expect to earn a degree, and all colleges or universities at which you have taken graduate level course work; transcripts for coursework taken at Washington State University are not required).
  • A writing sample is required. To do so, students must submit a substantial sole-authored written paper (of at least 5 pages for M.A. applicants and 10 pages for Ph.D. applicants). This writing sample will be evaluated using the GRE Analytical Writing measure (i.e., to assess applicants “ability to articulate and support complex ideas, construct and evaluate arguments, and sustain a focused and coherent discussion”). You can send your writing sample to and the Graduate Coordinator will add it to your application folder.
  • (Optional) Official GRE scores sent to the Graduate School at institution code 4705. Find test centers and dates. Scores must be less than five years old. The department has set a minimum score of 3.5 or higher for the analytical test to be considered for admission.
  • Official TOEFL score (for international applicants) — — or other approved test to assess English proficiency. Minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 85. Minimum acceptable IELTS score is 7.


Student Opportunities:

Faculty collaboration, Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant opportunities, program evaluation, online instruction and curriculum development, advanced statistical training.

Career Opportunities:

Academia, grant specialist, police data analyst, senior research associate, research manager, and planning and evaluation director for state and local criminal justice agencies.

Career Placements:

Academic tenure track positions and police, court and corrections management. A majority of students graduating with a PhD have been successful in finding jobs prior to graduation.

Contact Information: