Can I work while studying for my PhD in criminology?
Most doctoral candidates work while studying for their PhD in criminology, because higher level careers in criminal justice often require previous work experience within the field. Nearly all federal law enforcement agents have had some previous law enforcement or military experience.
Jobs in human services, such as working with juveniles or at-risk families, can also provide an excellent supplement to your graduate studies. Part-time work in retail investigation, financial or insurance fraud prevention or clerking for a judge are just a few examples of work that can enhance your studies with practical experience while earning you an income.
Criminologist students at top PhD criminology programs must also study abnormal social behavior and use that knowledge to predict how criminals will behave. Assistant positions in psychology or counseling offices or jobs that involve working with former offenders are excellent opportunities that can provide valuable experience in the field.
Many criminology doctoral programs encourage students to gain work experience in the penal system or in the development of public policy at the local community level, all of which also serve to make your résumé all the more impressive when you finish school and start looking for work.
Many PhD candidates who have to work full-time for financial reasons find an online criminology degree to be a more convenient option than on-campus program because they allow them to study at odd hours and work at their own pace.
Are there any scholarships for PhD students in criminology?
A number of professional associations offer scholarships for students in accredited doctorate in criminology programs. The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, for instance, offers numerous $600 scholarships to help criminology PhD students pursue and present relevant research in the field. All applications require the recommendation of a faculty member in order to be considered.
The American Society of Criminology offers a Graduate Fellowship for Ethnic Minorities to support minority students pursuing doctorate-level research in criminology. Students must provide proof of enrollment or admission to a PhD criminology program as well as submit 3 letters of reference and a research proposal in order to be eligible for 1 of 3 1-time awards of $6,000.
Grants for criminology graduate students are also available through the National Institute of Justice’s W.E.B. Du Bois Fellowship for Research in Race, Gender, Culture and Crime, which was established to support research on crime, violence, and the administration of justice in diverse cultural contexts within the United States. This generous 1-time scholarship of up to $100,000 is awarded once a year and is open to students of all ethnic backgrounds and disciplines.
As with all scholarship opportunities, PhD students should also be sure to ask faculty or advisors at their colleges about department or school-specific awards.
Are there any notable people who have earned PhDs in criminology?
Criminology pioneers like Walter C. Reckless and Simon Dinitz held PhDs in sociology, psychology and anthropology prior to the existence of criminology as an independent field of study. Their groundbreaking work in areas like the containment of criminal behavior and social deviance led to the eventual creation criminology as a unique discipline of study.
Another prominent criminologist is Catherine Bragg, Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator at the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Appointed to her current position by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Bragg obtained her PhD in criminal justice from University at Albany, SUNY and a masters in criminology from University of Cambridge. She also served in the Federal Public Service in Canada, formulating policy advice for the Prime Minister.
Do you recommend any criminology PhD student blogs that I should follow?
Criminology PhD students looking for a lighter yet informative read should check out the New York Times Opinionator Blog on Criminal Justice. Here, columnists versed in criminal science discuss current topics as diverse as cutting-edge fingerprinting technology and helping ex-prisoners thrive in the outside world.
The Public Criminology Blog is full of interesting and insightful commentaries on public events from the perspective of trained criminologists. Students enrolled in the best criminology online PhD programs can read expert commentaries on topics like juvenile justice, drugs, prison and even voting.
The American Society of Criminology’s Division on Critical Criminology offers the critcrim blog site, which hits the hot topics of interest to the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
Students enrolled in a traditional or online PhD in criminology program will likely find crimspace to be a valuable platform for both learning and networking. This online network for criminologists offers research material and publications on current events and provides the opportunity to join or create discussion threads with other graduate students and criminology professionals.