A doctorate in criminology will prepare you for an academic career, where you will be teaching university students and conducting scholarly research. Some schools also offer a combined doctorate in criminology and criminal justice. If you plan to work professionally as a criminologist, you probably do not need to pursue a PhD.
Online criminology doctorate programs are not recommended. Even if you do find a rare program for a criminology PhD online, it is not a good idea to pursue it. Doctorate programs in criminology are designed to prepare students to become professors at colleges and universities, but you will not get teaching experience through an online criminology PhD program. Finally, an online criminology program will not provide you with an opportunity to apply your research in the field.
Some schools require you to have a masters degree in criminology or criminal justice to be accepted into their doctorate program. However, many criminology schools will accept students if they have masters degrees in related fields like sociology. In addition, some schools also accept outstanding students with just a bachelors degree.
A doctorate in criminology qualifies you to teach criminology at a college or university. You will also be trained to conduct academic research.
The exact courses that you take while pursuing a doctorate in criminology will vary depending on your program, but you are likely to take classes that expand your knowledge of the advanced theories of criminology. For example, you may take classes about criminal justice policy, policing and the role of women and minorities in crime. You will also take classes about research methods and design that will probably include coursework on academic writing and statistical analysis.
Students will have to earn 60 to 90 credits to earn a doctorate in criminology. It usually takes 4 to 7 years to complete this level of study.
There is only 1 type of doctorate in criminology. A PhD in criminology will require you to complete intensive research that leads to writing a dissertation on a special topic in criminology. It prepares students to become professors and academic professionals.