Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice

Hybrid Program
First Semester is Face-to-Face on Campus Courses
Subsequent semesters are Online

Program Length:
Applicants with Master's Degree (MA/MS): 49 Semester Credit Hours
Applicants with Law Degree (JD): 52 Semester Credit Hours

Program Information:
The Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice is a comprehensive program designed to guide students through an advanced, supervised course of study in criminology, crime and the criminal justice system.  It also educates students on contemporary crime problems and the viability of potential policy and criminal justice agency responses to crime.  In addition, it provides students with teaching opportunities and the pedagogy for online instruction in criminal justice and criminology, and it mentors students on the value of conducting research on crime, criminology and criminal justice.  The program also provides collaborative grant opportunities for research among faculty, students and agencies in the field of criminal justice to effectively communicate with criminal justice organizations and other professional agencies on issues pertaining to crime and best practices for reducing crime.  Furthermore, the Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice provides students with the most up-to-date knowledge on homeland security issues such as immigration, human trafficking, intelligence gathering, and terrorism to prepare graduates to actively participate in the development of knowledge and policy responses to contemporary crime problems. The program also prepares students to conduct research and to take an active leadership role as a professionals in the field of Criminal Justice or Juvenile Justice.

Career Opportunities:
County Jails, Youth Correction Facilities, Juvenile Detention Centers, Immigration and Naturalization Services, Prison Camps and More, Public Interest Law Organizations, Law Firms, Law Enforcement, Federal and State Agencies (FBI, IRS, DEA, CIA, DHS, Federal Marshals), Academic Teaching Institutions.

Program Requirements:

  • Application for Graduate Admission (submitted online via ApplyTexas.org) with corresponding Application Fee ($35 Domestic, $50 International)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.  A master’s degree in criminal justice or a closely related field is required.  Students with a Master’s degree in a discipline other than CriminalJustice/Criminology or closely related disciplines will be reviewed and determined on a case-by-case basis.  A minimum 3.0 GPA is required in the last 60 hours graduate/undergraduate coursework.  Applicants with only a juris doctorate degree (J.D.) will be required to complete and pass with at least a “B” a master’s level statistics course.
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.  Official test scores must be sent directly from Educational Testing Service (ETS), and they must be dated within five years of enrollment.  Applicants with a completed J.D. may use an official LSAT report in lieu of the GRE if this was taken within the past five years and the applicant scored 155 or higher.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation from university faculty members familiar with the applicant’s academic work.  If the applicant desires, a third letter of recommendation may be submitted from another person qualified to evaluate the applicant’s potential for doctoral study.
  • Personal Statement limited to 1,000 words (12-point font, double spaced). Applicants are required to address the following questions in the personal statement:
    • What are your research interests and discuss some of your research experiences.
    • Which faculty member(s) in the PhD program would you most likely work with? Why?
    • What are your career goals and how do you see our PhD Program helping you to achieve those goals?
    • What personal assets (talent, skills,experiences, etc.) can you bring to our program? 
  • Resume or Curriculum Vita limited to no more than 10 pages.
  • Writing Sample that illustrates the applicant’s ability to synthesize information and think critically. Examples of acceptable writing samples are a thesis, a peer-reviewed publication, or a technical report written by the applicant. For a multi-authored peer-reviewed publication, the applicant should be the first and/or the primary author.
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Pearson PTE Academic is required of all students having academic studies from a country where English is not the native language. A minimum TOEFL score of 79 (ibt TOEFL), 550 (Paper-based), a 6.5 on the IELTS, or a 53 Pearson PTE Academic is required. These exam scores must be sent directly from the testing service and dated within two (2) years of enrollment.  Institutional TOEFL exams taken at another institution will not be accepted.

Program Website:

Program Co-Directors:
Dr. Fei Luo
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice
Department of Social Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 956.326.2622
Email: fei.luo@tamiu.edu

Dr. Daniel Scott
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Department of Social Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 956.326.2626
Email: daniel.scott@tamiu.edu

Department Contact:
Department of Social Sciences
5201 University Boulevard
Academic Innovation Center 372
Laredo, TX 78041-1900
Phone: 956.326.2475

Graduate School Contact:
5201 University Boulevard
Senator Judith Zaffirini Student Success Center 223
Laredo, TX 78041-1900
Phone: 956.326.3020
Email: graduateschool@tamiu.edu


Senator Judith Zaffirini Student Success Center, Suite 223
5201 University Boulevard Laredo, Texas 78041
Telephone: 956.326.3020

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