Student working on computer with justice symbol in front of her

Curriculum & Degree Requirements

UMass Lowell's doctoral degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice is an interdisciplinary, research-oriented degree designed to provide a theoretically grounded, methodologically sophisticated and statistically rigorous education.

The doctoral degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice is a 60-credit-hour doctoral program. The curriculum provides for a sequence of courses in theory, methodology and statistics. The curriculum also builds upon faculty research strengths and offers substantive courses which address the incidence of crime, the prevalence and correlates of criminals and victims, and the effectiveness of current strategies in the areas of crime prevention, policing, the courts and the corrections system (both institutional and community based). 

Throughout the six concentrations in which students can specialize, the curriculum stresses evidence driven and “best practices” approaches to numerous substantive topics that are key areas in contemporary criminology and criminal justice. These concentrations include:

  • Justice system and policy
  • Crime, criminals and community
  • Victims, crime and justice
  • Global perspectives on crime and justice
  • Technology and criminal justice
  • Terrorism studies option

In order to deliver this curriculum effectively, the course work contains three progressive tiers. The three tiers are hierarchical and build upon one another. There are multiple measures to assess student learning throughout the three tiers.

For the latest course and program information, and admission requirements please visit the UMass Lowell Online Graduate Course Catalog.

Our Graduates

We expect graduates of the doctoral program to be competent to conduct interdisciplinary research and to teach at both the graduate and undergraduate levels in aspects of criminology and/or criminal justice depending upon their specific areas of specialty. The program will thus train the next generation of faculty who will teach criminology and criminal justice in the state and region’s community colleges and four-year institutions, as well as nationally, and who will be well positioned to develop productive research agendas in crime and justice.

Our graduates will be well prepared for analytical and administrative leadership posts in international and domestic research and policy institutions. The program will thus train the policy analysts, managers, and administrators in criminal justice and community venues to help prevent crime in the first place, or alternatively, respond effectively to those who violate the law or who come into contact with the justice system.

The doctoral program at UMass Lowell will ensure that our graduates will be at the forefront of the expanding frontier of criminology and an ever-evolving criminal justice system, and consequently, will more effectively be able to address crime control and criminal justice policy problems through sophisticated research than would otherwise be the case.