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 two doctoral tracks of the School of Criminology and Justice Studies are interdisciplinary, research-oriented, and designed to provide a theoretically grounded, methodologically sophisticated and intellectually rigorous education.

Currently the program offers two major Ph.D. tracks:

  1. Criminology and Criminal Justice
  2. Criminology and Criminal Justice with Terrorism Option

Track 1 - Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice:

This curriculum provides for a sequence of courses in theory, methodology and statistics. The curriculum builds upon faculty research strengths and offers substantive courses which address the incidence, prevalence and correlates of crime, the characteristics 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).

Track 2 - Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice with Terrorism Option:

This curriculum provides for a sequence of courses in theory, practice and methodology with a focus on the study of terrorism in all its forms. The curriculum builds upon faculty research strengths and offers substantive courses which address current manifestations of terrorism and other forms of sub-state violence, security policy and practice, civil wars, and the nexus of technology and security. 

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

Our Graduates

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 and security 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. 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, criminal justice and security studies, depending upon their specific areas of specialty. 

Criminal Justice and Criminology Track

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.

Terrorism Option Track

We expect our graduates to be the next generation of security professional and scholars. In order to achieve this objective, our doctoral program engages in academic education and professional development. These interrelated components are designed to offer students a world-class education in the different facets of contemporary security threats and responses to these challenges, while creating a community of security professionals. Our overall goal is to provide doctoral students with the intellectual, conceptual, analytical and theoretical tools to understand the nature, implications, root causes and complex challenges posed by security threats in the twenty-first century, as well as the various policies and strategies which were developed to counter these threats. Thus, our students will be able to compete effectively both in the academic market (thus fill teaching positions in institutions of higher education) as well as in the private and governmental markets (thus fill positions in various policy oriented organizations and agencies).