College of Arts and Sciences

Dept. of Criminal Justice and Criminology

Ph.D. in Criminal Justice

A student aspiring to the Ph.D. should expect to spend three to four years, depending on the individual, in study and research beyond the M.A. degree, of which at least two years must be enrolled at Washington State University, and at least two consecutive semesters must be spent in residence as a graduate student in criminal justice. This degree program is designed for the student entering the graduate program with an M.A. Students currently enrolled in the M.A. program at WSU must submit a regular application to the Ph.D. program.

There are four components (or milestones) involved in successfully completing our Ph.D. program:


72 credits total - 48 graded credits (credits earned for your M.A count towards this total; if you enter our program with an M.A. from another university, some of your credits may transfer), and 24 ungraded dissertation research credits.


In addition to the course requirements, each student in the Ph.D. program is required to have formal teaching and/or research experience in an institution of higher learning before receiving the Ph.D. degree. Serving as a teaching assistant in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology satisfies this teaching requirement. Collecting original data also fulfills this requirement.

Preliminary Exams

The Ph.D. aspirant becomes eligible to attempt qualifying ("preliminary") examinations when he or she is in the process of completing the final courses included in his or her Ph.D. program. Only after a student has successfully passed "prelims" does he or she become formally a "candidate for the Ph.D." (or ABD, "All But Dissertation").


The next requirement for the Ph.D. candidate beyond the prelims is preparation, under the guidance of a dissertation committee, of a dissertation presenting the results of a thorough and systematic investigation of a significant problem in one of the specialty areas in criminal justice and criminology the candidate wished to research.

Contact Us

Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology
Washington State University
Johnson Tower 701
P.O. Box 644872
Pullman, WA 99164-4872
Ph: 509-335-8611
Fax: 509-335-4513

Dr. Craig Hemmens

Graduate Advisor:
Dr. Faith Lutze

Administrative Manager:
DeeDee Torgeson

Graduate Program Assistant:
Andrea Butcherite

Undergraduate Academic Advisors:
Kelli Laxson, Room 701b
(Students whose last name begins with letters: A — L; Criminal Justice is their 2nd major/2nd degree; Criminal Justice is their minor)
Sisouvanh (Sis) Keopanapay, room 726
(Students whose last name begins with letters: M — Z; Students who have questions about Internship Credits)

2014–2015 Handbook (pdf)





Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, PO Box 644872, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-4872, 509-335-8611, Contact Us