University of Central Florida

College of Health and Public Affairs

Criminal Justice


Orlando, FL 32816

United States





Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Criminal Justice PhD, Master of Science in Criminal Justice (Professional Track and Research Track

Format: Online

Program Description:

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice offers two plans of study. The first option, a professional track, is designed to meet the needs of students preparing for careers in the field of criminal justice. The curriculum focuses on the traditional issues such as management, administrative and criminal justice theory, as well as basic research methods and descriptive statistics. Other core and elective courses focus on the complex and changing world in which criminal justice systems operate in this country and abroad. This plan of study is designed to equip future criminal justice leaders to be critical consumers of criminal justice research. The second option, a research track, is designed for students who plan careers as research analysts or who plan to enroll in a PhD program when they complete the master’s program. This program of study also focuses on traditional criminal justice issues but places greater emphasis on advanced research design and quantitative methods. This program of study is designed to prepare future analysts and criminal justice scholars who will produce criminal justice research. The Criminal Justice PhD program is a post-master's program of study and research. The program is composed of a substantive core focused on criminal justice theory and institutions, a research methods core that prepares social scientists in the scientific method and social-science statistics, and a selection of substantive criminal justice specializations (policing, corrections, and juvenile justice). The program focuses on criminal justice and takes advantage of the city of Orlando and surrounding cities and counties to examine criminal justice issues from multiple angles and levels. The Criminal Justice PhD program is intended to serve many purposes. Chief among them are: - Prepare disciplinary stewards capable of advancing scholarship in criminal justice; - Prepare a qualified workforce to assume criminal justice instructional responsibilities in postsecondary institutions; - Prepare analysts competent to staff federal, state, and local criminal justice agencies; and - Improve safety and justice in communities through research partnerships with neighborhood, city, county and state agencies and associations. Students completing the Criminal Justice PhD program will be well prepared to pursue academic positions in universities, research positions in criminal justice agencies, and consultancies in program evaluation and needs assessment.


The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, master's, specialist and doctoral levels. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call (404) 679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of Central Florida.

International Student Requirements:

In order to enroll in graduate classes, students must have obtained a baccalaureate or higher degree, prior to the start of the term for which the student is admitted, from a regionally accredited institution or from a recognized foreign institution. International students are not eligible for nondegree/certificate status unless they hold an eligible visa. International applicants are encouraged to begin the application process early. Also, international applicants should ensure all supporting documents, including those required to issue an I-20, are received by the stated application deadline. Only official documentation is accepted and it is the student's responsibility to submit all documents by the application deadline.

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: No

International Financial Aid: No

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Intensive

Locale: Large Suburb

Size & Settings: 40,000+

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