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Each year the Ph.D. Program in Criminal Justice admits students who show considerable promise of succeeding in the program. The Admissions Committee evaluates each applicant's scholastic record, paying attention to previous academic work, results from the GRE, career goals, professional experience and evidence of academic potential.

Consideration for admission into the Ph.D. program is based on the applicant's completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, with a cumulative overall GPA of at least 3.00 (B) on a scale of 4.00. Applicants with a Master's degree should have a 3.50 GPA in their graduate work. A background in social or behavioral sciences is preferred, but not absolutely required.

The Ph.D. program is open to full-time students. Individuals who expect to remain employed in criminal justice or related fields but have already completed master's degrees are encouraged to apply for the in-state tuition-only fellowship. The PhD program is no longer admitting students to the Policy, Oversight, and Administration track. For specific information about the Criminal Justice program and the in-state tuition-only fellowship, please contact us.


The deadline to apply to the Ph.D. Program in Criminal Justice is January 1st of each year.

All application materials must be received by the deadline.

All application materials should be submitted to The Graduate Center Office of Admissions (not John Jay). Please do not submit application materials to the program office or program email.

Applications require submission of the following:

  1. Application form

    • Please be sure to select which track you are applying to  (full-tuition or in-state tuition only fellowship)

  2. Academic Transcripts

    • Transcripts must be uploaded into the online application from each college or university attended even if you did not complete a degree or did not enroll in courses in your current field. If an applicant is offered admissions and decides to attend the Graduate Center, the applicant will then be required to provide unopened, official hard copies of all transcripts which will be compared to the unofficial uploads.

  3. Submission of GRE scores *The Graduate Center has temporarily suspended the GRE requirement due to COVID-19.

    • GRE scores must be submitted to The Graduate Center Office of Admissions: code 2113

    • GRE scores are valid for 5 years. GRE scores older than 5 years will not be accepted

    • International students must also submit TOEFL or IELTS scores, unless they have a post-secondary degree from an institution in which the language of instruction is English-only and located in a country that recognizes English as an Official Language

    • Plan ahead - allow time for GRE scores to be received by the deadline

  4. Personal Statement

    • Indicate interest in program

    • Your research experience

    • Why a PhD?

    • What are your future academic and career plans/goals?

  5. Writing Sample

    • Should be a research or academic paper

    • No more than 25 pages

  6. 2 letters of recommendation

    • Academic references preferred

    • It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure recommenders submit letters by the deadline

  7. CV/Resume

Please review our Program FAQs or our Fall 2020 Info Session FAQs for more on admissions. View our recent virtual information session here