Show The Graduate Center Menu




The Criminal Justice PhD is composed of three areas: the core “Criminal Justice,” as well as two specializations “Policy, Oversight and Administration” and “Forensic Science.” Each area has its own requirements and timeline to completion.

Forensic Science Specialization

The forensic science specialization is a special subprogram, drawing on a broad range of resources at John Jay College and The Graduate Center. This program allows students interested in forensic science to take courses in criminalistics, spectroscopy, toxicology, serology, and genetic- marker identification. State-of-the-art equipment is available for such training.

Minimum requirements for the Forensic Science track are one year of each of the following:

  • General Chemistry

  • Organic Chemistry

  • Calculus

  • Physics.

In addition, at least one semester of each of the following is required:

  • Statistics

  • Biochemistry

  • Physical Chemistry

For applicants that are otherwise very strong, students who are missing a course in this last group may be accepted conditionally. Conditionally accepted students are required to make up these courses during the first year in the program. No exceptions are made for missing coursework from the first group.

Larger universities generally offer more that one level of the above courses. Future applicants wishing to make up deficiencies in any of these courses should select the level that is most appropriate for chemistry or pre-med majors.

If at all possible obtain letters of reference from former professors in science courses.

It is important that you read the general information on the Criminal Justice Doctoral program in conjunction with the information provided in this document. Please use The Handbook for Doctoral Students in Forensic Science as an addtional reference.

BEFORE you proceed with the application process you MUST contact the program coordinator, Dr. Thomas Kubic at 212-237-8891, e-mail


Policy, Oversight & Administration Specialization

The Policy, Oversight and Administration specialization is targeted towards those interested in administration, oversight, and policy analysis and related areas of criminal justice.

Policy analysis involves the analysis of alternative courses of official action to achieve goals. In criminal justice, policy analysis takes place in academic, professional and governmental settings.

Inspection and oversight, as a field of practice, seeks to foster and promote accountability and integrity in public and private organizations through prevention, examination, investigation, audit, detection, elimination and prosecution of fraud, waste and abuse, and through policy research and analysis, as well as standardization of practices, policies, conduct and ethics.

Protection of life and property is a core objective of fields such as security management, fire protection, homeland security, emergency management, and the preventive aspects of law enforcement. This interdisciplinary field combines perspectives and techniques of law, accounting, public administration, criminal justice, criminal and civil investigation, policy analysis, and operations research.