Admissions and Aid

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.

Learn More or Apply Now


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.

*GRE will be required for the Fall 2024 cycle and all cycles to follow.

Applications require submission of the following:

Application form

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

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.

*GRE will not be required for the Fall 2023 cycle but will be the next cycle (Fall 2024).

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


Indicate interest in program

Your research experience

Why a PhD?

What are your future academic and career plans/goals?

3-5 pages in length

Should be a research or academic paper

No more than 25 pages

Academic references preferred

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

Please provide your current CV/Résumé.

Financial Aid

Every applicant to The Graduate Center’s doctoral programs will automatically be considered for five-year institutional funding packages. The aid we offer — including fellowships, tuition awards, and assistantships — is based on merit. 

Learn more about institutional aid for doctoral students »

Federal aid for doctoral students includes:

New York State also provides the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) for eligible graduate students who are New York State residents.

Additional funding may be available to incoming students from underrepresented populations through offerings from the Office of Educational Opportunity and Diversity, including several fellowships and the CUNY Pipeline Program for undergraduate CUNY students.

Learn more about funding opportunities from OEOD »

Tuition and Fees

Tuition rates for doctoral programs at The Graduate Center are based on a student's “level,” which is determined by a combination of the number of graduate credits completed (including, in the case of transfer students, credits accepted by the student's degree program and the Registrar) and specific academic accomplishments. 

The fee structure is also affected by a student’s resident status.

See current doctoral tuition rates »

Each student will be billed for a Graduate School student activities fee, a University student senate fee, a University consolidated services fee and a technology fee. These fees are not refundable.

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