Frequently Asked Questions

Review our frequently asked questions:

A: Students who are separated from the program for more than ten years should apply to the program as a new student.

A: Fully funded students will receive a Graduate Center or John Jay fellowship that includes tuition, a $26,000 stipend, and health insurance for 5 years. Students receiving these fellowships are assigned as research assistants in year 1, as teaching assistants or instructors in years 2-4, and undergraduate research mentor in year 5.

We also admit up to 5 in-state tuition-only fellowships intended for professionals seeking their Ph.D. while working full time. Only students who have completed an MA/MS/JD or other advanced degree will be considered for admission to the tuition-only fellowships. Tuition-only fellowships are targeted at professionals working in the field of Criminal Justice, or adjacent professions in related areas of criminal justice. 

Additional income can be made by adjuncting, research, applying for grants, loans, and Federal Work study. Please visit the Graduate Center’s financial aid website for information about fellowships and stipends.

A: Fully-funded students normally do not hold outside employment. 

Tuition only students must be available to attend courses as early as 4:00 pm. Our program tries to schedule courses for these students in the late afternoon/early evenings in order to accommodate the work schedules of these working professionals. 

All students must be registered for a minimum of 7 credits per semester.

A: No, you may only begin attending courses in the Fall semester after you are accepted.

A: No, we do not accept non-matriculated students.

A: Students who have taken graduate level coursework beyond a bachelor's degree at another accredited institution may request to have credits transferred from their graduate degree. CRJ students may request up to 15 credits to be transferred. The principle for accepting such credits toward the requirements of the Program is that they replicate course work that would ordinarily be taken in this Program. Courses that are transferred in should not duplicate core courses, received a grade of B or better, and should be relevant to criminal justice. It is the determination of the APO and/or EO whether courses are eligible for transfer.

A: No, you not need to have a master’s degree in order to apply. Students in the program may apply for an en-route masters upon earing 45 doctoral credits and passing the first exam.

A: Some background in criminology, criminal justice, sociology, psychology or other related field is strongly preferred, but not required.

A: The Graduate Center application process is self-managed. Applicants are responsible for gathering required documents and submitting all application requirements by the January 1st application deadline.

Applications and all application materials should be submitted to the Graduate Center Office of Admissions. Please do not send application materials to John Jay or the program office.

GRE scores should be submitted to the Graduate Center (code 2113), not John Jay College.

Please see the Graduate Center Admissions official page here for more details on how to apply. 

A. Students are expected to complete the doctoral degree in 5 years. However, the amount of time required to complete the program can vary widely depending on preparation at the time of enrollment, amount of transfer credits, nature of the dissertation project, work assignments, and other demands on the student’s time.

All students are required to complete the degree within 8 years.

Please review the timeline on Path(s) to Degree

A: For up-to-date tuition costs, please visit the Graduate Center Tuition & Fees page.

New York State Residency
Students who are American citizens are required to establish in-state residency. Specifically, students must establish residency within 12 months of beginning their Graduate Center education. Forms and detailed instructions for establishing residency are available in the Office of the Registrar at the Graduate Center. Students who fail to do so by their second year will be responsible for paying the out of state portion of their tuition. International students are unable to establish in-state residency and the Graduate Center/Program will therefore pay their full tuition amount for five years.

A: No. The Admissions Committee considers all candidates, domestically and internationally, equally regardless of academic affiliation.

A: Online study is not available.

A: The overall orientation of the program is to develop academics with a strong understanding of theory, methods and the criminal justice system. The program provides students with a strong foundation in the understanding of how to conduct independent research in the field, to serve as research and teaching faculty in universities, colleges, and research institutes, and to function as practitioners in a broad range of settings.

A: 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. However, competitive applicants often have substantially higher GPAs, particularly in graduate work. Special consideration is given to masters level work in research methods and statistics.

A: Students will complete core courses in the first year. The core coursework will be in criminological theory, criminal justice process and policy, research methods and statistics. After core coursework is completed, students may choose to take electives in a broad range of topics including international and comparative criminal justice, theory, policy, terrorism, policing and advanced research methods and/or statistics.

A: The application deadline for the Doctoral Program in Criminal Justice is January 1st of every year. All application materials (including GRE scores) should be submitted to the Graduate Center Office of admission by the deadline. Detailed instructions on applying to the program can be found on the CUNY Graduate Center Admissions official page here.

A: Our faculty represent a variety of disciplines and interests related to criminal justice, broadly defined. For a complete list of faculty and their interests, please visit the faculty webpage.