Criminal Justice

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration
  • Overview
  • Course Information
  • Tuition
  • Benefits

If you’re called to keep the public safe, the PhD in Criminal Justice specialization will help you develop advanced competencies needed to pursue leadership positions in criminal justice, law enforcement, corrections, teaching or private consulting fields. Through NCU’s unparalleled flexible 100% online Criminal Justice PhD, you will explore topics such as organized criminal gangs, delinquency and criminal justice and institutional corrections and, with the guidance of professors who all hold doctoral degrees, will evaluate the coordination efforts of local, state, federal and multinational organizations and international resources at home and abroad.

General Degree Requirements

Admission to a doctoral program at NCU requires a master's degree from an accredited institution.

The PhD program may be completed in 60 credits. Up to an additional 15 credit hours will be allowed as needed to complete dissertation research. The University may accept a maximum of 12 semester credit hours in transfer toward the doctoral degree for graduate coursework completed at an accredited college or university with a grade of "B" or better.

Completion Period for Doctoral Degrees

Northcentral University allows 7 years to complete all doctoral programs of 60 credits or less. Normal time to complete varies depending upon course take rate and credits transferred.

Foundational Competencies for DBA Programs

  • Graduate-Level Research Methods Competency - PhD students are required to complete BTM8102, BTM8103, BTM8104, BTM8106, BTM8107, BTM8108 and BTM8109 at Northcentral.
  • Graduate-Level Statistics Competency - PhD students are required to complete BTM8107 Statistics II at Northcentral.
  • Computer Competency - Doctoral students are required to have computer skills necessary for completing a dissertation. Students must be able to prepare documents using advanced word processing skills (e.g., creation of tables and figures, headers and footers, page breaks, tables of contents, hanging indents). Students must use computer programs for the statistical analysis of data (e.g., SAS). Students must produce a computer-based presentation (e.g., PowerPoint) for their dissertation oral defense.

See below for specialization courses specific to this program. To learn more, fill out the request information form below or view the course catalog.

Course Code


Course Description


Delinquency and Criminal Justice

In the past two years the Justice Department has reported a significant increase in violence among teenagers and other youths. This increase appears to have contributed to a nationwide crime spike. This Doctoral level course provides an examination of the causes of this increase in juvenile delinquency including social, economic, and cultural factors. Students will explore national strategies to address this issue, their effectiveness and future application.


Organized Criminal Gangs

This Doctoral level course provides a comprehensive review of organized crime. Gangs have fostered a culture of violence, perversion and hate. This course will review gang organizational traits, traditions, criminal activities, violence, prison gang structure, the Ku Klux Klan, and other white supremacy groups. An in-depth examination will be conducted into the connection of organized crime in the United States to other nations and world-wide organizations, including organized crime in Russia and Latin America.


Illegal Maritime Narcotics and Migrant Smuggling

For centuries the maritime realm has been used by smugglers, fishermen, pirates and others engaged in illegal activity. Despite increased security efforts, maritime threats and vulnerability remain sources of concern for the worlds Maritime Transportation System. This Doctoral level course explores the issues of illegal narcotic and migrant smuggling as they relate to the maritime environment.


Criminal Justice Research Methods

This Doctoral level course provides the student with a solid theoretical structure that underlies empirical analysis. The objective of the course is to provide the student with the skill set to interpret, analyze, synthesize and compare professional published research. Research design, measurement selection, data collection, determination of causality, data and results interpretation, and ethics will be contribute to the understanding, interpreting, and critical evaluation of research studies and findings in criminal justice.


Institutional Corrections

This course will examine, in depth, the state of the American Penal System from minimum security ”"work camps”, which are free of guard towers, search lights and fences to the nation's most famous maximum security prison Super Max. The course begins with a history of jails in America and follows their development to the modern era including the atrocities of Abu Ghraib.


Effective Police Tactics, Techniques and Methodologies

This course will examine police tactics, techniques and methodologies exposing the student to "best practices” including evidence collection, psychological profiling, agency collaboration and jurisdictional requirements. The student will develop a keen understanding of the latest techniques and technologies which may be employed in a criminal case as well as the research and development techniques used to generate new tactics and methodologies with a primary focus on forensic science.


Ethics and Criminal Justice

The doctoral level course provides a comprehensive review local, state and federal law enforcement officers are entrusted with enforcing our criminal justice laws while upholding the constitutional principles and general principles of ethics and integrity. This course will explore the ethical challenges that are faced by police officers at various levels of command and the systems in place to prevent unethical practices by law enforcement.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the NCU’s PhD in Business Administration costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $1,129
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $3,387
  • Program cost: $68,090 - $71,477
  • Average book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Learning Management Fee (one-time per program): $350
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors. For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about our students, it’s that they are motivated and ambitious—but they are also busy! At Northcentral University, we’ve designed our education experience to work with you, not against you, so you can achieve your academic goals without sacrificing the quality, flexibility and support you need to be successful.

To learn more, request information or call 1-866-776-0331 to speak with an enrollment advisor today. We offer new courses every Monday of the year so you can get started when it’s best for you.