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Doctor of Criminal Justice

© Giordan L., 2020 Graduate

Enhanced Leadership Skills for Criminal Justice Professionals

The criminal justice system is a complex network that combines the efforts of law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. Criminal justice professionals work together with the larger goal of protecting and serving the public interest by creating a safer society. Those seeking graduate-level education within this field must be prepared to leverage their knowledge and experience to impact change from the top down. This is a tremendous responsibility that requires strong leadership skills and an ongoing dedication to education.

Enhance Your Impact Through Higher Education

Northcentral University’s Doctor of Criminal Justice (DCJ) program can help criminal justice professionals gain the advanced knowledge they need to become leaders in their field. This program was designed to help students gain management and leadership skills while developing a pragmatic approach to solving the problems facing the industry today. Upon graduation, students will have a deep understanding of criminal justice theory, as well as research and analysis skills to evaluate criminal justice issues and provide practical solutions.

This program offers specializations in Homeland Security, Policing, and Organizational Leadership and Public Administration. It is ideally suited for those that hold a master’s degree and are currently working in the criminal justice field. Students will enhance their understanding of critical topics in criminal justice and gain the additional skills they need to contribute in leadership roles. This includes the ability to research, budget, organize, and manage operations within criminal justice and community organizations.


  • NO Residency
  • NO Group Work
  • 100% Online Learning
  • 100% Doctoral Faculty

Doctor of Criminal Justice Program Outcomes

At Northcentral University, you can complete your Doctor of Criminal Justice program completely online, when it’s convenient for you. We have no residency requirements, no GRE/GMAT requirements, and no group projects. This allows you to earn your degree from anywhere in the world and complete coursework in a way that is convenient for you. We also offer a unique one-to-one learning model that provides you the guidance, attention, and support you need to thrive.

Program at a Glance

Total Credit Hours: 54 Credit Hours
Courses: 18 Courses
Recommended Completion Time: 36 Months
Next Start Date:Every Monday
Classroom Size: One

Doctor of Criminal Justice Learning Outcomes

  • Develop policies and budgets to support effective administration of criminal justice agencies
  • Evaluate risks and opportunities in criminal justice agencies based on legal, professional, and ethical expectations
  • Integrate management and leadership theories into criminal justice practice
  • Generate independent research to address issues in criminal justice and inform professional practice


Homeland Security

Keeping our nation safe requires the ongoing work of dedicated professionals who understand the complex problems we face. The Homeland Security specialization helps prepare the next generation of leaders within areas such as public administration, law enforcement, public safety, emergency medical care, and disaster preparedness. As a student, you will explore emerging theories and concepts in terrorism and intelligence as well as innovative approaches to resolving them. Additionally, you will gain the valuable leadership skills you need to take on executive leadership roles within an organization. This specialization is ideally suited for those already working in law enforcement who want to enhance their knowledge and expand their career possibilities.

Organizational Leadership

The Doctor of Criminal Justice (DCJ) with a specialization in Organizational Leadership serves to enhance the understanding and practice of organizational leadership using an interdisciplinary approach between business and education theory and research. You will explore theoretical research as it relates to strategic planning in all phases of organizational leadership, including building organizational capacity and sustainability.

This specialization has broad appeal among practicing professionals with backgrounds in business administration, human resources, nonprofit administration, or related fields, whose professional goals may be organizational consulting or a general leadership position in corporate, government, not-for-profit, educational, or community organizations.

Policing/Law Enforcement

Policing diverse and growing populations is an increasingly complex situation. To work in this field, one must have the right combination of skills, knowledge, and experience. The Policing specialization offers students the opportunity to explore topics such as effective police tactics and techniques, public policy issues, and leadership theories. As a student, you will examine current police issues within today’s multicultural and digital environment along with possible solutions for the issues we face. This specialization is ideally suited for those already working in law enforcement who want to enhance their knowledge and expand their career possibilities.

Public Administration

As governments and organizations struggle to do more with fewer resources, individuals with expertise in public administration will be in high demand. The 100% online Doctor of Criminal Justice in Public Administration specialization offers unparalleled flexibility as you work one-to-one with your doctoral professor to develop your skills in gathering, analyzing, and applying data to business decisions. You will explore human resources management, accounting, urban politics, and policy analysis, with an emphasis on contemporary program evaluation, complex public organization, and environmental compliance, along with strategies needed to meet the challenges in government management at the local, state, and federal levels. Graduates are prepared for management roles in the nonprofit and government sectors in areas such as budgeting, program evaluation, research analysis, and economic development.

Career Potential*

  • Regulatory Affairs Managers
  • Compliance Managers
  • Security Managers
  • Loss Prevention Managers
  • Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Post-secondary
  • First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives
  • Police Detectives
  • Criminal Investigators and Special Agents
  • Immigration and Customs Inspectors
  • Intelligence Analysts
  • Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs
  • Private Detectives and Investigators

*Positions may require additional experience, training, and other factors beyond successfully completing this degree program. Many roles may also require state licensure, and it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all licensure requirements are met.

This program can be completed with a minimum of 54 credit hours, but may require additional credit hours, depending on the time required to complete the dissertation research. If needed, additional courses will be added to the student degree program in alignment with the SAP and Academic Maximum Time to Completion policies. Students who do not complete their program in accordance with these policies may be dismissed.

  • CJ-7101 - Management Issues in Justice Agencies
  • CJ-7102 - Theory in Justice Administration
  • CJ-7011 - Ethics and Criminal Justice
  • PUB-7005 - Public Budgeting and Finance
  • PUB-7017 - Public Personnel Administration
  • CJ-7104 - Strategic Planning and Implementation in Criminal Justice
  • Specialization Course 1
  • Specialization Course 2
  • Specialization Course 3
  • BUS-7100 - Scholarly Literature Review
  • BUS-7105 - Statistics I
  • BUS-7320 - Quantitative Research Design & Methodology
  • BUS-7380 - Qualitative Research Design and Methodology
  • CMP-9601CJ - Pre-Candidacy Prospectus
  • DIS-9901A - Components of the Dissertation
  • DIS-9902A - The Dissertation Proposal
  • DIS-9903A - Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Data Collection
  • DIS-9904A - The Dissertation Manuscript and Defense


To speak with an Enrollment Advisor, call (866) 776-0331 or email


Why Northcentral University’s Online Doctorate in Criminal Justice?

  • Classes Start Weekly: Your Doctorate in Criminal Justice is flexible with NCU’s year-round enrollment and weekly class starts.
  • 1:1 Teaching Model: Our 100% doctoral faculty meet with you one-on-one, so you can focus on what matters — making a difference with your degree.
  • Flexible program format that fits the busy schedules of adult learners who are working full-time in the field
  • Practical and applied degree focused on criminal justice issues within businesses and community organizations
  • Online Community: To help students feel less isolated in a virtual learning environment, we created a community space called The Commons. The purpose was to create an interactive space for students to make real-time connections, meet, share ideas, and support each other through their academic journeys.

  • NO Residency
  • NO Group Work
  • 100% Online Learning
  • 100% Doctoral Faculty