Temple University’s Criminal Justice graduate degrees are designed to train students to apply scientific principles to the study of crime and justice. Our doctoral program is known nationally for research that helps policy makers and practitioners solve real-world problems. Temple’s Criminal Justice master’s degree will enhance your career marketability in criminal justice research and policy. Learn more about your funding opportunities to see how an advanced criminal justice degree from Temple will fit into your life.

Learn in a Dynamic Environment

Our graduate programs are led by a diverse, multidisciplinary, and active faculty that conducts research at the local, regional, national and international levels with our graduate students. Our success to date is evident when you review the wide variety of research grants we receive, the range of publications we (and our students) produce, the reputations of our faculty and the quality of the graduate students we develop, as evidenced by the job placements of our doctoral students. 

The Master of Arts program in Criminal Justice is designed to serve as a first stage of training for students wishing to eventually pursue more advanced graduate work. It also prepares students who will terminate their studies at the master's level. For the latter group, including many engaged in part-time study, the MA program is designed to serve students who, upon graduation, will begin or rejoin professional careers in management, administration or specialist positions in governmental and private criminal and juvenile justice and related agencies. The MA degree requires the completion of 30 credits. The curriculum is structured around a set of core requirements that provides substantive grounding in decision-making and operational aspects of the criminal justice system, and a theoretical, legal, policy and methodological foundation for understanding crime and society.

The PhD degree program in Criminal Justice is designed to produce criminal justice scholars who will lead the field in academia, private and governmental research agencies, and policy-level positions in criminal justice and related organizations. The PhD degree requires the completion of a minimum of 48 hours of coursework post-baccalaureate, although students may take additional courses to prepare themselves for subsequent stages of their post-graduate career.

Degree Offerings
image of Professor Steven Belenko wearing a blue collar shirt and on the other side of the slide there is text

Admissions Process

Please visit the Criminal Justice Master’s of Arts Admissions page or the PhD Admissions page, to learn more about graduate program requirements, dates and deadlines and instructions on how to apply.

Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunities

Stay tuned for upcoming opportunities!


We are extremely proud of the placement record of our PhD graduates. Most PhDs go on to tenure-track academic positions while others pursue research careers in federal, state and local agencies or in the private sector. The secret to our success is a model of close faculty-student mentoring and professional development that begins on the first day of the program. The vast majority of our graduate students conduct grant-funded research with faculty that engages directly with community-based organizations and criminal justice agencies, working on problems such as gun violence and substance abuse.

Our PhD graduates have gone on to tenure-track assistant professorships at institutions such as the University of Cincinnati, Rutgers University, Sam Houston State University, Drexel University, LaSalle University, Vancouver Island University, Towson University, and the University of Louisville; some have begun their academic careers with postdoctoral research positions at institutions like George Mason University. In addition to those embarking on academic careers, a number of our PhD graduates have secured research and policy-making positions at such varied institutions and agencies as the National Institute of Justice, Vera Institute of Justice, Research Triangle Institute, Justice Research and Statistics Association, the Police Foundation, the Center for Drug and Alcohol Studies at the University of Delaware, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania Courts, and Philadelphia Adult Probation and Parole.

A number of our Criminal Justice master’s degree students are already employed in the criminal justice field. Our MA graduates include a detective in the Philadelphia Police Department and the warden of a local jail. Post-graduation, our students have secured positions in local, state and federal law enforcement and criminal justice agencies such as the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives while others have gone on to pursue further graduate study here at Temple and elsewhere.


The Department of Criminal Justice ranks among the highest in the university in faculty and student involvement in local and national research activities. The result has been a steady stream of grant-funded employment positions that provide both financial support and the opportunity to develop research skills and graduate thesis/dissertation opportunities. The doctoral program is proud of its track record of support of our doctoral students through a combination of such positions and the other sources of financial support outlined below.

The PhD is a full-time endeavor. It is our standard practice to limit admissions to the PhD program to the number of full-time students to whom we can commit funding support for a period of at least four years. Beyond the guaranteed period of support, we are extremely proud of our track record and ability to fund doctoral students who are making timely progress toward the completion of their degrees.

Graduate Student Association

Choosing the appropriate graduate program can be stressful and overwhelming. We’re here to provide information in the decision-making process. If you’re interested in graduate studies in the department, how to navigate administrative paperwork or where to live and what to do in Philly feel free to contact a graduate student. We’ll do whatever we can to ease your transition into graduate studies in the Department of Criminal Justice.

The Criminal Justice Graduate Student Association (CJGSA) is an active group that sponsors academic and social events that facilitate both the professional development and social development of our members. The CJGSA is responsible for serving as a liaison between graduate students and faculty members, assisting undergraduate students in the development and refinement of their coursework through the department Mentoring Center, and offering support to incoming and prospective students by sharing information and perspectives on the program, graduate student life and living in Philadelphia. In addition to these routine activities, the CJGSA invites critical thinkers to share their justice-related ideas and experiences with Temple University and Philadelphia each spring. In 2013, this event was institutionalized as the Annual John S. Goldkamp Lecture with the intention of honoring Professor Goldkamp’s innovative contributions to the criminal justice field.

CJGSA Officers, 2023-2024:

Other resources about the graduate program can you be found below.

Graduate Faculty

Our world-renowned faculty are committed to helping students develop professional competence in oral and written communication and gain the analytical thinking and logic skills necessary to succeed out in the field, the classroom and beyond. View a list of our current graduate faculty

Graduate Students

Our highly selected PhD students are an intricate part of the learning and teaching experience here in the Department of Criminal Justice. Our graduate students conduct research, teach courses and work closely with various faculty members and students throughout the department. Visit our PhD Students page to learn more about our current students. You can also view a complete list of Graduate Student Publications.