Juris Doctor and the Doctorate in Criminology and Justice Policy

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University seeks to prepare students for professional and research careers in criminal justice, criminology, and related fields by applying multidisciplinary and comparative social science to understand, predict, and explain crime and contribute to the development of public policy within urban communities. Using an active-learning approach, the school seeks to develop its students intellectually and ethically, while providing them with a keen appreciation for the complexities of crime and public and private efforts to make communities safer and to ensure justice. The school offers a Graduate Certificate in global criminology, a Master of Science degree in criminology and criminal justice, and a PhD degree in criminology and justice policy. In addition, the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice has recently joined with the School of Law to develop two new programs: the JD-MS in Criminology and Criminal Justice program, and the JD-PhD in Criminology and Justice Policy program.

The joint JD-PhD Program will expand the knowledge base and career options of students.  The disciplines of Criminology and Justice policy and law share common interests in identifying opportunities to create conditions for justice,, equality, and societal well-being.  The joint degree will provide students with a comprehensive interdisciplinary understanding of what influences criminal justice problems and the socio-political, legal, and economic context in which they are found.  Solving problems requires interdisciplinary knowledge and an analytical and practical skillset that includes inter-professional problem-solving.

Degree Requirements

Students in the joint JD/Ph.D. program will meet the degree requirements for both the Juris Doctor and the Doctorate in Criminology and Justice Policy. The Ph.D. requires 32 credits for students entering with a Master’s degree and 50 credit hours for students entering with a Bachelor’s degree, as well as passing 3 qualifying examinations. The JD requires 34 semester hours and 53 quarter credits, as well as 4 completed co-ops. Students who independently prepare and teach a full-semester-length course in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice will be able to use that work to fulfill their 4th and final Law co-op requirement.

Degree Plan

Students will be immersed in the School of Law during their first academic year. The first Law Co-op will be taken during the summer following year 1 in the joint program. The second year of study will be comprised of all required courses in SCCJ, followed by the end-of-first-year Foundations Exam. Year 3 and the following summer will consist of 3 semesters of coursework and 2 Co-ops in the Law School. Students will engage in their second qualifying exam and work towards their dissertation in SCCJ in years 4–6. During this time, students also take their final Co-op in the law school or substitute a full-semester-length independently taught CJ course. This schedule is aimed towards integrating knowledge acquisition in both programs.

Summer Fall Winter Spring
Year 1 Law Law
Year 2 Law Co-op CJ CJ
Year 3 Law Law Co-op Law Law Co-op
Year 4 Law CJ CJ
Year 5 Law Co-op* CJ CJ
Year 6 CJ CJ

*Students may prepare and independently teach a CJ course for the 4th and final Law Co-op

SCCJ and Law School Courses Counting towards both Degrees

Courses required for the joint JD/PhD degree can be found on CourseLeaf.

Application Requirements

External applicants must submit applications to both the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and the School of Law. Internal applicants from either the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice or the School of Law can apply for the joint degree during the first year.

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