Doctor of Criminal Justice | Online Doctorate

Site Search

Doctor of Criminal Justice

About the Doctor of Criminal Justice Degree (D.C.J.)

California University of Pennsylvania’s Doctor of Criminal Justice (D.C.J.) degree is a professional doctorate designed to enhance the careers of mid- and senior-level criminal justice professionals across the country. 

Classes for the inaugural two-year cohort began on July 10, 2017. Future cohorts, beginning summer 2018, will start each June during summer session one.

Cal U’s Doctor of Criminal Justice is the first regionally accredited D.C.J. degree in the United States. The degree is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and has been approved by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. 

The program is a member of the Association of Doctoral Programs in Criminology and Criminal Justice.


D.C.J. Program Overview

  • The Doctor of Criminal Justice meets the career enhancement needs of practitioners in a variety of criminal justice fields within Pennsylvania and across the nation.
  • The doctoral program focuses on analytical skills, leadership, and policy implementation and evaluation for top professionals in federal, state and local police agencies, sheriff’s offices, corrections and juvenile justice departments, and investigative units of district attorneys’ offices.
  • This professional doctorate addresses the need for criminal justice practitioners to respond to current issues in criminal justice; changes in national, state and local policies; and new expectations for criminal justice professionals.
  • The program develops leadership skills and includes in-depth analyses of topics such as federal consent decree implementation and enforcement, police use-of-force, false confessions and wrongful convictions, and reducing recidivism. 
  • Students in the Doctor of Criminal Justice degree program complete most courses through Cal U Global Online, which delivers high-quality, asynchronous coursework 100% online. One five-day summer residency on the California University campus will serve as the program orientation and provide face-to-face interaction with nationally recognized criminal justice experts.

Program Benefits

  • Market analysis indicates a growing demand for doctoral level education in the field of criminal justice.
  • The Doctor of Criminal Justice is designed specifically for current criminal justice managers, supervisors, investigators and trainers who wish to be on the field’s cutting edge. In contrast to Ph.D. programs, the D.C.J. applies learning to current issues in criminal justice.
  • The D.C.J. degree program is taught by full-time Cal U faculty with extensive real-world backgrounds in law enforcement, international and homeland security, criminal investigative analysis, forensic science, cybercrime investigations, legal science and related areas.
  • The doctoral program in criminal justice collaborates with the Pennsylvania Center for Criminological and Forensic Sciences, based at Cal U. The center provides services for police, district attorneys, coroners and others involved in the administration of justice, including real-time investigative consulting and professional development training. The center will grant additional credentials to eligible students enrolled in the D.C.J. program.
  • This provides advanced education for students who already have earned master’s-level degrees, including the Master of Arts degree in Social Sciences: Applied Criminology offered at Cal U.
  • This 42-credit degree program can be completed in two years of part-time study, including preparation for a comprehensive exam, capstone courses and a research portfolio.

Apply now

Applications for the Doctor of Criminal Justice program are being accepted now.

For more information, contact Cal U Global Online at or 866-595-6348.

Helpful Links

Request Information

Apply NowCosts CalculatorRefer A Vulcan

Connect with Us

Visit Us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterConnect on LinkedIn