Academic Catalog 2024-2025

Administration of Justice, Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

The purpose of the Doctor of Philosophy in Administration of Justice (PhD AJ) is to prepare individuals for:

  1. leadership and managerial positions in justice agencies;
  2. faculty positions in higher education that require advanced knowledge of theory, administration, research, and data analysis; and
  3. research positions in private and public research institutions specializing in the administration of justice issues, policy, and data analysis.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Administration of Justice will educate future leaders needed to assume administrative and policy positions at all levels of government and in the private sector in the State of Texas, nationally and globally.

The educational objectives of the program are:

  1. To provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the body of knowledge in administration of justice, criminal justice and criminology.
  2. To provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the theoretical foundation of administration of justice, criminal justice and criminology.
  3. To provide students with a comprehensive understanding of research and data analysis and their specific application to administration of justice.
  4. To provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the role of race, class, and gender in the administration of justice.
  5. To prepare students to assume teaching positions at the university level.
  6. To prepare students to assume research positions at the university level.
  7. To prepare students for research positions in government and in the private sector.

Admission Criteria

Students desiring to pursue a doctoral degree in the administration of justice should be capable of advanced academic work in theory, research and data analysis. Students applying for admission to the doctoral program must meet the admission standards of the TSU Graduate School. Applicants must hold the bachelor’s degree in an appropriate field, have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 overall and 3.0 in the last sixty hours of undergraduate studies.

Applicants should have a master’s degree or its equivalent in a degree program from an accredited institution of higher education with a grade point average of at least 3.2 in previous graduate work. Each graduate student who is admitted must present Graduate Record Examination (GRE) verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing section scores. The analytical writing score must be 3.5 or above. If the student is accepted and does not meet the minimum requirement, he or she must enroll in English 501. International applicants whose first language is not English and who have not completed a degree in the United States are required to take and pass the TOEFL with an internet based score of 74, a computer-based score of 213, or paper- based score of 550.

An application for admission to the doctoral program is submitted at Apply Yourself Online and is processed through the TSU Graduate School. Completed applications are referred to the School of Public Affairs for an acceptance decision by the Graduate Admissions Committee in the PhD AJ program. Decisions of the Graduate Admissions Committee are referred to the Dean of the Graduate School and entered into the Apply Yourself system.

Students must also submit the following to the Graduate School:

  1. A complete application form and a non-refundable application fee of $50 for citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. and $75 for international applicants.
  2. A typed 400-500 word statement of academic and professional goals. 
  3. Example of academic writing
  4. A current vitae.
  5. At least three letters of recommendation from persons qualified to give an evaluation of the applicant’s past scholastic performance, research, ability for advanced work in administration of justice, and personal motivation.
  6. Two official transcripts of credits earned at each college and/or university attended by the applicant.
  7. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination.
  8. Evidence of proficiency in the use of the English language.

The Graduate Admissions Committee (GAC) comprised of graduate faculty will make decisions on admission. During the admission process the GAC will evaluate graduate transcripts of applicants with master’s degrees to determine whether or not additional courses are needed at the master’s degree level. No more than twelve (12) credits from previous doctoral work will be applied towards the Ph.D. program. Completion of the doctoral degree is guided by the academic policies, procedures, and requirements of the Texas Southern University (TSU) Graduate School. The current TSU Graduate Student Catalog/Bulletin is available online via the University website.

Requirements include completion of a total of fifty-four (54) credit hours, passing comprehensive examinations, admission to doctoral candidacy, completion of a residency requirement, preparation and acceptance of a dissertation proposal, completion of the dissertation and an oral defense. These requirements are described below.


The doctoral degree will require the completion of 54 semester hours (See Curriculum Summary below). All students will complete six (6) required core courses and eight (8) elective courses. Students have the option of completing four (4) elective courses in a specific area of administration of justice. Students may also select electives from approved courses offered at the doctoral level by other departments. The elective courses will be selected based upon student interests in consultation with their advisor. Twelve (12) dissertation credits are required. Students may also select a cognate area of specialization outside of the program with permission of their advisor and the GPD. Students are required to complete all courses with at least a grade of “B.” A grade of “B-“ or lower is defined as deficient and must be remediated by repeating the course no more than one time to attain the required level of co mpetency. A student who earns more than two deficient grades will be dismissed from the program. This doctoral requirement of “B” or better course grades supersedes the Graduate School standard that may accept lower grades under certain circumstances. Any student w ho earns a grade of D or F will also be automatically dismissed from the program.

Upon completion of all required course work except AJ 987 Research Colloquium and dissertation hours, students must sit and p ass the doctoral comprehensive examination. Students must successfully pass the comprehensive examination before they are admitted to candidacy and allowed to begin work on the dissertation.

Comprehensive Examinations

Doctoral students must successfully complete comprehensive examinations in three areas:

  1. Theory and Race, Class, Gender, Crime and the Administration of Justice;
  2. Research and Quantitative Methods; and
  3. Special Topics.

Students who fail to pass a comprehensive examination or section thereof may retake it only once. Failure to pass two comprehensive examinations will result in dismissal from the doctoral program.

Admission to Candidacy

Students must satisfy all of the requirements listed below in order to be admitted to doctoral candidacy:

  1. Unconditional admittance to the Doctor of Philosophy in Administration of Justice program.
  2. Satisfactory completion of 42 semester hours of doctoral level course work.
  3. Successful completion of the doctoral comprehensive examinations.
  4. Satisfactory completion of the residency requirement.


After admission to candidacy the doctoral student will consult with his or her academic advisor to select a dissertation committee. Dissertation committees should consist of a chairperson and three graduate faculty members. The dissertation committee must be approved by the Graduate School. The Graduate School dean will then appoint a graduate school representative to the dissertation committee. Once approval is granted, the student can prepare the dissertation proposal.

The dissertation proposal must be a written document, presented orally, and approved by the dissertation committee. The dissertation must contribute to the administration of justice body of knowledge and be successfully defended orally.


Core Curriculum18
Total Hours54

Core Curriculum

AJ 900Adv Sem In AJ Orgn & Processes3
AJ 901ADV Sem in AJ/Crim Justic3
AJ 902Adv Sem in AJ Research Method3
AJ 903Sem in Advanced Quant Method I3
AJ 904Adv Sem in Race Class Gender3
AJ 987Research Colloquium3
Total Hours18


Select twenty-four (24) credit hours from the following:24
Sem in Adm Crime Mapping & AJ
"AJ 906
Advanced Seminar in Homeland Security Admin. and Mgt."
Adv Sem in Contemporary Issues
Adv Sem in Priv Security Adm
Adv Seminar on Terrorism
Adv Sem in AJ Policy Eval & Pl
Sem in Adv Topics Race Gender
Sem in Qualitative Methods
Sem in Adv Quant Methods II
Adv Sem in Law & Adm of Justic
Adv Sem in Apps of GIS in AJ
Doctoral Sem in Spec Topics
Independent Study
Total Hours24

Prerequisites/Leveling Courses twelve (12)

If needed, leveling courses may include the completion of up to 12 hours in master's level courses with a grade of "B" or better. Each leveling course only can be taken once.


AJ 988Dissertation6
"AJ 989 Dissertation"6
Total Hours12