Online Doctorate in Criminal Justice – General
Credit Hours
Years (Avg.)
Class Type
100% online, 8-week courses
Transfer Credits
Transfer in up to 50% of the degree total
Next Start Date
Jan 15, 2024
Liberty University is accredited by SACSCOC

Safeguard Communities and Lead in Law Enforcement with Liberty’s Online Doctorate in Criminal Justice – General

The job of a criminal justice practitioner is not always easy. Officers are on standby 24/7 – protecting citizens from the dangers of meditated and unmeditated crime. Judges face difficult decisions, government prosecutors must build strong cases, and probation officers strive to help parolees acclimate to their recently restored freedom.

You understand that effective law enforcement officials need training, discipline, knowledge, and compassion to succeed in their work — and you know that the best leaders inspire their teams to work diligently in the service of their community. If you’ve dedicated your career to the safety of the citizens you serve, Liberty University’s 100% online Doctor of Criminal Justice (DCJ) – General degree can help you increase your knowledge of crime prevention and deterrence as you pursue senior leadership roles in the criminal justice system.

The goal of our Doctor of Criminal Justice online is to help you become a confident leader — one who can navigate complex challenges, provide effective solutions in a timely manner, and earn the trust of citizens and officers alike. By partnering with Liberty for your online doctorate in criminal justice, you can earn a life-changing credential capable of helping you launch your career to new heights.  

What’s the difference between an online doctorate in criminal justice and a PhD program in criminal justice or criminology?

The difference between a Doctor of Criminal Justice online and an online PhD in Criminal Justice lies in the emphasis. Our online doctorate in criminal justice carries a practical emphasis while our online criminal justice PhD carries more of a theoretical, research-based emphasis. Despite the differences between the degrees, each program is appropriate for personal enrichment and career advancement.

If you’d like to pursue an academic career in research or as a professor upon completion of your doctoral studies, our criminal justice PhD online or a criminology PhD program may be the best fit for you. If you’re considering the idea of someday venturing into academia but would like to continue serving as a law enforcement official for now, our Doctor of Criminal Justice online may be ideal.

Why Choose Liberty University’s Doctor of Criminal Justice?

As a pioneer in distance education since 1985, we understand what it takes to create an online criminal justice degree program that challenges you and also respects your commitments. We realize that your personal responsibilities don’t go away when you enroll in a degree program, which is why our Doctor of Criminal Justice — General can be completed 100% online with no set login times and no required intensives. As an online student, you won’t have to commute to campus at any point during your degree.

Another advantage of pursuing Liberty’s online Doctor of Criminal Justice is the degree’s versatility. While this program can be used for career advancement in law enforcement, it could also be your ticket to a teaching position at a college or university. Typically, postsecondary teaching positions require a doctoral degree, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for this career is projected to grow 12% by 2030 – a rate much faster than the national average for job growth.* Postsecondary teachers also earned an average salary of $80,560 in 2020.*

The credibility of our online Doctor of Criminal Justice is backed by our institutional accreditation. Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which means that our academic programs have met rigorous standards and can help you reach your career goals.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, at Postsecondary Teachers (viewed online Sept. 22, 2021). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Military Tuition Discount

Lead your field with the doctoral degree you want — at a price you’ve earned. As a thank-you for your military service, Liberty University offers current and former service members like you or your spouse multiple pathways to earn a doctoral degree for only $300/credit hour. Find out how you can take advantage of this unique opportunity and reach the pinnacle of your profession — for less.

What Will You Learn in Our Online Doctorate in Criminal Justice – General?

Our online Doctor of Criminal Justice program consists of 5 sections: core courses, research and evaluation courses, advanced focus classes, the general specialization, and a capstone sequence.

In the core courses, you will study theories of crime and comparative criminal justice systems. You will also study advanced juvenile justice policy and advanced corrections policy. The research and evaluation courses will guide you through advanced research design, quantitative and qualitative research methods, and a program evaluation.

The advanced focus section of our online criminal justice doctorate will cover transnational organized crime, advanced topics in terrorism and intelligence, and organizational conflict in criminal justice systems. In this section, you can also learn how to manage the stress that comes with working in criminal justice.

The general specialization of our online criminal justice doctorate consists of 3 free-elective courses. This means that you are offered your choice of 3 doctoral government courses – allowing you to study the topics you’re most interested in.

The capstone sequence is the final phase of your degree. The criminal justice doctoral capstone consists of 5 classes that will guide you through the process of identifying an issue in the field of criminal justice, conducting research on that issue, and then providing a data-based solution to the problem. 

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Degree Information
Admission Requirements

Highlights of Our Online Doctoral Degree in Criminal Justice

  • We are recognized by multiple institutions for our academic quality, affordability, and accessibility. Our commitment to excellence also helped us rank in the top 10% of’s best online schools in America. Earning your online strategic communications degree from a nonprofit university with this kind of recognition can help set you apart from others in your field.
  • Your success is our success, which is why we are committed to providing quality academics at an affordable tuition rate. While other colleges are increasing their tuition, we have frozen tuition rates for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 9 years – and counting.
  • This degree is offered 100% online with no required intensives.
  • Liberty University is regionally accredited by SACSCOC, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Online Doctor of Criminal Justice Degree Information

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Potential Career Opportunities with an Online Doctor of Criminal Justice Degree

  • Crime scene investigation unit manager
  • Police chief/sheriff
  • Police detective
  • Prison warden
  • Professor
  • Public policy advisor

Admission Requirements for the Online Doctor of Criminal Justice Degree

A regionally or nationally accredited master’s degree with a 3.0 or above GPA is required for admission in good standing. Please visit our admission requirements page for more detailed admissions-related information.

All applicants must submit the following:

  • Admission application
  • Application fee*
  • Official college transcripts
  • Proof of English proficiency (for applicants whose native language is other than English)

*There is no upfront application fee; however, a deferred $50 application fee will be assessed during Financial Check-In. This fee is waived for qualifying service members, veterans, and military spouses – documentation verifying military status is required.