2023-24 Edition

Criminology, Law and Society, Ph.D.

The study of crime, institutional responses to illegal behavior, and the interaction of law and society are the foci of the doctoral program in Criminology, Law and Society. Students examine issues related to the etiology of crime, the process of changing criminal behavior, social regulation, the civil justice system, and the social and cultural context of law.

Students gain familiarity with a number of subjects including sentencing; crime rates; modes of modifying criminal behavior; police behavior; policies against hate crimes; race and social inequality; behavior of courts, juries, and regulatory agencies; immigration lawmaking and application; and the interaction among law, culture, and identity. In general, students are introduced to the leading classical and contemporary issues in criminology, law and society and to ways of understanding them through interdisciplinary research. The program aims to develop theoretical sophistication and to prepare the graduate student for faculty positions at major universities; and for research and administrative work in institutions in the legal system, the criminal justice system, and related organizations.

A. Complete:
CRM/LAW C201 Research Methods
CRM/LAW C202 Research Methods II
SOCECOL 264A Data Analysis
SOCECOL 264B Data Analysis
B. One additional graduate research methods course, selected from the following:
Qualitative Methods Practicum
Quantitative Methods Practicum
C. Students in the Criminology, Law and Society program must additionally complete:
CRM/LAW C228 Criminology: Micro Approaches
CRM/LAW C229 Criminology: Macro Approaches
CRM/LAW C239A Law and Society I
CRM/LAW C239B Law and Society II
D. Four elective courses in Criminology, Law and Society. 1

(NOTE: An initial faculty advisor for each new Criminology, Law and Society student is assigned by the Criminology, Law and Society Associate Director. Students, however, are free to change their faculty advisor during their first year of study (or later) based on research interests. Students must notify the Criminology, Law and Society Faculty Graduate Director and the Departmental Graduate Coordinator of any changes in advisors.)

Students become involved in research activities from the earliest stages of their training and complete an independent, supervised research project during the second year of graduate study.

Advancement and Completion

Students complete a written comprehensive examination during year three, which requires them to demonstrate mastery of major issues in criminology, and law and society. The normative time for advancement to candidacy is four years (three years for students who entered with a master’s degree). Students are required to advance to candidacy by the end of fall quarter of their fifth year of study, adjusted for any approved leaves of absence. The fourth and, possibly, fifth years of study are devoted to developing and defending a dissertation proposal and completing dissertation research. The normative time for completion of the Ph.D. is six years, and the maximum time permitted is seven years. (For students who have waived two required courses and the second-year project based upon master’s-level work completed at another institution, the time to degree is five years, with a maximum of six years.) All Ph.D. students in the Criminology, Law and Society program are required to pass a final oral defense of the dissertation.

Program in Law and Graduate Studies (J.D./Ph.D.)

Highly qualified students interested in combining the study of law and graduate qualifications in Criminology, Law and Society are invited to undertake concurrent degree study under the auspices of UC Irvine’s Program in Law and Graduate Studies (PLGS). Students in this program pursue a coordinated curriculum leading to a J.D. degree from the School of Law in conjunction with a Ph.D. degree in Criminology, Law and Society. Additional information is available from the PLGS Director’s office, 949-824-4158, or by email at plgs@law.uci.edu. A full description of the program, with links to all relevant application information, can be found at the School of Law Concurrent Degree Programs website.