Ph.D. Criminal Justice- Nova Southeastern

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by TL007, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. TL007

    TL007 New Member

    Hello everyone,

    I have been following the creation of the Ph.D. in criminal justice from Nova Southeastern for some time. Unfortunately, I was in the midst of a cross-country move and transitioning to a new employer when they accepted applications for Fall 2011.

    I realize the program is still in its infancy, but I was hoping there were some students lurking on the boards (or at least a few people who contemplated the program). I would be curious about their opinions of the program. At approximately 48k for tuition, it is reasonably close to both Capella (Ph.D. in Public Service- CJ specialization) and Walden (Ph.D. in Public Policy- CJ specialization).

    The Nova Ph.D. appears to be grounded in significantly more social science research (8 of 11 core courses are research-based statistics or analysis courses). Given that I already work for a CJ department with a teaching focus and not a research core, I question whether Nova is really better suited than Walden or Capella.


    MCJ- Boston University
    BA- Saint Mary's College
  2. abnrgr275

    abnrgr275 Member

    I've been following the development of NSU's PhD in Criminal Justice as well and really am hopeful that they will expand their specialization options in the future once the program has been up and running for a few years. I would be very tempted to apply today if they offered specializations in the traditional aspects of CJ such as law enforcement and policing, corrections and the courts, criminology, etc. For the time being the only true CJ related specialization they offer is the juvenile justice track.

    As far as comparing Nova's program to Capella and Walden, I think Nova's is far and away the better option of the three degree programs because it is a true PhD in Criminal Justice degree and not a quasi-CJ doctoral program under a different name. Nova Southeastern University is a nonprofit, B&M school with an APA-accredited psychology program and an ABA-accredited law school which in my opinion lends more credibility to the school and their academic offerings. From what I've seen on their website and read in the various discussions regarding NSU the campus is beautiful and they actually participate in NCAA Division II sports which also lends credibility to the school as a whole. The NFL's Miami Dolphins hold their annual summer training camp at Nova's main campus so they must hold some level of respectability with people in that area of Florida. Also, from what I've read on this board Nova is pursuing AACSB accreditation for their business programs as well and if they get accredited by the AACSB it will put them in a whole different class as compared to the Capella's, Walden's, Northcentral's, etc.

    I also like the fact that Nova places a good deal of emphasis on research in their core courses in the PhD in Criminal Justice program. After all, a doctoral degree is designed to prepare scholars to conduct research and contribute to the academe in their respective fields. You may not participate in much active research after you receive a doctorate, but if you have received the training and skills necessary for those tasks than you will be better off in the long run and more respected by your colleagues who you may interact with in your current teaching position or at academic conferences. That's just my opinion so take it for what it's worth but I think if you are considering all three options the Nova PhD in Criminal Justice should be at the top of the list of your choices.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2012
  3. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

  4. abnrgr275

    abnrgr275 Member

    me again,

    That's my only complaint about Nova's PhD in Criminal Justice program, the lack of available degree specializations. If they would expand their choices and offer specializations in policing, corrections, or criminology I would probably apply to the program this year.

  5. major56

    major56 Active Member

  6. Zealot4Truth

    Zealot4Truth New Member

    Hi - I'm currently in the Nova program, and I'm pleased with it. I chose Nova due to it being the only online Ph.D. in Criminal Justice that I am aware of. All others are a Ph.D. in some other field (such as Human Services or Public Policy) with a specialization in Criminal Justice. Additionally, I think that a Ph.D. is a preferred degree for teaching over a D.P.A. or some other professional doctorate. Finally, as many know, Nova is a non-profit college with a massive campus in Florida. For the majority of people who live in Florida or near Florida, Nova is not considered an online school at all. For that reason I think Nova's program is more desirable than an online only school.

    I have found the faculty at Nova to be very helpful, and since we are the first cohort to go through the program, we get individualized treatment. I admit, the specializations are limited, but the Behavioral Science track covers a good deal of information that would be covered in a forensic track or criminology track of other programs. The Organizational Leadership track also covers a good deal of criminal justice policy, which is the heart of the Criminal Justice field (in contrast to criminology). I'm actually going to pursue both of these tracks so I have a full breadth of area I can teach in.

    If you have any specific questions feel free to ask.
  7. UCgradstudent13

    UCgradstudent13 New Member


    Hello Zealot4Truth,

    I see that you graduated from UC's CJ program. I am expected to graduate in December of this year and am contemplating on pursuing my PhD at Nova Southeastern University. Since you are in the program I assume Nova accepted the demo project. I am interested in the Behavioral Science track. How are you doing in the program? I received information from Nova and students are required to take 2 classes each semester, so that is one class at a time, am I correct?
    Thank you for sharing your experience!
  8. Zealot4Truth

    Zealot4Truth New Member

    Hi there - sorry for the extended delay in responding. I haven't logged on here in a while. Nova did not accept the demo project fro admission. I took the GRE. You either need a masters thesis or take the GRE. I actually started with the Behavioral Science track and switched mid-way through to the Organizational Leadership. The Behavioral Science seemed to me to be geared towards treatment for victims more than understanding the criminal mind (though there is a little of that). It also focuses on risk assessment, which is behavioral based, but not what most people think of when they consider that type of a program.

    You actually take 3 classes per semester, 2 core classes that are 8 weeks long, and one specialty class that is 16 weeks. The specialty class covers the span of the other 2 core classes.

    I am in the dissertation phase now myself. It is pretty intensive, but not too overbearing. I have a full time job and I teach at a few online schools. I also have a family, so making time can be difficult, but possible.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.


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