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University of Massachusetts Lowell

Lowell , Massachusetts ,United States

Ph.D. in Justice System and Policy

The doctoral program is designed to achieve particular outcomes - to produce graduates who:

  • Will conduct interdisciplinary research and teach at both the graduate and undergraduate levels in aspects of criminology and/or criminal justice depending upon their specific areas of specialty.
  • Will be well prepared for analytical and administrative leadership posts in international and domestic research and policy institutions.
  • Can become policy analysts, managers, and administrators in criminal justice and community venues to help prevent crime in the first place, or alternatively, respond effectively to those who violate the law or who come into contact with the justice system.
  • Will be at the forefront of the expanding frontier of criminology and an ever-evolving criminal justice system, and consequently, will more effectively be able to address crime control and criminal justice policy problems through sophisticated research than would be the case otherwise.

Campus Information


UMass Lowell is located in historic mill city of Lowell, Mass., 45-minutes north of Boston, at the intersections of Routes 495, 93 and 3. The birthplace of Jack Kerouac and the Industrial Revolution, Lowell's history echoes all around you. Former mill buildings and cobblestone streets now add charm to a bustling downtown, steps away from the UMass Lowell campus, which boasts a thriving arts scene, a population rich in cultural diversity, and a flair for festivals.


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Application Processing Time in Days: 30

Minimum English Language Requirements

English Level Description IELTS (1.0 -9.0) TOEFL IBT (0-120) TOEFL CBT (0-300) PTE (10-90)
Expert 9 120 297-300 86-90
Very Good 8.5 115-119 280-293 83-86
Very Good 8 110-114 270-280 79-83
Good 7.5 102-109 253-267 73-79
Good 7 94-101 240-253 65-73
Competent 6.5 79-93 213-233 58-65
Competent 6 60-78 170-210 50-58
Modest 5.5 46-59 133-210 43-50
Modest 5 35-45 107-133 36-43
Limited 4 32-34 97-103 30-36
Extremely Limited < 4 < 31 < 93 < 30

PSW Opportunity

3 Years of PSW

Admission Requirement / Eligibility Criteria

Admission Requirements 

Doctoral program applicants must demonstrate their ability to pursue doctoral-level education as evidenced by:

  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.75; or graduate GPA of 3.66 (if applicable).
  • Verbal and Quantitative scores on the Graduate Record Examination [i.e., generally, the 40th percentile on each GRE component: Quantitative, Verbal, and Writing] for admission. Verbal and Quantitative scores on the Graduate Record Examination [i.e., generally, the 50th percentile on each GRE component: Quantitative, Verbal, and Writing] for assistantship funding.
  • Three letters of reference from individuals familiar with the educational performance of the applicant. [i.e., academic rather than professional references].
  • Two copies of complete and official transcript from undergraduate and graduate institutions.
  • A personal statement which indicates why the applicant wishes to pursue a doctoral degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology.
  • A writing sample such as a theoretical paper, research paper, or literature review.
  • An interview may be requested by the Graduate Admissions Committee.
  • International applicants must provide official TOEFL scores.
  • The Graduate Admissions Committee can accept transfer credit for graduate courses from an accredited university with a grade of ?B? or better. Transfer credit can be awarded for graduate courses that are substantially similar to ours. Applicants are required to submit Course Descriptions and Course Syllabi for each course.
  • Applicants seeking Graduate Assistantships must be submitted by February 1.