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Home » Doctor of Criminal Justice » Doctor of Criminal Justice in Organizational Leadership

Doctor of Criminal Justice
in Organizational Leadership

No Residency

No Group Work

100% Online Learning


A leadership position in criminal justice offers you the opportunity to use your skills and strengths for the good of the greater community, whether through aiding victims of crime, counseling and rehabilitating criminals, or overseeing the progress of parolees. This doctoral specialization serves to enhance the understanding and practice of organizational leadership using an interdisciplinary approach between business and education theory and research. In addition to core criminal justice studies and dissertation research instruction, the coursework explores mediation, ethics, change, building organizational capacity, and other leadership skills.

This program has broad appeal among practicing professionals (middle and upper management, and military personnel) with a background in business administration, human resources, nonprofit administration, and related fields, whose professional goals may include organizational consulting or a general leadership position in corporate, government, not-for-profit, educational, or community organizations.

Admission Requirements 

  • Admission to the Doctor of Criminal Justice program will be determined by the degree used to meet the basis for admission. Applicants are required to have a conferred master’s degree from a nationally or regionally accredited academic institution.

Course Details

For the Doctor of Criminal Justice in Organizational Leadership specialization, you must complete a minimum of 54 credit hours (18 courses), including three specialization courses. The estimated time needed to complete this certificate is 45 months.

Course Listing

An examination of current management issues within the criminal justice field. You’ll learn the concepts and skills needed to address issues and problems confronting the criminal justice system. Societal and cultural changes affecting criminal justice agencies will be examined as you gain in-depth exposure to the application of theoretical and administrative principles.

In this course, you’ll analyze the internal structure, roles, and functions in criminal justice agencies. You’ll examine the theoretical and research issues related to the nature and causes of crime. You’ll also learn to formulate policies for coordination and control procedures, and you’ll apply administrative and managerial concepts to demonstrate these competencies. Finally, you’ll integrate theory and practice to evaluate the best methods for improving the overall performance of the agency.

This course provides a comprehensive review of ethics and moral behavior in criminal justice. Theoretical foundations for ethics will be introduced and applied to criminal justice practice. You’ll evaluate the ethical challenges faced by criminal justice professionals and the policies and practices in place to prevent unethical behavior. You’ll also explore the ethical obligations of crime scene investigation, evidence handling, and court testimony.

This course examines budget formulation, implementation, and execution within the context of public organizations and nonprofit or non-governmental entities. The goal is to learn the craft of public budgeting, assess the tools used in the budgeting process, and depict the budget process for various levels of government. You’ll also evaluate capital public budgeting and asset management within the context of the public sector.

People who choose to work for the public good are often motivated by different incentives than employees in private organizations. This course concentrates on personnel challenges specific to the public sector, such as the assessment of external environmental changes related to politics and policy. In addition, you’ll learn to evaluate the practices, trends, and legal and policy framework associated with public personnel management. Finally, you’ll learn the various management strategies that enhance human capital in the public sector.

Strategic planning is necessary for establishing both the current and future goals of a criminal justice organization. This course allows you to examine the tools and skills needed in the strategic planning process while also strengthening your ability to develop, implement, and assess those plans to achieve criminal justice goals. Several criminal justice agencies will be examined to provide you with a wide perspective before you begin developing your own strategic plan.

This course engages you in the process of scholarly literature reviews and academic writing. You’ll focus on (a) conducting effective literature searches, specifically in preparation for the dissertation, (b) developing a plan for writing critical, comprehensive, research literature reviews, and (c) critically reviewing and writing about theory/conceptual frameworks as a foundation for your own future research. The goal is for you to conduct an exhaustive search of peer-reviewed research literature on your chosen topic and identify potential areas of inquiry for your dissertation.

This course focuses on the statistical mindset and skills needed to perform and interpret univariate inferential statistics. The course builds your statistical confidence and abilities in assessing and performing statistics. You’ll explore univariate parametric and non-parametric statistical tests, interpretation of statistical output, and how to select statistical tests based on quantitative research questions.

This course teaches you how to design quantitative studies, analyze the data collected, and interpret the results of data analyses. The goal is to explore designs and statistical techniques to use with your envisioned dissertation research.

An examination of qualitative methods for studying human behavior, including grounded theory, narrative analysis, ethnography, mixed methods, and case studies. The objective is to explore designs and methodologies to use with your envisioned research.

The Pre-Candidacy Prospectus is intended to ensure you’ve mastered your discipline prior to candidacy status, and that you’ve demonstrated the ability to design empirical research before moving on to your dissertation coursework. You’ll demonstrate your ability to synthesize empirical, peer-reviewed research to support all course assignments. The Pre-Candidacy Prospectus is completed only after all foundation, specialization, and research courses have been completed.

Students in this course will be required to complete chapter 1 of their dissertation proposal, including the following: a review of literature with substantiating evidence of the problem, the research purpose and questions, the intended methodological design and approach, and the significance of the study. A completed, committee-approved chapter 1 is required to pass the course. If you don’t receive approval to minimum standards, you’ll be able to take up to three supplementary 8-week courses to finalize and gain approval of chapter 1.

In this course, you’ll work on completing chapters 1-3 of your dissertation proposal and receiving committee approval for the dissertation proposal (DP). Chapter 2 consists of the literature review, while chapter 3 covers the research methodology and design, including population, sample, measurement instruments, data collection and analysis, limitations, and ethical considerations. Completed, committee-approved chapters 2 and 3 are required to pass the course, as is a final approved dissertation proposal. If you don’t receive approval to minimum standards, you’ll be able to take up to three supplementary 8-week courses to finalize and gain approval of these requirements.

In this course, you’ll prepare, submit, and obtain approval of your Institutional Review Board (IRB) application. You’ll also collect data and submit a final study closure form to the IRB. If you’re still collecting data at the end of the 12-week course, you’ll be able to take up to three supplementary 8-week courses to complete data collection and file your IRB study closure form.

In this dissertation course, you’ll work on completing chapters 4, 5, and your final dissertation manuscript. Specifically, you’ll complete your data analysis, prepare your study results, and present your findings with an oral defense and a completed manuscript. A completed, committee-approved dissertation manuscript and successful oral defense are required to complete the course and graduate. If you don’t receive approval for either or both, you can take up to three supplementary 8-week courses to finalize and gain approval.

Specialization Courses

Select 3 courses from the following:

Specialization Course Listings

Leaders must be adept at interpreting conflict and identifying options that result in a favorable outcome for all stakeholders. In this course, you’ll learn to mediate and resolve conflicts by exploring constructive responses, communication patterns, and interpersonal relationships. The focus is on theory, self-reflection, structure, cultural understanding, and collaborative and mediated negotiations.

Capacity building, an integral aspect of organizational leadership, involves investing in the right people for the right roles and implementing the necessary systems to optimize their success. In this course, you’ll learn the theories and best practices to enhance your leadership role in building and maintaining organizational capacity.

This course focuses on theories of leadership as they apply to organizational success. You’ll learn about various theoretical and applied leadership theories and practices, and you’ll identify and practice those that are most applicable to your own organization.

In this course, you’ll gain a deep understanding of the complexity of organizational ethics and ethical leadership through critical analysis and research. You’ll research and evaluate the consequences of unethical leadership while learning to build and maintain a culture of ethics that works for both domestic and global organizations.

Communication is never more important than during times of change. Leaders play an integral role in leading organizational change by helping others understand the need and purpose of change through effective communication. In this course, you’ll examine leadership theories and practices to successfully communicate and manage organizational change.

Learning Outcomes

Students earning the Doctor of Criminal Justice with a specialization in Organizational Leadership will learn to:

  • Develop policies and budgets to support effective administration of criminal justice agencies
  • Evaluate risks and opportunities in criminal justice agencies based on legal, professional, and ethical expectations
  • Integrate management and leadership theories into criminal justice practice
  • Generate independent research to address issues in criminal justice and inform professional practice
Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.

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