Ph.D. Admission Requirements

UA Little Rock’s Criminal Justice doctoral program is the only Ph.D. in Criminal Justice in Arkansas. We strive to develop scholars in the field of criminology and criminal justice. Graduates will be prepared to assume the role of professors at universities or as researchers in criminal justice agencies and other institutions.

Items Needed for Your Application

  • Curriculum Vita
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts from all previous institutions of higher education

How to Apply

Read the information about starting your application to the UA Little Rock Graduate School. Once your application has been successfully submitted, you will receive a confirmation email.

Admission Requirements

  • Master’s degree in criminology/criminal justice or a closely related field
    • Applicants from other disciplines may be admitted after taking prerequisites courses in the MACJ program as determined by the admissions committee.
  • There are a series of questions in the Graduate School Application required for this program (see below).
  • A curriculum vita (see examples from our students at
  • Applicants must have a cumulative GPA in their Master’s program of at least 3.0.
  • Two professional letters of recommendation (one of which must come from a graduate-level teacher)
    • Send all letters to your graduate application processor. If your last name in the application starts with A-K, send to If your last name in the application starts with L-Z, send to
  • We are waiving the GRE/MAT testing requirements at this time.

Questions to Be Answered on the Graduate School Application

Please be prepared to answer these questions on the Graduate School Application. If you do not see these questions on the application, please contact the Graduate Coordinator at for these questions.

  1. Why are you pursuing this degree in the field of criminal justice? Please describe the reason(s) you are pursuing this degree and/or any experiences that influenced this decision.
  2. What is your specific area of interest within the field of criminal justice? What topic(s) are you most excited to learn more about, teach, and/or research?
  3. What skills and opportunities do you hope to gain from earning this degree?
  4. How has your prior experience (e.g., personal, professional, volunteer, research, teaching) and education prepared you for this degree program?
  5. What are your career goals? How do you plan to use this degree after you graduate?
  6. Why do you want to pursue a graduate degree in criminal justice at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock? What about the program, faculty, department, and/or university make this program a good fit for you?
  7. The PhD program focuses on developing high-quality research skills. What about a research intensive program appeals to you?
  8. Would you like to be considered for a graduate assistantship? Graduate assistants are funded to work 20 hours a week assisting faculty primarily in research activities. Please note that assistantships are limited and not guaranteed.

Admission Deadlines

  • Fall Admission Deadline for PhD Applicants: April 15
  • Decisions on Graduate Assistants will begin on Feb. 15
  • If you wish to be considered for funding, please submit your completed application packet to the Graduate School by January 10th.

Admission decisions will be made by a faculty committee. The admissions committee will also take the “fit” between the applicant and the doctoral program into account when making admission decisions, and may decline to admit an otherwise qualified applicant based on lack of fit with the program. The doctoral admissions committee may conditionally admit a student for one semester who has less than the requirements for admission. Such students will be evaluated by the graduate admissions committee after one semester and a decision made to 1) continue conditional status, 2) grant full admission to the doctoral program, or 3) dismiss the student from the doctoral program.

International Students

International students must take the TOEFL exam and score at least 550 on the paper-based test, 213 on the computer-based version, or 79 on the Internet-based version. Read more information about admissions for international students. If you have questions about waivers of the English language testing requirements, please contact the Graduate School at

If you have any questions about the status of your application materials, please contact the Criminal Justice Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Richard Lewis, at or 501-569-3195.