Justice Studies, PHD

At a Glance: program details

Take a unique approach to the study of justice, knowing that no single solution works for everyone. Examine the intersecting forms of injustice, engage multiple visions of justice, and get ready to transform communities by empowering those silenced by inequality.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: PHD Justice Studies

The PhD in justice studies at the nation's first School of Social Transformation invites all qualified applicants.

The diverse community of scholars unites students and faculty across academic boundaries to strategically create social change that is democratic, inclusive and just. The interdisciplinary doctoral program in justice studies prepares future scholars and change agents to address complex social problems and become tomorrow's leaders.

Degree Requirements

84 credit hours, a written comprehensive exam, a prospectus and a dissertation

Required Core (6 credit hours)
JUS 620 Justice Research Methodology (3)
JUS 640 Theoretical Perspectives on Justice (3)

Other Requirement (3 credit hours)
JUS 630 Data Analysis for Justice Research (3) or
JUS 650 Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis (3) or
SST 691 Topic: Qualitative Methods for Qualitative Researchers (3)

Electives and Research (63 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (12 credit hours)
JUS 799 Dissertation (12)

Additional Curriculum Information
For the other requirement course, students may take JUS 630, JUS 650, SST 691 or other methods course at ASU approved by the justice studies graduate director.

Students entering the doctoral program with a master's or JD degree may complete a minimum of 54 credit hours for the program. In addition to the requirements listed above, coursework will include 15 credit hours of elective classroom hours (nine of which must have a JUS prefix) and 18 credit hours comprised of any combination of additional elective courses, reading and conference or research.

Students entering the doctoral program without a master's or Juris Doctor degree are required to complete 84 credit hours. In addition to the requirements listed above, the coursework will include 12 credit hours of 500-level foundation courses, 24 credit hours of elective classroom hours (15 of which must have a JUS prefix) and 27 credit hours comprised of any combination of additional electives courses, reading and conference or research.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. personal statement
  4. writing sample
  5. three letters of recommendation (academic references are preferred)
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

The personal statement should be one-and-a-half to two pages, double-spaced, and it should outline the applicant's areas of interest, educational and career goals. The writing sample should be 10 to 15 pages and should discuss the research that best represents the applicant's academic thinking and writing skills.

The PhD/JD option allows qualified students to earn a Juris Doctor from ASU's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law while simultaneously earning a transdisciplinary doctoral degree in justice studies. Students must apply separately to both programs. Applicants should contact the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law for their requirements.

Flexible Degree Options

Concurrent degree program

Students can choose to create their own concurrent degree combination to match their interests by working with their academic advisor during or after their first semester of study. Some concurrent combinations are not possible due to high levels of overlap in curriculum; students should speak with their academic advisor for more details.

This degree is also offered as a concurrent program with the following:

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Application Deadlines



Session A/C
In Person
December 15th

Learning Outcomes

  • Graduates of the PhD program in justice studies will demonstrate knowledge of both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.
  • Graduates of the doctoral program in justice studies will demonstrate the ability to differentiate various theoretical perspectives of justice in their written work.
  • Graduates will be able to demonstrate intersectional knowledge of justice and use an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach to address societal problems and generate solutions in their dissertations.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the doctoral program in justice studies are prepared to work in justice-related organizations, teach in community colleges and universities, and research in the justice field.

Global Opportunities

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs. https://mystudyabroad.asu.edu

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.