RICHARDSON, Texas (Nov. 13, 2006) — The University of Texas at Dallas is answering the state’s increasing demand for crime and justice experts by developing Texas’ first doctoral criminology program.
The university has received approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to add master’s and doctorate degrees to its criminology offerings as of January 2007.
“We are gratified to be able to add the only research-based graduate degrees in criminology in Texas to the programs offered by the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences. This is an important step both for the state and for UT Dallas," Dean Brian J.L.Berry said.
Texas consistently ranks high among states in the amount and severity of crime. It also ranks high in terms of the size, complexity and cost of the correctional system necessary for incarcerating and punishing these criminals. Yet the state has a comparatively small number of doctoral programs for training criminologists and no program devoted specifically to that mission.
“UT Dallas’ program will ensure that Texas will be at the forefront of criminological research and policy-making and will more effectively address the causes of crime and the processing of criminal offenders,” said Dr. James Marquart, UT Dallas’ criminology program director. “Graduates will be positioned to develop productive research agendas into the development of more effective policies with which the criminal justice system can and should respond.”
They also will make up the next generation of faculty who teach criminology and criminal justice in the state’s community colleges and four-year institutions, as well as nationally.
The graduate criminology program is an extension of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences’ criminology baccalaureate program, formerly designated Crime and Justice Studies. This program was started in 1998 and, as of fall 2004, was the largest major in the school with 230 majors and ranked in the Top 10 majors at UT Dallas.
Applicants to the new program would not be expected to have an undergraduate degree in criminology or a related field, but they should have a passing grade in an undergraduate statistics course or they would be admitted conditionally for one semester during which they would fulfill that prerequisite. A grade point average of at least a 3.2 is also required, and a combined verbal and quantitative Graduate Records Examination score of 1,200 is advisable.
Criminology is the scientific study of crime, criminals and society’s reaction to both. It represents a policy-analytic approach while also maintaining a parallel focus on the race/ethnicity, gender, population growth, poverty and related social problems in urban America. Courses include crime, criminals and societal responses; etiology of crime; and criminality law and social control.
The process to obtain the graduate program was started nearly four years ago by Dr. Paul Tracy. The coordinating board approved the new degrees on Oct. 26.
“This has been a long time coming,” Marquart said. “This program allows us to train the next generation of criminological researchers and policy analysts. Also, having a full-blown graduate program enhances our ability to address important crime related issues in the state.”
About UT Dallas
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 14,500 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UT Dallas, please visit the university’s website at www.utdallas.edu.