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GradGirl90

CJ PhD or Soc Phd w/ Crim focus?

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Hello all!

I'm due to take my GRE in almost one month (starting to freak out a little). I've been doing a lot of research on various CJ/crim Phd programs. I have a list of several i plan on applying to. However, i'm curious about the sociology PhD programs with a crim/CJ focus. I've been told different things...some people say that there really isn't much crim to study in those programs and they were bored; others really liked it because it varies the subject matter up a bit. I've been looking into some soc programs that have a crim focus in Colorado.

I've also, of course, been told that criminologists ARE sociologists just with a focus in crime. I tend to disagree a little with this because criminology and CJ are becoming subjects of their own. It's not just the little sister of sociology anymore. What do you guys think? Are soc programs worth pursuing if nearly all of your interests align with CJ (juvenile justice, biosocial factors, mental illness in prisons, etc). I think a soc program might be interesting, but i don't want it to eliminate the things i want to research the most. Lastly, has anyone been told before that having a soc PhD opens more doors for jobs than a CJ PhD? I've been told that before by one person, but i'm not sure how true that is.

 

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On 3/28/2017 at 1:06 PM, GradGirl90 said:

Hello all!

I'm due to take my GRE in almost one month (starting to freak out a little). I've been doing a lot of research on various CJ/crim Phd programs. I have a list of several i plan on applying to. However, i'm curious about the sociology PhD programs with a crim/CJ focus. I've been told different things...some people say that there really isn't much crim to study in those programs and they were bored; others really liked it because it varies the subject matter up a bit. I've been looking into some soc programs that have a crim focus in Colorado.

I've also, of course, been told that criminologists ARE sociologists just with a focus in crime. I tend to disagree a little with this because criminology and CJ are becoming subjects of their own. It's not just the little sister of sociology anymore. What do you guys think? Are soc programs worth pursuing if nearly all of your interests align with CJ (juvenile justice, biosocial factors, mental illness in prisons, etc). I think a soc program might be interesting, but i don't want it to eliminate the things i want to research the most. Lastly, has anyone been told before that having a soc PhD opens more doors for jobs than a CJ PhD? I've been told that before by one person, but i'm not sure how true that is.

 

 

I don't know much about Soc/crim focus programs, but I'd recommend looking into Penn State if you're looking at C/CJ programs and aren't sure if you'd rather explore sociology. It's ranked #5 in the criminology rankings but the program is housed with sociology as one department and its structured such that you can apply to either program and then once you finish the Master's portion of the program you can decide to switch to the other one if you think you'd prefer it. Many if not most of the faculty in the criminology program there have cociology degrees and I think you have to take at least one sociology elective as part of the curriculum so you kind of get the best of both worlds with that :)

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Yikes, sorry about that previous post. Didn't mean to ask that here! 

For what it's worth, my undergrad was in a sociology program that had a CJ concentration available, and I really enjoyed having the varied subject matter like you mentioned. I think it just depends on the sociology programs that you apply/get accepted to. I applied to both cj and soc programs and ended up choosing to go with a cj one because the sociology programs only had a handful of faculty with focuses in cj, and I'd rather have an entire department that can expose me to more relevant research. I think it comes down to more of a personal preference and what's the best fit for you. 

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