U.S. News ranks doctoral criminology program 4th

The University of Missouri–St. Louis Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice’s doctoral degree program has been ranked fourth in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

The ranking appears in the magazine’s 2011 edition, “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” available April 27. The program retains its 2009 ranking.

The UMSL program prepares graduates for positions as researchers in academic, governmental and private settings, and for other positions requiring advanced knowledge of theories and methods in criminology and criminal justice.

The first cohort of doctoral students was admitted in the fall of 1996. Since then, doctoral degree recipients have assumed positions as university and college professors, and researchers for federal agencies.

UMSL Chancellor Tom George said the U.S. News & World Report ranking is indicative of the overall strength of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

“The department has an outstanding reputation nationally,” George said. “Those who wish to study criminology, whether on an undergraduate or graduate level, look to UMSL as a leader in the highly competitive field.”

Finn Esbensen, the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor in Youth Crime and Violence and chairman of the department, said the doctoral degree program maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio and admission is highly competitive. Students examine both the causes and consequences of crime by using quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Current research projects include the study of homicide and violence, youth crime, gangs, criminal victimization, policing, juvenile courts, adult corrections, program evaluation and criminal data systems.

UMSL doctoral students, who come from throughout the world, have successfully competed for dissertation grant awards from the National Institute of Justice and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. They also have successfully published research in a number of scholarly journals.

In U.S. News & World Report’s ranking, UMSL’s program trailed only those at the University of Maryland in College Park, State University of New York at Albany and University of Cincinnati.

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