Graduate Division

Criminology, Law, and Society Ph.D.

Section 1


Ranked 3rd by US News and World Report, the Criminology, Law and Society (CLS) department is committed to research and teaching on crime and law in all their ramifications, including understanding why we have the laws we have, why the law often results in unintended consequences, who violates the law and why, and how communities respond to crime. This interdisciplinary department integrates two complementary areas of scholarship — criminology and law and society (also known as socio-legal studies). Faculty are committed to empowering individuals and promoting equity and justice both locally and globally.

What Sets Us Apart?

The PhD program focuses on the causes, manifestations and consequences of crime; the impacts of crime on society; social regulation; the civil justice system; the social and cultural contexts of law; and the interactive effects of law and society. Talented faculty with interdisciplinary perspectives develop students’ theoretical and methodological sophistication to prepare them for academic positions at major universities or research and administrative positions in the justice system. The program is currently ranked 3rd in the nation among doctoral degree-granting programs in criminology and criminal justice, and 5th in scholarly productivity (Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index 2009 - most recent evaluation).

Students have the opportunity to work with faculty with strong expertise in the following research sub-areas:

  • Psychology and law
  • Race and justice
  • Law and society (concurrent J.D./Ph.D. offered)
  • Spatial patterns of crime
  • Incarceration and re-entry processes
  • Gangs and crime
  • Social networks and crime
  • Public policy and crime (concurrent J.D. offered)

Quick Facts

Program Type

Doctoral Program

Normative Time to Degree

6 years

Capstone Type


Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

Students wishing to apply to the Ph.D. program must provide the following:

1) An online application

2) Unofficial transcripts from each college or university attended

3) Three letters of recommendation

4) Scores from the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) General Test (UCI code: R4859)

5) Statement of purpose

All Ph.D. applications are due January 1st, but applicants are encouraged to submit their materials earlier (if possible). Applicants are accepted for full-time study beginning in the Fall Quarter only. The Ph.D. in Criminology, Law and Society is a rigorous program demanding full-time study and is therefore not appropriate for career professionals who wish to combine working with studying for an advanced degree. Such individuals may be interested in our online master's program.

The Criminology, Law and Society admissions committee considers every element of the application packet in order to evaluate the degree of fit between our program and the student’s goals, preparation for graduate study, and the likelihood of success in our program. We admit students whose undergraduate degrees are in a wide range of fields (including Criminology, Criminal Justice, English, History, Philosophy, etc.), but it is important for applicants to be pursuing a research career (whether in policy or academia) in Criminology, Law and Society. GPA, GRE scores, personal statement, prior experience (especially research, publications, and conference presentations) and letters of reference are considered in our assessment of candidate materials.

For complete information on admissions requirements and the application process, visit the Graduate Division.

For more information about the Ph.D. program, please visit the Prospective Ph.D. Students page.

Financial Support

Students in the Ph.D. program have a variety of financial support options. The most common sources of support are Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships.

  • Research Assistantship. Many students work with faculty on research projects funded by external grants or university monies. As with Teaching Assistants, RAs generally work for up to 20 hours per week and are involved in a wide variety of research activities (e.g., data collection and analysis, article preparation, etc.). Compensation for RAs is roughly equivalent to that for a Teaching Assistant, and covers fees and tuition.
  • Teaching Assistantship. Ph.D. students in CLS are eligible for 12 quarters of support as a Teaching Assistant (TA), making this the most common means of financial support. TAs work up to 20 hours a week, are responsible for assisting the professor with many common classroom tasks (e.g., creating exams, grading papers, etc.), assist students understand course material and meet course requirements, and experience the opportunity to practice the art of teaching (usually through discussion sections and/or guest lecturing). To maintain their eligibility, students must be in good academic standing and must have a satisfactory record as a Teaching Assistant. Some students may even receive a TAship after this 12-quarter period (subject to CLS and Graduate Divivsion approval). A Teaching Assistantship is not only an important means of financial support (a monthly salary plus fees and tuition coverage), but the work also serves a vital role in training Ph.D. candidates, particularly those who intend to pursue academic careers.

Additional funding is available through student loans, departmental and university fellowships, and outside funding sources. In addition to support during the academic year, students are often able to secure research grants from the Department for the summer. These grants are allotted on the basis of academic standing and financial need.

Award Opportunities

Listed below are the CLS Department awards current students have the opportunitiy to be nominated or apply for. Students are selected based on merit.

    Arnold Binder Award
    Gil Geis Award
    Kitty Calavita Award
    Michelle Smith-Pontell Award
    Peer Mentoring Award

Graduate Student Housing

A number of housing alternatives are available for graduate students at UCI. Two apartment complexes and a residence hall are available exclusively for graduate students and those with families who wish to live on campus. In addition, there are many off-campus options, including apartments/houses at the beach or apartment complexes just across the street from the university. Due to their affordability and convenience, more than half of our graduate students choose to live on campus.

Among the on-campus options are Verano Place Apartments, Palo Verde Apartments, and Vista del Campo/VdC Norte. Verano Place includes 862 units which are one-, two-, or three-bedroom unfurnished apartments. Palo Verde is designed solely for graduate students and post-doctoral students, and consists of 204 apartments that range from studio to three-bedroom apartments. Vista del Campo is a privately owned and managed apartment community located on the UCI campus, offering furnished apartments to single students who are sophomores, juniors, seniors, or graduate students. For information on all of these housing options, please visit the UCI Housing website.

For more information, please contact:

Irice Castro
Assistant Director of Graduate Student Services

Tuition & Fees

Graduate/Credential Student Fees 2019-20

  Fall 2019 Winter 2020 Spring 2020 Annual
Student Services Fee 376.00 376.00 376.00 1,128.00
Tuition 3,814.00 3,814.00 3,814.00 11,442.00
Assoc. Grad Students Fee 9.00 9.00 9.00 27.00
Student Center Fee 139.69 139.69 139.68 419.06
Bren Events Center Fee 23.00 23.00 23.00 69.00
Recreation Center Fee 88.00 88.00 88.00 264.00
Document Fee * 80.00 0.00 0.00 80.00
Student Health Insurance 1,459.18 1,459.18 1,459.18 4,377.54
Total California Resident $ 5,908.87 $ 5,908.87 $ 5,908.86 $ 17,726.60
Nonresident Supplemental Tuition 5,034.00 5,034.00 5,034.00 15,102.00
Total Nonresident $ 10,942.87 $ 10,942.87 $ 10,942.86 $ 32,828.60


Posted 12 July 2019 at

The tuition, fees, and charges posted to your billing statement or account are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures may not be final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by increases or reductions in State funding, or other developments. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus your final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

* The Document Fee provides lifetime access to official transcripts and academic verifications without a fee for in-person pickup or delivery by USPS. In addition, there is no fee for mailing the initial diploma. Effective Fall 2018, new undergraduate, professional, and graduate students are assessed the one-time document fee. Eligible students are able to use financial aid to cover the Document Fee.

Core Faculty

Hillary L. Berk
Assistant Professor of Teaching
Ph.D. University of California Berkeley; J.D. Northwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College
(949) 824-4570 
2363 Social Ecology II
Specializations: sociology of law/law and society, gender, family, reproduction and surrogacy, law and emotion, civil rights, dispute resolution

Lee Cabatingan
Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law & Society
Ph.D. University of Chicago 
2303 Social Ecology II
Specializations: Caribbean Law and Sovereignty; Construction of Authority at the Caribbean Court of Justice.

Simon A. Cole
Professor of Criminology, Law & Society
Ph.D., Cornell University
(949) 824-1443 
3385 SE II
Specializations: science, technology, law, and criminal justice

Susan Bibler Coutin
Professor of Criminology, Law & Society and Anthropology
Ph.D., Stanford University
(949) 824-1447; (949) 824-7816 
3375 SEII
Specializations: law, culture, immigration, human rights, citizenship, political activism, Central America

Elliott P. Currie
Professor of Criminology, Law & Society
Ph.D, University of California, Berkeley
(949) 824-1387 
2385 SE II
Specializations: criminal justice policy in the U.S. and other countries, causes of violent crime, social context of delinquency and youth violence, etiology of drug abuse and the assessment of drug policy, race and criminal justice

Teresa A. Dalton
Associate Professor of Teaching
Ph.D., J.D. University of Denver
(949) 824-9206 
3381 SE II
Specializations: food justice, games of chance and the death penalty

Brandon Golob
Assistant Professor of Teaching of Criminology, Law and Society
Ph.D. University of Southern California
(949) 824-5220 
3369 Social Ecology II

Michael R. Gottfredson
Chancellor's Professor of Criminology Law and Society and Law
Ph.D., University at Albany, State University of New York
949 824 9390 
3393 Social Ecology II
Specializations: criminology, theory, self-control, crime and policy

Sora Han
Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law & Society
Ph.D. UC Santa Cruz, J.D. UCLA
(949) 824-0050 
2319 SEII
Specializations: law and popular culture, critical race theory, philosophies of punishment, feminism and psychoanalysis

John R. Hipp
Professor of Criminology, Law & Society, Planning, Policy, & Design and Sociology
Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
(949) 824-8247 
3311 SEII
Specializations: community context of crime, household decisions and neighborhood change, research methods

Valerie Jenness
Professor of Criminology, Law & Society, Sociology, and Nursing Science
Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara 
3305 Social Ecology II
Specializations: links between deviance and social control (especially law); the politics of crime control and criminalization; social movements and social change; and corrections and public policy.

Charis E. Kubrin
Professor of Criminology, Law and Society
Ph.D., University of Washington
3379 SEII
Specializations: race/ethnicity and violence; rap music and media, culture and crime; immigration and crime, crime and crime trends

Elizabeth F. Loftus
Distinguished Professor of Social Ecology, and Professor of Law, and Cognitive Science
Ph.D. Stanford University
(949) 824-3285 
2393 Social Ecology II
Specializations: cognitive psychology, human memory, psychology and law

Mona Lynch
Professor of Criminology, Law & Society and Law
Ph.D., UC Santa Cruz
(949) 824-0047 
2311 SE II
Specializations: law and society; psychology and law; criminal procedure in practice; punishment and society; race, institutional bias, and criminal justice

Cheryl Maxson
Department Chair and Professor of Criminology, Law & Society
Ph.D. University of Southern California
(949) 824-5150 
2309 SEII
Specializations: crime and delinquency, youth violence,street gangs juvenile justice system and policing

Richard McCleary
Professor of Criminology, Law & Society and Planning, Policy & Design
Ph.D. Northwestern University
(949) 824-7280 
3315 SE II
Specializations: criminal justice, research methodology, statistics

Ana Muñiz
Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law & Society
Ph.D, University of California, Los Angeles
(949) 824-4940 
2301 SE II

Emily Owens
Associate Professor of Criminology, Law & Society
Ph.D., University of Maryland at College Park
(949) 824-7929 
2311 SE II

Keramet Reiter
Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law & Society and Law
Ph.D., J.D., University of California, Berkeley; M.A., John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)
(949) 824-9201 
3373 SEII
Specializations: prisons, legal history, criminal justice policy, criminal and civil rights law, law and society

Nancy Rodriguez
Professor of Criminology, Law & Society
Ph.D., Washington State University
3375 Social Ecology II
Specializations: Race, Crime, & Justice; Juvenile Justice; Collateral Consequences of Imprisonment; Criminal Justice Policy

Nicholas Scurich
Associate Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, and Criminology, Law and Society
Ph.D. University of Southern California
(949) 824-4046 
4312 Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway
Specializations: psychology & law; judgment and decision making; violence risk assessment

Christopher Seeds
Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law and Society
Ph.D. New York University; J.D., Cornell Law School
(949) 824-4853 
3375 Social Ecology II
Specializations: punishment and social control, law and society, criminal justice, social theory, life sentencing and capital punishment

Naomi F. Sugie
Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law & Society
Ph.D. Sociology and Social Policy, Demography, Princeton University
3319 Social Ecology II
Specializations: Punishment and mass incarceration, employment and prisoner reentry, social inequality, families, criminological theory, demography, new technologies for data collection and analysis

Bryan L. Sykes
Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law & Society
Ph.D., Sociology and Demography, University of California-Berkeley
(949) 824-9583 
3317 Social Ecology II
Specializations: demography, punishment and mass incarceration, health, fertility, research methods, statistics, and social inequality

George E. Tita
Professor of Criminology, Law & Society and Planning, Policy & Design
Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University
(949) 824-4927 
2307 SEII
Specializations: criminology, community context of violence, urban youth gangs, homicide studies

Susan F. Turner
Professor of Criminology, Law & Society
Ph.D. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
(949) 824-6943 
Social Ecology II, Room 3336
Specializations: sentencing and corrections, applied research methods

Kirk Williams
Professor of Criminology, Law & Society
Ph.D., The University of Arizona, Tucson
(949) 824-7435 
3309 SE II
Specializations: Family Violence, Youth Violence, Homicide Studies, Risk Assessment, Violence Prevention Program Evaluation

Career Outcomes

career outcomes data

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Students & Alumni

Student Profile: LaBreonna Stori-Turner Bland

For more information about our Social Ecology graduates and their current placements, please view our PhD alumni table.