General Information

Please consult the academic calendar for the most up to date degree requirements. In the event that program requirements change in the future, the calendar in effect at the time of entry into the program governs.

This site, maintained by the School of Criminology, provides some explanation and elaboration of the academic calendar entry, but does not supercede the requirements in the academic calendar.

Pre-requisite Courses

Required for entry into the PhD program and are separate from the program requirements.  Students admitted to the program without the prerequisite courses (or equivalent), will be required to complete those courses in addition to the PhD degree requirements.

Program Requirements

  • A minimum of 39 units: coursework (21 units); comprehensive exam (6 units); a final thesis (18 units).

Course Requirements (21 units)

Note: Courses completed as part of another degree (e.g. MA) cannot be used to meet PhD requirements (cf. Graduate General Regulations).

  • CRIM 801 - Criminological Theory II (3)


  • CRIM 863 - Research Methods IV: Advanced Quantitative Methods (3)
  • CRIM 864 - Research Methods V: Advanced Qualitative Methods (3)
  • CRIM 865 - Research Methods VI: The Theory and Practice of Program Evaluation (3)


  • A mimumum of 12 units selected from additional course offerings. A maximum of 6 units may be completed in another department or university with supervisory committee and graduate program committee approval. These courses may be accepted as partially meeting PhD program course requirements.

Comprehensive Exam (6 units)

  • CRIM 897 - Comprehensive Exam (6)
  • The Graduate Program Assistant enrolls students after coursework is completed.

PhD Thesis (18 units)


  • G100: for students living in the lower mainland (UPass and full student fees).
  • G200: for students living outside of the lower mainland or more than 2 hours commute (no UPass and reduced student fees). This section requires department permission. Contact the Graduate Programs Assistant ( with your program and student number to request enrollment.

As per Graduate Studies regulations, all graduate students are required to maintain continuous enrollment unless they have been granted a leave of absence from their program.

Program Length

  • Students are expected to complete the program requirements in 12-15 terms (4-5 years). 
  • Normally, students are expected to finish their coursework and the comprehensive examination within two years of program entry.

Other Information

Thesis Procedure

  • In the term after the comprehensive exam is passed, candidates develop a thesis prospectus based on original research defining a proposed investigation and demonstrating the relationship between it and existing scholarship. 
  • The thesis prospectus is presented to the supervisory committee and, on approval, is circulated to faculty and resident graduate students to be presented at a colloquium.
  • The thesis is defended in an oral examination by an examining committee constituted under “Examining Committee for Doctoral Thesis,” see Graduate General Regulations for more information.

Satisfactory Performance

The progress of each candidate is assessed once per year by the School. Students who perform unsatisfactorily may not continue, subject to review procedures of unsatisfactory progress described in Graduate General Regulations.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.