San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

August 2nd, 2009
Texas State launches new doctoral program

STAFF REPORT

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating board has given final approval to a new doctoral program in criminal justice at Texas State.

The degree will be added to their burgeoning graduate program, which currently consists of 88 master’s degrees, seven Ph.D degrees and one doctorate of physical therapy.  Enrollment for the new degree will begin immediately, with the Department of Criminal Justice offering classes for the fall 2009 semester.

“There’s been considerable demand for a doctorate in criminal justice in this area for a very long time,” said Texas State Criminal Justice Professor Mark Stafford, who will supervise the program.

It is expected that Texas State’s criminal justice research doctorate will appeal to people in state agencies and law enforcement who are interested in conducting original research and applying their research to the criminal justice system.

“Our enrollment will be a mix of traditional graduate students and working professionals,” Stafford explained. “Ideally we will have 50 percent of each. There’s been nothing in the area to serve working professionals who are place-bound.”

The doctorate will also draw upon the strengths of existing programs, most notably Professor Kim Rossmo’s world famous Center for Geospatial Intelligence and Investigation. Thus, graduate students pursuing a criminal justice doctorate can join in research projects immediately. Rossmo, as some crime drama fans may know, is the creator of geographic profiling, an investigative support technique for serial violent crime. 

The Center’s ongoing development of geographic profiling for violent and property crime, as well as terrorism and insurgency problems, is recognized as one of the most innovative crime fighting tools in the country.

“Kim Rossmo’s work is a cutting-edge, up-and-coming field of study in criminal justice. We see that as where we want to be—on the cutting edge,” Stafford said. “Here at Texas State we can make use of the interdisciplinary strengths of our university. The excellence of the Geography program is one example. It only makes sense to do so, given the expertise of our department.”

There are currently only 35 criminal justice doctoral programs in the United States.

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