Factors Influencing Graduate Directors’ Referrals to Ph.D. Programs in Criminal Justice and Criminology: A First Look

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Prior research has suggested factors such as university and program ranking may impact master’s students’ decisions to attend particular doctoral programs. One source of this information is likely their graduate director. However, sparse research exists on graduate directors’ referrals to doctoral education and specific programs. To address this gap in the literature, we surveyed 143 criminal justice graduate directors at masters-granting institutions across the U.S. Respondents were asked about the factors that influence their decisions to (1) recommend students to doctoral education, (2) recommend specific Ph.D. programs, (3) their perceptions of the quality of education at specific programs and (4) their likelihood of referring students to those doctoral programs. Results suggest that the referral decision is a multi-faceted concept. Findings also indicate that master’s program graduate directors’ ranking of criminal justice Ph.D. programs diverge from popular rankings of similar Ph.D. programs. Implications, limitations, and directions for future research are discussed.