The doctoral program in criminology and justice policy at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University seeks to prepare students for professional and research careers in criminal justice, criminology, and related fields by applying multidisciplinary and comparative social science to understand, predict, and explain crime and contribute to the development of public policy within urban communities. Using an active-learning approach, the school seeks to develop its students intellectually and ethically, while providing them with a keen appreciation for the complexities of crime and public and private efforts to make communities safer and to ensure justice. The program is full time and is small and student centered. Students may enter the program with either a bachelor's degree or a master's degree. It is expected that students will be able to complete the program in four to five years, and students entering with a master's degree will be able to complete the program in three to five years. Year one in the doctoral program offers students an opportunity to obtain a broad foundational knowledge in the discipline: two semesters of criminological theory, two semesters of statistics, one semester of criminal justice process, and one semester of advanced research methods. To ensure that all students have mastered the foundational material emphasized across the required courses for the PhD program and can successfully integrate theory, research, and policy, all PhD students take a “foundations” qualifying examination at the end of their first year in the doctoral program. After demonstrating mastery of the foundational knowledge in year one, students devote themselves to a more specific area of research in year two. Students demonstrate this commitment through a second qualifying examination, which consists of two stages: an area exam and a publishable paper. The two stages of this exam are required and should be related. Following successful completion of the first and second qualifying examinations, and required and elective course work, the students proceed to a formal dissertation proposal defense.