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Criminology dept. makes the grade – again

USF’s doctoral program in criminology had the distinction of being named amongst the best in the nation. It’s the second time the department was ranked in late 2007.

The study, published by the Journal of Criminal Justice Education, began in May 2005 and evaluated 33 criminology doctoral programs in the United States and Canada.

The study measured faculty productivity by counting the number of scholarly articles published by professors. Rather than using peer assessments, the study suggested that scholarly productivity is a good indicator of a successful program.

The University’s program, just 10 years old, was ranked sixth.

“It’s really important for us nationally,” said Dr. Shayne Jones, a USF criminology professor. “It puts us on the scene.”

USF also placed seventh in a Chronicle of Higher Education study that analyzed the top 10 criminal justice and criminology doctoral programs in the nation.

Jones said the rankings will help in terms of recognition for the growing program.

“That’s the real value of this study and the one that appeared in the Chronicle,” Jones said. “It does provide that visibility.”

Dr. Michael Lynch, a criminology professor, said the recent rankings would not have been possible without the solid core of faculty that existed prior to establishing the program.

“The department was ranked among the top masters programs before it added its Ph.D. program,” Lynch said.

The program has 50 to 60 active graduate students, many of whom conduct research and publish articles in scholarly journals.

“It (the ranking) also helps in terms of recruitment of quality graduate students,” Jones said.