Doctoral students entering the Criminology, Law and Society PhD program in fall 2018 and later are required to write a Major Area Paper (MAP). The MAP serves as the qualifying requirement to advance to candidacy. The MAP is an opportunity to conduct an expert analysis of a particular topic of interest. A successful MAP may be the foundation for a student’s dissertation proposal, but a MAP is not the same as a dissertation proposal. A dissertation proposal leads to an argument for a specific study. A MAP is a critical synthesis about what we do or do not know about a research area and includes logical conclusions based upon this synthesis. It is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their development toward becoming an independent scholar, a process that is concluded with the successful completion of the dissertation.
Students are eligible to submit the MAP after they have a total of 36 credits (including those applied via reduction of credit) applied to the PhD in Criminology, Law and Society. The department has two submission dates per year: February 1 and September 1. If you are a full-time student, you should aim to submit your MAP for review before your fourth year in the program. The Major Area Paper Guidelines (see below) provide important information about the content, format, recommended timelines, and evaluation process for the MAP.