Criminology & Justice Studies

Kent State University’s Department of Sociology offers a four-year program leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree in criminology and justice studies, with a variety of concentrations as set forth below. A criminology and justice studies minor is also available. On the graduate level, the Department of Sociology offers the M.A. in criminology and criminal justice, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology (with the possibility of studying criminology and deviance). The department occupies all three floors of Merrill Hall, which contains classrooms, a student lounge and faculty offices.


The criminology and justice studies curriculum integrates knowledge and skills from a range of justice subjects, including crime and delinquency, law enforcement, courts, corrections and law with disciplines such as sociology. The program provides an opportunity to understand the foundations, structures and practices of the contemporary criminal and juvenile justice systems, as well as current challenges and controversies. The program prepares its graduates for professional roles in a wide variety of fields and also prepares students for graduate study, in social science disciplines or law school.

Program Requirements

Each criminology and justice studies major completes 25 semester hours of major requirements plus 15 semester hours in one of the program’s seven concentrations (9 hours of which must be upper division). The core courses for the major are: Introduction to Justice Studies, Issues in Law and Society, Criminology, Minorities in Crime and Justice or Women in Crime and Justice, Court Functions, Introduction to Sociology, Researching Society, and Data Analysis plus Lab.

A student may choose from the following seven concentrations:

  • Corrections
  • Criminology and Deviance
  • Justice and Human Relations
  • Law and Society
  • Policing
  • Victimology
  • General

All students pursuing bachelor’s degrees at Kent State University complete the Kent Core requirements. Students majoring in criminology and justice studies take courses in English composition, mathematics or logic, foreign language (basic Spanish is already relevant and will be increasingly relevant for employment in public service and public safety fields), humanities, fine arts, social sciences and basic sciences.


The criminology and justice studies faculty has received national and international recognition. Members have received federal and state grants, written books, published in prestigious journals, served as editors of journals and held offices in professional associations. A number of the faculty have won or been nominated for teaching awards. And our faculty offers a wealth of knowledge and experience related to occupations including policing, criminal law, corrections and counseling.

Special Departmental programs

Internship and research Opportunities

The criminology and justice studies program within the Department of Sociology offers a wide variety of professional opportunities for students through its internship program, for which students can earn course credit. Working with local, state or national agencies, students can gain invaluable on-the-job experience while earning academic credit and benefiting from faculty guidance. Some placements include financial compensation by the host agency and some placements can lead to full-time employment upon graduation. Internships also frequently lead to important contacts and references in a student’s chosen field and add a distinctive value to a student’s credentials. Students can work with faculty on research projects and participate in conferences to share their work.




Minor in Criminology and Justice Studies

The criminology and justice studies minor requires 24 hours of coursework. A minor can be completed in conjunction with any other Kent State major. Useful combinations include sociology, psychology, and applied conflict management.

Workshops and Information Fairs

In addition to the services offered by Kent State's Office of Career Exploration and Development, the department offers events specifically for criminology and justice studies students to prepare them for future careers and graduate/law school.

Scholarship Opportunities/ Financial Assistance

Many criminology and justice studies majors receive financial aid. Students seeking information on financial assistance or scholarships should consult the Admissions Office, the Student Financial Aid Office, and the department's website.





Students can meet with the Department Academic Advisor or seek advising from the undergraduate coordinator for criminology and justice studies. Students can also speak informally with any faculty member, for example with respect to preparing for particular types of employment or graduate study. Students are expected to seek formal advising to help identify the resources and strategies which will best serve students’ particular needs and interests.

Computer and Research Facilities

Students can make use of computer labs in nearby White Hall or the Business Administration Building. Students also have access to University Libraries, with an extensive collection of more than two million volumes, and a variety of other resources including extensive online resources.

Online Learning 

Numerous courses in the program are offered fully online.