Requirements for the Criminology & Justice Studies Major

The Criminology and Justice Studies Program seeks through its multi-disciplinary curriculum to provide students with a broad foundation of knowledge grounded in the social sciences and humanities. Further, recognizing that a humane and equitable provision of justice is the foundation of a democratic society, the Programs seek to sensitize students to the values and views of diverse segments of society. In pursuit of this goal, courses within the curriculum serve to further students' conceptual understanding of the values, ethics, and power relationships involved in the process of justice. The field is both academic and professional; it is both conceptual and applied. To find the current GPS roadmap click here and, then search for Bachelor's in Criminology and Justice Studies.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Students will develop and obtain:

  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Professional skills through experience
  • Substantive knowledge in specific areas of the discipline, namely Law, Law Enforcement, Corrections, Courts, and Diversity
  • An understanding of ethics
  • An understanding of theoretical issues related to causes of crime and development of justice practices
  • An understanding of research
  • Opportunities for internships and clubs
  • Critical thinking skills

Internship Opportunities

One of the strengths of the major program is the option for students to complete an internship in the field (which also satisfies the University Experiential Learning requirement). Students receive academic credit in exchange for work in a justice-related agency.  Working with local, state or national agencies, students can gain invaluable on-the-job experience while earning academic credit. 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.

Major Program Requirements

All majors take 40 hours of coursework: seven courses plus a Data Analysis lab (22 hours) of core requirements designed to expose them to all major aspects of the field, plus 18 hours of electives in any number of specialization areas, 9 of which must be upper division.

Current program requirements: 40 Total Hours

Core Requirements (22 hours):

  • CRIM 12000, Introduction to Justice Studies
  • SOC 12050, Introduction to Sociology
  • CRIM 26704, Issues in Law & Society
  • SOC 32210, Researching Society* 
  • SOC 32220, Data Analysis
  • SOC 32221, Data Analysis Laboratory
  • CRIM 36702, Criminology
  • CRIM 37311, Minorities in Crime and Justice**
  • CRIM 37411, Women in Crime and Justice**

(*Writing Intensive Course)
(**Diversity Course)

Specialization Options Students may work with faculty and advisors to pursue their own individualized specialization in areas the following areas:

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

To find the GPS roadmap for each specialization, click here, and then search for Bachelor's Criminology and Justice Studies.

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.

Program Curriculum and Major Optional Specializations

Criminology & Justice Studies prepares its graduates for professional roles in the varied fields of criminal and juvenile justice and for graduate study in the social sciences or law school.  To accomplish that, we offer optional course specializations in the following subjects: 

  • Policing is for students intending careers in law enforcement and other occupations related to security and public safety. 
  • Corrections is for students interested in pursuing careers in fields such as community corrections (probation and parole) or institutional corrections for adults or juveniles.
  • Criminology & Deviance is for students interested in understanding the origins and nature of crime and deviance, their patterns and society’s responses; this specialization is appropriate for students preparing for graduate studies in criminology, criminal justice, sociology, public policy and social work.
  • Justice & Human Relations is for students interested in such fields as social work, counseling and treatment, clinical psychology, victimology, victim advocacy, juvenile justice, public/community relations in criminal justice, community organizing, diversity or social justice (note that interdisciplinary training and/or specialized graduate training are necessary for careers in many of those fields). 
  • Law & Society is for students interested in the social relevance of law and social influences on law; this specialization is appropriate preparation for law school or graduate studies in the social sciences. 
  • General Criminology & Justice Studies is for students who either choose not to pursue a specialization within the major or wish to pursue an individualized program of study (through general electives) which does not align with the other specializations.  
  • Victimology is relevant for students interested in the scholarly study of crime victims, their treatment in the justice systems, and programs that serve victims. It is useful for those interested in victim advocacy. 

The current roadmap for each specialization is available here; then search for Criminology and Justice Studies. If you are a student in a previous catalog year, consult the roadmap archives here. ​Students should always check their catalog year and degree audit (GPS) to determine their particular program, College, and University requirements.