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Criminology and Justice Studies - B.A. PDFDownload to print

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Sociology

215 Merrill Hall
Tel: 330-672-2562


The Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Justice Studies takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of crime, law and justice. Faculty members view crime, deviance and society’s response from the fields of sociology, political science, psychology, social work and traditional criminal justice viewpoints. The curriculum provides a firm understanding of the basic institutions of the criminal justice system. Students are also exposed to criminological theory and diversity courses, which help them understand the complex relationship between the individual, society and the criminal justice system. The program stresses effective writing and analytical skills. Students are afforded the opportunity to earn credit through internship placements, including Kent State’s fully accredited police academy.

All students in the Criminology and Justice Studies major select at least one concentration from the six  offered, in consultation with a faculty advisor or the undergraduate coordinator for Criminology and Justice Studies. Consultations with faculty enable students to make informed choices about which combination of courses will maximize their preparation for future careers and possibly graduate education.

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

Career opportunities related to criminology and justice studies interests and credentials include positions in criminal and regulatory law enforcement affiliated with a wide variety of municipal/city, county, state, regional and national agencies; correctional positions, including guards, counselors, probation and parole officers and supervisors; homeland security; courthouse security; park/forest rangers; private security services, including for businesses, transportation systems, hospitals and campuses; juvenile detention, counseling and supervision; investigative and criminal history research positions for courts or private businesses; victim services and victim advocacy. 

In combination with relevant graduate degrees, students may also qualify for professional positions in legal practice; teaching; policy research including applied statistics and crime mapping; social work, clinical psychology, counseling or therapy; and forensics expert or technician (with cross-training in fields such as psychology, biology, chemistry, physics, anthropology, accounting, computer science or linguistics).

Admission Requirements

General Admissions for Freshman Students: Admission Requirements at the Kent Campus: The freshman admission policy at the Kent Campus is selective. Admission decisions are based upon the following: cumulative grade point average, ACT and/or SAT scores, strength of high school college preparatory curriculum and grade trends.

The university affirmatively strives to provide educational opportunities and access to students with varied backgrounds, those with special talents and adult students who graduated from high school three or more years ago. For more information on admissions, visit the admissions website for new freshmen.

General Admissions for Transfer Students: Generally, a transfer applicant who has taken 12 or more semester hours with a college cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale may be admitted. An applicant who has taken fewer than 12 semester hours will be evaluated on both collegiate and high school records. For more information on admissions, visit the admissions website for transfer students..

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 120 total credit hours and 42 upper-division hours for graduation. Minimum 2.000 GPA overall and 2.000 GPA in major required for graduation.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will develop:

1. Oral and written communication skills

2. Professional skills through experience

3. Substantive knowledge in specific areas of the discipline, namely law, law enforcement, corrections, courts, and diversity

4. An understanding of ethics

5. An understanding of theoretical issues related to causes of crime and development of justice practices

6. An understanding of research

7. Critical thinking skills

Study Abroad/Away Opportunities

There are many Study Abroad/Away Opportunities, for more information contact the Office of Global Education.

Student Organizations

Alpha Phi Sigma, the Criminal Justice Honor Society; Lambda Alpha Epsilon, the Criminal Justice Club

Advanced Degree Programs