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Department of Sociology and Criminology

Sociology is the study of social human behavior, particularly the way people interact, organize and take action. The discipline provides students with a strong analytical and theoretical background and skills to work with and understand people.

One of the major areas of study within the discipline of sociology is criminology. Criminology is the scientific study of crime and criminal behavior. Criminology examines the cause, extent, and types of crime in society, as well as prevention.

Programs of Study

Learn more about our Programs of Study, including our specialized concentrations in Criminology; Diversity Justice and Social Change; Social Work, Community and Health; Forensic Behavioral Studies and our 3/2 Programs.

Programs of Study

John Carroll offers a major and minor in sociology and criminology. The coursework will expose you to theoretical insights about human behavior, and teach you critical analytical thinking and skills to work with, and help understand, people. You’ll learn about ways people interact, organize, and act as families, cities, societies, cultures, ethnic/racial groups, social class, religions, businesses, and many other types of groups.



Acquire a B.A. in Sociology and a Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) in social work in five years via the 3/2 program with John Carroll University and Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.

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As a sociology and criminology major, you can tailor your studies to prepare for a variety of career paths as well as graduate and professional school.

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You will obtain a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll, followed by a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University in six years.

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Public health seeks to improve the health of communities through research, educational programs, and health promotion.

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Enhance your understanding of social human behavior and develop critical thinking abilities that will prove valuable, no matter your major.

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If you are interested in law, crime, forensics, police work and justice, this concentration is for you.

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This concentration is for those considering a career in a multicultural setting or graduate study in comparative sociology, ethnic studies, international studies, law, counseling, peace/human rights, or social work.

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If you're interested in forensics, law enforcement, and/or criminal justice, this concentration is for you.

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If you're interested in social work, nonprofit administration, counseling, community development, public health, public policy, law, or advocacy, this concentration is for you.

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Department Highlights

JCU Students at Lecture 2015 (provided to Ed Hahnenberg by university photographer)

As a sociology and criminology student, you’ll take foundational courses in research methods, data analysis, and theory. You’ll also explore contemporary social issues such as: crime, drugs and violence, juvenile delinquency, poverty, aging, health and illness, prejudice and discrimination, social justice and inequalities, the environment, and sexuality and gender, both within the U.S. and internationally.

Depending on your career interests, you can choose to focus your studies in one of four specialized concentrations: Criminology; Forensic Behaviors; Social Work, Community &  Health; or Diversity, Justice and Social Change. 

Many of our students complete internships to gain professional experience in a variety of fields. Our students have completed internships in over 75 nonprofit and governmental agencies throughout the Cleveland metropolitan area. In addition to completing summer university internships, internships through the department are highly recommended for seniors completing concentrations, and students are matched to an internship site based upon their career interests.

Sociology and Criminology majors and minors often participate in Interdisciplinary programs by completing a minor or secondary major in areas such as: