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Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Sociology & Criminology

Every day, humans are impacted by, driven to, and motivated around a multifaceted and intersectional web of the social worlds in which we live. Understanding social human behavior is crucial to building impactful solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Solutions that are mindful of each individual stakeholder’s perspectives and complex social fabric – a formula calculated to create meaningful, lasting change.

Sociology makes for a great area of study if you want to work with people in any field because that’s exactly what sociology is – understanding people! People’s motivations, privileges, families, cultures, social constructs, childhood dynamics, the list goes on. It makes for empathetic individuals who can go on to successful careers as social workers, lawyers, health care professionals, educators, and leaders in any field across the globe.

Sociology & Criminology at John Carroll

John Carroll’s sociology & criminology major provides you with the opportunity to focus on the things that interest you or match your aspirations. The major starts with crucial foundations in sociology, research methods, and theory, then branches into high-level courses, perhaps in concentrations focused in the following: Criminology; Diversity, Justice and Social Change (DJSC); Social Work, Community and Health (SWCH);or Forensic Behavioral Studies (FBSC).In each, your study will expose you to theoretical insights about human behavior and teach you critical analytical thinking and skills to be able to work with and help better understand people.

“Neither the life of the individual nor the history of society can be understood without understanding both”

— quote from the famous sociologist, C. Wright Mills


This is recommended for students interested in crime, forensics, law, police work, and justice. Internships are available to seniors in their spring semester, and students will be matched to an internship site based on their career interests. Courses cover challenging, fascinating issues that will help you become a well-rounded professional in whatever you pursue, including topics like Victims of Crime, Family Violence, African American Experience in the United States, Social Inequalities in Society, Drugs and Crime, and Forensic Science.

If you have a fire for bringing societal change of systems, this concentration helps you focus on that with respect, perspective, and concrete skills. This is recommended if you are 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. Course topics include: Social Change; Aging, Health and Society; Prejudice and Discrimination; Masculinities; Consumer Culture and Society; Environmental Justice; and so much more.

The Social Work, Community and Health (SWCH) concentration is recommended if you are interested in a career as a social worker, in nonprofit administration, counseling, community development, public health, public policy, law, advocacy and other related careers. Internships are required of seniors during their spring semester, and students will be assisted in being matched to an internship site based on their career interests. Coursework includes a choice from a long list of complex sociology topics, including Self and Society, Family Violence, Victims of Crime, Poverty, Welfare, and Social Justice In The U.S., and many more increasingly relevant, thought-provoking topics.

This concentration is a great foundation for a career in forensics, law enforcement and criminal justice. Forensics is the application of scientific knowledge to crime scenes and investigations. Courses include both crime scene analysis as well as a study into criminal justice systems, criminology, and the why behind many criminals’ minds and motivations. 

Acquire a B.A. in Sociology and a Master of 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. You can receive your MSSA degree in five years by enrolling in the master's program after your junior year at John Carroll. You would receive your B.A. degree in Sociology upon completion of your first year at CWRU and your MSW degree upon completion of your second year at the Mandel School.

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BA in Sociology & Criminology Highlights

Real Teaching

Your professors will teach research in current social issues, things that affect our everyday – from public health crises like pandemics and the opioid crisis, to the criminal justice system, from prejudice and discrimination (race, gender, sexuality) to the impact of technology on our social worlds. You will learn from a wide range of topics from passionate instructors, blended with a robust year of research methodology and data analysis.

Jobs & Internships

John Carroll sociology/criminology students have pursued internships to gain professional experience in over 75 nonprofit and governmental agencies throughout the Cleveland metropolitan area. Internships are available to seniors in their spring semester, and students are matched to an internship site based upon their career interests. The Sociology/Criminology department partners with a number of organizations doing exciting work in criminal justice, social work, and health and human services, such as the Cuyahoga Prosecutor’s Office, Catholic Charities, U.S. Marshall Service, United Way, Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, Juvenile Court Services.

Experiential Learning

The best way to understand sociology and its impact on the world is by seeing it at work. Many of the courses you take at John Carroll will contain experiential learning components. For example, the Poverty, Welfare and Community Action class partners with a variety of nonprofits in Northeast Ohio for class projects. Recently, students worked with Lutheran Metro Ministry on affordable housing issues. You will also have opportunities to take immersions abroad, such as the Belfast Summer Institute in Northern Ireland, learning first-hand about conflict transformation and peace-building.

Featured Faculty

"Neither the life of an individual nor the history of society can be understood without understanding both."
— C.Wright Mills

Alumni Across The Region Map

Sociology & Criminology Alumni Across the Region

John Carroll University alumni live, work, teach and support communities throughout the region from Northeast Ohio to Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, Columbus, Buffalo, Rochester, Pittsburgh, New York City, Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

Megan Sutterluety

Megan Sutterluety, Sociology and Criminology ‘22

Status: Law Student at IU McKinney School of Law

"The Sociology/Criminology program is one of the best parts of JCU! The faculty take the time to get to know each student and build a relationship with them. The connections and opportunities available in the Sociology/Criminology department helps students secure internships, research opportunities, and future jobs. Throughout my time at JCU I gained valuable academic knowledge along with real-world experience all thanks to the Soc/Crim department!"