Sociology, Criminology, & Justice Studies Minors


A minor in sociology at Otterbein University allows students to enhance their undergraduate experience with a variety of courses that complement diverse majors. With a sociology minor, you investigate topics such as inequality, family, race, gender, criminology, human and community service, or global justice in depth. Acquiring background in sociology can help students better prepare for graduate studies or a career in a related field with tangible social science methods and concepts.

Coursework might investigate:

  • How to encourage public interest in climate and environmental policy changes
  • Alleviating the gender pay gap
  • Divorce rates in relation to the ‘wedding industrial complex’
  • ‘Black Lives Matter’ as a social movement
  • Contentious discourse in politics and the culture wars


You can combine a minor in criminology with majors in sociology, psychology, political science, communication, health studies, etc. It is an ideal minor for students interested in pursuing a career in law or public policy. Criminology uses social science methods and develops important concepts and theories that you will apply to complex problems in a number of fields.

Coursework might investigate:

  • Child abuse and the juvenile justice system
  • Problems and issues in policing, corrections, and law enforcement careers
  • Race as a factor in the imposition of capital punishment
  • Who gets labeled deviant and who is merely ‘quirky’
  • The portrayal of crime and violence on prime time TV and/or in the movies

Justice Studies

If you recognize that equal access to life-sustaining resources such as employment, quality education, healthcare, food, clean environments, and legal protection from discrimination is vital for society – then a justice studies minor is for you. Ours is a multiple-disciplinary minor with a flexible curriculum tailored to your interests.

More than ever the world needs effective scholars, leaders, and advocates like you who are prepared to engage with the complex social, economic, political, and interpersonal challenges that influence our communities and institutions. We create a curriculum that takes multiple perspectives and advocate with those who are typically underrepresented and vulnerable to exploitation.

Coursework might investigate:

  • Violence as it varies across race, ethnicity, class, age, and gender
  • How access to quality education can encourage peace
  • Disability and access to public venues and resources
  • Human rights in relation to immigration
  • The “New Jim Crow” and criminal justice reform