We study social processes that lead to a more equitable and just society.

Department of Sociology, Criminology, & Justice Studies

At Otterbein’s Department of Sociology, Criminology and Justice Studies you will learn how to be a positive catalyst for effective social change. We prepare students to engage complex challenges that affect our communities and social institutions. Our courses consider questions such as: (1) who is empowered and whose voices are missing; (2) is a given practice fair or unfair; (3) what alternatives can we imagine; and importantly, (4) what is required to create social change? If you have a passion for understanding society and the social forces that shape behavior, we invite you to help answer these vital questions using social science research methods and critical perspectives.

Why Study Sociology at Otterbein University?

With competitive internships in a variety of settings including nonprofits, government agencies, community organizations, and corporate enterprises, we place students with experiences that fully shape career opportunities.

Our coursework is expansive. From analyzing local and community issues to an emphasis on global awareness, we understand the interconnected aspects of contemporary social life.

Sociology at Otterbein University will challenge you to see the world through the lens of different cultures and communities and give you opportunities to collaborate with others to develop multi-cultural and global understandings

In today’s economy, where data is almost a new form of currency, we foster a strong understanding of research methods and data analysis used in problem solving and policy generating activities. Our students present their research at conferences.

We prepare you to live in a changing world, and to change the world you live in through experiential learning. Many of our courses involve meaningful community engagement and service tied to our course content.

Why Study Criminology & Justice Studies at Otterbein University?

With competitive internships in a variety of settings including forensics and investigative offices, the State Highway Patrol, U.S. Marshals, community organizations, police departments, and corporate enterprises – we place students with experiences that fully shape career opportunities.

We offer a combined scholarly and applied course of study for students interested in academic or applied careers in criminal justice research and work at the community, national, or global level.

Criminology at Otterbein University inspires exploration into questions of justice and injustice as informed by social science methods and theory.

We encourage students actively to engage their communities to identify, inspire, encourage, and initiate justice, while working actively to create innovate solutions that redress injustice.

You will learn how to be a positive catalyst for effective social change. We prepare students to engage complex challenges that affect our communities and social institutions.