Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Kennesaw State University! Whether you stumbled on this page by accident or intentionally, I hope you will spend a few moments here and learn more about our department, our disciplines, and our people. After you visit this site, my hope is that many of you will decide to join us, but at the very least, you will have a little better understanding of who we are and what we do.

In many ways, my life has come full circle. I was a first-generation college student, and now I sit in the position of a college professor with a child poised to start college in another year. I understand and empathize with the perspective of a student trying to figure out what our disciplines are and what they want to do with their lives, and I understand the position of a parent who wants their child to have a secure future. Let me tell you why I think you should consider one of our programs.

Broadly speaking, sociology is the study of social life; to do this we examine social change and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Criminal justice often involves a study of criminal activity, policing, corrections, criminal court procedures, as well as the agents who operate within these institutions and social policy (as it relates to crime and control). Our disciplines require and develop the critical thinking skills necessary to be successful in any career and foster deeper understanding of the social world in which we all live. Karl Marx, one of the foundational theorists in the classical and contemporary social thought, once said that "the point is not just to understand the social world but to change it." Our offerings equip students to do both—better understand the social world and contribute to improving it for all. Won’t you join us?

We offer a B.S. in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Sociology (both traditional and online programs), a Master of Science in Criminal Justice, and contribute to an interdisciplinary Master of Science in Cybersecurity.  The department also offers minors in Criminal Justice, Criminology, Gerontology, Medical Sociology, and Sociology, and we will be home to a new certificate program in Workplace Interpersonal Relationships.

The department currently serves over 1300 undergraduate majors, as well as 30 graduate students. Distinctive departmental features include a vibrant internship program, innovative experiential learning opportunities for students, and three active student organizations. The department is noted for its strong academic programs, and supports global learning, interdisciplinary scholarship, and community engagement.

Our faculty award-winning faculty are committed to and have demonstrated excellence in the areas of teaching, research, and service. This is part of the reason that despite the fact we are a fairly large department (with approximately 35 full-time and another 35 part-time faculty members), we remain intensely committed to our mission, which includes an express commitment to achieve student-centered education and student success.

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Kennesaw State University!

Barbara Combs
Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice