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EIU Criminology and Criminal Justice

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Through an interdisciplinary course of study, the criminology and criminal justice program provides a student-centered curriculum that enables students to think critically about the causes and consequences of crime and criminal behavior.

What will you learn?

The goals of the Criminology and Criminal Justice program are to:

  • Provide students with an understanding of the theoretical explanations of crime and criminal behavior.
  • Analyze the major institutions and processes of the criminal justice system.
  • Teach students the analytical skills necessary to understand and interpret statistical data, research questions related to crime and the criminal justice system, and test criminological theories.
  • Assist students in the development of effective critical thinking and communication skills.

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Undergraduate Programs


The undergraduate program in Criminology and Criminal Justice will prepare students for a variety of career options including: law enforcement, probation/parole officer, caseworker, corrections officer, victim advocacy, crime prevention specialist, and private/corporate security. The program will also prepare students for graduate-level study in criminology, criminal justice, law, sociology, and other social science disciplines. Click here for more information on the major.


The Interdisciplinary Criminology minor allows students to select either criminal justice or criminal administration as options. The curriculum is composed substantially of coursework from Political Science and Sociology, but Business, Economics, Philosophy and Psychology also contribute relevant and important courses. Strengths of the program include the diversity of departments, the wide range of courses and topics, and the student's discretion to select from among those courses. The minor emphasizes the theoretical and conceptual contexts that will complement the practical training of police academies, but the relevance of the minor goes well beyond the practice and profession of law enforcement. An important goal of the minor also is to broaden students' understanding of issues and challenges associated with law enforcement's role in a democratic society. Click here for more information on the minor.

Meet our Faculty

Dr. Jennifer Stevens

Assistant Professor

Dr. Jennifer Stevens joined Eastern Illinois University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology in August 2015. She completed her doctorate in sociology with a concentration in law and society at Purdue University. Dr. Stevens’ research focuses primarily on pre-trial release and how release decisions are made. After spending numerous hours observing pre-trial hearings in jailhouse courtrooms, she developed a particular interest in not only the experiences of pre-trial detainees but also the families who support them. Dr. Stevens is excited to be a part of the new Criminology & Criminal Justice major at Eastern and looks forward to developing new courses and new opportunities for students in this major.

Mr. Roger E Cunningham


Roger Cunningham joined the faculty of the Sociology/Anthropology Department in 2005, after serving as a Charleston police officer for 25 years, retiring as assistant chief of police.

Dr. Michael Gillespie

Associate Professor

Dr. Gillespie has the distinguished honor to teach the required applied statistics course in the Department of Sociology/Anthropology. This course, for which students most often only enroll because it is a program requirement, is therefore met with much anxiety and skepticism by Sociology majors. However, integrating statistical literacy with a pirate, props, M&M chocolate candies, and real world applications, Dr. Gillespie develops for his students a critical eye toward social statistics that, in hopes, lives and breathes outside of the classroom.

Related Pages

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Contact Information

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Blair 3170
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-3123
Fax: (217) 581-7067

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