Sociology & Criminal Justice

Cool Classes

Street Smart Scholars
In Richard Greenleaf ’s Police and Society class, students learn from their professor’s life in blue.
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The Transformational Power of a Mentor

Mentor Paul Halverson has helped Elmhurst senior Emily Heimerdinger navigate college and prepare for life beyond graduation.


The Fight for Disability Rights

Elmhurst history professor and scholar Lindsey Patterson rethinks the history of disability-rights activism.

At Elmhurst, sociology is taught within the context of a well-developed liberal arts curriculum. This major covers the gamut of social interaction from intimate family relationships to international relations. Students explore how class, race, gender and age affect our lives; how bureaucracies function or falter; how injustice and crime occur; and how social ills are remedied. Combining theory and practice in small classes (even in introductory courses), Elmhurst’s sociology program provides a strong and thorough grounding in a discipline that leads to careers in social services, management, public relations, human resources, government and other fields requiring an understanding of human interaction.

Elmhurst’s sociology and criminal justice department offers a range of courses that address topics such as cultural anthropology, sex and gender, healthcare, criminology, the elderly, and marriage and family. Students learn social theory and methods, study research, and then apply their findings to specific circumstances and situations.

You’ll have the opportunity to work in the field before you even graduate. Our students have done fieldwork in criminal justice settings, such as a police department, probation department, or a correctional organization, as well as social service agencies like a youth commission, a rape prevention center, or a center for the elderly. At Elmhurst, you can design and conduct individual research projects under faculty direction. Topics have included police officer gender-bias in decision-making, bulimia among college women and attitudes toward AIDS and its victims.

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