Welcome to Undergraduate Studies

Dr. Dawn L. Rothe

Welcome from the Chair

I want to welcome potential students to the School of Justice Studies. We offer a variety of learning opportunities to help you get the education you need for your future career. We are a program of distinction and nationally recognized. EKU and our School of Justice Studies offer a variety of support systems to help students get a better understanding of justice studies and be successful in achieving their undergraduate degree (see links below).  Our programs in the School of Justice Studies offer high quality courses of instruction that include a range of relevant and intellectually engaging courses taught by leading academics in the field of crime and justice studies. 

The nationally recognized undergraduate studies program at EKU provides a range of courses in  justice studies including courses in general criminal justice, policing, corrections, law, juvenile justice, and social justice designed to prepare students for graduate study in criminal justice, law, justice studies, or the social sciences and/or employment in the fields of criminal justice, social services and social advocacy.  

Primary objectives of the School of Justice Studies is on developing students who have:

  • critical and creative thinking skills;
  • a sound understanding of the theoretical basis and principles of justice;
  • highly effective communication and analytical skills;
  • the ability for qualitative and quantitative reasoning;
  • a desire to engage the social world; and,
  • a deep understanding and appreciation of the importance of diversity;
  • the knowledge and skills to be future leaders in the field of justice.

The degree programs in Justice Studies give students the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills above the introductory level through a logically sequenced, coherent, and rigorous body of coursework.

All of our programs in the School of Justice Studies are part of a broadly based degree program with a balance of general education, required and elective courses in justice and in related fields, and unrestricted electives wherever possible.

At EKU we offer:

  • Courses taught by exceptional faculty, many of whom have worked in the fields of criminal justice and/or social justice
  • Small personalized classes where students and faculty get to know one another
  • Opportunities to participate in clubs, organizations, and honor societies that broaden students’ professional relationships and their understanding of criminal justice related practice
  • A variety of field focused courses, co-ops, internships, service learning, and other hands-on learning experiences
  • National and international travel and educational opportunities designed to help students expand their understanding of efforts to promote justice here and abroad
  • Personalized advising through the College Advising Center
  • A living environment where students who stay on campus can live with other justice studies majors in the Justice and Safety Living and Learning Community.
  • A unique educational experience designed not only to prepare you for the world of work but to prepare you for making a difference in the lives of others                                      

After Graduation

Criminal Justice majors throughout the country and in Kentucky are finding employment in all facets of the criminal justice enterprise including public and private policing, community and institutional corrections, the court subsystem, criminal justice research and planning, crime prevention, and victim-based programs (e.g., domestic violence). Our broad-based degree program, taught by leading scholars in the country, also prepares those students opting to continue their studies either at law school or in a graduate program.

We are proud of our faculty, students, and programs and we are confident that the School of Justice Studies provides students with an unrivaled learning experience. If this sounds appealing to you, we invite you to join our EKU family.

The School of Justice Studies offers the following undergraduate degrees:

Social Justice Studies Program

Criminal Justice Program

Police Studies Program


Online Correctional & Juvenile Justice Studies Program


Online Police Studies Degrees


Opportunities at Regional Campuses

You can now complete Criminal Justice and Police Studies degrees, or take courses toward degree completion, at several of EKU's regional campuses. The Associate's or Bachelor's in Police Studies, and Bachelor's in Criminal Justice can be completed entirely at the Corbin and Hazard Campuses.  Additionally, the Manchester Campus offers many courses toward completion of these degrees.

Please contact Stephen Kappeler, School of Justice Studies faculty member and Coordinator for regional campuses, for more information: 859-622-6710.

For more information about the undergraduate studies programs in the School of Justice Studies or to arrange a campus visit, contact Jacinda Bertie (jacinda.bertie@eku.edu) Thank you for your interest in the School of Justice Studies at EKU!