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Bachelor of Criminal Justice




The upper - division Criminal Justice major program is designed exclusively for students who have previously completed an associate’s degree program in a technical area related to criminal justice, such as law enforcement, corrections technology, police administration, legal assisting, or human services. If you hold such a degree from a technical or community college, or from a regional campus of Ohio University, you are eligible to apply to the Criminal Justice major program and may earn a baccalaureate degree by completing a minimum of 32 additional hours of Ohio University work. New students without an associates degree may enter OHIO as LETbuttonpre-BCJ (ND2210) majors and work toward the Law Enforcement Technology associate’s degree (AA5505) and BCJ requirements simultaneously.


The multidisciplinary curriculum comprises a broad range of courses from the social and behavioral sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and professional disciplines, all of which make a contribution to the complex field of Criminal Justice. You may individualize your program of study through elective courses.


Since a bachelor's degree is rapidly becoming a minimum requirement for employment in this field, your chances for employment and advancement are strengthened greatly by this program.




The BCJ curriculum may be pursued on either a full-time or part-time basis with day, evening, and online classes available. Students typically start fall semester, but may enter the program at any point during the academic calendar. Full-time students should take 15 or more credit hours per semester in order to complete the degree in two years. Part-time students may pursue the degree at a rate they desire, however a minimum of seven credit hours of course work each semester is recommended. Students completing the degree requirements will earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice degree.



To qualify for admission, a student must be a high school graduate or GED recipient. Students not meeting these requirements should contact the Admissions Office at Ohio University - Lancaster for further information concerning admission. Students completing the degree requirements will earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice.


Freshman/First-Year Admission:

The Criminal Justice major requires a completed associate’s degree in a related

area (e.g., law enforcement technology). New students may enter OHIO as pre-BCJ (ND2210) majors and work toward the Law Enforcement Technology associate’s degree (AA5505) and BCJ requirements simultaneously.


Change of Program Policy:

To enter the Criminal Justice program, you must complete an online application.

Students can obtain the online application from University College or regional campus.


External Transfer Admission:

To enter the Criminal Justice program, you must complete a separate online

application in addition to the application to the University and submit a college transcript showing that you have completed an associate’s degree in an appropriate technical field. Students can obtain the online application from University College or regional campus. Upon admission, you will be assigned a BCJ advisor who will assist you in completing your approved program of study. You must be admitted to the major at least one semester prior to graduation.




In addition to the general education University requirements, the criminal justice major requires:

30 semester hours at the 3000-4000 level.

Fifty percent of the major must be completed through Ohio University.

A minimum 2.0 or higher GPA in the major and overall is required to graduate.



Opportunities exist for students interested in the BCJ program to apply their previous, relevant work experiences and completed certifications towards college credit.


Student Internships


Internships for course credit are available upon request but placement in certain organizations may be competitive. Below are previous student internship sites (but students are not limited to these places):


Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI)

Fairfield County Sherriff’s Office

Columbus Probation Court

Reynoldsburg Police Department

Fairfield County Dog Shelter

Fairfield County Municipal Court

Family First Council /Safe Kids Coalition

U.S. Marshals – Columbus Field Office


Student Organizations


Ohio University Lancaster has two student organizations for those students who want to get involved in volunteer work and networking in the criminal justice system. Sponsored events include: Lancaster Kids and Cops Day, Arrest a Professor fundraiser, and OUL Springfest.


LET Us Help:

Open to all law enforcement and criminal justice majors. Activities include assisting local law enforcement with fairs, kids and cops day, and provide students with an opportunity to network in the criminal justice area.



Alpha Phi Sigma- National Criminal Justice Honor Society:

Open to criminal justice sophomores, juniors, and seniors (or related majors) with a GPA of 3.2 and higher. Alpha Phi Sigma is the only Criminal Justice Honor Society that is a certified member of the Association of College Honor Societies and affiliated with the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Induction into the group can occur early in the fall or spring semester.



Students who graduate with the Bachelor’s of Criminal Justice can expect to pursue careers in multiple areas. From corrections to working with parolees, and from initiating or extending one’s career in law enforcement, a range of opportunities exists for successful graduates. Criminal Justice students might also prepare for law school or for further study in graduate or professional schools.



What type of career can I look forward to with a Criminal Justice degree?

  • Police
  • Probation/Parole Officers
  • FBI
  • US Marshals Service
  • US Border Patrol
  • US Secret Service
  • Juvenile Court Counselor
  • Paralegal
  • Mediator
  • Court Administration
  • Victim Services
  • Public Health Researcher
  • Data Analyst
  • Non-Profit Agency Director


OU Lancaster Alumni Success


Circleville Police Department

Southeastern Correctional Institute

Alvis House- Community Re-entry

Park Ranger at Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks

State of Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services

Perry Multi County Juvenile Facility- Case Manager and Victim Advocate

Battelle- Senior Security Manager

Master’s Degree Program: Tiffin University


Contact Person:


Jennifer Steele, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Sociology

Herrold Hall 111




Ph.D., The University of Akron, 2011


Courses Taught

  • SOC 1000: Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC 2000: Social Problems
  • SOC 2600: Criminal Justice
  • SOC 2610: Deviant Behavior
  • SOC 3600: Criminology


Selected Publications


Steele, Jennifer. 2016. “Race and General Social Strain Theory: Examining the Impact of Racial Discrimination and Fear on Adolescent Marijuana and Alcohol Use.” Substance Use and Misuse.


Peralta, Robert L., Steward, Breanna C., Steele, Jennifer L., and Wagner, Fernando A.  2016. “Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs in Emerging Adulthood: Differentiating Sex from Gender.” Addiction Research and Theory.


Steele, Jennifer L., Peralta, Robert L., and Cheryl Elman. 2011. “The Co-ingestion of Nonmedical Prescription Drugs and Alcohol: A Partial Test of Social Learning Theory” Journal of Drug Issues, 41(4).


Peralta, Robert, Callanan, Valerie J., Steele, Jennifer L., and Lia Chervenak. 2011. “The Effects of Gender Identity and Heavy Episodic Drinking on Alcohol-Related Violence” Gender Issues 28(3):111-133.


Undergraduate Catalog


Contact Person

Jennifer Steele, Assistant Professor 
Herrold Hall 111




Tentative Semester Planner Information

Criminal Justice Core Requirements:
Criminal Justice Major Requirements:
Area I: Basic Skills
Area I, Group A: Oral Communication:
Area I, Group B: Ethical Reasoning:
Area I, Group C: Statistical Reasoning:
*Students who have not completed Math 1200 might consider LET 3555 online at OUC
Area I, Group D: Research Methods:
*Students who have not completed Math 1200 might consider LET 3550 online at OUC
Area II: Cultural, Legal and Political Issues:
Area II, Group B: Political and Legal Issues:
Area III: Understanding Human Behavior and Social Problems
Area III, Group A: Theories of Behavior:
Area III, Group B: Social Problems:
Area IV: Professional and Organizational Skills
Area IV, Group A: Professional Skills:
Area IV, Group B: Organizational Knowledge