The study of criminal justice provides an interdisciplinary perspective on deviance, crime and the criminal justice system. It enables students to understand how deviance and crime are defined and interpreted, to understand the parts of the criminal justice system and their respective roles, to develop a theoretical understanding of deviance and crime, and investigate ethical issues related to the criminal justice system.

The three required courses are Introduction to the Sociological Imagination; Sociology of Deviance; and Criminology. Electives from other departments can include Crime, Incarceration and Communication; Introduction to Law; and Drugs Alcohol and Tobacco.

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Jacqueline Clark

Clark, Jacqueline

Professor of Sociology, Helen Swift Neilson Professor of Cultural Studies

Marc Eaton

Eaton, Marc

Associate Professor of Sociology, Chair of Sociology and Anthropology Department


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. We also work collaboratively with Ripon College Career and Professional Development to help match your interests and skills to concrete goals and construct a plan for professional success offering personalized career counseling, off-campus learning opportunities and an online job board with potential to connect with local, national and international employers.

Advising at Ripon


Requirements for a Minor in Criminal Justice
Total Credits 20 credits
Core Courses SOC 110 Introduction to Sociological Imagination, 205 Sociology of Jobs and Work and 306 Criminology
Elective Courses Eight additional credits to be selected from:
CMM 255 Crime, Incarceration, and Communication, EXS 232 Personal and Community Health Problems, PSC 221 Psychopathology, PSC 242 Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood, and POL 212 Introduction to Law.

Internship is strongly recommended.

Additional Criteria Prohibition against counting credits toward multiple majors or minors: Sociology courses counted for credit toward the criminal justice minor cannot also count toward the sociology major or minor or the anthropology major, with the exception of SOC 110 Introduction to Sociological Imagination.

Career Tracks

Graduates with a minor in criminal justice often go on to careers in local, state or federal law enforcement. Many with an interest in law school use the criminal justice minor as a complement to a major in Politics and Government.

Unique Opportunities

  • Internships are strongly encouraged, with previous criminal justice students working with the Ripon Police Department and the Green Lake County Sheriff's Office.  
  • The minor can be paired with a major to tailor students’ interests. Students interested in law enforcement or corrections often major in sociology and minor in criminal justice. Those interested in pursuing a law degree often pair the minor with a politics and government major.