Two students stop to talk outside East Hall

Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice


There are numerous challenges in today’s world. Driven by a desire to positively change communities and society as a whole, students who major in sociology, criminal justice, and agricultural and rural policy studies are well-equipped to seek out innovative solutions to these challenges.

Carlos Hobbs standing besides a statue of Cy decorated as a police officer

Making an impact

A degree in sociology, criminal justice, or agricultural and rural policy studies opens the door to a plethora of career possibilities. Whether you’re intrigued with planning cities, protecting citizens, or enacting new agricultural policies, there is important work to be done in our society. Find out how you can get started.



Our faculty members maintain well-funded research programs in several focus areas. From investigating the mistrust of gene-edited foods, to reducing opioid risks in rural communities, to understanding the challenges facing small Midwestern towns, there are opportunities to work side-by-side with renowned faculty in both our undergraduate and graduate programs.

Photo of Aliya and her dog

I’ve always been interested in the way that society affects humans and the way that humans affect society, so I took one singular sociology class and I’m like, ‘I’m switching my major.’ I want to create positive change in our society because growing up I got to see how society affected people.”

Aliya Warth, ’26 sociology


Principles of Community

The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice is committed to sustaining a collegial, positive, and productive environment for students, faculty, and staff as embodied in the Iowa State University Principles of Community.