The Criminal Justice Research Center (CJRC) has established dynamic, hands-on internships which provide students the opportunity to gain experience in crucial aspects of social science research.  This includes working with primary and secondary data related to offenders/offenses, victimization, mental health, youthful offenders, reentry, law enforcement and/or criminal justice processes. Students learn various techniques in qualitative and quantitative analysis and the ways these are used to measure organizational and programmatic success, develop funding sources and impact public policy.  These internships are an outstanding opportunity for OSU undergraduates to gain valuable, practical experiences in preparation for graduate/professional school and future careers. The CJRC is firmly committed to finding students from diverse backgrounds who share a common passion for social science research and a dedication to academic excellence.  Once identified, the CJRC then works to pair the students with working professionals in agencies and organizations that are on the front line of addressing, measuring and managing our most difficult contemporary social problems.

Interns in the CJRC are typically junior or senior-level students with a minimum of a 3.5 cumulative GPA and have honors status.  In that the placements are research oriented, it is preferred that students have some prior research experience but this is not always required. The opportunity to earn academic credit is available. Due to the nature of the projects, most placements request a minimum of 10-15 hours per week.  Internship supervisors have indicated that some of the most successful students are those who are self-directed, highly motivated and have a passion for the work of the particular agency.

Potential internship announcements are made through the OSU Undergraduate Research Office, classroom announcements, the Sociology/Criminology Undergraduate Advising Office, CJRC Newsletter and the CJRC website.  Previously matched students’ majors include: Sociology, Criminology, Economics, Psychology, Actuarial Science, Math, Geography, Public Affairs, National Security Studies, International Studies, Political Science, History, English, Women’s Studies, Arabic, Spanish, French, Journalism, Social Work, and Pre-Law concentrations.

Spend a Day (in the field)

The careers, opportunities and areas of specialty in the criminal justice field are vast.  At the CJRC, we offer a wide variety of internship experiences in a variety of settings ranging from research to varying degrees of practical experiences.  These may range from work in homeland security and intelligence to prisons, jails, mental health, addiction services and law enforcement to name a few.  Professionals in criminal justice areas work at all levels of the government including townships, cities, counties, state and federal agencies including the military and private security companies. 

The Criminal Justice Research Center can offer selected students the opportunity to “spend a day” in the field with a criminal justice professional.  The student may be paired with a researcher at the Ohio Department of Youth Services, spend a day doing a ride along with the Columbus Police Department or work with a reentry professional with the Franklin County Probation Department. 

The purpose of the Spend a Day program is to give students who may be unclear as to the possible directions they might like to take in their careers the opportunity to see firsthand the true nature of the work and have the opportunity to talk to working professionals about careers in selected areas.

For further information on the CJRC Undergraduate Internship Program or to participate in the Spend a Day Program, please contact: Christopher Yanai, Program Manager (614) 688-8685, Email: