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Eric J. Kocian, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Criminology; Chair of the Criminology, Law, and Society Department

Eric Kocian

About Eric J. Kocian

Dr. Eric Kocian has a true passion for the field of Criminology, Law, and Society and continually makes efforts to expand his knowledge and teaching abilities in all areas of the discipline. He is an Associate Professor of Criminology, Law, and Society at Saint Vincent College.

Dr. Kocian takes great pride in formulating honest, caring, and personal relationships with his students and does his best to assist them with the comprehension of material in class while helping them decide where their vocational path will lead them when they leave Saint Vincent College and how they can best serve God and mankind.

His relationship with God remains the most important thing in his life and he is grateful to have such wonderful, loving, and supportive family members and friends in close proximity who remind him of His graces and blessings on a continual basis. Dr. Kocian enjoys weightlifting, running, swimming, and playing basketball and appreciates good movies, Notre Dame Football, and the New England Patriots dynasty.



B.S. in Psychology and Adminstration of Justice, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg (2000)

M.S. in Criminology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (2002)

Ph.D. in Criminology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (2010)

Drug Enforcement Administration Citizens Academy (2016)

Federal Bureau of Investigation Citizens Academy (2018)




CORE 1216: Introduction to Criminology

CLS 215: Juvenile Justice

CLS 305: Violence and Victiminology (Writing Designated)

CLS 315: Criminological Statistics (Writing Designated)

CLS 340: Principles of Homeland Security

CLS 377: Addiction and Crime

CLS 380: Criminology of Firearms

CLS 504: Ethical Decisions and Dilemmas in Criminal Justice (Writing Designated)

CLS 510: Criminological Theories (Writing Designated)


GCLS 605: Special Topics (The Death Penalty)

GCLS 620: Advanced Criminological Theories

GCLS 660: Professional Seminar

Research Interests

Dr. Kocian continues to research the opioid epidemic by interviewing people at different stages of dependence to learn more about their pathways to addiction and recovery. His work helped guide the Westmoreland County Drug Overdose Task Force and has received attention nationwide.

Selected Publications

Dr. Kocian has briefed various local, state, and federal agencies and departments on his addiction and recovery findings and has presented and lectured countless times throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Kocian has written a chapters for various textbooks that include:

A Closer Look at Criminal Justice. Published by Nova Science Publishers (2019). Chapter 5: A Case for the Police: An Investigation Into Law Enforcement and the Communities They Serve

Theories of Crime through Pop Culture. Published by Palgrave Macmillan (2021). Chapter 2: Deterrence Theory and Batman

Contemporary Criminal Justice: An Examination of the System, Its Challenges, and Its Future. Published by Cognella (2017). Chapter 1: Crime and Victimization