Our graduates have impressive careers. Thousands have gone on to work in government agencies, the private sector, and nonprofit agencies. They work as FBI agents, investigators, crime analysts, probation counselors, chiefs of police departments, and more.
Located in the largest city in Wisconsin, the school provides an unmatched environment for students to study criminal justice. Students can specialize in crime analysis, learn through fieldwork, and earn credits while studying abroad.
UWM criminal justice majors study three broad areas of this diverse profession: law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. Students study the nature and causes of crime, the impact of crime on individuals and society, and the workings of the criminal justice system. The program prepares students as generalists in criminal justice and is well suited for those who want to pursue graduate work in criminal justice, law, public administration, and the social sciences.
Those best suited to criminal justice work are those who have a strong liberal arts base and good interpersonal skills. They draw on skills in communication such as listening, speaking and writing, as well as skills in assessing, analyzing, and evaluating.
Students find employment in government agencies, the private sector, and nonprofit agencies. Advanced technology and increasingly complex legal issues have led to specialized work in technology, computer security, and intelligence.
- Law Enforcement
research intelligence analyst
court security officer
Criminal justice majors initially complete a two-year liberal arts foundation, including the university’s general education requirements. Next, they earn 36 credits in criminal justice (24 credits of mandatory courses and 12 credits of elective courses). A minimum of 120 credits are required for graduation. Some courses may be taken online or partially online.
Elective courses include those in juvenile justice, victimology, jails, and women and the criminal justice system. Students may use elective courses to specialize in crime analysis, participate in field education, study abroad, pursue a forensic science certificate, or pursue a minor relevant to their career goals.
Courses Required for Criminal Justice Major:
|COURSE #||COURSE NAME||CREDITS|
|CRM JST 110||Introduction to Criminal Justice||3|
|CRM JST 271||Police Process||3|
|CRM JST 273||Correctional Process||3|
|CRM JST 275||Criminal Court Process||3|
|CRM JST 305||Crime and Criminal Justice Policy||3|
|CRM JST 370, 380, 410 OR 671||Administrative Elective||3|
|CRM JST 662||Methods of Social Welfare Research||3|
|CRM JST 663||Criminal Justice Capstone Seminar||3|
|CRM JST||Electives in Criminal Justice||12|
- First Year
Semester I CRM JST 105: Orientation 1 cr English 102 3 cr Math 103 or 105 3 cr Social Science 3 cr U.S. History 3 cr General Elective 3 cr TOTAL 16 credits
Semester II CRM JST 110: Intro to Criminal Justice 3 cr COM 103: Public Speaking 3 cr Social Science 3 cr U.S. History 3 cr GER Arts Course 3 cr
- Second Year
Semester I Humanities 3 cr Natural Science 3 cr Social Science 3 cr First General Elective 3 cr Second General Elective 3 cr TOTAL 15 credits
Semester II CRM JST 273: Correctional Process 3 cr CRM JST 305: Crime & CJ Policy 3 cr Humanities 3 cr Social Science 3 cr General Elective 3 cr
- Third Year
Semester I CRM JST 271: Police Process 3 cr CRM JST 275: Courts Process 3 cr Natural Science 3 cr Social Science 3 cr General Elective 3 cr TOTAL 15 credits Semester II CRM JST 662: Social Welfare Research Methods 3 cr First Criminal Justice Elective 3 cr Second Criminal Justice Elective 3 cr First General Elective 3 cr Second General Elective 3 cr TOTAL 15 credits
- Fourth Year
Semester I Criminal Justice Elective 3 cr First Social Science 3 cr Second Social Science 3 cr First General Elective 3 cr Second General Elective 3 cr TOTAL 15 credits Semester II CRM JST 663: Capstone Seminar 3 cr CRM JST 311: Field Placement 3 cr Social Science 3 cr Humanities 3 cr General Elective 3 cr TOTAL 15 credits
Students earn 3 credits for each semester of field placement. Field placement is elective; however, it is strongly encouraged. A student must commit a minimum of eight hours per week to the agency, for the entire semester. Some agencies require more than eight hours per week from a student. Students can apply for field placement in their junior year, after being formally admitted to the criminal justice major.
- A minor in criminal justice can strengthen your education.
- It is a strong complement for:
Students studying journalism, politics, sociology, social work, political science, or philosophy; students who plan on attending law school;
students who seek careers in public service.
- It is a strong complement for:
- This track requires a minimum of 18 credits in the following courses. Six elective credits in criminal justice courses at the 300 level or above are required. Credits earned in CRM JST 311 (Field Experience) and CRM JST 599 (Independent Reading) do not count toward the minimum 18 credits required for this minor.
COURSE # COURSE NAME CREDITS CRM JST 110 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3 CRM JST 271 Police Process 3 CRM JST 273 Correctional Process 3 CRM JST 275 Criminal Court Process 3 300 level Upper Level Criminal Justice Electives (2) 6 TOTAL 18
- Applications for the criminal justice major will only be accepted during the following periods: September 1 – October 1, February 1 – March 1, and May 1 – June 1.
- You must apply to the major prior to your last semester at UWM in order to apply for graduation on time.
- The admissions committee will only consider complete applications.
- STEP 1: Review all information below about the requirements to be admitted to the major. All requirements must be met at the time of applying (i.e., you cannot have any requirements in progress at the time of applying).
- Completed English and math proficiency requirements
- Junior standing (58+ credits)
- At least one full-time semester or equivalent at UWM
- A cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher, including all transfer work
- STEP 2: Complete the online Application for Admission to the Criminal Justice Major. The application must be typed to be reviewed.
- STEP 3: Email your complete online application to the admissions committee at firstname.lastname@example.org (Microsoft Word or PDF format). In the subject line of your email, please type your full name and student ID number. Include your complete application form and typed personal statement. We will only accept submissions via email.
- STEP 4: You will be notified via email regarding your admission to the major.
- Transfers: Upon admission, the UWM Registrar’s Office will evaluate and apply a student’s previous coursework (allow two to four weeks for this process). A student who transfers from a campus within the UW System or the Wisconsin Technical College System can transfer up to 72 credits toward a degree in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare.
- Students transferring from a school within the UW System or the Wisconsin Technical College System can learn how credits may transfer by using the Online Transfer Wizard. Additionally, we’ve created our own transfer equivalency worksheet specifically for social work and criminal justice transfer students.
- Students transferring from other two- or four-year colleges can evaluate transfer equivalencies by visiting UWM’s Transfer Equivalency Database in the Registrar’s Office.
- As soon as they are admitted, and the UWM Registrar’s Office has completed the transfer credit evaluation process, students should meet with an academic advisor to review transfer course equivalencies, discuss program requirements, and create an academic plan for coming semesters.