Our graduate program in criminal justice prepares students for leadership positions in the field of criminal justice and provides a strong foundation for students who anticipate advanced study at the doctoral level.

The curriculum offers criminal justice professionals a broad foundation for understanding criminal justice policy. Legal, organizational, political and behavioral frameworks are used to analyze the operation of the U.S. criminal justice system. Students are introduced to advanced knowledge on the nature and causes of crime, the justification and means of social control, the administration of the justice system, and the evaluation of criminal justice programs.

Areas of Study


  Field placements provide students with the opportunity to work in a criminal justice related setting while earning course credit in the process. Find a field placement opportunity  

  Teaching and project assistant positions may be available to qualified students who carry 6 or more credits. Vacancies are filled on a competitive basis and are subject to the availability of funds. Most positions require 20 hours of work weekly. Students who accept positions are considered employees of UWM and educational expenses may not be deducted from taxable income.

Teaching assistantships are awarded for the academic year in the fall. If you apply for spring admission, you may submit an application for the following fall. If you wish to apply, your application is due March 1 (or the following Monday if 3/1 falls on a weekend) for the following fall semester.

Download application for Teaching/Project Assistant Position  

Curriculum and Degree Requirements

All students must take the following proseminars in each of three core areas. For a full list of courses, please visit the UWM Graduate School.

Criminal Justice
CRM JST 713 Measuring Crime and Analyzing Crime Data 3 cr
CRM JST 756 Analysis of Criminal Justice Research 3 cr
CRM JST 743 Administration of Criminal Justice Systems 3 cr
CRM JST 773 Perspectives on Crime and the Criminal Justice System 3 cr
CRM JST 920 Criminal Justice Masters Capstone Seminar 3 cr
Criminal Justice Electives (4) 12 cr
Electives (2 Criminal Justice or outside electives with advisor’s consent) 6 cr
TOTAL 33 Credits
  • Graduation Requirements Minimum GPA of 3.0; Minimum of 33 graduate credits; A grade of B or better in the following: CRM JST 743, CRM JST 756 and CRM JST 773. All students complete a minimum of 33 graduate credits; 27 credit hours must be taken within the criminal justice program and the other 6 may be taken elsewhere in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare or in other UWM departments with the consent of the student’s advisor. Students must complete all degree requirements within seven years of enrollment.
  • Thesis Option (Essay Option) Ideal for students intent on pursuing a doctoral degree. Required: 3 credits of approved research and an oral exam in defense of the essay.
  • Capstone Option (Non-Essay Option) Students who do not complete the essay option are required to complete the capstone seminar course (CRM JST 920, Masters Capstone Seminar). This seminar integrates learning from the degree coursework and synthesizes criminal justice theories, empirical research, and program creation and implementation.

Admission Requirements
  •   Undergraduate degree from an accredited university in criminal justice, a related social science, or other relevant educational experience.
  •   Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.00 (for good-standing admission). GRE or MAT scores are required for applicants with an undergraduate cumulative GPA of less than 3.00.
  •   2 letters of recommendation from those familiar with applicant’s academic record.
How to Apply
  • Submit the following through the  Graduate School: 1) Graduate School application, 2) official transcripts, 3) GRE or MAT scores (if required – see below under “Admissions Requirements”), and 4) application fee.
  • Submit 2 letters of recommendation to the Criminal Justice Program at this address:
  • Tina L. Freiburger, Ph.D.
    Department Chair and Associate Professor
    Department of Criminal Justice
    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    P.O. Box 786
    1119 Enderis Hall
    Milwaukee, WI 53201
Contact Us
  • Associate Professor
    and Department Chair
    Tina Freiburger, Ph.D.
    (414) 229-6134
    freiburg@uwm.edu

Learn more about our graduate students.