A young student (black man) wearing a suit and tie, standing in front of the Wisconsin State Capitol building.

Our criminal justice master’s program prepares students for leadership positions in the field of criminal justice and criminology and provides excellent preparation for students who anticipate advanced study at the doctoral level.

Program Type


Program Format

On Campus, Online

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Creating Leaders

With an MS in Criminal Justice & Criminology from UW-Milwaukee, you could work at the local, state or federal level; at a nonprofit agency, police department, probation and parole office, district attorney’s office, or at a local-level department or federal agency such as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration or Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Graduates from this program work as crime analysts, victim advocates, federal probation and parole officers, police chiefs, program administrators, corrections directors and more.

Portrait of Daniela Imig (white woman), graduate of the Criminal Justice and Criminology Master's program
Hear some of the success stories of alumni who graduated with master’s degrees in criminal justice and criminology from UWM.

Crime Analytics

UWM is the first school in the state to offer courses in crime analysis, which is one of the fastest-growing areas of criminal justice.

Learn about our crime analytics concentration for master’s students.

Joint Degree in Public Administration

The combination of public administration and criminal justice and criminology courses provides theoretical and practical exposure to evolving professional practice in the criminal justice field.

Learn about our joint MPA program.

Joint Degree in Social Work

This dual degree program blends criminal justice and criminology courses with an evidence-based social work practice curriculum.

Learn about our coordinated master’s degree in social work and criminal justice and criminology.

Graduate Certificate in Cyber Crime Forensics

Coursework includes a foundation in cyber crime theory, legal and policy issues of cyber crime and digital forensic investigation.

Learn about our graduate certificate in cyber crime forensics.

Graduate Certificate in Trauma-Informed Care

This interdisciplinary certificate trains students in trauma-informed care.

  • Certificate students in criminal justice and criminology will complete 15 credits in coursework in trauma-informed care, nine of which can count toward the MS in Criminal Justice & Criminology graduation requirements while six must be taken above and beyond these required credits.
  • Criminal Justice 970 (Women and the Criminal Justice System) and Criminal Justice 830 (Intervention Strategies for Correctional Clients) could count as potential elective coursework.

Learn about our graduate certificate in trauma-informed care.

Admission Requirements

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited university in criminal justice, a related social science, or other relevant educational experience.  
  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 (for good-standing admission).
  • Two letters of recommendation from those familiar with the applicant’s academic record and suitability for graduate work.
  • It’s recommended that applicants have completed a research methods course and a statistics course at the undergraduate level prior to beginning the program.

How to Apply

Submit the following through the UW-Milwaukee Graduate School:

  1. Graduate School Application
  2. Official Transcripts
  3. Reason Statement
  4. Application Fee

Submit two letters of recommendation to the criminal justice program:

Mary Russell
Academic Department Specialist
Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Graduation Requirements

Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a minimum of 33 graduate credits. Plus, 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 six credits 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.

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 US 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.

Most classes are currently being offered online, with the exception of a few electives.

All students must take the following five courses.

CRM JST 713: Measuring Crime and Analyzing Crime Data3
CRM JST 756: Analysis of Criminal Justice Research3
CRM JST 743: Administration of Criminal Justice Systems3
CRM JST 773: Perspectives on Crime and the Criminal Justice System3
CRM JST 920: Criminal Justice Masters Capstone Seminar3
Criminal Justice Electives (4)12
Electives (2 Criminal Justice or outside electives with advisor’s consent)6


  • Criminal Justice 421G: Cyber Crime
  • Criminal Justice 422G: Cyber Crime, Law & Policy
  • Criminal Justice 423G: Investigating the Dark Web
  • Criminal Justice 424G: Sex Crimes, Human Trafficking and the Internet
  • Criminal Justice 480G: Criminal Evidence & Investigation
  • Criminal Justice 490G: Drugs, Crime & Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice 520G: Analysis Oriented Technology: Spatial Data Analysis; Crime Mapping; ArcGIS
  • Criminal Justice 671G: Juvenile Justice
  • Criminal Justice 680G: Jails
  • Criminal Justice 775: Race, Crime & Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice 795: Issues in Law Enforcement Practice & Policy
  • Criminal Justice 830: Intervention Strategies for Correctional Clients
  • Criminal Justice 840: Philosophical Foundations of Policing
  • Criminal Justice 850: Issues in Correctional Practice & Policy
  • Criminal Justice 970: Special Topics (varies by semester; past course topics include: Women & Criminal Justice, Violence & Criminal Justice System)
  • Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice & Criminology
  • Graduate Program Coordinator, Criminal Justice & Criminology