For questions about the undergraduate Criminal Justice major or to request an application contact:

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Criminal Justice: Bachelor of Science

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. A traditional program and evening degree program are available; a few courses are offered online.

Admission Requirements

All prospective students start with criminal justice as their intended major. Then each student must submit a separate application to enter the criminal justice major, and meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of English and math requirements
  • Junior standing (58+ credits)
  • Having attended UWM for at least one full-time semester, or its equivalent
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher, including transfer work
  • Satisfactory completion of Introduction to Criminal Justice Research (CJ 150)

When and How to Apply
Applications to the criminal justice major are accepted from September 1 to October 1, February 1 to March 1, and May 1 to July 1. Contact us if you are considering entering or transferring to a criminal justice major: our advisors will help you plan courses, stay on track, and locate on-campus support.

Learn more undergraduate criminal justice admission requirements


Criminal justice majors initially complete a two-year liberal arts foundation, including the University’s General Education Requirements. Next, they earn 34 credits in criminal justice. A minimum of 120 credits are required for graduation. Some courses may be taken online or partially online.

The criminal justice curriculum includes mandatory courses, worth 22 credits, and elective courses, worth 12 credits. Elective courses include those in juvenile justice, victimology, jails, and women and the criminal justice system. Students may also elect a field placement in a criminal justice agency, and studying one semester in Bristol, England.

Download the the Criminal Justice Major 4-Year study plan (PDF)

Introduction to Criminal Justice 3 Credits
Introduction to Criminal Justice Research 1 Credit
Police Process 3 Credits
Courts Process 3 Credits
Corrections Process 3 Credits
Crime and Criminal Justice Policy 3 Credits
Methods of Social Welfare Research 3 Credits
Criminal Justice Capstone Seminar 3 Credits
Electives in Criminal Justice 12 Credits
TOTAL 34 Credits

Graduation Requirements

  • Minimum of 34 credits in the criminal justice major
  • 120 total college credits, including all degree requirements
  • Cumulative UWM grade point average or 2.0 or better
  • GPA of 2.0 on all criminal justice courses

Field Placement

Field placement is elective; however, it is strongly encouraged. In field placement, students gain first-hand knowledge of how a criminal justice agency operates and interacts with other criminal justice agencies. There are about 200 affiliate sites, including federal law enforcement agencies, from which to choose.

Students earn three credits for each semester of field placement. 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. They are placed in the order that their applications are received. Each student selects three field placement preferences. If a student cannot be placed in one of the selected agencies, he or she will be placed elsewhere, based on stated interests.

Learn more about criminial justice field placements


Current UWM students who are not Criminal Justice majors are eligible for this track, which requires a minimum of 19 credits in the following courses:

CRM JST 110: Introduction to Criminal Justice. 3 credits
CRM JST 150: Introduction to Research in Criminal Justice. 1 credit
CRM JST 271: Police Process. 3 credits
CRM JST 273: Correctional Process. 3 credits
CRM JST 275: Criminal Court Process. 3 credits

6 elective credits in Criminal Justice courses at the 300 level or above are required. These address such topics as white- collar crime, terrorism, homeland security and gangs.

Credits earned in CRM JST 311 (Field Experience) and CRM JST 599 (Independent Reading) do not count toward the minimum 19 credits required for this minor.

Evening Degree Students

With the addition of more classes offered after 5:30 pm, you can now complete a degree in criminal justice in either five or eight years (even less if you transfer work) by taking evening courses taught by full-time UWM faculty members.

Degree Requirements
Criminal justice majors complete a two-year liberal arts foundation, including the University's General Education Requirements, then complete 30 credits in criminal justice courses covering foundation subjects and police, courts and corrections processes. Electives include:

  • Field placement in a criminal justice agency
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Victimology
  • Jails
  • Women and the Criminal Justice System

A total of 120 credits are required to complete the degree. All courses are held after 5:30 pm and will be offered on a five or eight year sequence. You will complete 6-9 credits during the Fall and Spring semesters, and 3-6 credits in the summer.