Cheryl Banachowski-Fuller, Program Director
Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Address: University of Wisconsin-Platteville
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI 53818-3099
Phone: 608.342.1652
Fax: 608.342.1986

Statement of Purpose

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice is a comprehensive and highly interactive online degree. It is designed for criminal justice and social service professionals who wish to continue their graduate education or who need additional knowledge and skills to advance to higher-level positions in their field. The program is also designed for those seeking an advanced degree as a prerequisite for entry into more specialized criminal justice positions.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates will:

  1. Demonstrate advanced, in-depth knowledge of criminology and the criminal justice system;
  2. Apply research and statistical methodology to policy issues in the criminal justice agency setting;
  3. Exhibit effective communication skills in both formal and informal written communication;
  4. Demonstrate organizational, managerial, and supervisory skills appropriate to criminal justice agencies;
  5. Identify, analyze, and solve problems at the organizational, inter-organizational, or community levels;
  6. Show advanced knowledge and skills in one of the three areas of emphasis.

Admission Requirements for Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Those seeking admission to the Master of Science in Criminal Justice program must have earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, criminology, or a related field from a nationally or regionally accredited institution recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). If the degree is in an unrelated field, a minimum of three years of occupational experience in the field of criminal justice is required.

Program entrance requirements and degree completion requirements are consistent with those of the graduate programs of the institution. Students seeking admission should follow the instructions found in the online Admission Policies and Procedures section of this catalog. To be eligible for admission in full standing, a student must have an overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 or above, or 2.90 on the last 60 credits from the degree-granting institution.

Applicants must submit

  1. a detailed résumé, and
  2. a personal statement of purpose and goals

All application material will be reviewed by the Criminal Justice Department Admission Committee. Recommendation for admission will be based on demonstrated ability to perform graduate work, including theoretical and statistical coursework, based upon the professional judgment of the Admission Committee.

Students who do not qualify for admission in full standing may be admitted on trial enrollment, which must be justified by the admitting department and approved by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Students are allowed seven years from the date of admission into the program to complete degree requirements. Extensions may be granted for extenuating circumstances.

Special Students

Students with a bachelor’s degree who want to enroll in selected courses without being admitted to the program may enroll as special students. A maximum of 12 credits may be taken as a special student.


The Master of Science in Criminal Justice is awarded upon successful completion of 30 credits: 15 credits of required courses and 15 credits of electives.
With the help of an academic advisor, a student will develop an academic program plan consistent with specific goals from one of the three emphasis areas:

  • Criminal Justice Theory - This emphasis is appropriate for those who want to continue graduate education in a Ph.D. program, teach at a two-year college, or embark on a career in governmental research.
  • Criminal Justice Management - This emphasis is appropriate for those seeking promotion to supervisory or administrative positions.
  • Victim and Offender Services - This emphasis is designed for those interested in working with crime victims, juveniles, probation and parole clients, or providing services in institutional or community-based settings

All courses are three credits unless otherwise noted.

Course Title Credits
Required Courses15
CRIMLJUS 7130Criminal Justice Research and Statistical Methods3
or CRIMLJUS 7730 Evaluation and Program Analysis in the Criminal Justice System
CRIMLJUS 7230Criminological Theory3
CRIMLJUS 7330Law as Social Control3
CRIMLJUS 7920Seminar Paper Research3
or CRIMLJUS 7990 Thesis Research
Elective Courses
Select 15 credits of the following: 115
Criminal Law
Criminal Procedure and Evidence
Policing in a Democratic Society
Perspectives on Child Maltreatment and Child Advocacy
Civil Liabilities in Criminal Justice Agencies
Criminal Justice Administration
Contemporary Correctional Systems: Institutional and Community-Based Corrections
Criminal Justice Internship
Independent Study in Criminal Justice
Civil Liberties
Psychology in the Criminal Justice System
Crisis Intervention Theory
Theories of Personality in the Criminal Justice System
Abnormal Psychology in a Dangerous World
Independent Study in Psychology
Human Resource Management
Management, Gender and Race
Organizational Behavior
At Risk Youth
Total Credits45

Courses are continuously being developed to provide knowledge and expertise in high demand.

Certificate in Child Advocacy Studies

The Child Advocacy Studies (CAST) certificate is designed to prepare students for the realities of child protection and serve the needs of learners specifically interested in professions that work directly with or among maltreated children. It’s specifically tailored for students who intend to pursue careers in law enforcement and as child protection professionals, victim witness workers, lawyers, school social workers and treatment providers.

The Cast certificate meets the mission of the National Child Protection Training Center (NCPTC), funded by the U.S. Department of Justice to end child abuse in the United States. In recognition of UW-Platteville students’ contribution to its mission, the NCPTC will recognize the UW-Platteville CAST certificate by including its logo on each awarded UW-Platteville CAST certificate.

To obtain a certificate, students must:

  • Achieve a minimum grade of “C” in each course from the certificate program
  • Complete the certificate with a minimum GPA of 3.00
  • Request a certificate from the Center for Distance Learning within one year upon completion of the final course of the certificate

To earn the certificate, students must complete the following three graduate courses:

Course Title Credits
CRIMLJUS 7310Perspectives on Child Maltreatment and Child Advocacy3
CRIMLJUS 7430Victimology3
Select one of the following:3
Criminal Justice Internship (CAST Internship)
Independent Study in Criminal Justice (CAST Project)
Total Credits9

CRIMLJUS 6030 Criminal Law 3 Credits

A study of the principles, doctrines, and selected rules of criminal law; the sources of substantive criminal law and historical development of common law principles of criminal responsibility; constitutional constraints on the decision to define behavior as criminal.
Components: Class
Cross Offering: CRIMLJUS 6030
Typically Offered: Spring

CRIMLJUS 6330 Criminal Procedure and Evidence 3 Credits

A study of case law defining constitutional constraints on police behavior in the areas of arrest, search and seizure, interrogation, identification and investigation; rules on the exclusion of illegally seized evidence.
Components: Class
Cross Offering: CRIMLJUS 6330
Typically Offered: Fall

CRIMLJUS 6630 Current Topics in Criminal Justice 1-3 Credits

Current issues in criminal justice that may not warrant a permanent course. Course content will be announced each time the course is presented.
Components: Class
Cross Offering: CRIMLJUS 6630
Typically Offered: Summer

CRIMLJUS 6830 Psychopharmacology for AODA Counselors 3 Credits

The effects of nutrients, additives, and psychoactive drugs on criminal behavior; the process by which behavior is affected by these substances. This course fulfills part of the knowledge base for AODA counselor certification.
Components: Class
Cross Offering: CRIMLJUS 6830
Typically Offered: Fall

CRIMLJUS 6930 Criminal Justice Seminar 3 Credits

Discussion and evaluation of problems in the contemporary criminal justice system; individual research and presentation of findings.
Components: Seminar
Cross Offering: CRIMLJUS 6930
Typically Offered: Spring


An extensive analysis of the functions, processes, and structures of the criminal justice system: interrelationships among the components of the system, with emphasis on law enforcement, courts, corrections, and juvenile justice are explored.
Components: Class
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring

CRIMLJUS 7120 Policing in a Democratic Society 3 Credits

Policing in a democratic society offers a critical and an in-depth analysis of past, present, and future law enforcement functions in the United States. Examines how police as agents of social control operate and function within a democratic society.
Components: Class
Typically Offered: Fall

CRIMLJUS 7130 Criminal Justice Research and Statistical Methods 3 Credits

An analysis of the various criminal justice research methods and statistical procedures, with emphasis on research design, questionnaire construction, the construction and use of surveys, uses of available data, methods of collecting and analyzing data, the testing of hypotheses, the drawing of inferences, and the writing of the research report.
Components: Class
Typically Offered: Fall

CRIMLJUS 7230 Criminological Theory 3 Credits

An extensive examination of the criminological theories and empirical research that support and challenge these explanations of criminal behavior; the central concepts and hypotheses of each theory, and the critical criteria for evaluating each theory in terms of its empirical validity.
Components: Class
Typically Offered: Fall/Summer

CRIMLJUS 7310 Perspectives on Child Maltreatment and Child Advocacy 3 Credits

This course analyzes and critiques the history, comparative perspectives, legal framework, responses to child maltreatment, the skills necessary to do the work, and other pertinent issues pertaining to child maltreatment and child advocacy.
Components: Class
Typically Offered: Fall-ALTSummer


This course is designed to provide the student with a basic understanding of juvenile delinquency and youth crime, stratified by race, ethnicity, social class, and gender. The course will cover the nature and extent of delinquency among juveniles, theories of causation, socio-environmental causes, the juvenile justice system, and programs designed to address delinquency.
Components: Class
Typically Offered: Spring

CRIMLJUS 7330 Law as Social Control 3 Credits

An analysis of the needs, functions, utilization and effects of informal and formal social control mechanisms; theoretical perspectives on social control and law, and empirical examination of theories of law as a social control mechanism.
Components: Class
Typically Offered: Spring/Summer

CRIMLJUS 7340 Cyber-Crime 3 Credits

This course will examine the forms and extent of crimes committed by computer and Internet and how these types of crimes challenge traditional approaches of investigation and prosecution. Topics will include 4th Amendment aspects of computer and cyber-crimes, the law of electronic surveillance, computer hacking, online fraud, cyber-bullying, and other computer crimes as well as encryption, online economic espionage and cyber-terrorism.
Components: Class
Typically Offered: Spring/Summer

CRIMLJUS 7430 Victimology 3 Credits

Although individuals have been victimized by crime since the beginning of recorded human life, the study of crime victims, or victimology, is of relatively recent origin. This course provides an extensive overview of the principles and concepts of victimology, an analysis of victimization patterns and trends, and theoretical reasoning and responses to criminal victimization. In addition, this course explores the role of victimology in the criminal justice system, examining the consequences of victimization and the various remedies now available for victims.
Components: Class
Typically Offered: Spring/Summer

CRIMLJUS 7520 Civil Liabilities in Criminal Justice Agencies 3 Credits

This course examines the law of torts related to police, corrections, and other criminal justice agencies, including concepts of negligence, intent, duty of care, proximate cause, foreseeability, good faith defenses, and other legal doctrines. Both state tort law and federal law (especially under 42 U.S.C. 1983) will be examined. Major U.S. Supreme Court cases will be studied, as well as patterns and trends in federal and state lawsuits regarding civil rights violations and failure to exercise due care. Liability of law enforcement officers, municipalities, correctional officers, corrections agencies and other criminal justice entities is reviewed. Damages, injunctions and other remedies for civil wrongs are discussed, and differences between state and federal law and court processes are examined.
Components: Class
Typically Offered: Summer

CRIMLJUS 7530 Criminal Justice Administration 3 Credits

This course will provide an in-depth overview of the administration and management of criminal justice organizations with an emphasis on police entities. Students in the course will be exposed to a theoretical and conceptual framework which may be used to analyze and more effectively deal with the complexities of contemporary issues confronting law enforcement administrators. Although centered on the law enforcement environment, the principles and issues discussed in this course would be appropriate for administrators in any criminal justice environment.
Components: Class
Typically Offered: Spring/Summer

CRIMLJUS 7630 Contemporary Correctional Systems: Institutional and Community-Based Corrections 3 Credits

The course presents a study of the history, theory and practice of contemporary corrections. History will be used to frame and to help explain how certain practices evolved from a particular socio-economic context. The course is intended to encourage analytic thinking about how as a society we respond to legal violations. Students will review classic essays describing the social dynamics of punishment. Students will also examine factors contributing to the rise of reformatories, parole, and probation from the 1880's to the present, the emergence of the rehabilitative ideal, inmate adaptions to incarcerations, prison rights issues, the move to law and order or "get tough" on crime, and the culture of control since 1990's.
Components: Class
Typically Offered: Fall/Summer

CRIMLJUS 7730 Evaluation and Program Analysis in the Criminal Justice System 3 Credits

This graduate level course will focus on the key concepts, methods, and issues in the field of evaluation research. Students will be exposed to the theoretical, methodological, and utilization of evaluation approaches in order to design, implement, and assess the most effective programs. Specific focus will center on needs assessment, impact assessments, monitoring, applications of various quantitative and qualitative techniques, and proposal writing. A review of basic research methods principles will also be provided.
Components: Class
Typically Offered: Spring

CRIMLJUS 7880 Criminal Justice Internship 3 Credits

Enhancement of the educational experience through placement of a student with a governmental or private agency; emphasis placed on integration of criminal justice theory and practice through field observation, practical experience, and extensive writing, including daily logs and a final internship paper. P: graduate student status.
Components: Class
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring/Summer

CRIMLJUS 7920 Seminar Paper Research 3 Credits

Based on individual interest and consultation with an advisor, the student will be required to write an advanced research paper on a specific topic; the independent empirical research should serve as a capstone to the student's educational experience, and as a bridge to the student's future in the criminal justice field. P: for online master's programs: CRIMLJUS 7030, CRIMLJUS 7130 or CRIMLJUS 7730, CRIMLJUS 7230, and CRIMLJUS 7330. (All master's programs: contact advisor for prior approval and registration instructions.)
Components: Seminar
Cross Offering: CRIMLJUS 7920
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: CRIMLJUS 7030, CRIMLJUS 7130 or CRIMLJUS 7730, CRIMLJUS 7230 and CRIMLJUS 7330
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring/Summer

CRIMLJUS 7940 Special Topics in Criminal Justice 3 Credits

Designed to present to students specialized topics in the field of criminal justice depending upon interest of students and approval of staff. (Contact advisor for prior approval and registration instructions.)
Components: Class

CRIMLJUS 7980 Independent Study in Criminal Justice 1-4 Credits

Students registering for independent study must submit, at or before registration, a description and timetable for completion, signed by the instructor supervising the independent study. The project must be above and beyond the student's traditional employment requirements. This is to be a graduate level experience, conducted with graduate rigor and culminating in a document of professional quality. The final report must describe and summarize the project in detail; wherever feasible, graphics, figures, data, and equations are to be included. (Contact advisor for prior approval and registration instructions.)
Components: Independent Study
Cross Offering: CRIMLJUS 7980
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring/Summer

CRIMLJUS 7990 Thesis Research 3-6 Credits

Completion and defense of a carefully delineated scholarly work advancing an original point of view as a result of research. The topic chosen must reflect the student's area of emphasis, and must be approved by a thesis committee. P: for online master's programs: CRIMLJUS 7030, CRIMLJUS 7130, CRIMLJUS 7230, and CRIMLJUS 7330. (All master's programs: contact advisor for prior approval and registration instructions.)
Components: Thesis Research
Cross Offering: CRIMLJUS 7990
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: CRIMLJUS 7030, CRIMLJUS 7130, CRIMLJUS 7230 and CRIMLJUS 7330
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring/Summer