Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Contact: Dr. Cheryl Banachowski-Fuller
Program Coordinator
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI 53818
Telephone: (608) 342-1652
Fax: (608) 342-1986

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice is designed to serve criminal justice and social service professionals who wish to continue graduate education or who need additional knowledge and skills to advance to higher levels in their profession. This degree is offered entirely online; no campus visits are required.

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 from a nationally accredited institution recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in criminal justice, criminology, or a related field. If the degree is in an unrelated field, occupational experience in the field of criminal justice is required. International degrees will be evaluated on an individual basis.

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.

Students seeking admission as a Matriculated Student should follow the instructions found on pages _____ of this catalog.

Applicants may be asked to participate in a telephone interview with members of the graduate faculty. Applicants must also submit a portfolio containing specific evidence of their ability to do successful graduate work.

The portfolio should be individualized for each applicant. It may consist of Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores, or research projects undertaken as part of employment, or journal articles or other written work, or other related applicant-developed work, or specific undergraduate coursework in relevant areas, or other evidence which the applicant believes is relevant. Applicants may consult the Criminal Justice Graduate Program Coordinator for advice about what to submit.

The portfolio will be reviewed by the Criminal Justice Department Admissions 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 Admissions Committee.

Students who do not qualify for admission in full standing may be admitted on trial enrollment 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 who wish to enroll in selected courses without being admitted to the program may enroll as special students. Special students can go directly to online courses at the web site ( to register. A maximum of 12 credits may be taken by 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.

Required Courses (Core Courses)

Elective Courses

In addition to the core courses listed above, students are required to complete 15 credits of elective graduate courses in areas appropriate to their emphasis. With the help of an academic advisor, a student will develop an educational plan consistent with specific goals from three emphasis areas:

A. Criminal Justice Theory

This emphasis is appropriate for those who wish to continue graduate education in a Ph.D. program, teach at a two-year college, or embark on a career in governmental research.

B. Criminal Justice Management

This emphasis is intended for those seeking promotion to supervisory or administrative positions.

C. 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.

Elective courses currently identified are listed below. Additional electives will be developed in response to the evolving demand for domestic and international crime deterrent theories and strategies.

Additional electives may be available through transfer and/or other arrangements. Contact the Program Coordinator for additional information.

Graduate Diploma in Criminal Justice

The Graduate Diploma in Criminal Justice is designed to serve criminal justice and social service professionals who need additional knowledge and skills to advance to higher levels in their profession. The Diploma in Criminal Justice is offered entirely online-no campus visits are required. The Diploma is awarded upon the successful completion of the five required courses identified above as core courses for the Master of Science in Criminal Justice. For individuals wishing to go beyond the Diploma, the core graduate courses for the Diploma meet the core requirements for the Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice.

Course Descriptions

Course Availability: Please check our web site ( for course availability and registration instructions.

Business Administration 5030 3 credits
Human Resource Management

An introduction to topics such as human resource planning, equal employment opportunity, selection, training and development, performance appraisal, compensation, safety and health, and employee and labor relations. The impact of laws and of societal and business trends on human resource functions is also presented. Each manager's role in dealing with human resources is emphasized.

Business Administration 5340 3 credits
Management, Gender, and Race

This course reviews the changing nature of management and explains why gender and race/ethnicity have become important considerations in business. It examines the status of women and people of color in managerial or administrative positions and discusses socialization processes, stereotypes, equal employment opportunity laws, illegal harassment, and power in organizations. Networking, mentoring, work/life balance, and career planning are other topics that are addressed.

Business Administration 5530 3 credits
Organizational Behavior

In-depth study of the development of organizational theory and behavior. Recent theory is discussed in relationship to management applications.

Criminal Justice 6030 3 credits
Criminal Law

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. Prerequisites: Criminal Justice 2130, Criminal Justice 2230.

Criminal Justice 6330 3 credits
Criminal Procedure and Evidence

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. Prerequisite: Criminal Justice 4030.

Criminal Justice 6630 1-3 credits
Current Topics in Criminal Justice

Current issues in criminal justice that may not warrant a permanent course. Course content will be announced each time the course is presented.

Criminal Justice 6830 3 credits
Psychopharmacology for AODA Counselors

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.

Criminal Justice 6930 3 credits
Criminal Justice Seminar

Discussion and evaluation of problems in the contemporary criminal justice system; individual research and presentation of findings. Prerequisite: Criminal Justice 4030.

Criminal Justice 7030 3 credits
Criminal Justice Systems

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.

Criminal Justice 7120 3 credits
Policing in a Democratic Society

A critical and 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.

Criminal Justice 7130 3 credits
Criminal Justice Research and Statistical Methods

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.

Criminal Justice 7230 3 credits
Criminological Theory

An extensive examination of criminological theories and empirical research which support and challenge these explanations of criminal behavior; the central concepts and hypotheses of each theory, and the critical criteria for evaluating such theories in terms of empirical validity.

Criminal Justice 7330 3 credits
Law as Social Control

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.

Criminal Justice 7430 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.

Criminal Justice 7520 3 credits
Civil Liability in Criminal Justice Agencies

Examines 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. Differences between state and federal law and court processes are examined.

Criminal Justice 7920 3 credits
Seminar Paper Research

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. Prerequisites: Criminal Justice 7030, Criminal Justice 7130, Criminal Justice 7230, and Criminal Justice 7330.

Criminal Justice 7980 1-4 credits
Independent Study in Criminal Justice

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.

Criminal Justice 7990 3 credits
Thesis Research

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. Prerequisite: Criminal Justice 7030, Criminal Justice 7130, Criminal Justice 7230, and Criminal Justice 7330.

Political Science 5830 3 credits
Civil Liberties

Law and power and their abuses; law and power in relation to war on crime, deviance, freedom of religion, expression, and civil disobedience; criminal and civil cases; group action.

Political Science 6420 3 credits
Constitutional Law

Constitutional law and political process, judicial review, civil liberties, rights and responsibilities, the role of the Supreme Court in the educational environment and student rights.

Psychology 5230 3 credits
Adolescent Psychology

The physical, emotional, social, and intellectual characteristics and problems of the adolescent. Prerequisite: Psychology 1130 or equivalent.

Psychology 6020 1-3 credits
Contemporary Issues in Psychology

This course provides students an opportunity to explore the current issues of academic and applied psychology through research and discussion. Prerequisite: Psychology 1130 and other prerequisites as appropriate to the topic.

Psychology 6030 3 credits
Theories of Personality

The views of leading personality theorists regarding such central issues as the organization of normal personalities, its development and dynamics, socialization, description, assessment, and understanding. Prerequisite: Psychology 1130 or equivalent.

Psychology 6430 3 credits
Abnormal Psychology

Psychology of abnormal behavior; biological and social factors in the genesis of behavioral, emotional, and personality disorders. Brain disorders, psychoses, and substance abuse are also presented and discussed. Prerequisite: Psychology 1130 or equivalent.

Psychology 7030 3 credits
Psychology in the Criminal Justice System

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the use of psychological methodologies and theoretical models within the criminal justice system. Special attention is applied to criminal and police psychology with some coverage of forensic psychology.

Psychology 7980 1-4 credits
Independent Study in Psychology

The amount of graduate credit allowed for independent study may not exceed a total of four credits. Approval must be secured before independent study courses are begun. Students registering for independent study must submit at or before registration a description signed by the instructor conducting the independent study of the subject to be covered. Independent study may not be used for collecting information for the seminar paper.

Sociology 5230 3 credits
Human Relations

A sociological analysis of selected aspects of human relations that are assumed to be socially structured and primarily group relations. The central focus is on relations between groups of people who are in unequal positions in society, based on the central dimensions of class, race/ethnicity and sex/gender.

Sociology 5330 3 credits
Crime and Delinquency

A survey of the fields of criminology and juvenile delinquency. The course presents a sociological analysis of criminal and delinquent behavior, examines theory and empirical research on the topic, surveys the historical development of the present systems of dealing with criminals and delinquents, and considers current issues regarding crime and delinquency.

Note: Additional courses are currently being developed. Contact Dr. Cheryl Banachowski-Fuller, the program coordinator, for further information.