Contact: Cheryl Banachowski-Fuller, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI 53818-3099
Telephone: (608) 342-1652
Fax: (608) 342-1986

Statement of Purpose

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice is a comprehensive, highly interactive, web-based degree that is offered entirely online. 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 bachelorís 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 as a Matriculated Student 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 resume, (2) letters of support from two professional sources who can comment on the studentís ability to be successful in graduate coursework, (3) a personal statement of purpose and goals, and (4) a portfolio containing specific evidence of the studentís writing skills.

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

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 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 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:

All courses are three credits unless otherwise noted.

Required Courses (Core Courses) (15 credits)

Elective Courses (15 credits)

In addition to the required core courses listed above, you must complete 15 credits of elective graduate courses in areas appropriate to your emphasis. With the help of an academic advisor, you will develop an academic program plan consistent with specific goals from one of the three emphasis areas. Electives currently identified are listed below. Additional electives may be available through transfer and/or other arrangements. Contact the program coordinator for more information.

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

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 onlineóno 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 in Criminal Justice.

Students must complete all of the required courses for the Graduate Diploma in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville to be eligible to receive the Diploma. Transfer courses may not be applied to the Diploma program.

Course Descriptions

For admission requirements, registration instructions, course descriptions, tuition rate, and a long-term course rotation schedule, visit our web site at

NOTE: Additional courses are currently being developed. Contact Cheryl Banachowski-Fuller, Ph.D., the Program Coordinator, for further information.

BUSADMIN 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 managerís role in dealing with human resources is emphasized.
BUSADMIN 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 also are addressed.
BUSADMIN 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.
CRIMJUS 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.
CRIMJUS 6330 3 credits Criminal Procedure & 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.
CRIMJUS 6630 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. P: CRIMLJUS 4030. (Available on campus only.)
CRIMJUS 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 are explored.
CRIMJUS 7120 3 credits Policing in a Democratic Society
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.
CRIMJUS 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.
CRIMJUS 7230 3 credits Criminological Theory
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.
CRIMJUS 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.
CRIMJUS 7430 3 credits Victimology
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.
CRIMJUS 7520 3 credits Civil Liabilities in Criminal Justice Agencies
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.
CRIMJUS 7530 3 credits Criminal Justice Administration
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.
CRIMJUS 7880 3 credits Criminal Justice Internship
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. (Contact advisor for prior approval and registration instructions.)
CRIMJUS 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 studentís educational experience, and as a bridge to the studentís future in the criminal justice field. P: CRIMLJUS 7030, CRIMLJUS 7130, CRIMLJUS 7230, and CRIMLJUS 7330. (Contact advisor for prior approval and registration instructions.)
CRIMJUS 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 studentís 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.)
CRIMJUS 7990 3-6 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 studentís area of emphasis, and must be approved by a thesis committee. P: CRIMLJUS 7030, CRIMLJUS 7130, CRIMLJUS 7230, and CRIMLJUS 7330. (Contact advisor for prior approval and registration instructions.)
POLISCI 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.
POLISCI 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. (Available on campus only.)
PSYCHLGY 5230 3 credits Adolescent Psychology
The physical, emotional, social, and intellectual characteristics and problems of the adolescent. P: PSYCHLGY 1130 or equivalent. (Available on campus only.)
PSYCHLGY 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. P: PSYCHLGY 1130 and other prerequisites as appropriate to the topic. (Available on campus only.)
PSYCHLGY 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.
PSYCHLGY 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.
PSYCHLGY 7330 3 credits Theories of Personality in the Criminal Justice System
This course introduces students to the major psychological theories of personality, as they are applied in criminal justice settings as well as clinical settings. Special attention is given to the application of theories to terrorist motivation.
PSYCHLGY 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. (Contact advisor for prior approval and registration instructions.)
SOCIOLGY 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. (Available on campus only.)
SOCIOLGY 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. (Available on campus only.)