Criminal Justice

Department Chair: Joe B. Lomax
Office: 428 Warner Hall
Phone: 608-342-1622
Thomas E. Caywood
Joe B. Lomax
David P. Van Buren
Kathryn A. Winz
Associate Professors:
Cheryl Banachowski-Fuller
Assistant Professor:
Susan Hilal
Aric Dutelle
Edward Ross
Steve Elmer
Tom Jonas

Mission Statement

The faculty of the Department of Criminal Justice recognizes its mission as three-fold. First and foremost, the department is dedicated to providing its majors with the best possible education in criminal justice by providing them with a critical understanding of the total system of criminal justice and the society in which it functions. At the same time, as part of the College of Liberal Arts and Education, we are committed to preparing our students to move successfully into criminal justice careers or postgraduate work as liberally educated, intellectually mature, ethically aware, and culturally sensitive men and women.

Secondly, the Department is dedicated to providing students throughout the university with opportunities to examine critically the broad questions of how justice is administered in American society and to confront at first hand the fundamental issues of criminal justice which they will face as involved citizens.

Finally, the Department of Criminal Justice is dedicated to providing the expertise of its faculty as a resource to assist criminal justice and social service agencies in the realms of applied research, policy development, training, and planned change to meet the social and technological challenges of the twenty-first century.


Educational Outcomes/Learning Objectives:

Graduates of the Criminal Justice program should:

  1. exhibit an understanding of fundamental concepts related to the interrelationship of various components within the criminal justice system (i.e., law enforcement, courts, and corrections).
  2. apply criminological theories in explaining criminal behavior and the criminal justice process.
  3. demonstrate their ability to formulate a problem/topic, assemble relevant research and resources, and synthesize the data in a manner to constitute a formal proposal or research paper.
  4. analyze and evaluate social, cultural, and technological change and its impact on the criminal justice system.
  5. understand, analyze, and critically evaluate social research.
  6. display a working knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  7. demonstrate in-depth knowledge of substantive areas within the discipline of criminal justice.
  8. apply their knowledge toward further study and careers.

About The Department & Major

The major in criminal justice provides a basic understanding of the criminal justice system and the society in which it functions. The first 60 credits are composed primarily of general education courses to develop a broad educational background, along with the first three core criminal justice courses. After completion of 60 credits, in-depth knowledge can be obtained by careful selection of courses in policing, corrections, criminological theory, law, AODA counseling, and private security.

The Criminal Justice Department has received national recognition for the superior quality of its internship program. As a result, participation in the internship program is competitive. The Department of Criminal Justice reserves the right to refuse a student an internship if the department decides that the student is not a suitable candidate on the basis of scholarship, verbal ability or character. To be eligible for internship, the student must have earned at least 60 credits plus 12 upper division criminal justice credits, a 2.25 GPA, and have passed the departmentís writing certification requirement.

A criminal justice major who takes CRIMLJUS 2130, 2930, 3130, 3630, 4030, 4130, and 4330 (21 credits) will receive advanced standing in the Wisconsin Police Certification Training School which is offered on campus through Southwest Technical College.

The Departments of Chemistry and Engineering Physics, Biology, and Criminal Justice cooperate in preparing students interested in becoming crime laboratory analysts.

In cooperation with the Department of Psychology and the Counselor Education Graduate Program, undergraduate criminal justice majors can obtain AODA (alcohol and other drug abuse) certification.

The Departments of Criminal Justice and Psychology also cooperate in the social work certification process.

General Requirements

Bachelor of Science Degree

Total for Graduation 120 credits
General Education 44-58 credits
Major Studies 36-54 credits
Bachelor of Science supplement 6 credits

Bachelor of Arts Degree

Total for Graduation 120 credits
General Education 44-58 credits
Major Studies 36-54 credits
Bachelor of Arts supplement 4-6 credits

Bachelor of Science Supplement

Students must choose six credits from the following:

Bachelor of Arts Supplement

Students must choose one of two options.

Option One (6 credits)

Option Two (4 credits)

Criminal Justice Major (36-54 credits)

Majors must take the following:

Electives in Criminal Justice: 21 cr
Total: 36 cr

In addition, all criminal justice majors:

  1. must complete 3 credits of course work on the nature and causes of criminal and delinquent behavior, which can be fulfilled by successful completion of CRIMLJUS 3430 Patterns of Criminal and Delinquent Behavior, CRIMLJUS 3630 Juvenile Justice, PSYCH 4830 Psychology and the Law, or SOCIOLGY 3330 Crime and Delinquency.

  2. must complete 3 credits of course work in research methods, which can be fulfilled by successful completion of CRIMLJUS 3900 Research Methods in Criminal Justice, POLISCI 4720 Study & Research in Political Science, PSYCH 2230 Introduction to Experimental Psychology, SOCIOLGY 3430 Social Research.

  3. must earn a "C" or better in each core course before going on to the next.

In addition, each major must earn a "C" or better in ENGLISH 1130 and 1230 and pass the departmental writing proficiency exam before taking upper division criminal justice courses.

In addition to the social science requirements of the university, the student must either complete at least 6 credits each in psychology, sociology, and political science or complete a minor or second major in any discipline.

Minors to consider include foreign languages, accounting for federal law enforcement, or psychology for corrections. Computer science, political science, chemistry and biology are also excellent minors for students majoring in criminal justice.

Criminal Justice Minor (24 credits)

Criminal justice minors must take the following:

Electives in Criminal Justice: 12 cr
Total: 24 cr