We prepare students to move successfully into criminal justice, forensic investigation, and related careers as liberally educated people who are intellectually mature, ethically responsible, culturally aware, and knowledgeable about social justice concerns.
The University of Wisconsin-Platteville, the first institution of higher education in Wisconsin to grant the Baccalaureate Degree in Criminal Justice, has distinguished itself as a leader in providing high quality education for our graduates. Since its creation in 1966, the Department of Criminal Justice has been recognized by criminal justice agencies across the nation for the excellence of its academic program and the professional accomplishments of its graduates. Criminal justice is a stimulating and rewarding area of study, which can be pursued as part of a broadly based liberal education as well as part of a program of professional and pre-professional studies.
UW-Platteville offers both a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. The major in Criminal Justice provides a basic understanding of the criminal justice system and the society in which it functions, emphasizing a wide perspective and allowing students the flexibility to choose specialized courses in areas related to their own professional and academic interests. 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, forensic investigation, alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) counseling, and private security. Students may select an optional emphasis for their degree in either Law Enforcement or Corrections. These emphases direct students' elective credits to topic-specific courses for in-depth specialization.
Students who major in Criminal Justice are encouraged to consider completing minors in related areas such as Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Safety, Accounting, Chemistry, Biology, Business, or Computer Science. Students who are majoring in other fields can minor in Criminal Justice or Forensic Investigation.
Undergraduate education in Criminal Justice provides for the needs of students who plan to enter law school or who wish to pursue graduate studies in Criminal Justice, Criminology, or related fields. Similarly, for those students wishing to begin working in the field immediately upon graduation, a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice provides an excellent and often necessary preparation.
We also offer a minor in Criminal Justice. Students who minor in criminal justice will complete 12 credits of required foundational courses and 12 credits of in-depth topic-specific elective courses in Criminal Justice or Forensic Investigation. As part of the liberal arts tradition, Criminal Justice can be studied as an end in itself, as a field of study that is personally enriching regardless of one's career interests.
UW-Platteville offers a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Investigation. The forensic investigation major provides a thorough practical and theoretical study to the application of science within the investigative process. Students will explore the role that science plays in recognizing, documenting, collecting, and preserving physical evidence at crime scenes, and how this evidence is evaluated within a courtroom setting.
Students wishing to enhance their coursework studies often join campus or community clubs and organizations that focus on criminal justice issues, such as: Alpha Phi Sigma (Criminal Justice National Honor's Society), Criminal Justice Association (CJA), Defense Intelligence & Counter-Terrorism (DICT), Platteville Community Restorative Justice, and the Pre-Law Society.