In the Department of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences, we prepare you to successfully move into careers as liberally educated people who are intellectually mature, ethically responsible, culturally aware, and knowledgeable about social justice concerns.

A bachelor's degree is the key to opening many doors to success and a future that is personally and professionally rewarding. Additionally, we offer several minors as well as certificate programs in Child Advocacy Studies, Ethnic Studies, Law, and Women's and Gender Studies.

UW-Platteville offers two nationally known, industry-leading programs: Criminal Justice and Forensic Investigation.

Criminal Justice

UW-Platteville has distinguished itself as a leading criminal justice college, as it is the first institution of higher education in Wisconsin to grant the Baccalaureate Degree in Criminal Justice. Since its creation in 1966, the department has been recognized by criminal justice agencies and criminology colleges across the nation for the excellence of its academic programs and the professional accomplishments of program graduates.

UW-Platteville offers both a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. You can choose an emphasis in Corrections or Law Enforcement. We also offer online Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Criminal Justice Management, Criminal Justice Theory, and Victim Offender Services with the option to choose a minor in Criminal Justice.

Forensic Investigation

UW-Platteville offers a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Investigation. When pursuing this major, you'll discover the theory, analysis, and procedures used in scientifically investigating and processing a crime scene. The forensic investigation major provides a thorough practical and theoretical study to the application of science within the investigative process. You 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 who major in forensic investigation must choose an area of emphasis: Crime Scene or Laboratory.  We also offer a minor in forensic investigation.

Georgia Shiu, a forensic investigation major with a minor in criminal justice, shares why UW-Platteville is a smart investment.

Political Science

The Political Science program at UW-Platteville enables you to improve substantially your understanding of yourselves and the world, while educating you to understand and appreciate politics, political thought and governance, and gain essential knowledge of your chosen fields. The department aims to prepare you for employment or advanced study, and stimulate you in anticipating your future roles as professionals and citizens. UW-Platteville offers a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Political Science.


The UW-Platteville Pre-Law program is designed to help you achieve success with a career in law. You’ll explore courses in areas such as political science, criminal justice, history, and philosophy within the pre-law program.


Sociology is the study of society and its component parts, groups, cultures, norms, roles, and their institutional and organizational relationships. Sociology is a discipline in the social sciences and part of the liberal arts approach to education. The UW-Platteville Department of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences offers a minor in Sociology.


The Ethnic Studies program is dedicated to awakening your mind and spirit to the issues of race and ethnicity. It engages you in the social realities and moral challenges of racism in the United States and around the world. Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study that forges strong scholarly and intellectual connections between history, political economy, anthropology, and the related fields of Native American, African American, Chicano/a, Asian American, and women’s and gender studies. The Ethnic Studies program provides you with an analysis of the historical narratives of marginalized groups whose lived experiences are often neglected. UW-Platteville offers a minor and certificate in Ethnic Studies.


The Women's and Gender Studies program is designed to hone interdisciplinary critical thinking and analytical skills. It is also geared toward helping you examine your personal and social values, as well as make wiser contributions to the diverse global community. Coursework includes subjects such as gender and society; psychology of women; management, gender, and race; and more. UW-Platteville offers a minor and certificate in Women's and Gender Studies.


As part of our commitment to creating engaged global citizens, the International Studies program focuses on understanding and appreciating the interconnectedness of the modern world. It explores how economic, technological, and communications development affect everyday life and commerce. UW-Platteville offers a minor in International Studies.

Discover by doing

Criminal Justice and Social Sciences at UW-Platteville offers a student-centered approach. Focused on experiential learning that connects your education to your future career, there are opportunities to help others through various research projects.

Learn more