MS Criminal Justice FAQs

Who should enroll in this program?

The MSCJ degree is designed for criminal justice and social service professionals who: need additional knowledge and skills to advance to a higher-level position in their profession; desire to teach at a community college or university; seek an advanced degree as a prerequisite for entry into the criminal justice field. You can choose from three areas of emphasis to meet your career goals: Criminal Justice Theory, Criminal Justice Management, or Victim and Offender Services.

What is the difference between the Graduate Diploma in Criminal Justice and the Master of Science in Criminal Justice?

You can earn the Diploma upon completion of the 15 credits of core courses required for the MSCJ degree. However, most students complete the 30 credits of coursework to earn their master’s degree.

Is UW-Platteville Accredited?

Yes, UW-Platteville is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. UW-Platteville is nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. 

Will I ever have to visit the campus?

No, you can earn both the degree and diploma entirely online. We do, however, invite our students and graduates to visit campus. Graduating distance learning students may participate in on-campus commencement ceremonies. 

What is the cost of tuition? Are payment plans offered? Is financial aid available?

Information about tuition and fees is available online. UW-Platteville does not offer payment plans. All tuition and fees must be paid before you begin a course. American Express, MasterCard and VISA are accepted. Financial Aid is available. To determine eligibility, contact the Financial Aid Office at 608.342.1836 or Please specify that you are a prospective distance learning student.

May the GI Bill be applied to the UW-Platteville distance education programs?

You should talk to your Veteran Service Officer (VSO) about the restrictions and requirements and specify that you are interested in taking distance education courses. After talking with your VSO, contact the UW-Platteville Registrar to learn how to process your benefits. You may reach the Registrar's office at 608.342.1321 or

How do I apply for admission to the Master of Science in Criminal Justice Program?

For detailed information on how to apply to the program, see Admission Information

What do I need to submit in my portfolio?

Your portfolio should provide evidence of your writing skills in the form of research papers or projects undertaken as part of your undergraduate or graduate coursework, or as part of your employment.

How long does the admission process take?

You will receive notice regarding your admission approximately two weeks after the Distance Learning Center receives your official transcripts and the director of the criminal justice program receives all other required materials. Allow two weeks for all of your transcripts to arrive at UW-Platteville. It is your responsibility to request transcripts. 

Where should previous schools I have attended send my official transcripts?

Distance Learning Center
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
1 University Plaza
Platteville, Wisconsin 53818-3099

How do I register for a course?

When you are admitted as a degree-seeking student, you can Register for Courses. If you have not been admitted and are eligible, you may register as a Special Student. For help when registering, contact the Distance Learning Center at 800.362.5460

How will I get my textbooks and course materials?

See the Textbooks page for online ordering information. 

How long will it take to earn my degree?

The time required to earn a degree varies based on the number of transfer graduate credits a student receives, how much time a student is able to devote to coursework, and individual financial considerations. You can take up to seven years to complete the program if your circumstances require it.

Will I have an academic advisor throughout the program?

Yes. Your advisor will guide you through the program by helping you choose elective courses that reflect your career goals and chosen emphasis.

What courses are required for each emphasis?

Electives will vary by student as well as emphasis area. Your advisor will help you choose elective courses to help you achieve your career goals.

Will I have access to library resouces?

Yes, all students have access to UW-Platteville's Karrmann Library. For library access assistance, see Library Resources

Still have questions?

Contact the Distance Learning Center at 800.362.5460 or The Distance Learning Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. CST Monday through Friday.

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