Whether you’re just entering a criminal justice career or want to advance in the field, the online Master of Science in Criminal Justice will allow you to match your passion to your career.

The criminal justice program provides foundational knowledge in criminal justice systems, operations, and law for career mobility in the criminal justice field. You’ll also gain skills in organizational management, problem solving, communications, and research.

Choose how your career needs will best be suited by selecting an area of emphasis.

  • Criminal Justice Theory: Designed for those who wish to continue graduate education in a PhD program or embark on a career in research for government and advocacy organizations.
  • Criminal Justice Management: This emphasis will allow you to advance into a supervisory or administrative position in a variety of criminal justice settings.
  • Victim and Offender Services: A perfect fit for anyone interested in working with crime victims, juveniles, probation, and parole clients, or providing services in institutional or community-based settings.
  • Emergency Management: Designed for those interested in supervisory or administrative positions that require background knowledge in emergency preparedness and management.

Earn your degree at your pace. Total cost of the program is $22,522.* Be sure to ask your admission counselor how you can reduce this cost with transfer credits or professional credentials.

*Subject to change without notice.

Careers in criminal justice

Earning a master’s degree or certificate in criminal justice will prepare you for a range of exciting potential careers, including but not limited to:

  • Criminal justice management
  • Crisis counselor
  • Deputy regional chief ranger
  • Detective
  • Executive officer of security
  • Faculty instructor in higher education
  • Federal probation officer
  • Intake coordinator
  • National Inmate Appeals Administration
  • Patrol sergeant
  • Police captain
  • Polygraph instructor
  • Senior sexual assault legal/medical advocate
  • Senior export compliance and investigation analyst
  • U.S. Marshal

Criminal justice graduates have opportunities to thrive in a number of organizations and industries, making this degree versatile and valuable. Earning a master’s degree in criminal justice can help you grow in your existing career or explore new opportunities.

The instructors in the criminal justice program are true scholar-practitioners. When I saw the range of experience of the professors, it just floored me. I learned from the best. They were just as dedicated to my education as I was.

Joseph Roy, M.S. in criminal justice graduate

Graduate Certificates

A graduate certificate is a credential that equips you with foundational knowledge and skills in a particular field. Although it doesn't replace a master's degree, it proves competence in an area and bolsters your resume.

Credit for Prior Learning

Has previous life experience already helped you build knowledge and skills applicable to your studies? If so, we want to recognize that – and help you save time and money in the process. Speak with an admission counselor to see if your previous experience qualifies.

Professional Credentials

We recognize value in your professional experience. Advanced standing in the Criminal Justice program may be awarded by earning:

Start Dates and Timelines

To ensure an admission decision for the semester you intend to start your degree, submit your application and supporting materials by:

  • Fall: August 15
  • Spring: January 15
  • Summer: May 15

Academic Calendar

Find important University of Wisconsin-Platteville dates such as the beginning and end of each semester, breaks in the semester, final exams, and deadlines for dropping or adding classes using our academic calendar. Spring and fall semesters are each 16 weeks, while the summer semester is 12 weeks.

Transfer Information

UW-Platteville allows students to transfer up to 12 credits of previously taken graduate coursework. Credits are required from a nationally or regionally accredited institution recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and approved by UW-Platteville program faculty. Be sure to let your admission counselor know if you have earned previous credits.