Study in the field of criminal justice examines the component parts of criminal justice – police, courts, and corrections – and seeks to gain an understanding of the interdependencies among them. Courses emphasize the role of criminal justice agencies in society, particularly in relation to the impact of alternative criminal justice policies on society and social problems. The program prepares students as generalists in criminal justice and is well suited for those who want to pursue graduate work in criminal justice, law, public administration, and the social sciences.

Thousands of our graduates have gone on to careers with the public sector, private sector and non-profit organizations, including jobs such as FBI agent, intelligence analyst, police officer, evidence technician, border patrol agent, computer security expert, probation officer, customs inspector, and private investigator. 


General Curriculum Requirements33
Major Requirements45
General Electives42
Total Credits120

General Curriculum Requirements

For courses that satisfy the distribution requirements in humanities, natural science, and social science, see the GER listing in the current Timetable. The UWM General Education Requirements apply to all students who were not enrolled in an accredited institution prior to 1986.

Refer to Proficiency Requirements in General Education Requirements. Contact a school advisor for specific information.
Refer to Proficiency Requirements in General Education Requirements. Contact a school advisor for specific information.
Liberal Arts Foundation
UWM Foreign Language Requirement
Completion of two years of high school-level instruction in a single foreign language, or satisfactory completion of at least two semesters of a single foreign language, or approved demonstration of foreign language ability
UWM Cultural Diversity Requirement
One course from the Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences must also satisfy UWM's Cultural Diversity requirement
Select 3 credits of General Education-approved arts course in the history, philosophy, theory, or practice of the creative and interpretive arts3
COMMUN 103Public Speaking3
Select 6 credits of General Education-approved humanities courses6
Natural Science
Select 6 credits of General Education-approved natural science courses to include a lab or field course6
United States History and Institutions
HIST 151American History: 1607 to 18773
HIST 152American History: 1877 to the Present3
Social Science
Select 9 credits of General Education-approved social science courses9
Total Credits33

Major Requirements

Criminal justice intended majors spend their first two years building a liberal arts foundation and fulfilling proficiency requirements. Freshmen and sophomores may begin to take courses offered in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare.

Students must complete at least 120 credits to obtain the degree. The major in criminal justice requires a minimum of 45 credits in required courses and electives. The Department requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA on all credits in the major attempted at UWM. In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all major credits attempted, including transfer work, to meet graduation requirements.

Required Courses
CRM JST 110Introduction to Criminal Justice3
CRM JST 271Introduction to Policing3
CRM JST 273Introduction to Corrections3
CRM JST 275Introduction to Criminal Courts3
CRM JST 305Criminological Theory and Policy3
CRM JST 310Race, Ethnicity, and Justice3
CRM JST 662Methods of Social Welfare Research3
CRM JST 663Criminal Justice Capstone Seminar3
SOCIOL 261Introduction to Statistical Thinking in Sociology3
or INFOST 370 Data Analysis and Visualization for the Information Professional
Criminal Justice Electives
Select 18 credits 118
Complete up to 6 credits 20-6
Total Credits45

SOC WRK 100 and SOC WRK 306 count as electives in the criminal justice major.


Upon approval of the Criminal Justice Field Coordinator, the student may earn up to 6 credits of Criminal Justice electives for authorized field placements with various criminal justice agencies including police departments, court-related agencies, and correctional institutions.

General Electives

Credits towards the degree not counted in other categories will apply to General Electives. Classes counting towards General Electives may include, but are not limited to:
ENGLISH 100Introduction to College Writing and Reading4
ENGLISH 101Introduction to College Writing3
ENGLISH 102College Writing and Research3
MATH 102Mathematical Literacy for College Students II3
MATH 103Contemporary Applications of Mathematics3
MATH 105Introduction to College Algebra3
MATH 108Algebraic Literacy II3
Foreign Language credits
Total Credits42

Credits earned in HONORS 687 or HONORS 689 will not count towards the major.

Degree Requirements

An overall GPA (including non-UWM college work) of 2.0 and a total of 120 credits are needed for graduation. To receive the bachelor's degree with a criminal justice major, the student must complete at least 30 degree credits at UWM. At least 50% of the credits required for the Criminal Justice major must be earned at UWM. 

Undergraduate Academic Advising

The Office of Student Services in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, located in the Northwest Quadrant Building D 3rd Floor, offers undergraduate student academic advising from professional advisors who are familiar with the Social Work and Criminal Justice & Criminology curriculum, College requirements, and university policies. Advisors can also provide information on scholarship opportunities, tutoring, and student organizations that align with a student's interests.

These advisors provide services such as new freshman orientation, course selection, assistance with registration, and review of transfer credit. Students are assigned to a permanent professional advisor upon admittance into the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare and are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor at least once each semester. Please call (414) 229-4852 to schedule an appointment or for more information.

Transfer Students

The Helen Bader School of Social Welfare welcomes students from other academic areas on the UWM campus and students transferring to UWM from other institutions. Students planning to transfer into either major from another institution should meet with an academic advisor as soon as they are admitted and the transfer credit evaluation process has been completed. During this meeting, the student and advisor will review transfer course equivalencies, discuss program requirements, and create an academic plan for coming semesters. Students may meet with their advisor in person or by phone. Please call (414) 229-4852 to schedule an appointment or for more information. 

Accelerated Program Option

This program is offered as part of an accelerated graduate program. For more information, see Accelerated Graduate Degrees.

Honors in the Major

Honors in the Major are granted to students who have earned a GPA of 3.500 or above in major courses, including social science credits completed at UWM.

College of Community Engagement and Professions Dean's Honor List

GPA of 3.750 or above, earned on a full-time student's GPA on 12 or more graded credits in a given semester.

Honors College Degree and Honors College Degree with Distinction

Granted to graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements, as listed in the Honors College section of this site.

Commencement Honors

Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or above, based on a minimum of 40 graded UWM credits earned prior to the final semester, will receive all-university commencement honors and be awarded the traditional gold cord at the December or May Honors Convocation. Please note that for honors calculation, the GPA is not rounded and is truncated at the third decimal (e.g., 3.499).

Final Honors

Earned on a minimum of 60 graded UWM credits: Cum Laude - 3.500 or above; Magna Cum Laude - 3.650 or above; Summa Cum Laude - 3.800 or above.