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Phone: (414) 229-2392
Fax: (414) 229-5311
E-mail: freiburg@uwm.edu

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Criminal Justice

School/College: Helen Bader School of Social Welfare

Degrees Conferred:

  • M.S. in Criminal Justice



The School of Social Welfare offers a master's program of study in criminal justice. The program is designed to educate students for leadership positions in the field of criminal justice. The program also provides a strong foundation for students anticipating advanced study at the doctoral level. The curriculum is also designed to prepare Criminal Justice professionals to understand all aspects of criminal justice policy. Legal, organizational, political and behavioral frameworks are used to analyze the operation of the criminal justice system. Students are introduced to advanced knowledge on the nature and causes of crime, the justification and means of social control, the administration of the justice system, and the evaluation of criminal justice programs.

Graduate Faculty

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Stojkovic, Stan, Ph.D., Michigan State University
Associate Professors
Brandl, Steven G., Ph.D., Michigan State University
Hassell, Kimberly D., Univeristy of Nebraska-Omaha
LeBel, Thomas P., Ph.D. University at Albany, State University of New York
Freiburger, Tina L., Ph.D., Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Chair
Assistant Professors
Randol, Blake, Ph.D., Washington State University
Snowden, Aleksandra J., Ph.D., Indiana University

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

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An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements plus these program requirements to be considered for admission:

  • Undergraduate degree, from an accredited university, in criminal justice, a related social science or other relevant educational experience.
  • Undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.00, to be admitted in good standing. (Students with less than a 3.00 GPA may be admitted on probationary status. See below.)
  • Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination or the Miller Analogies Test.
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons who are familiar with the applicant’s academic record.
  • Satisfactory completion of a research methods course and a statistics course. Lacking these, an applicant may be admitted on the condition that these courses will be taken prior to receiving the M.S. degree. Credits for such courses will not count toward the degree.

Applicants may be admitted with specific program-defined course deficiencies provided that the deficiencies amount to no more than two courses.

The student is expected to satisfy deficiency requirements within three enrolled semesters. The deficiencies are monitored by the Graduate School and the individual graduate program unit. No course credits earned in making up deficiencies may be counted as program credits required for the degree.


Application must be made to the Graduate School. Applicants are admitted to the program at the beginning of the fall, spring and summer sessions. For further information regarding the application process, please contact the Project Assistant of the Criminal Justice Programs at (414) 229-2392.

Major Professor as Advisor

The student must have a faculty advisor to advise and supervise the student's studies as specified in Graduate School regulations. At the time of admission, the Director of the Criminal Justice Programs will assign each student to a faculty advisor. Students who begin to work closely with a particular faculty member with expertise in their area of interest may request that this faculty member serve as their advisor. Students who pursue the Essay Option must choose a faculty member to serve as their major professor.

Credits and Courses

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice consists of a minimum of 33 graduate credits; 21 credit hours must be taken within the criminal justice program and the other 12 credit hours may be taken elsewhere in the School of Social Welfare or in other departments in the University with the consent of the student's advisor. Each student is required to take the Proseminar in each of three core areas (total of 9 credit hours) and pursue either Option A: Essay Option, or Option B: Non-Essay Option described below. The three core areas are:

  • The Social Context of Crime and the Criminal Justice System
  • Program Administration in Criminal Justice
  • Programmatic Research in Criminal Justice
Option A: Essay Option

Students must complete the required proseminars and, as part of the 33 graduate credits required, must complete 3 credits of research and a graduate-level statistics course approved by the student's faculty advisor. Students planning to go into doctoral programs are strongly encouraged to pursue the essay option.


An acceptable essay must be written on the student's area of concentration.

Comprehensive Examination

The student must pass a final oral examination in defense of the essay.

Option B: Non-Essay Option

Students must complete the 33 graduate credits required, including the three proseminars. Essay not required.

Time Limit

The student must complete all degree requirements within seven years of initial enrollment.


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Courses numbered 300-699 are Undergraduate/Graduate. Courses numbered 700 and above are Graduate only.

497 Study Abroad: (Subtitled). 1-6 cr. U/G.
Variable content (subtitle is area of concentration). Designed to enroll students in UWM sponsored program before course work level, content and credits are determined and/or in specially prepared program course work. Retakeable with change in topic to max of 9 cr. Prereq: jr st; acceptance for Study Abroad Prog.
671 (effective 09/02/2014) Juvenile Justice. 3 cr. U/G.
Structure of juvenile justice system -- police, courts, and corrections; analysis of structure of subsystems of the juvenile justice process; introduction to literature and research. Prereq: jr st or cons instr.
671 Juvenile Justice. 3 cr. U/G.
Structure of juvenile justice system -- police, courts, and corrections; analysis of structure of subsystems of the juvenile justice process; introduction to literature and research. Prereq: jr st or cons instr; Crm Jst 110(P).
680 Jails. 3 cr. U/G.
The primary purpose is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the role of the jail in contemporary society. Prereq: jr st; Crm Jst 110 (P) & 150(P).
743 Proseminar: Administration of Criminal Justice Systems. 3 cr. G.
An examination of criminal justice organizations from a public administration focus, integrating organizational theory and political theory for the analysis of criminal justice administration. Prereq: grad st.
756 Proseminar: Analysis of Criminal Justice Research. 3 cr. G.
A study of the application of social science research methods to criminal justice issues. Prereq: grad st.
773 Perspectives on Crime and the Criminal Justice System. 2-3 cr. G.
An in-depth analysis of the etiology of criminal behavior; processes of becoming a criminal; patterns of criminal behavior; and policy and individual consequences of decriminalization. Not open to students who have cr in Soc Wrk 773, which is identical to Crm Jst 773. Prereq: grad st.
775 Race, Crime and Criminal Justice. 3 cr. G.
A study of crime and criminal justice issues as they impact major racial groups such as Blacks, American Indians, and Hispanics Prereq: grad st.
795 Issues in Law Enforcement Practice and Policy. 3 cr. G.
An examination of police practice in a democratic society from an operational, legal, and sociological perspective
810 Police Administration. 3 cr. G.
An application of management principles to the police organization. Prereq: grad st.
820 Police and the Multicultural Community. 3 cr. G.
A study of the critical issues facing police officers and administrators in relation to policing a diverse society, with particular emphasis on training leadership, minorities and women police officers, and police - community relations. Prereq: grad st.
830 Intervention Strategies for Correctional Clients. 3 cr. G.
A review and analysis of intervention approaches and programs used with correctional clients, both juvenile and adult, with emphasis on diversion, prevention, and rehabilitation strategies. Prereq: grad st.
840 Philosophical Foundations of Policing. 3 cr. G.
An in-depth analysis of the social theory of policing. The most significant theoretical and empirical works on policing are examined. Prereq: grad st
970 Readings in Criminal Justice Research: (Subtitled). 3 cr. G.
Variable content research oriented course involving systematic analysis and investigation of criminal justice topics. May be retaken to max of 9 cr. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
990 Thesis or Research Project. 1-3 cr. G.
May be repeated once for cr. Prereq: grad st; writ cons instr & coord grad prog.
999 Independent Reading in Criminal Justice. 1-3 cr. G.
Work suited to individual graduate students arranged. Prereq: grad st;cons instr & coord Grad Prog.

Page last updated on: 04/03/2014