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Wisconsin Criminal Justice Schools

  • 34 schools offering criminal justice degrees in Wisconsin are in our database (see below).
  • Of the criminal justice programs in Wisconsin, 17 offer associate’s degrees or certificates, 13 offer bachelor’s degrees and above, and 4 offer master’s or doctoral degrees.
  • 7 schools offering online criminal justice degrees in Wisconsin ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs: University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (#7), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (#39), University of Wisconsin-Platteville (#49), Herzing University (#79), University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (#106), University of Wisconsin-Stout (#111), Maranatha Baptist University (#143).
  • 1 school in Wisconsin is on Kiplinger’s Best College Values: University of Wisconsin-Madison (#50 in-state, #56 out-of-state).


Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee: The Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee houses the Department of Criminal Justice, where students can earn a Bachelor of Science or a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The school also has three international programs in Bristol, United Kingdom; Linz, Austria; and Crecia, Costa Rica. Masters students choose from three different professional concentrations: corrections, law enforcement, or administration. Students and faculty conduct research within one or more of six different centers, including the Child Welfare Training Project and the Center for Addiction and Behavioral Health Research.

University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh: Students at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh can pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice through the Department of Criminal Justice. 45 credits of coursework in addition to the general curriculum are required for students to complete the criminal justice major. The department has six full time faculty, all of whom hold PhDs and diverse research interests related to court and correctional operations. An internship opportunity unique to UWO is the Inviting Convicts to College Program, in which students teach classes at local prisons and jails.

Wisconsin Criminal Justice Salary and Jobs

Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Correctional Officers and Jailers 7,130 $42,920
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives 1,770 $74,800
Detectives and Criminal Investigators 1,280 $74,390
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 12,040 $54,220

Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.4,5,6,7

Respected leaders who have graduated from universities in Wisconsin

  • Dane County, WI Sheriff David Mahoney- Mount Senario College (WI), University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison Area Technical College
  • Madison, WI Chief of Police Noble Wray- University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Milwaukee County, WI Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. – Concordia University Wisconsin
  • Brown County, WI Sheriff John R. Gossage – Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Police Quote: “The job is simply too important and complex to be left to those without an advanced education. Policing is too important in a democracy such as ours to be left to those who have not had the benefit of a broad liberal arts education.” -David Couper, retired police chief in Madison, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Criminal Justice Degrees

Law enforcement jobs in Wisconsin often have a college education requirement. The Milwaukee police department requires that new recruits earn at least 60 college credits within 5 years if they do not already have a college degree upon hire. While you may still be hired without a degree, candidates who have college experience are often preferred.

Within the public sector, you may find positions at the local, state, or federal level. The Wisconsin Department of Justice employs individuals in positions such as forensic scientists, special agents, legal secretaries, and paralegals. Other public sector career opportunities include working for the FBI, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Wisconsin Criminal Justice Salary

Criminal justice careers often offer an attractive level of pay and benefits that is competitive with other professions. The average annual salary for Wisconsin police officers is $54,220.7 First-line supervisors of police earn an average salary of $74,800 per year.5 There are thousands of jobs for correctional officers in Wisconsin, with an average annual salary of $42,920.4 Detectives and criminal investigators in Wisconsin earn an average of $74,390 and paralegals in the state earn an average of $46,970.6,8

Wisconsin’s Criminal Justice Employment Outlook

As of May 2016 Wisconsin had an unemployment rate of 4.2,%, slightly below the national average of 4.7%.9 The state experienced a 10-year peak unemployment rate in January 2010 at 9.2%.9 Government-related employment is a good proxy for criminal justice jobs in Wisconsin, and Projections Central includes the following job estimates:

  • Police and Sheriff Patrol: 410 annual openings; 46% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 24% holding an associate’s degree.10,11
  • Correctional Officers: 220 annual openings; 37% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 15% holding a post-secondary certificate.10,12
  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators: 30 annual openings; 37% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 21% holding an associate’s degree.10,13
  • Security Guards: 210 annual openings; 4% in these positions report completing at least some college.10,14
  • Paralegals and Legal Assistants: 120 annual openings; 86% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 30% holding an associate’s degree and 44% holding a bachelor’s degree.10,15

Estimates for open positions are based on both employment growth and replacements.

The Mercatus Center, a conservative think tank, rated and analyzed the long-term solvency of each state government. Based on an analysis of the state’s budgeting process, cash/tax collection, and pensions, Wisconsin was ranked 29th in the nation.16 This means that new hires can be relatively confident in the state’s ability to fulfill its employee pension obligations.

Online and Wisconsin Criminal Justice Schools

To learn more about earning a Wisconsin criminal justice degree, we recommend the following accredited campus-based and online criminal justice programs for students interested in pursuing associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in the growing field of criminal justice.

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Tip: If you don’t live near a campus-based school that offers a program of interest, consider an online degree or a university in an adjacent state (Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, or Iowa).



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Directory of Wisconsin Universities Offering Criminal Justice Degrees

Blackhawk Technical College (Janesville)
Associate Degree | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Law Enforcement
Certificate | Basic Corrections Academy
Certificate | Secure Juvenile Detention Academy

Carroll University (Waukesha)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Chemistry: Forensic
Minor | Criminal Justice

Carthage College (Kenosha)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Minor | Criminal Justice

Chippewa Valley Technical College (Eau Claire)
Associate Degree | Criminal Justice
Diploma | Law Enforcement Academy

Edgewood College (Madison)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: Human Services

Fox Valley Technical College (Appleton)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Forensic Science
Associate of Applied Science | Security and Asset Protection
Certificate | Child Protection Investigator
Certificate | Corrections
Certificate | Crime Prevention
Certificate | Criminal Investigator
Certificate | Cyber Crime Investigation
Certificate | Evidence Technician
Certificate | Evidence Technician: Advanced
Certificate | Private Investigation Specialist
Certificate | Security
Certificate | Security Management
Technical Diploma | Law Enforcement

Gateway Technical College (Kenosha)
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement
Certificate | Spanish Proficiency for Law Enforcement
Technical Diploma | Law Enforcement Academy

Herzing University (Madison)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: Homeland Security
Bachelor of Science | Homeland Security and Public Safety
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: Supervision and Management

Lakeland College (Sheboygan)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Minor | Criminal Justice

Lakeshore Technical College (Cleveland)
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement
Certificate | Emergency Management Specialist: Basic
Technical Diploma | Security and Corrections

Madison Area Technical College (Madison)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
Certificate | Digital Forensics
Certificate | Jail Officer

Maranatha Baptist University (Watertown)
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice (also online)
Minor | Criminal Justice

Marian University of Fond du Lac (Fond du Lac)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree
Bachelor of Science | Forensic Science
Bachelor of Science | Homeland Security
Master of Science | Criminal Justice Leadership
Minor | Criminal Justice
Minor | Homeland Security

Marquette University (Milwaukee)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminology and Law Studies
Master of Arts | Public Service Administration: Criminal Justice Administration
Minor | Criminology and Law Studies

Mid-State Technical College (Wisconsin Rapids)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
Associate of Applied Science | Corrections & Community Advocacy

Milwaukee Area Technical College (Milwaukee)
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement
Certificate | Law Enforcement

Moraine Park Technical College (Fond du Lac)
Associate of Applied Science | Corrections

Nicolet Area Technical College (Rhinelander)
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement
Certificate | Law Enforcement Academy
Diploma | Corrections Specialist

Northcentral Technical College (Wausau)
Associate Degree | Criminal Justice Studies
Diploma | Law Enforcement Academy

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (Green Bay)
Associate Degree | Criminal Justice Professional Studies
Associate Degree | Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
Certificate | Jail and Juvenile Officer Academy
Certificate | Jail Officer Academy
Certificate | Emergency Dispatch
Diploma | Law Enforcement Academy

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College (Fennimore)
Associate Degree | Criminal Justice Studies
Certificate | Emergency Telecommunications
Certificate | Jail Academy
Certificate | Law Enforcement Academy
Diploma | Security Operations

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (Eau Claire)
Bachelor of Arts/ Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Minor | Criminal Justice

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (Green Bay)
Bachelor of Arts | Democracy and Justice Studies: Law and Justice
Certificate | Emergency Management

University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: Crime Analysis
Master of Science | Criminal Justice
Master of Science | Criminal Justice: Crime Analytics: Basic track
Master of Science | Criminal Justice: Crime Analytics: Advanced track
Master of Science/ Master of Public Administration | Criminal Justice/ Public Administration (dual degree program)
Master of Science/Master of Social Work | Criminal Justice/Social Work (dual degree program)
Minor | Criminal Justice
Minor | Crime Analysis
Certificate | Death Investigation
Certificate | Forensic Science
Certificate | Forensic Toxicology
Certificate | Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Crime Analysis

Student Review: “My experience at UW Madison was absolutely great. All of my professors were very knowledgeable and truly seemed excited about teaching us. We also had countless guest speakers from various fields to come in and give us first hand accounts on the real world. Starting with my Criminal Justice 101 class, we had lawyers, police, judges, and even an acquitted convict come speak to us. The impact of these speakers can not be put into words.” -Nicolas B., student at University of Wisconsin-Madison
stars-5

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Milwaukee)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: Crime Analysis
Master of Science | Criminal Justice
Master of Science | Criminal Justice: Crime Analytics: Basic
Master of Science | Criminal Justice: Crime Analytics: Advanced
Master of Science/ Master of Public Administration | Criminal Justice/ Public Administration (dual degree program)
Master of Science/ Master of Social Work | Criminal Justice/ Social Work (dual degree program)
Minor | Criminal Justice
Minor | Crime Analysis
Certificate | Death Investigation
Certificate | Forensic Science
Certificate | Forensic Toxicology
Certificate | Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Crime Analysis

Student Review: “The UWM criminal justice program was a very good program for me to have been a part of. It guaranteed me that I would be ready for a career in the field with lots of hands on training by active and retired professionals. Not only was I able to gain knowledge from textbooks and by doing my studies, but also by talking to people that have already had the experience and done it themselves. I highly recommend the program. It is run by committed professionals for those who want to excel above and beyond in their career goals long after completing the curriculum.” – student at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
stars-4

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (Oshkosh)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice (online program)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice (online program)
Bachelor of Arts | International Studies: Global and National Security
Bachelor of Science | International Studies: Global and National Security
Minor | Criminal Justice
Minor | Social Justice

University of Wisconsin-Parkside (Kenosha)
Associate of Arts | Military and Security Studies
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Minor | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Certificate | Cyber Security

University of Wisconsin-Platteville (Platteville)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice (online program)
Bachelor of Science | Forensic Investigation
Bachelor of Science | Chemistry: Criminalistics
Master of Science | Criminal Justice (online program)
Master of Science | Criminal Justice: Criminal Justice Theory (online program)
Master of Science | Criminal Justice: Criminal Justice Management (online program)
Master of Science | Criminal Justice: Victim and Offender Services (online program)
Minor | Criminal Justice
Minor | Forensic Investigation
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Child Advocacy Studies (online program)

Student Review: “The University of Wisconsin-Platteville has provided me with the rigorous education needed to succeed. Located in the rolling hills of Southeastern Wisconsin and surrounded by miles of beautiful farmland, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville is the perfect school for the inquisitive student who seeks a superior university education with a small town feel. With 7,000 students in attendance, you will get to know your fellow students and professors on a personal level. Enthusiastic professors have a vested interest in seeing their students excel in their classes and in the real world. The Business Administration degree, which was my major, is well respected but the Engineering and Criminal Justice departments are also highly esteemed. I found many organizations to join on campus and was also able to participate in research studies. There are plenty of internships to take advantage of as well. The campus can be a bit deserted on weekends, but any imaginative student will find something to do. Overall, if you want a great education at an excellent price, then I highly recommend the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.” -Kari V., student at University of Wisconsin-Platteville
stars-4

University of Wisconsin-Stout (Menomonie)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice and Rehabilitation
Minor | Applied Peace Studies
Minor | Military Leadership

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (Whitewater)
Bachelor of Science | Criminology
Bachelor of Arts | Criminology
Minor | Criminology
Certificate | Forensic Science

Viterbo University (La Crosse)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice Administration (online program)
Minor | Criminal Justice

Waukesha County Technical College (Pewaukee)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
Certificate | Cyber Security Specialist

Western Technical College (La Crosse)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice Studies
Diploma | Law Enforcement Academy

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (Shell Lake)
Associate Degree | Criminal Justice Studies
Associate Degree | Criminal Justice: Corrections
Associate Degree | Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
Certificate | Safety Management
Technical Diploma | Law Enforcement Academy
Technical Diploma | Jail Academy

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics: http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. US News & World Report, Best Online Programs: http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education
3. Kiplinger’s Best College Values: http://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-kiplinger-s-best-values-in-public-colleges/index.php
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Correctional Officers and Jailers http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333012.htm
5. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes331012.htm
6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Detectives and Criminal Investigators: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333021.htm
7. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333051.htm
8. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm
9. Y Charts 10 Year Unemployment Chart: http://http://ycharts.com/indicators/wisconsin_unemployment_rate
10. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
11. O*Net OnLine, Police Patrol Officers: http://www.onetonline.org/link/details/33-3051.01
12. O*Net OnLine, Correctional Officers and Jailers: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-3012.00
13. O*Net OnLine, Police Detectives: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-3021.01
14. O*Net OnLine, Security Guards: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-9032.00
15. O*Net OnLine, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/23-2011.00
16. Mercatus Center, George Mason University, Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition 2016 Edition: http://mercatus.org/statefiscalrankings