Criminal Justice

The criminal justice major at UW-Eau Claire will help prepare you for careers at the local, state, and federal levels in law enforcement, corrections, and court-related agencies, as well as graduate school in the fields of criminal justice and criminology. The major is designed for those concerned about crime and justice in the United States and those intellectually motivated to do things to further justice.

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The program did a tremendous job informing me of the multiple facets of the criminal justice system. Additionally, with the guidance and support of the professors, I am now pursuing my PhD in criminal justice and criminology.

Sou Lee | Criminal Justice alum


Comprehensive major (no minor required)
  • Criminal Justice

Contact Info

Criminal Justice Program
Hibbard Humanities Hall 401
124 Garfield Avenue

Department website

Prepared for success

The Criminal Justice major is the university’s largest interdisciplinary program with approximately 300 current majors. In addition to criminal justice courses, students can also take courses in sociology, psychology, political science, and social work. UW-Eau Claire’s criminal justice program combines this multidisciplinary coursework with practical internship experiences, putting our graduates in high demand. In addition, we offer a rigorous liberal arts-based academic program that prepares students for success in graduate or law school.

Graduates of our criminal justice program pursue a variety of career opportunities. Many go into law enforcement, while others work in various criminal justice system agencies such as probation and parole, youth services, and victim/witness programs. Many choose to pursue a law degree or continue to graduate school.

Where are our grads?

  • Police officer, detective bureau
  • Probation and parole agent
  • Office of District Attorney, victim/witness assistance program
  • Case worker, Big Brothers/Big Sisters
  • Federal Air Marshal Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Surveillance investigator, Treasure Island Resort and Casino
  • Federal Investigative Services, United States Office of Personnel Management
  • U.S. Marshals Service, United States Department of Justice
  • EEO Counselor, U.S. Immigrations

Why UW-Eau Claire

Experiential Learning

Students can gain in-depth exposure to a topic by working one-on-one with faculty through independent and directed study opportunities. Students can also earn up to 6 credits of on-the-job experience at over a dozen regional and national internship sites such as law enforcement, youth services, court services, and corrections. Popular internship sites include the Eau Claire County District Attorney’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), US Marshal Service in Madison and Federal Probation and Parole Services


Some advantages criminal justice majors enjoy at UW-Eau Claire include small classes at the upper division level; a broad range of internship choices for students; and funded opportunities for student-faculty collaborative research.

Get Involved / Student Orgs

You will learn from outstanding faculty, who have been recognized for their research and public service. In addition, you will enjoy engaging with an active student Criminal Justice Association that sponsors field trips and meets regularly with criminal justice professionals to discuss career opportunities and pathways.

Research Opportunities

The criminal justice program often sends students to professional conferences to present individual projects or collaborative research with faculty, funded through UW-Eau Claire’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Recently, two students presented research papers at the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association conference in Chicago.  

Faculty Experts

Our faculty are highly-regarded experts and researchers in their field. Dr. Justin Patchin, professor of criminal justice at UW-Eau Claire and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center, has done an extensive study on the subject of cyberbullying. Dr. Patchin has been invited to share his expertise at the White House and FBI Academy, and he has discussed his research and findings in national media, including CNN, NPR, the BBC, and the New York Times.

First-Year Suggested Curriculum

  • American National Politics
  • General Psychology
  • Intro to Sociology
  • University writing requirement—depending on placement exam. For test-out options, see seminar/testout.
  • Moral Problems in Contemporary Life
  • Survey of the Criminal Justice System
  • General electives

Course Work / Pre-Professional Courses

Students should plan to take the core courses in Criminal Justice once they have completed the prerequisite courses identified below and earned at least 30 credits.

Special Admission Guidelines

Students are encouraged to do well in English composition, mathematics, and social studies. Strong communication skills, verbal and written, should be developed as well.

Printable APS Sheets | Catalog Links | Degree Plans

Academic Program Sheets
Academic Program Sheets
Academic Program Sheets