10 Best Criminal Justice Schools in Wisconsin

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Have you ever imagined yourself working on the right side of the law getting justice for victims and doling out justice to criminals?

If so, starting a career as a criminal justice professional in Wisconsin may be the right career pathway for you!

Wisconsin’s criminal justice enforcers work in a variety of fields including the following:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Corrections
  • Probation
  • Victim Services
  • Social Services
  • Legal Services
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Administration of Justice

The first step to working in Wisconsin’s criminal justice system or the Department of Corrections is to get the best education possible.

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of some of the best criminal justice programs in Wisconsin.

Prospective students can use this guide as a reference to learn more about their favorite programs, what courses to take to earn a criminal justice degree and get an estimate of program costs before financial aid.

1 Concordia University Wisconsin

About the Program

Concordia University Wisconsin students can begin their criminal justice careers by earning a 120-credit hour bachelor’s degree.

They offer two concentrations for CJ students to earn their bachelor’s in Leadership or Management of Criminal Justice.

Both programs give students options to take part in internships to gain on-the-job training and experience.

Courses Offered

  • Stress Management
  • Public Finance and Budgeting
  • Leading an Inclusive, Diverse, and Equitable Organization
  • Foundations of Leadership
  • Crisis and Emergency Management
  • Ethics in Justice and Service
  • Public Information and Community Relations

Average Program Costs: $475.00 per credit.

Contact Information

  • Address: 12800 North Lake Shore Drive, Mequon, Wisconsin
  • Phone: 262-243-5700
  • Website: Visit School Website

2 University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee

About the Program

Milwaukee’s University of Wisconsin makes the list of the best criminal justice schools as its program prepares students to begin prestigious careers in law enforcement, federal investigations, and criminology analysis.

MU students can earn a Bachelor of Science that teaches the fundamentals of the nature of crime, the impacts that crime has on our society, and how the American criminal justice system functions.

They also offer a specialization in crime analysis for students interested in this career pathway.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to Criminal Courts
  • Introduction to Corrections
  • Criminological Theory and Policy
  • Introduction to Policing
  • Electives in Criminal Justice
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Justice

Average Program Costs: $16,000.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 2400 East Hartford Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin - 53211
  • Phone: 414-229-2222
  • Website: Visit School Website

3 Edgewood College

About the Program

Edgewood College has a criminal justice program with a few concentration areas that allow students to specialize in areas like human services and social science.

Their program also features a Criminal Justice Club that acts as a network for students to gather and take part in fun educational activities while completing their degree programs for careers in law enforcement, corrections, probation, parole, and social services.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Criminal Law
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Capital Punishment
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Criminology
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Theories of Deviance
  • Research Methods
  • Introduction to the American Political Sciences
  • Women and Crime
  • Policing in Contemporary Society

Average Program Costs: $27,000.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 1000 Edgewood College Drive, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Phone: 800-444-4861
  • Website: Visit School Website

4 Carthage College

About the Program

Wisconsin students who want to work towards a major or minor in criminal justice can take classes at Carthage College, where they learn about the fundamentals of how the American justice system, law enforcement, and the criminal justice system go hand in hand.

Students learn how to become functional components of the criminal justice system as officers and administrators who determine the nature and causes of crime and develop realistic strategies for crime control.

Carthage gives students a comprehensive look at how rules and laws are made and enforced within the system as they prepare to work in their new roles as entry-level professionals upon graduation.

Courses Offered

  • Criminal Justice System
  • Race and Racism
  • Constitutional Law
  • Wrongful Convictions
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Criminal Law
  • Legal Topics
  • Deviance
  • Environmental Law
  • American Courts
  • Restorative Justice
  • Family Violence
  • Ethics and Leadership in a Multicultural Society

Average Program Costs: $27,000.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 2001 Alford Park Drive, Kenosha, Wisconsin - 53140
  • Phone: 262-551-8500
  • Website: Visit School Website

5 University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire

About the Program

The University of Wisconsin offers a criminal justice major that prepares students for entry-level employment in law enforcement and related fields in the state of Wisconsin.

They offer 12 internship sites where students can practice their skills on the job in immersive environments.

Their program takes most students about four years to complete all requirements for earning a Bachelor of Arts or Science in Criminal Justice.

Courses Offered

  • Survey of the Criminal Justice System
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Criminology Theory
  • Crime Prevention
  • Confinement and Corrections
  • Capital Punishment
  • Judicial Politics
  • Public Policy in the United States
  • Statistical Methods in Psychology I
  • Ethical Reasoning
  • Race, Crime, and Justice
  • Cybersecurity and Crime

Average Program Costs: $17,000.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 105 Garfield Avenue, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
  • Phone: 715-836-4636
  • Website: Visit School Website

6 Rasmussen University at Green Bay

About the Program

Rasmussen University gives students three online options for earning a criminal justice degree in Wisconsin via their Justice Studies department.

Students can take web-based courses to earn a bachelor’s in criminal justice, a certificate or associate’s degree in law enforcement, or an associate’s degree or certificate option for paralegal studies.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Policing in America
  • Applied Criminal Procedures
  • Drugs and Crime
  • Domestic Violence
  • Criminology Motives for Criminal Deviance
  • Practical Psychology for the Criminal Justice Professional
  • Introduction to Corrections
  • Introduction to Criminal Law

Average Program Costs: $19,000.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 904 South Taylor Street, Suite 100, Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Phone: 920-593-8400
  • Website: Visit School Website

7 Herzig University at Brookfield

About the Program

Herzig University makes the list of the best criminal justice schools in Wisconsin as they offer online options for earning an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice online.

Their accredited program prepares students for continuing education in criminal justice through transfer options and a master’s degree in criminal justice.

It offers two concentrations for students who want to begin working in the fields of Management and Leadership or Homeland Security.

*This program was ranked as one of the Best Online Programs for 2023 by US News and World Report.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to Criminology
  • Evidence Forensics
  • Criminalistics
  • Criminal Psychology
  • International Terrorism
  • Public Event Planning and Emergency Management
  • Domestic Terrorism
  • Narcotics and Drug Abuse
  • Patrol Procedures
  • Ethics in Law Enforcement

Average Program Costs: $24,000.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 15895 West Bluemound Road, Brookfield, Wisconsin
  • Phone: 262-457-7624
  • Website: Visit School Website

8 Mid-State Technical College

About the Program

Mid-State Tech offers a criminal justice studies program with a law enforcement program option that prepares students for working in the field and becoming certified Wisconsin police officers.

Their associate’s degree program provides students with a fundamental education in criminal justice studies.

It readies them for moving on to the next steps of becoming certified law enforcement officers by completing the 720-hour certification training required by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Law Enforcement
  • Criminology
  • Community Policing
  • Criminal Law for Law Enforcement
  • Court Procedures
  • Introduction to Diversity Studies
  • Report Writing for Protective Services
  • Criminal Justice Ethics
  • Constitutional Law
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Criminal Investigation

Average Program Costs: $9,671.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 2500 West 5th Street, Marshfield, Wisconsin
  • Phone: 715-387-2538
  • Website: Visit School Website

9 Gateway Technical College

About the Program

Gateway Tech gives students a two-year introduction to the world of criminal justice in their associate’s degree program.

Their justice-focused programs teach students the fundamentals needed to excel as Wisconsin law enforcement officers, corrections officers, and security officers working in the public and private sectors.

They provide students with criminal justice clubs and internships where they can work with local law enforcement agencies to practice and hone their new skills.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to Security
  • Rules of Evidence
  • Trends in Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • Community Policing Strategies
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Justice Internships

Average Program Costs: $8,935.00 + books and supplies.

Contact Information

  • Address: 3520-39th Avenue, Kenosha, Wisconsin - 53144
  • Phone: 800-247-7122
  • Website: Visit School Website

10 Blackhawk Technical College

About the Program

Blackhawk Technical College in Janesville introduces local area students to the field of law enforcement and criminal justice in their associate’s program.

They offer full-time and part-time learning options for students along with evening, weekend, and online classes that make it easier for working professionals to accommodate their school schedules.

Their program has been ranked as one of the best in the state by local graduates and listed among the top three by industry professionals. 

Courses Offered

  • Criminal Justice Introduction
  • Introduction to Corrections
  • Introductory Criminal Law
  • Peacekeeping in a Diverse Society
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Interview and Interrogation
  • Drugs, Society, and Criminal Justice
  • Victimology
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Criminal Investigation
  • Criminal Justice Administration

Average Program Costs: $9,556.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 6004 South County Road G, Janesville, Wisconsin
  • Phone: 608-758-6900
  • Website: Visit School Website

Schools Summary Table

Rank School
#1 Concordia University Wisconsin
#2 University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
#3 Edgewood College
#4 Carthage College
#5 University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire
#6 Rasmussen University at Green Bay
#7 Herzig University at Brookfield
#8 Mid-State Technical College
#9 Gateway Technical College
#10 Blackhawk Technical College

Criminal Justice Salary Information

If you’re starting a new career in criminal justice, one of the first things you’ll want to know is how much criminal justice professionals earn in Wisconsin.

Following are snapshots of selected annual salaries for Wisconsin’s CJ professionals:

  • Parole Officer: $49,020.00
  • Police Officer: $65,052.00
  • Correctional Officer: $44,620.00
  • Probation Officer: $58,503.00
  • Bailiff: $30,408.00
  • Lawyer: $42,357.00
  • Paralegal: $56,413.00
  • Criminal Investigator: $128,472.00
  • Sheriffs Deputy: $67,747.00

Earning a certificate or degree in criminal justice can drastically increase your earnings in the field, as well as earning years of on-the-job training and seeking state licensure.

Students on a criminal justice track who are seeking to get the most out of their education should do more research on Wisconsin criminal justice salaries to learn about the salary range for their desired position and role.

Annual Salary Range:
Item Percent

Average Salary in Wisconsin

City Name Salary
Milwaukee $75,453
Madison $74,702
Green Bay $73,136
Kenosha $74,896
Racine $74,896
Appleton $73,151
Waukesha $75,168
Oshkosh $72,678
Eau Claire $72,987
Almena $80,538

Regional Salary

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Appleton, WI60$80,030$38.47$93,480$68,080
Eau Claire, WI40$81,380$39.12$103,170$64,870
Green Bay, WI50$83,750$40.27$129,750$65,670
Janesville-Beloit, WI90$76,140$36.61$83,760$53,840
Madison, WI260$90,520$43.52$106,620$64,480
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI490$89,980$43.26$127,250$58,760
Racine, WI60$78,790$37.88$87,510$77,960
Wausau, WI30$80,320$38.61$89,880$74,340
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Detectives and Criminal Investigators, OCC Code 33-3021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Criminal Justice Schools by State

Chelsea Wilson

About Chelsea Wilson

Chelsea Wilson is the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s distance learning LLM degree program, which provides foreign trained attorneys with the opportunity to earn a Master of Laws degree from a top-tier American university from anywhere in the world.

4 Responses to 10 Best Criminal Justice Schools in Wisconsin

  1. Avatar
    Linda Bailey #

    As a current student at one of these schools, I can attest to the quality of education and the dedication of the faculty towards preparing us for careers in criminal justice.

  2. Avatar
    Kelsey Patel #

    I graduated from one of these schools last year, and I’m already excelling in my career thanks to the solid foundation I received there.

  3. Avatar
    Abraham Keller #

    It’s great to see my alma mater recognized on this list! The program really helped me develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills crucial for working in the criminal justice field.

  4. Avatar
    Anthony Nelson #

    Considering pursuing a degree in criminal justice and this list is incredibly helpful! It’s reassuring to know there are reputable options right here in Wisconsin.

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