Decorative image

The Criminal Justice Certificate Program (CJCP) includes an interdisciplinary sequence of classes and an internship, for students interested in the American criminal and juvenile justice systems. Certificate students select courses in legal studies and from the departments of Sociology, Political Science, Social Work, Psychology, Gender and Women's Studies, Anthropology, History, Human Development and Family Studies, Rehabilitation Psychology, Integrated Liberal Studies, and Counseling Psychology. Students gain a broad understanding of the philosophy, theories, and operation of the adult and juvenile justice systems.

Any undergraduate regardless of major or college affiliation may earn this certificate. Students interested in earning a certificate in criminal justice must declare the certificate with the Criminal Justice advisor. Students are encouraged to declare the certificate as early as possible within their college careers. Field work/internship seminar courses require prerequisite courses and availability may be limited. The internship courses are in high demand and enrollment may be determined by the date of declaration in the certificate program.

To earn a criminal justice certificate, a student must complete all requirements for a bachelor's degree, requirements of the declared major(s), and graduate from UW–Madison. In addition, students must take all required certificate courses for a letter grade versus pass/fail. It is not necessary to take classes in any particular sequence; however, individual courses may have prerequisites.


The certificate requires a minimum of seven courses and 21 credits. The courses must be distributed as follows:

Complete one course from each of the six defined Groups
Complete one additional course from Group 3 or Group 4


LEGAL ST/​SOC  131 Criminal Justice in America3-4


SOC 421 Processes of Deviant Behavior3-4
SOC 441 Criminology3-4
SOC 446 Juvenile Delinquency3-4
PSYCH 510 Critical Issues in Child Psychopathology4
PSYCH 526 The Criminal Mind: Forensic and Psychobiological Perspectives4
PSYCH 601 Current Topics in Psychology3
SOC WORK 612 Psychopathology in Generalist Social Work Practice2
SOC WORK 643 Social Work and Delinquency2-3


HISTORY/LEGAL ST 426 The History of Punishment3-4
LEGAL ST 325 Wrongful Convictions3
LEGAL ST/​GEN&WS/​SOC  425 Crime, Gender and Justice3
LEGAL ST 435 Civil Rights: Policing, Prisons, Voting, Housing, Employment3
LEGAL ST/​CHICLA/​SOC  440 Ethnicity, Race, and Justice3-4
LEGAL ST/​L I S  460 Surveillance, Privacy, and Police Powers3
POLI SCI 314 Criminal Law and Justice3-4
PSYCH 401 Psychology, Law, and Social Policy3
PSYCH 601 Current Topics in Psychology3


AFROAMER/​GEN&WS  625 Gender, Race and the Civil Rights Movement3
ANTHRO 448 Anthropology of Law3
HISTORY/LEGAL ST 459 Rule of Law: Philosophical and Historical Models3-4
HDFS 474 Racial Ethnic Families in the U.S.3
HDFS 501 Special Topics1-3
LEGAL ST 400 Topics in Legal Studies and the Social Sciences3-4
LEGAL ST 409 Human Rights in Law and Society3
LEGAL ST/GEN&WS 422 Women and the Law3
LEGAL ST/​CHICLA/​SOC  443 Immigration, Crime, and Enforcement3-4
LEGAL ST 444 Law in Action3
LEGAL ST 450 Topics in Legal Studies and the Humanities3
LEGAL ST/​HISTORY  477 History of Forensic Science3
LEGAL ST/SOC 641 Sociology of Law3-4
POLI SCI 412 The American Constitution: Rights and Civil Liberties4
PSYCH 405 Abnormal Psychology3-4
SOC/​AMER IND/​C&E SOC  578 Poverty and Place3
SOC 633 Social Stratification3
SOC WORK 420 Poverty and Social Welfare3
SOC WORK 453 Substance Use Disorders3
SOC WORK 462 Child Welfare3
SOC WORK 523 Family Violence3
SOC WORK 627 Sex Trafficking and Sex Trading2
SOC WORK 646 Child Abuse and Neglect2


COM ARTS 371 Communication and Conflict Resolution3
COM ARTS 373 Intercultural Communication & Rhetoric3
COM ARTS 565 Communication and Interethnic Behavior3
COUN PSY 225 Intersectionalities, Self ­Awareness, and Social Actions for Social Change3
COUN PSY 237 Mental Health, Self-Awareness, and Social Justice: Working in Diverse Communities3
COUN PSY 325 Seminar: Students Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED)3-4
COUN PSY 650 Theory and Practice in Interviewing3
COUN PSY 655 Clinical Communication Skills3
INTER-HE 202 SoHE Career & Leadership Development1
INTER-LS 210 L&S Career Development: Taking Initiative1
INTER-LS 215 Communicating About Careers3
SOC 205 Intercultural Dialogues3
SOC WORK 441 Generalist Practice with Individuals, Families and Groups3


CSCS 601 Internship 11-6
GEN&WS 660 Internship in Gender and Women's Studies 13
LEGAL ST/​SOC  694 Criminal Justice Field Observation 12-3
HDFS 601 Internship 11-8
POLI SCI 315 Legislative Internship 13
POLI SCI 402 Wisconsin in Washington Internship Course 14
PSYCH 412 Field Experience in Psychology 13
PUB AFFR 327 Administrative Internship3
RP & SE 630 Internship in Rehabilitation or Special Education 12-6
SOC WORK 400 Field Practice and Integrative Seminar I 12-6

Must be a criminal justice/juvenile justice/law/policy-oriented internship; student must receive approval of placement from a criminal justice advisor before enrolling in the course.


  • At least ​11 certificate credits must be completed in residence
  • ​Minimum 2.000 GPA on all certificate courses.

Undergraduate/Special Student Certificates

This certificate is intended to be completed in the context of an undergraduate degree and for those seeking this certificate that is preferred. For students who have substantially completed this certificate at UW–Madison and may need one or two courses to complete the certificate, they may do so immediately after completion of the bachelor’s degree by enrolling in the course as a University Special (nondegree) student. The certificate must be completed within a year of completion of the bachelor’s degree. Students should keep in mind that University Special students have the last registration priority and that may limit availability of desired courses. Financial aid is not available when enrolled as a University Special student to complete an undergraduate certificate. 

  1. To develop an appreciation for how the criminal justice system works and how it affects American society as a whole.
  2. To develop and improve critical thinking and analytics in written and oral communication skills.
  3. To develop an appreciation of mental health and substance abuse as they intersect with the criminal justice system.
  4. To develop skills transferable to future professional, community and educational pursuits.



  1. Log in to your MyUW
  2. Open the Starfish app (if you do not see it, you can begin by searching for it in MyUW and adding it to your dashboard)
  3. Within the Starfish app, select Martine Delannay or Micha Schwab and find an available date and time

More help on using Starfish can be found here:

If you are not a UW student, please email us at to schedule a meeting.


CJCP graduates have secured jobs in police departments, district attorneys' offices, public defenders' offices, juvenile group homes, adult halfway houses, public schools, and prisons. They have been involved in restitution programs, deferred prosecution alternatives, victim–witness projects, and home detention/electronic monitoring experiments. The options are numerous and interesting. Many CJCP students pursue a degree in law or attend graduate school in a related field.

SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science provides students with a wide range of career-related services.

L&S career resources

Every L&S major opens a world of possibilities.  SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students turn the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and other coursework into fulfilling lives after graduation, whether that means jobs, public service, graduate school or other career pursuits.

In addition to providing basic support like resume reviews and interview practice, SuccessWorks offers ways to explore interests and build career skills from their very first semester/term at UW all the way through graduation and beyond.

Students can explore careers in one-on-one advising, try out different career paths, complete internships, prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications, and connect with supportive alumni and even employers in the fields that inspire them.

All students complete an intensive internship with an agency or organization related to the criminal and juvenile justice fields. Involvement in the CJCP provides a solid educational foundation in criminal justice. It introduces students to basic concepts about our justice system and the individuals it serves. It encourages exploration of critical issues facing the system today and fosters investigation into realistic solutions.