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Criminal Justice Honours Degree

What is an honours degree?

An honours degree is a four-year degree with different expectations and rewards. The purpose of an honours degree is to provide for an intensive and advanced study of the criminal justice system.

Most CJ honours classes are seminar based and students are required to complete an honours thesis under the supervision of a chosen faculty member. Students actively present, contribute, and respond to course material. This cultivates critical thinking skills that are transferable to graduate work and careers in law, communications, public administration and other such fields.

Students that want to go on to graduate school should take the four year BA Honours in Criminal Justice.  The program consists of 120 undergraduate hours and requires a 3.0 cumulative GPA.  Additional to your three year requirements, Honours students must take 30 hours of mostly 4000 and some 3000 level courses. 

How do I get into the Criminal Justice Honours program?

Requirements for declaring Honours Criminal Justice as a major and continuing in the program are:

  • Completed 30 credit hours or more.
  • 3.0 GPA (B) in all CJ courses including all repeats and failures.
  • 2.5 GPA (C+) in courses from all other areas.

Students who do not fulfill the above requirements (e.g., an Honours student whose GPA has dropped below the minimums) should email an Honours Advisor to discuss their options.

Students must consult with, and have approval of, the Departmental Honours Chair or Department Chair to be admitted into the program and to register for honours courses.

When do I apply for admission into the Honours program?

Most students apply in their third year, but you can apply after you have completed 30 credit hours and have completed all the necessary pre-requisite courses

Can I take an Honours course if I'm not in the Honours program?

Yes. Students with a 3.0 GPA in Criminal Justice courses may take the honours courses with the approval of the Departmental Honours Chair and course instructor. Permission for non-Honours student registration is at the discretion of the Honours Chair. Please note: Space is limited in 4000 level courses, and CJ Honours students are given first priority.

I meet the requirements. Why can't I register for 4000-level courses?

If you are attempting to register for a 4000-level CJ course and see the notice “Granted petition required,” it means you have not received permission to register for that course from a department advisor/honours or department Chair. See the process below to obtain a "granted petition."

How do I apply for admission into the Honours program?

All students who wish to register in the Honours program, and take 4000 level classes in Criminal Justice must complete the process below each period they wish to register.

Students who intend to graduate with a Criminal Justice Honours degree but are not yet planning to register for 4000-level courses do not need to complete this process until the period they are actually registering for 4000-level courses.

Degree planning questions about the Honours program are, of course, still welcome. Contact the Honours Chair or the Department Chair.

General instructions and notes for registering for 4000-level Honours Criminal Justice courses

The admission/advising process is done digitally, but if you need to discuss your program of study, one can make an appointment with an Honours Chair.

An electronic Major Declaration/Honours-Level Permission Form (PDF) and an electronic GPA calculator (Excel) need to be filled in by you and emailed to the Honours Chair. Please use your official university email address in all correspondence.

How will I know what courses to take?

Every June, the Criminal Justice Honours Chair will organize an information session for current and potential honours students.

In addition to the university degree requirements, students are required to take 18 credit hours at the 4000 level. The required 4000 level courses are:

  • CJ-4116(3) Program and Policy Evaluation
  • CJ-4122(3) Capstone Seminar in Criminal Justice
  • CJ-4123(3) Honours Thesis in Criminal Justice
  • CJ-4130(3) Advanced Criminal Law

A note on CJ-4122 (Capstone) and CJ-4123 (Honours Thesis): These two courses must be taken in the same academic year (CJ-4122 in the Fall Term and CJ-4123 in the following Winter Term). Also, these courses are normally taken in the final year of the Honours degree.

Students propose a research topic and identify a CJ faculty research supervisor in the Fall Term as part of CJ-4122. In the following Winter Term (CJ-4123), students work one-on-one with their supervisor to complete the Honours thesis. Students must approach and secure a CJ faculty member supervisor early in the Fall term. n.b.: The Honours Thesis supervisor must have a regular academic appointment at the University of Winnipeg in Criminal Justice. Faculty members in Criminal Justice are listed on the department webpage. If you are unsure, please contact the Honours advisor.

Please note: Thesis supervision is at the discretion of faculty members and you may be asked to modify your topic to better align with faculty expertise and research interests. You do not need a confirmed supervisor to register for CJ-4122 and CJ-4123, but students are strongly encouraged to approach potential advisors prior to the start of the academic year of their intended registration. Students are typically supervised by CJ Department faculty who specialize in their proposed thesis area. Please see the CJ faculty directory.

Students must also take 6 additional credit hours at the 4000 level. The Criminal Justice Department also offers 2-4 seminars each year, depending on the availability of professors and timetable demands. These include a wide range of courses such as Seminar in Youth and Criminal Justice, Qualitative and Visual Methods, Critical Criminal Justice Theory, Colonialism and Criminal Justice, Wrongful Convictions etc.

Please note: Course approval is for the current term listed on the forms and only for CJ courses currently on the university’s schedule. Please do not list courses you hope to take in future years that are not yet scheduled, or non-CJ courses.

What forms do I need to fill out? (Advising and Registration Procedure)

You will need to fill in the honours advising forms by following the process below.

Students are strongly advised to submit their Honours advising forms two weeks before their registration date to avoid delays.

Also please consult the UWinnipeg Academic Calendar for all entry, continuation, and graduation requirements.

You must complete and submit two forms: The GPA Calculator (requires MS Excel) and the BA Honours Form (requires Adobe Reader DC).


Plan your courses: Consult WebAdvisor to see which courses are offered in the upcoming/current registration period. Plan your schedule using Student Planning under the Registration menu in WebAdvisor; an Honours Advisor may to consulted to review your plan. Ensure that you have all necessary course prerequisites because failure to do so will result in delays. Please feel free to contact an advisor if you have questions related to the program at this step.


GPA Calculator: Retrieve your transcript from WebAdvisor and download and complete the GPA Calculator Form. You do not need to send your transcript itself. The top box is all CJ courses including all attempts (i.e., failing grades, repeats, and courses excluded from one’s cumulative GPA). The bottom box is all non-CJ courses. Courses with final grades of “standing” should be listed, but S grades are not included in GPA calculations. In-progress courses should not be included.


BA Honours Form: Ensure you are using the proper Honours PDF form. You may need Adobe Reader DC or another compatible pdf reader to complete it. Please download the file and use Adobe Acrobat DC to complete it. (This is particularly important for Mac users.) The form has four sections:

Personal information (e.g., name & e-mail). NEW: Include the calendar/catalog year used to determine your degree requirements; this is shown on WebAdvisor and is usually the year you first registered at UW.

  • Section 1: To be completed by anyone who is NOT a CJ Honours student but wishes to register for 4000-level courses.
  • Section 2: To be completed only by students intending a CJ Honours degree.
  • Section 3: Courses to be taken in upcoming/current registration period. Please include any relevant comments, e.g., if you have obtained any required waivers.

Required fields will appear as the appropriate options are checked.

The “save file” button will validate and save your file.


Submit forms: Save the GPA Calculator & BA Honours Form using the following filename convention: “yourlastname-studentnumber”.  Email both forms to the Honours Chair, Dr. Steven Kohm: s.kohm@uwinnipeg.ca. The files must remain in their original formats (i.e., Excel xlsx and Adobe pdf) to be processed. In your email, please feel free to include any questions you have about the program.


An Honours Advisor will review your forms and inform you about your eligibility to register for Honours courses. They can also answer any questions you might have about your program of study. They will email forms to Registration. Once forms have been emailed to Registration, the “granted petition” hold is usually released from all approved courses within a business day or two.