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Program Requirements

What is a degree in Criminal Justice?

The Criminal Justice degree at The University of Winnipeg is a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Criminal Justice. Criminal justice is a major, the same way that Psychology, English or History can be declared as a Major.


What are the different degree options?

You can take a three-year degree (90 credit hours total), a four-year degree (120 credit hours total) or a four-year Honours degree (120 credit hour total including required seminar courses and a thesis).

If you attend full time (5 courses each term in Fall and Winter semesters [September-April]), it will take three years to complete the 90 credit hours and graduate. Of those 90 credit hours necessary for the three-year degree, thirty-six (36) must be Criminal Justice courses. Criminal Justice courses are those that begin with CJ along with the course number. Some of these CJ courses are required courses. Some required courses include Research Methods (CJ-2101) and Foundations of Criminal Justice (CJ-2100). This means you have plenty of options to take courses in other departments such as Sociology, Conflict Resolution, Psychology or any other liberal arts subject that interests you. You can also double-major in another liberal arts subject area. 

The four-year degree requires students to take 120 credit hours with 48 credit hours in Criminal Justice courses, some of which are required, including Research Methods CJ-2101, Foundations of Criminal Justice CJ-2100, Policing CJ-2120, and Criminal Law CJ-2130.

A full list of requirements and more information about the four-year CJ Honours degree is available.

We also have a Criminal Justice minor. To minor in Criminal Justice, you must take 18 credit hours in Criminal Justice courses. Some courses are required, and some are optional electives. Access to these courses requires a waiver signed by the Department Chair. Email the Department Chair stating that you are minoring in CJ and list the courses you would like to take. The Chair will fill in the required permission form and email it to registration. Note: students cannot declare a minor in CJ until they are ready to graduate.


What is the difference between these degrees?

Most students choose to complete a three year or four-year degree. This is based on personal preference and is dependant on what students might want to do after graduating. Normally, if students want to pursue graduate studies, a four year honours degree is preferred. The three and four-year degree differ based on student interest level. There is no one preferred option.


What do I have to do in my first year?

In your first year, you will take courses such as Introduction to Criminal Justice and Introduction to Sociology/Women’s Studies/Political Science etc. Introduction classes are required for subsequent classes in any subject area.

Introduction to Criminal Justice, CJ-1002/3 is the necessary prerequisite to take in your first year. *Students who have taken Intro Criminal Justice, CJ-1101/6 do not have to take CJ-1002/3.

First year students are also encouraged to take courses that that meet the general University degree requirements, such as Academic Writing or other Humanities, Indigenous or Science courses.

First year students are generally discouraged from taking more advanced courses, as they are less likely to be as successful as students with more experience. It’s best not to jump ahead. Be patient--all courses are available eventually.

See what a sample first year looks like. 

What happens after my first year?

In second and third years you will take such courses as Policing in Canada CJ-2120, Criminal Law CJ-2130, Community Corrections CJ-2204, Institutional Corrections CJ-2203, Research Methods CJ-2101, Foundations of Criminal Justice CJ-2100, Ethics in Criminal Justice CJ-3205, Criminal Justice and the Media CJ-3107, Victimology CJ-2125, and Race and the Criminal Justice System CJ-3121. Some courses are offered every year and others are offered every second or third year.

You can apply for the Criminal Justice Field Placement CJ-3800(6) or the Criminal Justice Field Practicum CJ-4800(6) course after you have completed 30 credit hours and meet certain criteria. 


Why can't I get into a Criminal Justice class?

Criminal Justice courses are open to criminal justice majors only. Criminal Justice courses often have prerequisites. If you cannot get into a class, check to make sure all the information required by the university is up to date, and that you have the required courses to take the class you want.

Our classes often fill up quickly. You can register on a waiting list. In the Criminal Justice Department, the course instructor has the final say in admitting students over capacity.

If you are not a Criminal Justice major but are minoring in criminal justice, contact the department Chair: k.gorkoff@uwinnipeg.ca  for the required pre-requisite waiver to enrol in the course. 


Courses in other departments

There are many Criminal Justice courses offered in other departments that you may take as electives.  Students interested in the law may want to take the Canadian Legal System, Sociology of Law, Philosophy of Law, or Athenian Law and Society, among others.  Students interested in social service aspects of criminal justice may wish to take Introduction to Psychology, Restorative Justice, Conflict Resolution or the History of Human Rights.  Students with administrative interests may wish to take Public Administration, Organizational Psychology, Occupations and Professions, or Organizations and Bureaucracies.


Things to Remember

Be mindful to take your University required courses and your required Criminal Justice courses as soon as you can. Students who put off requirements until the last year often are unable to graduate because they can’t schedule all their courses.

There are also other university requirements (e.g., Humanities, Sciences, distribution) and information on these and Criminal Justice Department course requirements are explained more fully in the University Calendar.