Department of Criminal Justice Studies


Learning opportunities



Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Our bachelor's degree requires a minimum 45 credit hours in Criminal Justice Studies. We recommend students consider a minor program of study in addition to fulfill the 120-credit graduation requirement.

Each year, select criminal justice courses are offered online.

Criminal justice graduates are required to research, write and orally defend a senior thesis.

Law Enforcement Licensure Training

Our department has been certified by the Minnesota Peace Officers Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Board to provide the academic law enforcement licensing core (CJS 111, 421, 422, and 431). Graduate students may enroll in CJS 521, 522, 531 and 601, in lieu of the undergraduate courses.

At a minimum, students must earn Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board approved first-responder certification.


Master of Science in Criminal Justice

The master's degree is a traditional advanced degree focusing on criminal justice research and theories while allowing the student to concentrate in a specialized aspect of criminal justice. To earn the master of science in criminal justice, students must complete a culminating project which requires a preliminary and final defense.

Students may chose as their culminating project a traditional graduate-level thesis (Plan A) or a professional portfolio of projects and papers (Plan C). All graduate coursework must be completed within seven years.

Public Safety Executive Leadership (PSEL)

Our program is for mid-level managers who have three or more years of full-time public safety/criminal justice employment (corrections, court services, EMS, fire service, law enforcement, private security, probation, treatment programs or other public safety organizations) and are currently employed full-time in a public safety-based organization. 

The PSEL program assesses personal leadership strengths, develops leadership skills and uses journaling to build personal leadership knowledge and skills. As their culminating project, PSEL students must complete starred papers (Plan B).