Criminal Justice

As a criminal justice student at St. Cloud State, you'll learn how society deals with crime and other forms of injustice and victimization  and how to prevent it. The Criminal Justice Studies program emphasizes the intersections of corrections, courts, juvenile justice, law enforcement, private security and various service agencies.

The BA in Criminal Justice Studies with a required emphasis is not only designed to prepare students for traditional roles in the criminal justice field, but also provides students with the knowledge to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. 

Corrections & Reentry prepares students for positions in local, state and federal corrections-based departments and agencies. Students learn traditional and innovative techniques for rehabilitating and reintegrating individuals during and after their time of incarceration along with an in-depth understanding of their role in the overall criminal justice system. Popular careers include: Case Worker, Community Corrections, Correctional Officer, Juvenile Detention, Probation Officer, and Warden.

Public and Private Safety is designed for students seeking positions in city, town, county, state, and federal public safety departments and agencies. From the perspective of a small town to large government agencies, students will receive a well-rounded view of the criminal justice system and the role of law enforcement and other agencies within it. Popular careers include: Department of Natural Resources, Drug Enforcement Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Investigator, Local, County and State Law Enforcement, Security/Loss Prevention/Risk Management, State Patrol, and U.S. Marshall.

Victim Services prepares students for positions in nonprofit, city, town, county, state, and federal victim service departments and agencies. Students will be educated on how to work with mental health professionals and vulnerable populations to support, rehabilitate, and restore those who have been a victim of a crime. Popular careers include: Community Advocate, Crime Victim Advocate, Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Advocate, Emergency Services, On-Scene Advocate, Private Practice, Social Services Agencies, and Victim Coordinator (courts).

Program Highlights

Close student-faculty interaction and mentorships.
  • Students are eligible to participate in more than a dozen Education Abroad programs, including England, Germany, Australia and South Africa.
  • St. Cloud State's criminal justice program has articulation agreements with Alexandria Technical College, Central Lakes College and Hennepin Technical College.
  • Course delivery methods may be on campus, online* or hybrid (synchronously online) formats. *Degree is not offered completely online. Online courses offered each semester vary, based on annual budgets.
  • This discipline is also available as a minor to complement another major. 

Program Distinctions

  • Department adjunct faculty teach up-to-the minute courses from the perspective of advocacy professions, correctional officers, law enforcement officers, probation officers, prosecuting and defense lawyers, and other criminal justice-based agencies.
  • All CJS bachelor's degree holders have completed a senior thesis.

Student Organizations

Popular Careers

  • Corrections 
  • Crime Victim Advocate
  • FBI/Secret Service
  • Juvenile System Advocate
  • Local, county and state law enforcement
  • Probation 
  • Security/risk management

University Facts & Stats

  • More than 130 undergraduate internship sites in Minnesota

  • 1,100+ international students

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