Criminal Justice

Bachelor of Science (BS)

The Criminal Justice BS from the University of Minnesota Crookston provides students with the knowledge that prepares them for careers in law enforcement, corrections, and other public and private agencies. Learn about the prevention and investigation of crime, U. S. laws, and the legal system. Develop the essential skills, values, and an ethical consciousness that will allow you to flourish in this field with a degree from University of Minnesota Crookston.

The ONLINE Criminal Justice program has been approved by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, and will begin Fall 2020!

Criminal Justice Quick Facts (PDF)

This program is also offered as...

Key Features

Key Features

UMN Crookston's criminal justice program is unique in how they embed licensure and certification
so that students can go directly from graduation to the workforce.

  • The Criminal Justice program combines the strong disciplinary traditions of social science, communications, statistics, technical writing, and the humanities.
  • This program focuses upon applied skills in research, theory, management and intervention that are unique to the criminal justice field, especially in terms of community processes, social problems, and social change.
  • Courses in the program also deal with crime and various forms of deviance, contemporary criminal justice issues, research methods, sociology, psychology, and the legal study that gives you a broad understanding of the complex issues involved. Thumb Print Criminal Justice
  • Criminal justice majors choose either law enforcement or corrections emphasis.
  • The Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards & Training (POST) has approved the certification of the criminal justice program at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The certification means graduates from UMC are eligible to become licensed police officers in Minnesota. This program is also the only POST-certified criminal justice program in the University of Minnesota system.
  • Full-time criminal justice faculty possess terminal degrees as well as significant criminal justice experience in the field.
  • The Crookston community is home to a $17 million state-of-the-art justice center and jail.
  • Students can fine tune job skills with campus security.

Program Requirements & Curriculum

Program Requirements & Curriculum

To view current Criminal Justice, BS, visit our catalog site:
View Criminal Justice, BS curriculum

The Criminal Justice major offers two areas of emphasis:

  • Corrections 
  • Law Enforcement

We also offer a minor in Criminal Justice:
View Criminal Justice minor curriculum



Average Salary: $55,010
For a list of detailed salary trends within this field visit

Employers that hire criminal justice majors not only want qualified and knowledgeable individuals with respect to their discipline, but also seek employees who understand diverse groups and who are prepared to work in a complex environment.

Sheriff's CarGraduates can expect to find employment in various areas of the criminal justice field such as:

  • Police Officers and Deputy Sheriffs

  • Probation Officers

  • Federal Law Enforcement Agent (FBI, DEA, ATF, Boarder Patrol)

  • Detectives/Investigators

  • Game Wardens and Conservation Officers

  • Compliance Officers and Inspectors

  • Forensic Science Technician

  • Fraud Investigators

Student Stories

Student Stories

Richard Cobble When Richard Cobble was in first grade, a local police officer came to his elementary school to speak about the popular Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program. The officer also spoke about his personal experiences through his service to help and protect the people of his community. Wide-eyed and fascinated, Cobble knew he could become a real-life hero when he grew up. Fast forward years later, and the decision to attend the University of Minnesota Crookston to major in criminal justice seems like a perfect fit. Learn more.


payton voldWhen it came time to consider his future, Payton Vold of Lamberton, Minn., felt something of a natural inclination toward a major in criminal justice.  His uncle is a sheriff and his grandmother was a dispatcher, so it wasn’t a stretch for him to picture a future in law enforcement. Vold appreciates the focus on application in UMC's criminal justice major. From the classroom to the skills training, Vold says criminal justice majors have a chance to learn in-depth and hands-on. Learn more.


UMC Student Awards Outstanding Criminal Justice Student Luke Taschuk with teaching specialist Matthew LoeslieUMC Student Awards Outstanding Criminal Justice Student Luke Taschuk (left) with instructor Matthew Loeslie (right)

The Outstanding Criminal Justice Student of the Year award, at the University of Minnesota Crookston, went to Luke Tasuck in 2016-2017. Luke is a role model for upcoming students. He is a leader with solid communication skills and common sense.  We know he will accomplish big things in the future for the criminal justice profession.
- Matthew Loeslie, Criminal Justice instructor

Jesse Jennings

Senior Jesse Jennings, an law enforcement major at the University of Minnesota Crookston talks about his experience in "A Person of Interest"PDF File Icon  from the Spring 2014 version of the Torch magazine.

Matt Johnson, a criminal justice student at the University of Minnesota Crookston, talks about his experiences at the U of M Crookston. He is from White Bear Lake, Minnesota. 

The UMC Advantage

The UMC Advantage

Small Campus. Big Degree.

Did you know a degree from the University of Minnesota is recognized all over the world? True story. As a system campus of the University of Minnesota system, the U of M Crookston offers access to world-class teaching, learning, and research resources—all in a smaller, more personal campus setting that’s very much like a private school. The University of Minnesota is internationally recognized and respected by not only intellectuals and academic movers and shakers, but major employers who want to hire the best and brightest—namely, you.

Learning and Doing

At the U of M Crookston, you won’t spend all your time behind a desk. Our curriculum is designed around experiential learning, which means we want you to have as much hands-on learning as possible. Depending on your major, you’ll find opportunities to be in the field, the lab, the classroom, or engaging in simulated scenarios that give you a competitive edge when you enter the workforce or head to grad school. You’ll learn the concepts and then actively apply them through projects, field trips, site visits, internships, and interactions with professionals in the field.

Caring Faculty and Staff

Our faculty and staff members are respected not only for their knowledge and skills, but also because they care about you as an individual. They serve as true mentors, offering personalized attention through small class sizes, a student-faculty ratio of 16:1, and by working closely with you as advisors. They take the time to welcome you to the UMC community, watch you grow as a leader and scholar, and help you connect with alumni and other experts.

A Technology-Rich Environment

At the U of M Crookston, we offer every student a laptop computer from day one. Everyone is tech-savvy, wi-fi is everywhere and learning happens in many ways, including simulations, applications and video presentations. It’s a virtual tech-topia! So, when you graduate, you’ll have all the latest technology skills, giving you a competitive edge. Employers consistently report the UMC graduates they hire are their “go to” people for technology and are well prepared for the demands of today’s technological workplace.

Internships, Job Placement and Grad School

More than 87% of U of M Crookston graduates gain full-time employment in their field or enroll in graduate or professional school within one year of graduation. That’s a fact. We’ll sure miss you when you graduate, but we know as a proud Golden Eagle alum, you’ll want to come back to cheer us on at homecoming or catch up with your favorite professors.

Internships. They’re a great way to earn college credit, add to your resume and help answer the question, “is this really what I want to do?” You can find internship opportunities with everyone from the business down the street to Fortune 500 companies. Or maybe grad school is in your future. U of M Crookston students get the educational requirements and resources they need to apply to an array of graduate programs from veterinary science to med school to an MBA program. Many go on for more education in a variety of other fields.

Opportunities for undergraduate research also add real value to your educational experience by allowing you to design and conduct research while working alongside faculty mentors. Research experience is especially helpful if you plan to attend graduate school.

One-Rate Tuition and Scholarship Options

Whether you live in Minnesota, just across the border, across the country, or on the other side of the ocean, you pay the same tuition rate, and the U of M Crookston’s tuition rate is a real value because it’s the lowest of the five campuses that make up the U of M system. Additionally, with merit-based scholarships guaranteed based on GPA and ACT scores and more than 300 specialty scholarships, we really do help make college affordable.

Leadership, Clubs and Athletics

Sure, college is about classes, studying, and research, but another important part of the experience involves professional development, creativity, leadership, and service. And let’s not forget about fun! With more than 40 student clubs and organizations, there’s something for every interest. Best of all, if you can’t find something from the existing list, grab a few friends and start a new club. It’s really just that easy…

In athletics, Golden Eagles shake things up on the court, the field, and on the sidelines. The U of M Crookston competes at the NCAA Division II level in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) as well as the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) and offers a full range of men’s and women’s athletic programs.

A Diverse, Global Experience

The world really is a small place, and at U of M Crookston we value diversity. Our students bring rich experiences spanning six continents, and more than 20 countries and 40 states! We value diversity because it not only helps you better understand the world, it helps you understand yourself and how your piece fits into the puzzle of global society. Get involved in the many multicultural and international programs on campus, and you’ll see how easy it is to make friends from across the world.

Or choose one of our international programs. Study, intern, volunteer, play, explore – here or anywhere. Take your pick from more than 300 options in 67 countries. Don’t just learn it, live it.

On-Campus Faculty

On-Campus Faculty

UMC Photo Not Available
Teaching Specialist
UMC Photo Not Available
Teaching Specialist
Teaching Specialist
UMC Photo Not Available
Teaching Specialist
Teaching Specialist, Criminal Justice Program Director, POST PPOE Coordinator
UMC Photo Not Available
Senior Lecturer
U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings Logo

Related Majors, Minors & Programs...

Interested in a double major or minor to complement your Degree? Check out these other programs at UMC: