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About The Program

The criminal justice minor offers an opportunity to study crime and criminal justice while pursuing a major in another discipline.

This minor offers an opportunity for students to gain knowledge and competencies that are useful in a variety of career settings, including corrections, human services, social work, as well as public and social service administration. The minor can be an especially good fit for students majoring in psychology, human services or social work. All majors are welcome to consider the benefits of a criminal justice minor.

Student outcomes

A student with a minor in criminal justice will be able to:

  • describe criminal justice institutions and processes,
  • apply knowledge of criminal behavior and the criminal justice system to criminal events, and
  • analyze crime and criminal justice issues using theory and research

How to enroll

Current students: Declare this program

Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further admission requirements your chosen program may have, you may declare a major or declare an optional minor.

Future students: Apply now

Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your Criminal Justice Minor now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your Criminal Justice Minor

Program eligibility requirements

To enter into the Criminal Justice minor, students must submit a School of Criminology and Criminal Justice Undergraduate Program Declaration Form. Please consult with an advisor before enrolling in courses toward the minor.

Courses and Requirements


For every undergraduate degree at Metro State:

  • 120 total credits
  • 40 upper-division credits
  • 30 credits completed at Metro State
  • 40 general education credits in 10 goal areas (Minnesota Transfer Curriculum, typically met by a community college A.A. degree)
  • 8 upper-division liberal studies credits
  • 3 Racial Issues Graduation Requirement (RIGR) credits
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0

For the Criminal Justice minor:

  • 22 total credits
  • 50% of credits must be taken at Metro State
  • All minor courses must be completed with a grade of C- or higher


  • The 22 minor credits count toward the 30 credits completed at Metro State
  • Police Science majors cannot use their required coursework to also meet the Criminal Justice minor
  • Computer Forensics majors cannot use CJS or CRIM courses as directed electives if the same courses are fulfilling the requirements of their computer forensics major
  • CJS 101 counts toward MTC Goal 5
  • CJS 360 counts toward MTC Goals 5 and 7, upper-division liberal studies, and RIGR

Course Requirements (22 credits)

+ Foundation (6 credits)

This course provides an overview of the American criminal justice system with an emphasis on the roles and duties of police, courts, and corrections. Students examine current and future issues of the system such as due process, administration of justice, ethics, community policing, technology, and rehabilitation efforts. The course illustrates the criminal justice process from the initial violation of the criminal law, to the punishment and release of convicted persons, including juveniles.

Full course description for Introduction to Criminal Justice

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of academic research, critical thinking and professional development related to the discipline of criminal justice and law enforcement. Students learn to search, locate, retrieve, evaluate, and document research sources as well as prepare research papers using writing and citations styles expected in criminal justice and law enforcement courses. The course will also broaden students' understanding of the direct and indirect criminal justice professional opportunities and equip students with the tools to pursue careers in the field.

Full course description for Foundations in Criminal Justice

CJS 101 and CJS 201 are prerequisites for most required CJS and CRIM classes and some directed electives.

+ Core (16 credits)

Corrections is a primary component of the American criminal justice system. This course is designed to introduce students to the profession and academic discipline of corrections. Course work exposes students to the philosophy and procedures of punishment; the various components within the correctional community such as confinement, probation and parole, and community corrections. The course also addresses issues relating to prisoners, such as prisoners' rights and prison life and other issues relating to the American correctional system, such as capital punishment, rehabilitation, juvenile justice, and financial penalties.

Full course description for Corrections and Community Corrections

This course is designed to expand students' understanding of the roles of criminal court at the federal, state, and local levels. As the intermediate step between law enforcement and corrections, courts are an integral part of the criminal justice system. The course will explore the power and limitations of the judicial branch of government with regard to its role in the criminal justice system, as well as learn about the roles of various court professionals and develop a detailed understanding of the court process.

Full course description for The Criminal Court System

This course focuses on theories, concepts, narratives, and myths of crime and delinquent behavior. Contemporary issues and controversies within the criminal justice field are explored in social, political, and economic contexts. Special emphasis is placed on the roles of race, class, gender, and culture in relation to the etiology, prevention, control, and treatment of crime and delinquency. This course is committed to general theoretical debate, examination of the interrelation between criminological theory and research, and empirical analyses of policy and practice.

Full course description for Criminology and Public Policy

This course provides an in-depth examination of the opportunities and challenges of delivering criminal and juvenile justice services in a multicultural society. The course provides students with a knowledge of the diversity that exists in communities, as well as criminal and juvenile justice agencies. It provides both theoretical and practical information to respond effectively to diversity issues. Examples of community issues include conflict resolution, crime prevention, victimization, and strategies to improve community relationships. Significant focus is given to issues of race, racism, and systemic racism.

Full course description for Diversity in Criminal Justice