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We are reimagining our law enforcement major and changes are forthcoming Fall 2023 to meet new Minnesota State requirements.

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Law Enforcement BS: Major for Licensed Peace Officers Track 3

About The Program

Metro State’s School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice (SLC) offers three possible police officer degree tracks for law enforcement majors, including a track designed for current police officers, who previously obtained an associate’s degree, to earn a bachelor’s degree to help advance their career objectives.

SLC originated by statute in the Minnesota legislature to “advance the profession of law enforcement.” SLC has been a leader in professional peace officer education and applied police research for over 30 years. Our program, certified by the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST Board), prepares students for the rigors of 21st Century policing by emphasizing social and racial justice, ethical, evidence-based policing, community engagement, and peace officer health and wellness. The tracks offered also fulfill requirements for what degree you need to be a DNR officer.

We offer three possible law enforcement bachelor’s degree tracks:

  1. Track 1: Designed for students who wish to become “license-eligible” in the state of Minnesota. In accordance with Minnesota Rules 6700.0300, the POST Board has established learning objectives for professional peace officer education in four categories: (1) core competencies; (2) foundational knowledge; (3) the performance of peace officer duties and tasks; and (4) tools, techniques and tactics (also known as “skills”). The POST track covers all of them and upon degree completion, students may take the peace officer licensing exam.

  1. Track 2: Designed for students who have already earned an associate’s degree in law enforcement and/or are “license-eligible” in the state of Minnesota. This “Transfer Pathway” track allows students to upgrade their associate’s degree to a bachelor’s degree and gain a competitive advantage for job placement in the field.

  1. Track 3: Designed for licensed peace officers, our Law Enforcement Major Completion Program (LEMCP) allows working peace officers to upgrade their associate’s degree to a bachelor’s degree and gain a competitive advantage for career advancement in the field.

Our Mission

SLC is committed to providing peace officer education programs designed to eliminate systemic and structural inequities; developed using community and stakeholder input; and focused on equity-minded, evidenced-based, and data-informed practices. Our programs deliver, monitor, and assess education and training of culturally competent peace officers who are prepared to deliver justice and serve all people and communities with dignity and respect.

Student outcomes

As part of their police officer degree requirements, Track 3 students will learn to:

  • Apply key ethical and legal principles associated with policing in the 21st century
  • Articulate and apply leadership principles associated with policing in the 21st century
  • Apply criminological theories to practical situations law enforcement officers’ encounter
  • Analyze, evaluate and apply concepts of diversity to personal, professional and community interactions

Police officer degree requirements and learning objectives are mandated by the POST Board.

Does Metro State Offer the Degree for Police Officers That’s Best for You?

If you already have a two-year degree, but want to earn a bachelor’s degree to help advance your career as a police officer, Metro State’s SLC offers standout educational opportunities, taught by expert instructors who want you to succeed.

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 Law Enforcement BS: Major for Licensed Peace Officers Track 3 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 Law Enforcement BS: Major for Licensed Peace Officers Track 3

Program eligibility requirements

To be eligible for acceptance to the law enforcement major, students must submit a School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Undergraduate Program Declaration Form when the following is completed:

  • 30 credits
  • GELS/MNTC writing requirements
  • Cumulative Metropolitan State GPA of 2.25
  • SLC Pre-major Advising Workshop (PAW)         

All law enforcement pre-majors should work closely with an advisor from the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice (SLC)

Courses and Requirements

SKIP TO COURSE 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 Law Enforcement BS (Track 3):

  • 50 total credits
    • 31 credits of required coursework
    • 19 credits of directed electives
  • 24 major credits must be taken at Metro State (i.e., courses with a CJS or LAWE prefix)
  • All major courses must be completed with a grade of C- or higher

Notes:

  • The 31 major credits count toward the 30 credits completed at Metro State
  • Students are encouraged to explore other disciplines to obtain a minor or certificate or otherwise enhance professional development and meet Metro State graduation requirements
  • CJS 360 counts toward RIGR

Course Requirements (50 credits)

+ Foundation (3 credits)

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

Note: CJS 101 and CJS 201 are prerequisites for most required CJS and LAWE classes and some directed electives.

+ Core (24 credits)

Theory and methods:

This course introduces the scientific research process and the data sources and methods used in criminology and criminal justice. It trains future professionals in policing, courts, and corrections to be critical consumers of data, statistics, and research with the goal of achieving "research literacy" - the ability to access, interpret, and evaluate empirical information and apply it to policy and practice decisions. Students explore research design, including the selection and specification of a research problem, and qualitative and quantitative methods. They also learn how to identify quality research for their work within the criminal justice system and how to judge if something is "evidence-based" or not.

Full course description for Research Methods in Criminal Justice

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

Diversity, inclusion, and ethical decision-making:

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

Examines a range of moral dilemmas criminal justice practitioners are likely to face in their careers. Using both moral theory and detailed case examples, students learn to apply moral principles and concepts to a given situation, recognize the relevance of moral principles and concepts, and apply their individual moral philosophy and ethical principles to resolve these situations in a satisfactory manner. This course meets corresponding learning objectives of the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training.

Full course description for Ethics and Professionalism in Criminal Justice

Policing focus area:

This course critically examines the (sub)culture of policing (i.e., the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors exhibited by those in law enforcement) and the representation of policing in culture (i.e., the reproduction of media propaganda that is favorable to law enforcement). This course explores complex interactions between police culture and issues relating to racism and police use of force, ethical policing, and officer safety and wellness. This course also introduces the concept of police abolition, a process that requires communities to create alternatives to policing in the event that police culture cannot be reformed.

Full course description for Police Culture

+ Capstone (4 credits)

Pick one:

With an emphasis on experiential learning, the capstone course allows students to combine an internship experience in a criminal justice setting with academic work to support career pathways, synthesize undergraduate experiences, and develop deeper understanding of criminal justice issues. During the semester, students must complete at least 160 hours of service at an internship field site. Note: With support from their academic advisors, students are responsible for securing their own internship opportunities and must do so one month prior to registering for CJS-489.

Full course description for Criminal Justice Capstone Internship

Note: Students take Capstone during their last semester. CJS 301, CJS 320, CJS 360, and CJS 375 are prerequisites for CJS 489 and CJS 490.

+ Electives (19 credits)

Elective credits will vary by student and some students may receive credit for prior learning. In this track, students select major electives in consultation with their academic advisor. Electives may include CJS or LAWE courses, but also courses in other disciplines to obtain a minor or certificate or otherwise enhance professional development.