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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) originated in the Minnesota legislature, by statute, 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.

We offer three possible degree tracks for law enforcement majors:

  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”). This track covers all of them and upon degree completion, students may take the peace officer licensing exam.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  • 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.

Learning objectives for professional peace officer education are mandated by the POST Board.

Related minors

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)

Minnesota peace officer licensure requirements 

There are many routes to peace officer licensure in the state of Minnesota. Students become “license-eligible” by completing an associate or bachelor’s degree and passing the peace officer licensing exam. However, Minnesota Rules 6700.0700 sets “minimum standards for peace officer license eligibility” and these standards go beyond those required for entry into our program. Minnesota Rules 6700.1500 further sets “standards of conduct for licensed peace officers.” Students interested in becoming a licensed peace officer in Minnesota shall adhere to these standards and rules, including:

  • be a citizen of the United States;
  • possess a valid Minnesota driver’s license;
  • complete a comprehensive written application;
  • not be required to register as a predatory offender;
  • never have been convicted of a felony in this state or in any other state or federal jurisdiction;
  • submit to a thorough background investigation;
  • be fingerprinted for a background check;
  • be medically examined by a licensed physician or surgeon;
  • by psychologically examined by a licensed psychologist;
  • pass job-related physical strength and agility exams;
  • successfully complete an oral exam demonstrating communication skills.

Emergency Medical Responder certification also is required to take the peace officer licensing exam and must be approved by the Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board (EMSRB). Please check the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training website for up-to-date information on standards and rules.

Peace officer licensing examination pass rates

2020: 94%
2019: 90%
2018: 89%
2017: 90%
2016: 91%
2015: 93%
2014: 93%
2013: 88%
Source: MN POST and Minnesota State Board of Trustees Accountability Dashboard

Courses and Requirements

  • All Metropolitan State students must complete at least 30 credits in residency at Metropolitan State.
  • All law enforcement students must complete 24 major credits at Metropolitan State, which can be applied toward the 30 credit university residency requirement.
  • Students must complete at least 40 upper division credits and 120 credits total in order to graduate.
  • All major courses must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.

Major Electives

Major electives are selected in consultation with the student's academic advisor. In general, electives may include law enforcement or criminal justice courses, courses in other disciplines focusing on professional development, course requirements for a minor or certificate, and/or evaluation of prior learning.

Course requirements

Requirements (50 credits)

Required (31 credits)

CJS 201 Foundations in Criminal Justice

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

CJS 301 Research Methods in Criminal Justice

4 credits

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

CJS 320 Criminology and Public Policy

4 credits

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

CJS 360 Diversity in Criminal Justice

4 credits

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

CJS 375 Ethics and Professionalism in Criminal Justice

4 credits

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

LAWE 431 Police Culture

4 credits

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

Choose one

CJS 489 Criminal Justice Capstone Internship

4 credits

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

Electives (19-22 credits minimum)

Elective credits will vary by student. Students should work with their academic advisors to determine electives.