Law Enforcement BS Track 1

College of Community Studies and Public Affairs
Undergraduate major / Bachelor of Science

About this program

The degree in law enforcement helps individuals develop the knowledge, perspective and skills necessary for successful law enforcement careers. The law enforcement major provides both academic and hands-on skills course work. Students graduate with a competitive advantage for job placement in the field by having their bachelor’s degree in law enforcement.

Highlights of the law enforcement program at Metropolitan State University:

  • A history of successful agency placements, including over 40 police chiefs who are graduates of our program
  • Faculty who are experienced law enforcement and criminal justice practitioners and researchers
  • Opportunities for students to learn outside the classroom through service learning classes and internships
  • Hands-on advisors who help students navigate course and career planning
  • Classes offered in multiple formats: online, on campus, and hybrid
  • Leadership and networking opportunities for students with the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Club

There are three possible tracks for law enforcement students:

Track 1: A POST certified program designed for students who wish to become eligible to be licensed as police officers in the state of Minnesota, preparing them to take the POST exam at the end of their studies.
Track 2: Part of the Transfer Pathways Program, designed for students who have already earned an associate’s degree in law enforcement, and wish to complete their bachelor’s degree and become license eligible. 
Track 3: Known as the Law Enforcement Major Completion Program (LEMCP). Designed for Minnesota licensed police officers who wish to complete their bachelor’s degree through online or on-campus course offerings.

This major track helps individuals develop the knowledge, perspectives and skills for successful law enforcement careers in Minnesota city, county and state law enforcement agencies. Students who successfully complete either the BS or the Law Enforcement Licensing Certificate program are eligible to take the Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board licensing examination, required for entry into the law enforcement profession in Minnesota.

Minnesota Peace Officer Licensure Requirements 

Applicants interested in a career in Minnesota law enforcement must review the website for the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training to obtain the most current information regarding requirements and minimum selection standards for licensure eligibility.

Note: Emergency Medical Responder is required to be eligible to take the POST exam and must be approved by the Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board (EMSRB).

 

Student outcomes

Student learning outcomes are mandated by the POST board of the State of Minnesota.

    Enrolling in this program

    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).

    Applicants interested in a career in Minnesota law enforcement must review the website for the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training to obtain the most current information regarding requirements and minimum selection standards for licensure eligibility.

    Note: Emergency Medical Responder is required to be eligible to take the POST exam and must be approved by the Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board (EMSRB).

     

    Current students: Declare your program

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

    Future students: Apply now

    Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your Law Enforcement BS Track 1 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 Track 1

    Program requirements

    Credit and Residency 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. All major courses must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.

    Law Enforcement Skills Practicum

    Admission into the Skills Practicum is by application only. The application process is available fall semester prior to the student's final summer term. Prior to applying, students must work closely with their advisor to prepare for the Skills component of the degree program. The Skills Practicum is only offered in the summer.

    CJS 101 and CJS 201 are prerequisites for most core CJS and LAWE courses as noted in the course description and must be completed at a Minnesota POST certified college or university prior to Skills Practicum.

    Either CJS 489 or CJS 490 should be completed during the student's last semester, since CJS 301, CJS 320, CJS 360, and CJS 375 are prerequisites to those courses.

    Student licensure

    Licensure Rates

    • 2015 - 54 taking exam, pass rate of 93%
    • 2014 - 73 taking exam, pass rate of 93%
    • 2013 - 65 taking exam, pass rate of 88%

    Course requirements

    Requirements (120 credits)

    Required (54 credits)

    LAWE 210, LAWE 210L*, LAWE 220, LAWE 280, LAWE 301, LAWE 301L*, LAWE 321 LAWE 321L*, and CJS 375, must be completed at a Minnesota POST certified college or university prior to Skills Practicum. *LAW210L, LAWE301L, and LAWE 321L are Skills based labs that are embedded into some of the POST required . They must be taken as a co-requisite with the corresponding course number (for example, LAWE 210L must be taken the same semester as LAW 210). The lab are charged at Skills tuition rate (see Tuition and Fees). CJS 301, CJS 320, CJS 360, and CJS 375 are prerequisites for CJS 489 and CJS 490. CJS 489 or CJS 490 should be completed during the student's last semester. CJS 101 is the prerequisite for most major classes. CJS 201 is the prerequisite for most upper division required law enforcement and criminal justice classes. Required Law Enforcement Skills Practicum (6 credits): Admission into Skills is by application only. The application process is available fall semester prior to the student's final summer term. Prior to applying, students must work closely with their advisor to prepare for the Skills component of the degree program. Skills practicum is only offered in the summer.

    CJS 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice

    3 credits

    As an introduction to the field of criminal justice, this course provides students with a brief but comprehensive overview of criminal justice institutions in American society. Students learn about the role of the criminal justice system in maintaining social order. The course also examines the duties and functions of criminal justice practitioners, including police officers, prosecutors, judges and correctional officials from the initial violation of the criminal law, to the punishment and release of convicted offenders.

    Full course description for Introduction to Criminal Justice

    CJS 201 Foundations in Criminal Justice

    3 credits

    This course introduces students to the fundamentals of academic research 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 begin to pursue careers in the field.

    Full course description for Foundations in Criminal Justice

    LAWE 220 Legal Studies in Law Enforcement

    4 credits

    This course meets corresponding learning objectives of the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training. Examines law enforcement practices and applications from both constitutional and legal perspectives in these topic areas: constitutional considerations; legal processes pertaining to warrants, subpoenas, orders and summons; contacts, detentions and arrests; knowledge and application of the Minnesota criminal and traffic codes, statutes and regulations; legal foundation for peace officer use of force; and peace officer rights and liabilities.

    Full course description for Legal Studies in Law Enforcement

    LAWE 280 Juvenile Justice

    3 credits

    This course presents a juvenile justice system overview, with emphasis on Minnesota Rules of Juvenile Court Procedure. The historical and philosophical development of the juvenile justice system is discussed, along with a comparative analysis of U.S. juvenile and adult criminal justice systems. Students learn about resources available to criminal justice practitioners and addresses the specific needs of juveniles in crisis.

    Full course description for Juvenile Justice

    LAWE 301 Policing in the 21st Century

    3 credits

    This course meets corresponding learning objectives of the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training. Examines the application of a guardian versus warrior mindset within law enforcement to build trust and legitimacy between agencies and the public. Implicit bias, procedural justice, and reconciliation are explored in the context of conflict management/resolution. Emphasis on the patrol function along with both contemporary issues and future trends including de-escalation strategies, intelligence led policing, data practices and interaction with the media, computer forensics and cyber-crime, homeland security and terrorism, criminal gangs, organized crime, and vice crimes.

    Full course description for Policing in the 21st Century

    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 context. Special emphasis is placed on the role 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

    LAWE 321 Law and Human Behavior

    3 credits

    This course meets corresponding learning objectives of the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training. Examines the police response and investigation of missing persons and crimes of violence, including child and vulnerable adult abuse and neglect, domestic violence and sexual assault. Other topics addressed include victims and victims' rights, the Americans with Disabilities Act and special communications situations, crisis intervention and mental illness, community notification and conflict and management.

    Full course description for Law and Human Behavior

    CJS 360 Diversity in Criminal Justice

    4 credits

    This course provides an in-depth examination of the opportunities and challenges of providing criminal justice services in a multicultural society. The course provides students with a knowledge of the diversity that exists in communities and criminal 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 relationships with the community. Significant focus is given to issues of race and 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 which criminal justice practitioners are likely to face in their duties. 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 to resolving 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

    Choose one

    CJS 350 Citizenship: Community Involvement

    4 credits

    The purpose of this course is to educate and encourage the development of globally competent citizens and leaders. The course is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be engaged, responsible, and effective members of a globally interdependent society. Most importantly, students will be asked to think deeply about their world (including its future, current issues, its impact on their local area, and our personal responsibility as global citizens). This course will have a service learning component.

    Full course description for Citizenship: Community Involvement

    CJS 354 Restorative Justice

    4 credits

    This course is designed to allow students to develop a working understanding and knowledge of Restorative Justice. Restorative Justice looks at the concept of justice through nontraditional and alternative viewpoints. Rather than focus on "what is the crime, who did the crime and what should the punishment be," Restorative Justice focuses on "who has been harmed, what was the harm and who is responsible to repair the harm." Students will examine Restorative Justice from historical, sociological, criminological and psychological perspectives. Throughout the course, a wide range of specific "restorative practices" will be studied, reviewed and analyzed. Some of the concepts the course will explore are trauma and healing, conflict transformation, issues related to juvenile justice, and alternative processes such as Victim-Offender Dialogue and the Circle Process.

    Full course description for Restorative Justice

    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 and ICES staff, 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 (8 credits)

    Courses with an LAWE/CJS prefix that are not part of the major required classes can be taken as an electives (ALL 8 directed elective credits must be upper-division)

    CJS 110 Careers in Criminal Justice

    4 credits

    This course introduces students to an array of career paths taken by criminal justice students throughout the public, private, and non-profits sectors. The course broadens students' understanding of the direct and indirect criminal justice professional opportunities through presentations by professionals in the field and research of possible career choices. This course also focuses on the selection process, including resume development and job interviewing.

    Full course description for Careers in Criminal Justice

    CJS 310 Introduction to Security Management

    4 credits

    This course explores the past, current and future trends in security management. The basic concepts, tools and practices that comprise security management are examined. Students learn how to identify and minimize risk in a private setting. They also learn the basics of physical security and access control as well as how to identify potential liability in the security field. In addition, this course examines various career opportunities in security management.

    Full course description for Introduction to Security Management

    CJS 318 Women and Crime

    4 credits

    This course will be comprised of material on three main topics: women as offenders, women as victims of gendered violence, and women working in the criminal justice system. Women's involvement in criminal activity has been ignored by traditional criminological theories/theorists. This course will examine the frequency and nature of women's involvement along with the more modern theories which we can use to understand these phenomena. Students will also learn about the issues surrounding gendered violence including stalking, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Finally, students will learn about the special issues surrounding women's work in the traditionally male-dominated fields of corrections and law enforcement.

    Full course description for Women and Crime

    CJS 325 Inside-Out: Prison Exchange Program

    4 credits

    The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is an opportunity for a small group of students from Metropolitan State University and a group of residents who are in area correctional facilities to exchange ideas and perceptions about crime and justice, the criminal justice system, corrections and imprisonment. It is a chance for all participants to gain a deeper understanding of the criminal justice system through the marriage of theoretical knowledge and practical experience achieved by weekly meetings extended throughout the semester.

    Full course description for Inside-Out: Prison Exchange Program

    CJS 333 Gangs

    4 credits

    This course examines the nature and extent of gangs in America. It addresses the history of gangs, when they exist, when they are illusory, and public reactions to them. It considers variations among street gangs, and contrasts these with other extra-legal groups, including prison gangs and mafias. Attention is focused on individual-level correlates and risks associated with gang membership, group processes in gangs, and macro-level correlates of gangs and gang behaviors. The role of the community and criminal justice system in gang prevention, intervention, and suppression is also considered.

    Full course description for Gangs

    CJS 335 Homicide Studies

    4 credits

    This course offers a global perspective on homicide with cross-cultural and international comparisons. Students analyze trends in homicide offending and victimization and predictors of lethal violence. Special emphasis is given to the profiles and motivations of serial killers and mass murderers. Homicide clearance rates, investigative techniques that enhance the probability of offender identification, gun control, and the deterrent effect of capital punishment, among others, are topics examined in this course.

    Full course description for Homicide Studies

    CJS 340 Comparative Criminal Justice

    4 credits

    This course provides students with international perspectives on criminal justice. Through a comprehensive review of cross-national research data, students examine the features, successes and failures of various distinct criminal justice systems around the globe and use that information to evaluate the American criminal justice system. By exploring justice institutions in other parts of the world, students learn that criminal justice systems are shaped by the values, norms, customs or standards of behavior characteristic of the society in which they are found.

    Full course description for Comparative Criminal Justice

    CJS 344 Terrorism and Counterterrorism

    4 credits

    This course explores the emergence and manifestation of terror and terrorism from a range of historical, political, sociological and cultural perspectives. It further explores the interpretation of, and response to, contemporary manifestations of terror and terrorism. Emphasizing the diverse and contested nature of terror as both concept and practice, a number of case studies are highlighted in order to explore the complex connections between order, power, authority, security and terror. The organizational form and objectives of terrorist organizations, and the range of strategies available in response to the demands and challenges posed by terror in an era of globalization are also considered.

    Full course description for Terrorism and Counterterrorism

    CJS 345 Organization and Administration in Criminal Justice

    4 credits

    This course examines the operation of criminal justice organizations and provides students with a conceptual foundation to explore the workings of the criminal justice system. Emphasis is placed on understanding internal and external influences on the operations of criminal justice agencies including the people, practices and events that shape criminal justice administration.

    Full course description for Organization and Administration in Criminal Justice

    CJS 346 Victimology

    4 credits

    This course is designed to prepare criminal justice and law enforcement students to work with victims and to understand the complexity of victim issues. This course will look at victimization from a sociological, psychological, as well as, legal perspective. Students will be exposed to current research, ethical considerations in victim response, psychological phenomena common to crime victims, legal obligations for victim service providers, and resources available to victims.

    Full course description for Victimology

    CJS 350 Citizenship: Community Involvement

    4 credits

    The purpose of this course is to educate and encourage the development of globally competent citizens and leaders. The course is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be engaged, responsible, and effective members of a globally interdependent society. Most importantly, students will be asked to think deeply about their world (including its future, current issues, its impact on their local area, and our personal responsibility as global citizens). This course will have a service learning component.

    Full course description for Citizenship: Community Involvement

    CJS 354 Restorative Justice

    4 credits

    This course is designed to allow students to develop a working understanding and knowledge of Restorative Justice. Restorative Justice looks at the concept of justice through nontraditional and alternative viewpoints. Rather than focus on "what is the crime, who did the crime and what should the punishment be," Restorative Justice focuses on "who has been harmed, what was the harm and who is responsible to repair the harm." Students will examine Restorative Justice from historical, sociological, criminological and psychological perspectives. Throughout the course, a wide range of specific "restorative practices" will be studied, reviewed and analyzed. Some of the concepts the course will explore are trauma and healing, conflict transformation, issues related to juvenile justice, and alternative processes such as Victim-Offender Dialogue and the Circle Process.

    Full course description for Restorative Justice

    CJS 356 Violence in America

    4 credits

    Students will explore the nature and extent of the violence problem in the United States using a tripartite approach, which incorporates patterns, explanations, and interventions. The course will cover the history and epidemiology of violence; roots of violence, including biological, psychological, and sociological causes; specific types of violence; media portrayals of violence; the physical, emotional, social, economic, and political consequences of violence; and ways to control and prevent violence in our communities, including criminal justice and public health approaches.

    Full course description for Violence in America

    CJS 358 Community Building for Criminal Justice

    4 credits

    This class will examine the processes and dynamics necessary for criminal justice agencies and their personnel to play an active, direct role in identifying and organizing the community and fiscal resources necessary to build effective partnerships. Once formed, these partnerships will result in the development of a cooperative problem-solving community. Students will review case studies, visit a community meeting, evaluate current and historical social movements, and develop recommendations on issues they face in their communities. Modern theoretical application will provide the basis for the foundation of the necessity for these problem solving partnerships to emerge and grow. The students will study how the criminal justice system shapes and influences particular parts of the community including schools, business organizations, faith communities, social service agencies, and grassroots groups and how these organizations in turn shape the criminal justice system.

    Full course description for Community Building for Criminal Justice

    CJS 366 The U.S. Intelligence Community

    4 credits

    This course provides an overview of the U.S. Intelligence Community and examines how the community supports national security, foreign policy, and homeland security. Students examine the intelligence cycle and the structure, constraints, and oversight of the agencies that comprise the intelligence community. Specific attention is given to collection operations, analysis, and dissemination of finished intelligence products to consumers, with emphasis on how global intelligence is used to protect and police local communities. How intelligence products build a common operational picture for national security management at top levels of government and how intelligence analysis also supports Homeland Security by assisting federal, state, and local political leaders and law enforcement officials is explored. Students also discuss such topics as human intelligence operations, counterintelligence, UAV (drone) operations, interrogation and detention, and the moral, ethical, and legal…

    Full course description for The U.S. Intelligence Community

    CJS 367 Exploring Forensic Science

    4 credits

    This course will provide the student with a general overview and a better understanding of the wide range of disciplines found within the forensic sciences. Fundamental topics such as forensic anthropology, forensic entomology, forensic pathology, and forensic accounting will be discussed. In addition 'traditionally' recognized topics in forensic science such as DNA, Trace Evidence, Impression Evidence, Drugs, and Questioned Documents will be covered. The course instructor will utilize multi-media in a lecture format, utilizing case-studies, video supplements and expert guest speakers.

    Full course description for Exploring Forensic Science

    CJS 387 White Collar Crime

    4 credits

    This course presents an overview of white collar crime. Students explore theories of white collar crime and corporate criminal liability. The investigation, prosecution and sentencing of white-collar offenders are examined. "Crime in the suites" is compared to "crime in the streets." Issues related to diversity are explored.

    Full course description for White Collar Crime

    CJS 388 Crime Analysis

    4 credits

    This course is intended to develop the student's skills and knowledge in the field of crime analysis. Students will become familiar with the variety of tasks and issues encountered within the public and private sectors by a crime analyst. Students will also participate in group activities to build knowledge and skills associated with the different functions of a crime analyst.

    Full course description for Crime Analysis

    CJS 465 Criminal Justice Response to the Mentally Ill and Other Special Populations

    4 credits

    This course will focus on how to manage special populations in the criminal justice system. The types of special populations we will focus on will include the mentally ill, the physically ill and disabled, juveniles, the elderly, women, GLBT individuals, and immigrants. We will consider both offenders and victims within each of these special populations.

    Full course description for Criminal Justice Response to the Mentally Ill and Other Special Populations

    LAWE 280 Juvenile Justice

    3 credits

    This course presents a juvenile justice system overview, with emphasis on Minnesota Rules of Juvenile Court Procedure. The historical and philosophical development of the juvenile justice system is discussed, along with a comparative analysis of U.S. juvenile and adult criminal justice systems. Students learn about resources available to criminal justice practitioners and addresses the specific needs of juveniles in crisis.

    Full course description for Juvenile Justice

    LAWE 312 Emergency Management for Law Enforcement

    4 credits

    This course examines the fundamental principles and practices of emergency management including how it functions within the homeland security enterprise. Mass shootings, acts of terror, infrastructure collapse, and natural disasters all are examples of emergencies examined in this course. This course also explores the human and economic costs of emergencies and the intended and unintended consequences of intervention.

    Full course description for Emergency Management for Law Enforcement

    LAWE 431 Police Culture

    4 credits

    This course will explore the complex interactions between police culture and issues relating to integrity and ethics for the police. It will examine the underlying values of the police culture and how those affect police behavior. Loyalty, racism, and use of force issues will be examined.

    Full course description for Police Culture

    Skills required

    Admission into Skills is by application only. The application process is available fall semester prior to the student's final summer term. Prior to applying, students must work closely with their advisor to prepare for the Skills component of the degree program. Skills practicum is only offered in the summer.Program LAWE 050 Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC) is an additional Skills Practicum course.

    LAWE 227 Traffic and Investigations

    1 credits

    The primary goal of this course is to provide content and scenarios related to traffic stops and investigations. This course is designed to give students an understanding of the knowledge and skills required to perform the duties of a police officer. This course is one of 5 that make up the Skills curriculum required to prepare students to successfully complete the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training peace officer licensing examination.

    Full course description for Traffic and Investigations

    LAWE 228 Defensive Tactics

    2 credits

    The primary goal of this course is to provide content and scenarios related to defensive tactics. This course is designed to give students an understanding of the knowledge and skills required to perform the duties of a police officer. This course is one of 5 that make up the Skills curriculum required to prepare students to successfully complete the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training peace officer licensing examination.

    Full course description for Defensive Tactics

    LAWE 229 Firearms

    2 credits

    The primary goal of this course is to provide content and scenarios related to firearms. This course is designed to give students an understanding of the knowledge and skills required to perform the duties of a police officer. This course is one of 5 that make up the Skills curriculum required to prepare students to successfully complete the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training peace officer licensing examination.

    Full course description for Firearms