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Police Science BS

About The Program

Introducing our new Police Science BS, designed specifically for current police officers or “license-eligible” students who already hold an associate’s degree. This “Transfer Pathways” program offers advanced coursework that builds on your previous education and experience in law enforcement, helping you to become an even more effective officer.

Our curriculum is designed to provide a deeper understanding of criminal justice, law, and police operations. You will learn from experienced instructors who have worked in the field, and you'll have access to the latest research. You'll study topics such as police management, forensic science, police ethics, and crisis management.

In addition to advanced coursework, our program offers flexibility and convenience for working professionals. Our online and hybrid classes allow you to study on your own schedule, and you can complete the program at your own pace. We understand the demands of police work, and we’ve designed this program to fit into your busy life.

With a Police Science degree from the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, you'll be equipped with the knowledge and skills to excel in your law enforcement career. You'll be better prepared to handle complex cases, make ethical decisions, and manage crises. Plus, you'll have the credentials to advance in your department and pursue leadership roles.

Enroll in our Police Science degree program today and take your law enforcement career to the next level.

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Our Mission

We are 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 the education and training of culturally competent peace officers who are prepared to deliver justice and serve all people and communities with dignity and respect.

Bachelor of Science in Police Science Student Outcomes

Upon completion of our Police Science degree program, students will be able to:

  • Apply advanced knowledge of criminal justice theory and principles to police operations and practices.
  • Analyze and evaluate criminal behavior and the criminal justice system to inform decision-making and problem-solving in law enforcement.
  • Analyze and evaluate research literature and data to inform evidence-based policing practices and policies.
  • Apply ethical principles and decision-making frameworks to law enforcement scenarios and professional conduct.
  • Develop and execute effective crisis management plans and responses to emergency situations.
  • Communicate effectively and professionally with diverse communities and stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills and management techniques for effective team-building and organizational change.
  • Engage in professional development and lifelong learning to stay current on emerging trends and practices in law enforcement.

Interested in a Bachelor’s Degree in Police Science?

Metro State, a comprehensive urban university with innovative programs, provides students of all backgrounds seeking a bachelor’s degree in police science with access to renowned faculty and facilities. The university is committed to academic excellence and community partnerships through curriculum, teaching, scholarship and services.

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 Police Science BS 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 Police Science BS

More ways to earn your degree: Metropolitan State offers the flexibility you need to finish your degree. Through programs at our partner institutions, you can find a path to getting your Police Science BS that works best for you.

About your enrollment options

Program eligibility requirements

Transfer Pathways ensures that any law enforcement (or equivalent) transfer pathway Associate of Science (AS) degree transfers into our Police Science BS so students can easily earn a bachelor's degree. Students are eligible for the Police Science BS if they have already earned an associate’s degree in law enforcement (or equivalent) and/or are already licensed peace officers or “license-eligible” in the state of Minnesota.

Students must submit a School of Criminology and Criminal Justice Undergraduate Program Declaration Form when they have completed the following:

  • 30 credits
  • GELS/MNTC writing requirements
  • Cumulative Metropolitan State GPA of 2.25
  • School of Criminology and Criminal Justice Pre-major Advising Workshop (PAW)

All police science pre-majors should work closely with a School of Criminology and Criminal Justice advisor.

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 Police Science BS:

  • 36 credits of required coursework, plus as many directed electives as needed to meet Metro State graduation requirements
  • 24 major credits must be taken at Metro State (i.e., courses with a CJS or CRIM prefix)
  • All major courses must be completed with a grade of C- or higher


  • The 24 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 350 counts toward MTC Goal 5 and upper-division liberal studies
  • CJS 354 counts toward MTC Goal 5 and upper-division liberal studies
  • CJS 360 counts toward MTC Goals 5 and 7, upper-division liberal studies, and RIGR
  • CJS 375 counts toward MTC Goals 6 and 9, and upper-division liberal studies
  • CRIM 367 counts toward MTC Goal 3

Course Requirements (transfer pathway to reach 120 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 CRIM classes and some directed electives.

+ Core (21 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

In this applied writing course, students learn how to choose the ideal modality for message delivery considering the purpose, location, and audience, and how to effectively present technical information orally and in writing. Students will practice writing reports in a style and format that best communicates the actions and behavior of others and allows the reader to determine the facts of a specific case. They prepare multiple incident-based reports, interview summaries, memos, executive summaries and management correspondence to a professional standard. Students also become familiar with courtroom personnel, procedures, and protocols; rules of evidence, discovery, and admissibility; how to present legal testimony and evidence; and basic techniques for handling hostile attorneys.

Full course description for Police Communication, Report Writing, and Courtroom Testimony

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

This course focuses on justice system responses to victim and offender special populations, including women, children, elderly people, LGBTQ+ people, immigrant populations, and people with physical, developmental, behavioral, and sensory disabilities. This course teaches critical incident stress management for first responders and crisis intervention, de-escalation, and other skills for responding to mental illness and substance use signs.

Full course description for Crisis Response, Mental Illness, and Working with Special Populations

+ Police Science Focus Area (8 credits)

Pick two:

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

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

This course asks, critically, what are police for? It provides an introduction to American policing focused on the philosophy and controversial history of the profession, (Constitutional) limitations imposed on law enforcement in a democratic society, and the role and place of police in the total criminal justice process. The course critically dissects police culture and provides a survey of critical issues confronting peace officer professionals, including police selection, training, and socialization; police corruption and misconduct; and officer safety and wellness.

Full course description for Policing and Society

This course examines current issues confronting law enforcement officers and their agencies relative to the provision of police services to local communities. An example of the issues which are examined include: the role of police in a democratic society; management and policy development in law enforcement agencies; the paradigm shift from professional crime control policing to community oriented policing; police selection, training and socialization; the importance of diversity in policing and its relevance to provision of services to diverse communities; and the psychological and physical challenges associated with policing.

Full course description for Contemporary Issues in Policing

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

+ 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.

+ Directed Electives

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