Print Page

Title Criminal Justice A.A.S. 
Department Criminal Justice 

Career Description: A criminal justice degree is part of the Professional Peace Officer Education Program requirement for Minnesota Peace Officer licensing standards. All course work is certified by the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training and meets the Board’s learning objectives. The degree applies for those interested in other areas of the justice system.

Program Information: Finish your Criminal Justice A.A.S. Degree in just two years with these challenging, hands-on courses. Students will get a first-hand look into the current industry technologies, methods and peace officer practices. A fleet of new, state-of-the-art squad cars gives students a driver’s seat view into the career field of a Minnesota peace officer. Because of a close partnership with area peace officer agencies and the college, students have a wide selection of choices for internships. With this A.A.S degree, you can pursue careers in areas such as Minnesota peace officer, deputy, state patrol, conservation officer, or corrections officer.

Program Outcomes:
Graduates will be able to:

  • Understand the structure, process, and relationships between Minnesota Peace Officers and the correctional system;
  • Apply tactical skills, such as weapon safety, defense and arrest tactics, vehicle operation, crisis management, and use of force options;
  • Process crime scenes from preliminary stage through disposition;
  • Recognize diversity and cultural differences as a mature, ethical, compassionate, and adaptable citizen while meeting the needs of clients and communities;
  • Interpret and apply theory, law, policy, and practice as related to juvenile delinquency and deviant behavior;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the roles of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches and how they relate to criminal law;
  • Apply knowledge of criminal law, constitutional law, and Minnesota traffic laws;
  • Demonstrate strong communication skills--both oral and written--along with understanding leadership challenges and contributions in various communities that have experienced racial oppression as it intersects with gender, class, sexuality, disability, and other social identities; and
  • Prepare as public servants with the fundamental duty to serve and protect the community from harm and respect the constitutional rights of all citizens. 

Special Program Requirements:

In addition to the program requirements, students must meet the following conditions in order to graduate:

  1. Students must achieve a grade of “C” or higher in all courses required in the program;
  2. College Cumulative GPA Requirement: cumulative grade point average (GPA) of credits attempted and completed at CLC must be at least 2.0;
  3. College Technical Core GPA Requirement: cumulative GPA of credits attempted and completed towards the technical core of the diploma or degree must be at least 2.0;
  4. Residency Requirement: students must complete 25% of their credits at Central Lakes College;
  5. Courses required for Minnesota P.O.S.T. licensing must be completed within three (3) years of starting the certificate;
  6. Students must have a valid Emergency Medical Responder certification (or higher) at the time of the Post Board Exam.


  • Students must complete and pass a background check and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) with a psychologist approved by the Program Coordinator prior to being officially admitted into the program. The background check and MMPI will be completed during the first week of classes.

Please see the Criminal Justice Coordinator for further information.

Transfer Opportunities: Central Lakes College has an Articulation Agreement with St. Cloud State University and Bemidji State University for transfer of Criminal Justice courses. Other colleges and universities conduct a student-by-student evaluation regarding transfer of courses and degree.