Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement

  • Credits: 68
  • Degree Type: A.S.
  • Campus: Thief River Falls

Program Overview

The Criminal Justice program prepares students for careers with city, state, federal, private, and other criminal justice agencies. While the NCTC program is designed primarily for entry-level law enforcement, many students choose courses that lead to careers in other areas of the Criminal Justice system, such as public safety communications, corrections, and probation work.

While the program provides pre-employment education for students who want to enter the field of criminal justice at the end of two years with an Associate of Science degree, Northland also provides an Associate of Arts degree that transfers to a four-year institution.

The Criminal Justice program is certified by the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). After completing the skills training (also offered on the Northland campus) and completing a degree, students are eligible to take the state POST exam.


Graduates are finding employment with Federal Law Enforcement agencies, State Patrol, State Conservation, County Sheriffs' departments, City Police departments, Dispatchers, Correctional Officers, and Security Guards.

The employment outlook for corrections and police officers in the state of Minnesota from 2010 to 2020 is 3.2%, a low growth career.

Potential Job Titles

Start Your Career in Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement!

Get started today by talking to a Northland Admissions Representative about connecting your educational goals to a Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement career path.

Call Admissions at 1.800.959.6282 or Email Us.

Program Courses

View semester schedule by campus: Thief River Falls

Required Courses

Course # Course Name Credit(s)
CRJU 1104 Juvenile Justice & Delinq 3
CRJU 1109 Behavioral Sciences 3
CRJU 2201 Criminal Law 3
CRJU 2202 Criminal Procedures 3
CRJU 2208 Criminal Investigations 3
CRJU 2215 Traffic Law 2
CRJU 2221 Law Enforcement Skills I 6
CRJU 2223 Law Enforcement Skills II 6
HPER 2244 First Responder 3
SOCI 1106 Intro Criminal Justice 3
ENGL 1111 Composition I 3
  G1: Communications Elec 3
  G6: Human/Fine Arts Elec 3
  MNTC Goal 7, 8, 9, 10 3
  G3:Natural Sci or G4:Math 3
  G2: Critical Think Elec ( *See Elective Options Listed Below ) 3
  MN Transfer Curriculum Electives 9
  Area of Interest Electives ( *See Elective Course Options Listed Below ) 6

Area of Interest Elective Course Options

For this particular pathway, NCTC recommends a student explore further coursework in the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum areas listed below. Need help? Schedule an appointment with a Northland Academic Advisor for assistance in selecting courses.

Course # Course Name Credits
CRJU 1106 Corrections/Probation 3
CRJU 1117 Special Topics 3
CRJU 2235 Internship (4-8 cr) 4
HPER 1125 Fitness & Conditioning 1
G2: Critical Thinking Electives
ENGL 1112 Composition II 3
ENGL 2207 Technical Writing 3

Register for Classes »   Academic Calendar »

Program Specific Requirements

Students achieving assessment scores below the established minimums must register and successfully complete (with a grade of C or better) the required developmental courses in order to meet graduation requirements.

The college minimum scores for the Accuplacer Assessment test are as follows:
Reading Comprehension: 78
Arithmetic: 50

Note: Students completing the Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Criminal Justice have an option to choose between a Natural Science (Minnesota Transfer Curriculum Goal Area III) or Math (Minnesota Transfer Curriculum Goal Area IV). Students who choose to take a Natural Science course instead of Math must either earn a score of 50 on their Accuplacer Arithmetic test or complete MATH 0080, Math Foundations with a grade of C or better to satisfy their college minimum requirement.

All required CRJU courses and SOCI 1106 must be completed with a grade of C or better.

Requirements for CRJU 2221 Skills I (fall semester) and CRJU 2223 Skills II (spring semester)

  1. 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  2. Students who are on warning or probation status must have permission of the Criminal Justice Program Director to register for CRJU 2211 and CRJU 2223.
  3. Completion and approval of a National Background Study through Verified Credentials cost of $50. Please see the Minnesota Peace Officer Licensing link that addresses the Minnesota Minimum Selection Standards to be licensed as a Peace Officer.
  4. Completion and approval of the Minnesota Multi-Phasic Personality Inventory-2 Restructured Form ( MMPI 2 RF)
  5. Medical clearance from a healthcare provider stating student is physically eligible to participate in skills (see attached PHYSICIANS APPROVAL FORM)
  6. CRJU 2221 and CRJU 2223 are physically challenging courses. There is a physical conditioning evaluation in both of these courses, therefore students are strongly encouraged to register for HPER 1125: Fitness and Conditioning as one of their Area of Interest Electives.

NOTE: The following links provide selection criteria information to prospective students who are interested in becoming a peace officer in the state of Minnesota.
Licensure Standards Diagram in color
Questions and Answers for Advising

Program Accreditation

Northland Community & Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Criminal Justice program is certified by the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST).

Northland Accreditation »

Program Faculty

  • James Jesme
  • Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Coordinator
  • Campus: Thief River Falls
  • Tel: (218) 683-8690
  • Toll Free: 1.800.959.6282
  • Teresa Mattison
  • Criminal Justice Instructor
  • Campus: Thief River Falls
  • Tel: (218) 683-8722
  • Toll Free: 1.800.959.6282

Why Choose Northland?

Northland offers a multitude of opportunities, whether you're beginning your degree or returning to college. We're affordable, convenient, and flexible. Northland Community & Technical College – it’s more than just a great education. It’s about making a career out of what you love to do. Thinking about a new career? Think Northland!

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