Criminal Justice Certificate

Criminal Justice Certificate

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. Career titles may include: Police Officer, Deputy Sheriff, Corrections Officer, Parole Officer, Probation Officer.

Program Information

This certificate program is available to students who have completed degree requirements (either two-year, four-year, or graduate) from a regionally accredited college or university and are seeking a professional peace officer’s license. The Criminal Justice Certificate is an accelerated degree that you can complete in one year. You’ll be set on a law enforcement track that will lead you to success on the POST exam. All licensing courses can be completed in less than one academic year, which allows students to enter skills and then take the state licensing exam.

Program Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of structure, process and relationships between law enforcement, the courts and correctional systems;
  • Process crime scenes from preliminary stage through disposition;
  • Function in a multicultural society as a mature, adaptable citizen, while meeting the needs and challenges of clients and communities;
  • Interpret and apply theory, law, policy and practice as it relates 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 code;
  • Demonstrate strong and effective written and oral communication skills;
  • Understand the importance of ethics and ethical behavior in law enforcement.

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;Residency Requirement: students must complete 25% of their credits at Central Lakes College;
  4. Courses required for Minnesota P.O.S.T. licensing must be completed within three (3) years of starting the certificate;
  5. 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.
  • Students must have completed a degree from a regionally accredited institution prior to admission into this program.

Please see the Criminal Justice Coordinator for further information.

Transfer Opportunities

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

Employment Statistics

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Criminal Justice Program Squad Car

Program Course Requirements

Required Courses
CRJU 1101  Criminal Justice, 3 cr
CRJU 1104  Juvenile Justice, 3 cr
CRJU 1112  Police and the Community, 3 cr
CRJU 2101**  Criminal Law, 3 cr
CRJU 2102*  Criminal Procedures, 4 cr
CRJU 2106**  Fitness for Law Enforcement, 2 cr
CRJU 2108  Criminal Investigations, 3 cr
CRJU 2114**  Traffic Law, 3 cr
CRJU 2140  Law Enforcement and Behavioral Science, 3 cr

*Denotes Prerequisites
**These courses must be completed prior to SKILLS.

Program Instructors

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