10 Best Criminal Justice Schools in Minnesota

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Start a Rewarding Criminal Justice Career in Minnesota!

If you’re considering beginning your criminal justice career in Minnesota to become a police officer, corrections officer, law enforcement officer, or an administrative officer of the court like an attorney or paralegal — this guide is for you!

The first step to starting a criminal justice career is to get the best criminal justice education possible.

Our guide to the best criminal justice schools in Minnesota provides prospective students with an overview of local area programs that offer entry-level certificates, bachelor’s degrees, and master’s degrees in criminal justice.

Best Criminal Justice Schools in Minnesota

The best criminal justice schools in Minnesota are accredited by local, state, and federal agencies.

They offer students the opportunity to earn certificates, associates, bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in their favorite programs of study.

Some of the best criminal justice programs have even been featured on US News and World Report’s Best Programs lists and offer partnerships with local and state agencies for rapid advancement.

1 Bemidji State University

About the Program

The criminal justice programs offered by Bemidji State University provide students with a foundational education in criminal justice leadership and prepare them for entry-level employment in the fields of law enforcement, administration of justice, and social services.

Their program provides students with a solid foundation, enabling them to work in a variety of criminal justice-related areas, including tribal justice.

Courses Offered

  • Criminal Justice and Society
  • Corrections and Penology
  • Forensic Science
  • Criminal Justice and Domestic Violence
  • Intercultural Communications
  • Drugs and Criminal Justice
  • Forensic Victimology
  • Police and Community Relations

Average Program Costs: $16,000.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 1500 Birchmont Drive, Northeast, Bemidji, Minnesota
  • Phone: 218-755-2001
  • Website: Visit School Website

2 St. Cloud State University

About the Program

St. Cloud State University readies criminal justice students to begin entry-level careers and for higher education in the field.

They offer an undergraduate degree program and a master’s in criminal justice, as well as Peace Officer Training that meets Minnesota state standards.

Students enrolled at St. Cloud learn how to recognize the causes of crime and injustice and develop strategies for preventing crime through the use of corrections and other state-funded programs.

Their program features experiential learning internships that help students become acclimated to their new potential working environments.

Courses Offered

  • Criminal Law
  • Crime and Justice in America
  • Critical Issues in Law Enforcement
  • Domestic Violence
  • Victims Services
  • Statistics
  • Criminal Justice Research Methods
  • Corrections: Theory and Practice
  • Criminal Justice
  • Internship

Average Program Costs: $14,000.00

Contact Information

3 Winona State University

About the Program

Minnesota students interested in pursuing a career in Police Science or Corrections can begin their education by working towards a bachelor’s degree at Winona State University.

The university offers two dedicated bachelor’s degree programs that teach students the fundamentals, theory, and practical skills required for success as a police officer or corrections officer in Minnesota.

One of the best features of the Police Science program at Winona is that its program is certified by the Minnesota Peace Officers Standards and Training Board.

Courses Offered

  • Police Science
  • Diversity in the Justice System
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Crime and Justice in America
  • Criminology
  • Diversity and the Justice System
  • Corrections and Justice Services

Average Program Costs: $18,000.00

Contact Information

4 Minnesota State University Moorhead

About the Program

Minnesota State University at Moorhead has a criminal justice program that prepares students to work in the field in five areas of concentration, which include law enforcement, psychology, political science, and sociology.

Aspiring CJ students can take class work at MSU to earn a Bachelor of Arts or a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice as they work towards becoming police officers, peace officers, and social services providers supporting the accused and their victims through the various stages that happen in their lives as a result of a crime.

They also offer a minor in juvenile justice education track for students seeking a brief introduction to the field.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Social Gerontology
  • Social Behavior
  • Elder Law
  • Law Enforcement
  • Introduction to Juvenile Justice
  • Global Crime Justice
  • Introduction to the Law
  • Constitutional Law I and II
  • Delinquent Behavior

Average Program Costs: $18,000.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 1104 7th Avenue South, Moorhead, Minnesota
  • Phone: 218-477-2161
  • Website: Visit School Website

5 Capella University

About the Program

Capella University offers Minnesota-based students the opportunity to begin their criminal justice education online.

Their web-based public service degrees prepare students for a variety of criminal justice roles.

Capella’s CJ students can earn a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in public service.

Their program is one of the few online criminal justice programs in the state where students can log in from almost any internet-connected device and immerse themselves in their criminal justice studies.

Courses Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Emergency Management
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Doctor of Public Administration

Average Program Costs: $18,000.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 225 South 6th Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Phone: 888-227-3552
  • Website: Visit School Website

6 Crown College

About the Program

Crown College gives web-based education seekers another route toward earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Their criminal justice program is designed for the working student and allows them to take comprehensive criminal justice education courses online.

CC students can earn CJ degrees in specialized areas, including Psychology and Counseling, Disaster Management, and Drug Counseling.

Their online program paves the way for continuing education students to work towards the accelerated Master of Arts degree in Disaster and Emergency Management.

Flexibility and always-on access to criminal justice classwork earn Crown College a top spot on the list of the best criminal justice schools in Minnesota.

Courses Offered

  • Disaster and Emergency Management
  • Psychology Counseling
  • Community Development
  • Alcohol and Drug Counseling

Average Program Costs: $26,000.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 8700 College View Drive, Saint Bobifacius, Minnesota - 55375
  • Phone: 952-446-4100
  • Website: Visit School Website

7 Rochester Community and Technical College

About the Program

RCTC in Rochester has an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice program that prepares students to transfer to four-year programs and for entry-level employment.

Students who enroll in this CJ program are introduced to the core courses required for reading, writing, and comprehension.

Their major coursework consists of criminal justice courses, sociology courses, and cultural relations courses that give students a basic foundation.

RCTC students can gain a comprehensive criminal justice introduction that teaches them how to communicate with other professionals, the accused, victims of crime, and the public.

Specialized courses like Juvenile Law give an in-depth review of the topics discussed.

Courses Offered

  • Interpersonal Communications
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Juvenile Law and Procedure
  • Introduction to Forensic Chemistry
  • Minority Group Relations
  • Introduction to American Government
  • Homeland Security and Defense
  • Environmental Biology

Average Program Costs: $14,000.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 851 30th Avenue SE, Rochester, Minnesota
  • Phone: 507-285-7557
  • Website: Visit School Website

8 Rasmussen University - Lake Elmo at Woodbury

About the Program

Minnesota criminal justice students and professionals interested in starting or continuing their CJ education online can take classes at Rasmussen University’s Lake Elmo at Woodbury campus online.

Their program offers options for earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

Their bachelor’s degree program comprises 122 credit hours of criminal justice education.

It teaches students the practical, theoretical, and fundamentals needed for success on the job and when working in leadership positions.

Courses Offered

  • Communication Strategies for Criminal Justice Professionals
  • Victims in Criminal Justice
  • Advanced Correctional Practices
  • Constitutional Law
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse -Criminal Justice
  • Cultural Diversity and Justice
  • Crime Prevention
  • Applied Criminology
  • Values-Based Leadership in Criminal Justice

Average Program Costs: $279.00 per credit hour.

Contact Information

  • Address: 8565 Eagle Point Circle, Lake Elmo, Minnesota
  • Phone: 651-259-6600
  • Website: Visit School Website

9 Concordia University - St. Paul

About the Program

Concordia University at St. Paul designed its criminal justice programs to meet the needs of excited students newly entering the field and working criminal justice professionals who want to enhance their education and earnings potential.

This POST-approved program offers completely online criminal justice programs that lead students to a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Courses Offered

  • Foundations of the Criminal Justice System
  • Constitutional Law and Criminal Justice
  • Contemporary Issues in the Criminal Justice System
  • Delinquent Criminal Behaviors Across the Life Course
  • Exploring the Criminal Mind and Identifying Suspect Behavior
  • Criminal Justice Internship

Average Program Costs: $16,000.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 1282 Concordia Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Phone: 651-641-8230
  • Website: Visit School Website

10 Minnesota West Community & Technical College - Granite Falls

About the Program

Minnesota West Community Tech offers an Associate in Applied Sciences degree program for local area students who want to become Peace Officers.

Their program is approved by the Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training in Minnesota.

Students who complete all program requirements are eligible to take the next steps toward becoming licensed Minnesota Peace Officers upon graduation.

Courses Offered

  • Criminal Justice Leadership and Ethics
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Social Problems
  • Criminal Justice and Community
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Crime Scene Processing
  • Patrol Operations
  • Criminal Procedures
  • Introduction to Psychology

Average Program Costs: $12,000.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 1593 11th Avenue, Granite Falls, Minnesota
  • Phone: 320-564-4511
  • Website: Visit School Website

Schools Summary Table

Rank School
#1 Bemidji State University
#2 St. Cloud State University
#3 Winona State University
#4 Minnesota State University Moorhead
#5 Capella University
#6 Crown College
#7 Rochester Community and Technical College
#8 Rasmussen University - Lake Elmo at Woodbury
#9 Concordia University - St. Paul
#10 Minnesota West Community & Technical College - Granite Falls

Criminal Justice Salary Information

If you’re thinking about starting a criminal justice career, the next logical question is:

How much do criminal justice professionals make in Minnesota?

The amount of Minnesota’s annual criminal justice salaries varies and depends on a few factors:

  1. People with more years of experience working in the field will likely command higher salaries than entry-level CJ workers.
  2. Additionally, criminal justice graduates often earn more than their non-degreed or certificated counterparts.
  3. Job locations and whether you’re employed with a local, federal, or state agency can also impact your earnings.

Examples of annual salaries for selected Minnesota criminal justice professionals:

  • Police Officer: $80,335.00
  • Corrections Officer: $46,305.00
  • Probation Officer: $69,112.00
  • Bailiff: $42,682.00
  • Criminal Investigator: $34,414.00
  • Lawyer: $89,022.00
  • Paralegal: $61,188.00

As you can see from local salary research conducted by Indeed, Minnesota’s criminal justice professionals make well-paying salaries that can include a variety of benefits depending on the employer.

Professionals who work for local, city, and state agencies also have desirables like health insurance, life insurance, childcare, and commuting expenses added to the cost of their salaries.

Annual Salary Range:
Item Percent

Average Salary in Minnesota

City Name Salary
Minneapolis $81,225
St. Paul $81,225
Duluth $72,998
Rochester $76,429
Eden Prairie $81,087
Lakeville $80,721
Minnetonka $81,225
Dassel $72,434
Elmore $75,743
Burnsville $80,996

Regional Salary

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Duluth, MN-WI150$77,890$37.45$97,880$62,090
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI1,020$86,530$41.6$140,130$47,380
Rochester, MN30$77,010$37.02$95,650$49,170
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Detectives and Criminal Investigators, OCC Code 33-3021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Criminal Justice Schools by State

Chelsea Wilson

About Chelsea Wilson

Chelsea Wilson is the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s distance learning LLM degree program, which provides foreign trained attorneys with the opportunity to earn a Master of Laws degree from a top-tier American university from anywhere in the world.

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