Criminal Justice Schools in Minnesota | AccreditedSchoolsOnline

Updated August 30, 2022 • 6 Min Read

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Educational Support and Resources for Minnesota Students

Students enrolled in a criminal justice school in Minnesota will learn and work in a state that has a total crime rate 13 percent below the national average according to the National Institute of Corrections. Minnesota also has dedicated private organizations working to improve law enforcement practices, prosecution and legal representation, inmate reform and rehabilitation practices and the justice system as a whole. Criminal justice school graduates may be eligible to begin careers as judges and law clerks, fish and game wardens, specialized law enforcement officers and criminal detectives and investigators. Learn more about criminal justice schools and career paths in Minnesota.

Top 10 Best Criminal Justice Schools in Minnesota

#1 Concordia University-Saint Paul Saint Paul, MN
#2 Minnesota State University-Mankato Mankato, MN
#3 Saint Cloud State University Saint Cloud, MN
#4 Hamline University Saint Paul, MN
#5 Winona State University Winona, MN
#6 Saint Catherine University Saint Paul, MN
#7 University of Northwestern Saint Paul, MN
#8 Bemidji State University Bemidji, MN
#9 Minnesota State University Moorhead Moorhead, MN
#10 University of Minnesota-Crookston Crookston, MN is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Minnesota's Top Criminal Justice Programs


To be considered for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria: Accredited at the institutional level Private nonprofit or public school Minimum of 1 bachelor's or master's degree in subject area for 4-year schools Minimum of 1 associate degree or certificate program in subject area for 2-year schools Schools were then scored on factors such as: Cost & Financial Aid Number and variety of program offerings Student-teacher ratios Graduation rates (4-year schools only) Placement and support services offered Academic/Career counseling services Employment services Loan default rates These factors were assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost. PBV denotes the overall value or "bang for your buck" of a college or degree program.

While deciding which criminal justice school in Minnesota provides the best fit, students may want to consider researching factors such as cost of tuition, enrollment and acceptance numbers and student-to-teacher ratios for class sizes at each institution. This list breaks down the best criminal justice schools in the state, with specific statistics on the factors most important to students.

4 - Year Colleges

  1. Concordia University-Saint Paul

    Saint Paul, MN

    The bachelor's level program in criminal justice at Concordia University frames the criminal justice system within social and behavioral sciences. Students will examine ethical issues and engage in critical thinking on effective and just practices in punishment and rehabilitation. The program offers small class sizes and professors who communicate with students frequently throughout the semester. Students can extend their learning beyond their classes with a 12-credit internship, the Criminal Justice Club, and service-learning projects. Graduates may pursue careers including probation or parole officer, private security officer, correctional officer, or criminologist. They will also be prepared to enter graduate school programs in a variety of fields from psychology to law.

  2. Minnesota State University-Mankato

    Mankato, MN

    Students at Minnesota State University _ Mankato interested in criminal justice may consider studies in corrections or law enforcement. Both delivered through the school's College of Social Behavioral Sciences, these programs teach students the core knowledge of the criminal justice system. Curriculum focuses on the importance of social justice and respect for the dignity and worth of all individuals, promoting a fair and just correctional system. The school also offers numerous student groups on campus where learners can network with peers and build their resumes. These include academic, multicultural, faith-based, and sport/activity groups where like-minded students can connect.

  3. Saint Cloud State University

    Saint Cloud, MN

    The Department of Criminal Justice Studies at St. Cloud State University has programs at the bachelor's and master's level for students who aspire to work in corrections, courts, or law enforcement. Both the undergraduate and graduate programs can be earned fully online for distance or non-traditional students. Distance students have access to an advising center as well as information technology services to support their studies. On-campus classes are also available. The school's Criminal Justice Advising Center guides students in finding internships and jobs, offers scholarships, and helps students prepare for their senior thesis. Many students study abroad during their program, with international programs that include criminal justice elements.

  4. Hamline University

    Saint Paul, MN

    Hamline University has majors, minors, and certificates that cater to students interested in criminal justice and forensic science. Curriculum includes specific skills needed in by practitioners in the field: crime scene investigation, DNA analysis, fingerprints, and firearm and toolmarks. Guest lecturers visit campus to deliver presentations on their work in criminal justice and forensic science, and students also have a chance to tour related agencies and correctional facilities. Located in the twin cities, the school offers unique internship opportunities in crime labs and medical examiner offices. Students may also intern at law enforcement or social service agencies.

  5. Winona State University

    Winona, MN

    Students at Winona State University can prepare for a diverse range of careers from detective to court administrator with the school's criminal justice program. Participants choose between the correction and law enforcement tracks to specialize their studies; they can also choose both tracks if desired. The program features small class sizes and a personalized learning experience, with a focus on critical thinking skills, proficient writing and communication, and strong leadership skills. Students learn about crime causation and complete on-the-job training through a required internship. Those who choose to complete both the correction and law enforcement tracks must fulfil two internships.

  6. Saint Catherine University

    Saint Paul, MN

  7. University of Northwestern

    Saint Paul, MN

  8. Bemidji State University

    Bemidji, MN

  9. Minnesota State University Moorhead

    Moorhead, MN

  10. University of Minnesota-Crookston

    Crookston, MN

2 - Year Colleges

  1. Hennepin Technical College

    Brooklyn Park, MN

  2. Rochester Community and Technical College

    Rochester, MN

  3. Century College

    White Bear Lake, MN

  4. Hibbing Community College

    Hibbing, MN

  5. North Hennepin Community College

    Brooklyn Park, MN

  6. Minnesota State Community and Technical College

    Fergus Falls, MN

  7. Minneapolis Community and Technical College

    Minneapolis, MN

  8. Inver Hills Community College

    Inver Grove Heights, MN

  9. Central Lakes College

    Brainerd, MN

  10. Riverland Community College

    Austin, MN

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The field of criminal justice provides many occupational opportunities for students interested in attending criminal justice school in Minnesota. Getting more background on the career possibilities within the field can help prospective students determine what they need to get out of their criminal justice program. This list details some of the most popular criminal justice careers in Minnesota.

Police, Sheriff & Highway Patrol Officers

  • Total Employed in Minnesota8,790
  • Median Salary in Minnesota$61,330
  • Degree Level Required in MinnesotaAcademy Program

Paralegal and Legal Assistant

Compliance Officer

  • Total Employed in Minnesota4,840
  • Median Salary in Minnesota$69,980
  • Degree Level Required in MinnesotaBachelor's

Correctional Officer

  • Total Employed in Minnesota4,740
  • Median Salary in Minnesota$46,880
  • Degree Level Required in MinnesotaVaries; up to Bachelor's

Court, Municipal and License Clerks

  • Total Employed in Minnesota2,330
  • Median Salary in Minnesota$43,440
  • Degree Level Required in MinnesotaBachelor's

Probation Officer

  • Total Employed in Minnesota1,810
  • Median Salary in Minnesota$60,110
  • Degree Level Required in MinnesotaBachelor's

Detectives and Criminal Investiagors

  • Total Employed in Minnesota1,190
  • Median Salary in Minnesota$69,980
  • Degree Level Required in MinnesotaAssociate

Side by Side: Comparing Minnesota and Criminal Justice Nationwide

Learning more about potential income and job prospects in Minnesota can help criminal justice students be better informed when making their school choice. With a variety of criminal justice specializations, majors and degree levels available at Minnesota colleges and universities, this graph can help compare salary and growth projections for different fields those with a degree in criminal justice might choose to work. Explore how Minnesota's criminal justice students might fair when seeking a career compared to the national average.


Title Examiner, Abstractor47,77049,840
Court Reporter54,72057,710
Administrative Law Judge93,140106,680
Transportation Security Screener40,05040,330
Fire Inspector and Investigator59,80064,170
Arbitrator, Mediator, Conciliator69,06082,930
Criminal Justice Professor60,28064,460
Forensic Science Technician56,57060,090

Job Growth

Arbitrator, Mediator, Conciliator0.0950.101
Compliance Officer0.0330.037
Detective, Criminal Investigator-0.0120.001
Judge, Magistrate0.0070.007
Forensic Science Technician0.2280.266
Probation Officer0.0280.036
Fire Inspector0.0270.055
Police, Sheriff, Patrol Supervisor0.0250.042

Source: Projections Central, 2015

After Criminal Justice School in Minnesota

Before deciding upon a criminal justice school in Minnesota, prospective students may want to look at the most employable areas of the state for their chosen specialization or field of study. This way, students may prepare to live and work in a desired area and network with local criminal justice professionals while completing their degree program. The map below details where specialized industry graduates are most likely to land a job after criminal justice school, along with annual salaries and employment data by region or city.

  • Protective Services Potential Employers Itasca County Courthouse; St. Paul Police Department; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Enforcement Division; Metro Transit Police; Private Investigation Firms; Minnesota Gambling Control Board; State-Wide Protective Agency; Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport; Minnesota Department of Corrections Total Number of Employees in Minnesota: 73,540
  • Legal Occupations Potential Employers Private Practice Law Firms; Cottonwood County Courthouse; Hennepin County District Court; Office of Administrative Hearings; Mediation Services of Anoka County; Minnesota District Attorney's Office; State of Minnesota Total Number of Employees in Minnesota: 24,940

Largest areas of employment in descending order

Protective service

  1. Minneapolis, St. Paul
  2. Northwestern Minnesota
  3. Southeasern Minnesota
  4. Duluth
  5. Fargo, Moorhead

Legal service

  1. Minneapolis, St. Paul
  2. Fargo, Moorhead
  3. Northwestern Minnesota
  4. Duluth
  5. Southeasern Minnesota

Professional Resources for Criminal Justice in Minnesota

Business Compliance Resources

Association of Corporate Counsel Minnesota

Made up of more than 700 in-house business attorneys and corporate counsel members, the ACC represents more than 245 companies across Minnesota. From courses and networking to practice groups and pro bono community service, this membership organization is very active within the state.

Minnesota Department of Revenue

The Minnesota Department of Revenue provides helpful information for business owners and regulators such as tax use and filing, required compliance forms, registrations and workshops.

Small Business Minnesota

This non-profit organization works with businesses to maintain legal compliance by providing resources on Minnesota legislations and newsletters. They also advocate for including small businesses in policy decision making.

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce advocates for fair and effective business policy and decision making through events and webinars. Business owners can also find resources about financing, data tools and other ways to ensure legal and regulatory compliance.

Correctional Resources

Minnesota Department of Corrections

The Minnesota Department of Corrections oversees correctional institutions in the state and provides information for victims, families and communities members. The MDoC strategic plans, reports and policy manuals can also be found here.

Minnesota Corrections Association

This non-profit membership organization promotes development and ethics in corrections and for corrections professionals. Employment, training and information about corrections committees are provided here as well..

Minnesota Prison Fellowship

This religion-based organization seeks to reform the prison system to ensure safe communities and rehabilitated individuals. Information on incarceration and reintegration support, system reformation and training opportunities are listed on their website.

Juvenile Justice Coalition of Minnesota

An organization who advocates for convicted youth to improve incarceration and justice policies. The JJCM lists resources categorized by issue and impact areas, reformation goals and volunteer opportunities.

Minnesota Association of County Probation Officers

MACPO is a professional organization of probation and parole personnel that educates and promote proficient and compliant practices. Information on events, memberships and general probation and parole information is listed on their website.

Court & Judicial Resources

Conflict Resolution Center of Minnesota

A non-profit mediation and compliance group, the CRC has trained volunteers to help guide Minnesotans through educational, economic, cultural, ethnic, racial and religious court cases and dispute resolutions, with special emphasis given to those who cannot afford traditional court mediation services.

Minnesota Judicial Branch

The Minnesota Judicial Branch provides access to court and judicial case records, forms and other helpful resources for those interested in learning more about legal processes in Minnesota.

Minnesota, The National Center for State Courts

Information about education, regulations and processes, data, and statistics regarding Minnesota state courts are available through this National Center for State Courts' website.

Minnesota, The United States Department of Justice

The Minnesota division of the United States Department of Justice provides extensive data and information about the court system including laws and regulations and legal ethics.

WATCH Minnesota

An organization formed to monitor and work with the justice system to make courts more responsive to violence against women and children in the state of Minnesota. Volunteer and internship information is available here, as well as information on the group's initiatives combating sex trafficking, judicial policy reform and more.

Legal Resources

American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota

Interested individuals can find information regarding current civil liberties cases, legal policy and process reformation, and other resources designed to improve Minnesota's legal system through the ACLU of Minnesota website.

Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota

Advocating for immigration reform and supporting immigrant and refugee families across the state, the ILCM focuses on advocacy, education and providing legal assistance for a wide variety of immigration related issues in Minnesota. Information on internships and volunteering can also be found here.

Minnesota, American Bar Association

The ABA works to support lawyers by providing information about military legal assistance, aid and pro bono work. Individuals seeking legal support and representation can also access referral services that direct them to affordable attorneys.

Minnesota Association for Justice

The Minnesota Association for Justice is an organization that provides resources for lawyers and legal professionals to improve their understanding and expertise of legislation and legal processes. Court case summaries, verdicts and settlements can be accessed here.

Minnesota Justice Foundation

An organization designed to create opportunities for law students to work in public interest and provide pro bono legal services to low income Minnesota residents. Offices are located at the University of Minnesota Law School, Mitchell Hamline School of Law and the University of St. Thomas.

Law Enforcement Resources

Association of Training Officers of Minnesota

A membership organization that focuses on professional development, field training and personal standards in peace officer training and education in Minnesota. Classes and links to workshops and other law enforcement training opportunities can be found here.

Minneapolis Police Academy

The Minneapolis Police Academy is located at Fort Snelling and provides training and preparation for law enforcement officers in the state. For academy schedules, recruiting information, crime reports and more, visit this site.

Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association

This state-wide association supports law enforcement professionals by educating and advocating for fair and compliant practices in Minnesota policing.

Minnesota Department of Public Safety

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety provides information regarding laws and regulations that promote safety such as vehicle, community watch and other reports.

Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association

A membership organization dedicated to increasing the quality of policing. They also provide legal defense and legislative support for Minnesota police officers.

Minnesota Sheriffs' Association

The Minnesota Sheriffs' Association promotes law enforcement professionalism and knowledge of laws and regulations through member support, committees, conferences and trainings along with links to informative legal databases.

Wildlife & Environmental Resources

Department of Conservation Enforcement, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

Operating on the Leech Lake Reservation, the DCE is an extension of the State of Minnesota that protects and regulates tribal lands, water and forests, including all fishing and wildlife management operations.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is committed to educating Minnesota citizens and conservation officers about proper environmental processes. Information about Minnesota's wildlife and environmental plans, reports, regulations and training can be found here.

Minnesota, National Park Service

The National Park Service of Minnesota details statistics, articles and news, environmental processes and employment opportunities to promote natural conservation, law enforcement and preservation.

Minnesota Offices, United States Fish and Wildlife Services

Minnesota's branch of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services is governed by the Department of the Interior to protect the state's wildlife and environment. Information regarding wildlife laws, endangered species, fishery restoration and other conservation efforts can be accessed through their website.

Minnesota Conservation Officer's Association

This association is comprised of conservation officers and game wardens who enforce proper environmental practices to preserve Minnesota's natural resources and wildlife. They provide training and field work opportunities for those interested in learning more about the profession.

Popular Resources

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See All Posts is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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