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Educational Programs

Criminal Justice Studies


Program description

MCTC’s Criminal Justice Studies program provides you with a broad professional education in the criminal justice system, including an understanding of how the police, courts and corrections departments operate and work together. The curriculum equips you to understand the causes of and means to prevent crime and to work effectively in the criminal justice field.

Program start and location

You may begin in the fall, spring or summer term. Courses in this program are taught at MCTC’s main campus and Hennepin Technical College’s Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Education Center.

Degree options and requirements

Please select the award below to view the degree options and requirements in the college catalog.

Criminal Justice A.S. degree—60 credits

What you will learn

  • Your coursework will give you a broad professional education in the criminal justice system, including police, courts and corrections and how they work together.
  • As a foundation for your studies, you will take liberal arts classes in related subjects such as psychology and sociology.
  • Program courses will cover drugs in the community, juvenile justice, family violence, intercultural communications, the relationship between police officers and their communities and more.
  • By completing the A.S. Degree in Criminal Justice Studies, you can easily transition to MCTC's Law Enforcement Certificate Program to prepare yourself to take the State peace officer license examination.

Points of pride

  • MCTC’s Criminal Justice Studies program gives you wide-ranging professional preparation for roles in law enforcement, corrections, the courts and the probation field.
  • The curriculum provides you with comprehensive training in the criminal justice system as well as training on specific topics such as drugs in the community, juvenile justice, family violence and intercultural communications.
  • A path to peace officer licensing – The A.A.S. degree in Criminal Justice Studies easily transitions to MCTC’s Law Enforcement Certificate program which prepares students for the state peace officer license examination.

Where you could work

  • Correctional institutions
  • Criminal courts
  • Community corrections departments
  • Nonprofit court diversion programs

Potential job titles

  • Law enforcement officer
  • Correctional officer
  • Court clerk
  • Probation officer

Occupational outlook

Job opportunities for correctional officers are expected to be favorable, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which states that employment of correctional officers is expected to grow 9 percent between 2008 and 2018. Mandatory sentencing guidelines calling for longer sentences and reduced parole for inmates are a primary reason for increasing incarceration rates. Some employment opportunities also will arise in the private sector, as it is becoming more common for State and Federal corrections agencies to use private prisons.


This program is part of the Academy of Education and Public Services.

Additional resources

Articulation agreements

Common Course Outlines

Gainful employment reports


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