Criminal Justice Leadership | Saint Mary’s University MN Skip to Main Content
Go Back

B.S. in Criminal Justice Leadership

Elevate your career with a degree in criminal justice leadership.

Are you a current or aspiring police officer looking to take your career to the next level? Or maybe you’re interested in entering the field of criminal justice and want to make an impact as a leader. Whatever your goals may be, finishing your degree can help you achieve them.

Designed for those who want to step into leadership roles in peacekeeping, law enforcement, public safety, corrections, and probation, our degree completion program in Criminal Justice Leadership will give you the knowledge and confidence you need to succeed. With top employers such as the University of Minnesota, Allied Universal, and U.S. Customs and Border Control posting job openings, the demand for qualified leaders in the field has never been higher.

At Saint Mary’s, we’re committed to your success. Our online degree completion program is designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to take your career to the next level, whether you’re a current police officer or someone who is just starting out. 

Please note that while our program is not designed or intended to meet educational requirements for law enforcement officer licensure in any jurisdiction, we offer information on peace officer certification in Minnesota on our Professional Licensure page.

Take the next step and elevate your career with a degree in Criminal Justice Leadership from Saint Mary’s.

Read More




Individual credits and completion times vary


per credit

Aug.Oct.Jan. MarchMayJune

start dates

1 year

completion time





Individual credits and completion times vary


per credit

Aug.Oct.Jan. MarchMayJune

start dates

1 year

completion time


Program Highlights

Earn credit for Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) continuing education requirements, military training, and more.

What You’ll Learn

  • How various facets of the criminal justice system influence each other
  • Decision-making processes and how they impact the criminal justice system
  • Principles of leadership and management to empower others
  • Awareness, respect, adaptability, and inclusion for sociocultural diversity
  • Critical and creative thinking skills, self-evaluation, and resilience
  • Ethical and professional behavior

Join us for an information session to learn more about programs, how to apply, transferring your credits, and more. We offer live information sessions where you can meet other prospective learners and faculty, as well as an archive you can view on your own time.

Let’s Make it Count

Prior credits earned, past work experience, military service. They all count toward finishing your degree. All of them. Get maximum credit for what you already know, so you’re not starting over — you’re finishing stronger.

  • Your past credits are always eligible – they never expire
  • Technical college credits are accepted
  • Transfer up to 90 credits (75% of your bachelor of science degree)
  • Transfer credits for prior learning
  • You can apply standardized tests such as CLEP or DSST toward your degree.
  • We accept military, industry, and business training via the American Council on Education (ACE) or PLA

Submit your transcripts and we’ll get started creating a personalized degree plan for you.  Find out how quickly you can earn your degree.

Apply for Admissions

Apply anytime to finish your bachelor’s degree. Many of the programs have six start times per year. Start here to take the next step.

    • Applicants must demonstrate an overall grade point average of 2.00 on a 4.00 scale with evidence of at least 30 transferable semester credits¹.
    • These credits must include completion of one basic English composition course with a grade of “C-”or better.²
    • Applicants may be required to complete an interview with a program administrator as part of the admissions process.

    ¹These credits may be made up of:

    • Industry Training and Military Separation Paper carrying American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations or,
    • Past College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or Dantes Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) exam credits or,
    • International credits evaluated by a source accepted by Saint Mary’s University or,
    • Any credits transferable from a regionally accredited or non-regionally accredited institution.
    ²The English composition course requirement helps the student prepare for college level coursework. The applicant may be conditionally admitted if he or she cannot prove competency in this area, in which case the CLEP College Composition exam with essay or a similar university course must be taken within the first semester of study at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

  • Students who have completed 30 credits from  an accredited institution within the U.S. or the equivalent of these credits from an institution in an approved waiver country are exempt from demonstrating English language proficiency. Otherwise, students with transcripts from universities located outside of the U.S. are required to take and pass English proficiency testing. 

    Saint Mary’s accepts:

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 72
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.0
    • International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP) with a minimum score of 4.0 or Pearson Test of English with a score of 51
    • Duolingo Language Test with a minimum score of 100
    • Pearson Test of English with a score of 51

    Please see our academic catalog for a list of all approved waiver countries.

  • Your application must include the following items:

    • Completed application form
    • All official transcripts issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from all previous institutions attended with a minimum of 30 semester credits with a basic English composition course.  

    Official Transcripts should be sent to Office of Admission

    Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
    2500 Park Avenue
    Minneapolis, MN 55404

    Or email:

    Please reach out with any questions about the application process.

    Phone: (612) 728-5100
    Toll-free: (866) 437-2788

  • Priority Deadlines: Applicants completing the application process by the priority deadline are guaranteed consideration for their intended start date.*

    • Fall 2023: Friday, Aug. 4, 2023
    • Spring 2024: Friday, Dec. 1, 2023
    • Summer 2024: Friday, April 5, 2024
    • Fall 2024: Friday, Aug 2, 2024

    *Not all programs offer starts each semester

    • Fall 2023 : Aug. 28
    • Fall 2023 term 2:  Oct. 23
    • Spring 2024: Jan. 8
    • Spring 2024 term 2: March 4
    • Summer 2024 : May 6
    • Summer 2024 term 2: July 1
    • Fall 2024: Sept. 2

  • You can expect to be notified about your acceptance approximately two weeks following your application completion date.

Tuition & Fees

We help you find ways to finance your education. Talk to your Enrollment Counselor about scholarships, loans, and other ways to make education affordable.

Course Catalog

In addition to foundational courses, you’ll take courses such as:

  • Criminal Justice and Process
  • Ethical Decision Making in the Criminal Justice System 
  • Diversity in Criminal Justice

The course catalog provides complete information about course requirements.

Careers & Salary

Now is the time to fast forward your career as a police officer, sheriff deputy, crime prevention specialist, corrections officer, or probation officer — or maximize your critical thinking skills for a career with the border patrol or Homeland Security.

Police Officer

$66,020 per year*

Private Detective

$59,380 per year*

Correctional Officer

$47,920 per year*

growth rate is expected for protective services occupations from 2021 and 2031

Related Programs

Find the right program for right now — or the future. Saint Mary’s offers adult degree completion programs, as well as graduate certificates, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Saint Mary’s offers a generous transfer policy.  Many can transfer up to 90 credits toward our degree completion programs. Our transfer counselor specialists will guide you through the process.

  • At Saint Mary’s, we want you to succeed, and we help you do so, inside and outside of the classroom:

    Student Central: Your one stop for student services

    Library: Resources and services are available 24/7 to all students.

    Writing Center: Offers virtual and face-to-face services to support students

    Career Services: Can help you develop your career-readiness skills at any point in your education

  • The only thing virtual about your online experience is the classroom. Our flexible online programs offer the rigor and reputation you expect from Saint Mary’s. 

    Explore more here.

  • If you are in a degree-granting program and enrolled at least half time, you may be eligible for financial aid. 

    Learn more here.

  • Life gets busy. Whether you’re raising a family, pursuing your career, or playing an active role in your community, we know you want to keep up with what you love while you take the next step in your career. That’s why Saint Mary’s online programs are flexible and designed to fit your demanding life.

Sources and Disclaimer

* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Protective Service Occupations at (visited April 11, 2022).

**This program is not designed or intended to meet educational requirements for law enforcement officer licensure in any jurisdiction. For more information about Saint Mary’s programs and peace officer certification in Minnesota, visit our Professional Licensure page