Law Enforcement/Corrections

The Law Enforcement AAS and AA degrees and the Corrections AA degree are now available FULLY ONLINE!

Congrats to Ridgewater - Honored in US Top 20 Online Associate Law Enforcement programs!

Program Distinctions 

• Available in a FULLY ONLINE option
• STRONG TRANSFER PARTNERSHIP with St. Cloud State University
• Classes taught by seasoned LAW ENFORCEMENT PROFESSIONALS

About the Program

The Law Enforcement program at Ridgewater is an established and successful two-year college degree program.  The program offers 3 distinct educational tracks to broad choices to meet student needs:

  • Law Enforcement AAS Degree (Professional Peace Officer)
  • Liberal Arts AA Degree (Peace Officer Emphasis)
  • Liberal Arts AA Degree (Corrections Emphasis)

The curriculum, designed to prepare students to pass the Minnesota Peace Officer’s Standards and Training (POST) Board’s examinations, follows the objectives established by the POST Board and has been certified by it.

Track 1: Law Enforcement Associate of Applied Science Degree

The AAS Degree option is designed for the individual who wants to become a peace officer in Minnesota. After completion of the program, the student will be authorized to take the POST Board Examination. Students who pass are eligible to be licensed peace officers in the State of Minnesota.

Curriculum is divided into three general areas:

  1. Component I - Law Enforcement courses
  2. Component II - Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC)
  3. Component III - Electives

The primary advantage of the AAS degree is that it is the shortest route to employment as a peace officer in Minnesota. The primary disadvantage is that Component II does not meet all the goals or the total credit requirements of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum. Consequently, if the student elects to transfer to any public university in Minnesota with the AAS degree, they will be required to meet the MnTC requirements of the transfer institution. Students who elect to transfer with the AAS degree will transfer individual courses. No college/university will accept as transfer any courses in which the student earned a grade of less than “C-”. Students who intend to eventually earn a four-year degree are advised to pursue the AA degree track and work closely with their advisor.

Track 2: Associate of Arts Degree (Peace Officer Emphasis)​

This program is designed for those who want to become a MN peace officer and who may want to transfer to a four-year program. The program has two components:

  • A law enforcement component necessary to be eligible to be a MN licensed peace officer.
  • A MnTC component necessary for a four-year degree.

After completion, the student will be authorized to take the POST Board Examination. Students who pass the POST Exam are eligible to be MN licensed peace officers. The primary advantage of the AA degree is that it meets the MnTC requirements for the bachelor’s degree at all public universities in Minnesota. With this degree, the student who elects to transfer is assured that they will transfer as juniors. It also affords students more flexibility in the selection of the general education courses.

Track 3: Associate of Arts Degree (Corrections Emphasis)

This program track is designed for individuals who want to work in the criminal justice system in some capacity other than as a peace officer.  This may include work as:

  • Probation Officers
  • Parole Officers
  • Corrections Counselor
  • Community Corrections Officer

The student is awarded an Associate of Arts (AA) degree from Ridgewater College upon successful completion of the 60 credit curriculum including the Minnesota transfer curriculum (MnTC) with an accumulative GPA of at least 2.00.

Ridgewater College is an equal opportunity employer and educator.