Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice Department at Winona State University offers two bachelor's degree programs: Police Science and Corrections.

We focus on developing on-the-job skills that allow students to work in many different roles in the criminal justice system.

Students will learn about the three major systems of criminal justice—policing, courts, and corrections—from faculty who have real-world experience.

We also give a solid foundation in criminological theory and offer students the opportunity to apply their knowledge through various field trips and internships in the field.

Why Study Criminal Justice at WSU?

The WSU Criminal Justice program offers instruction in the skills necessary to succeed in the field of criminal justice.

Students can specialize in the specific major connected with their interests. However, each major offers instruction that can be applied in a variety of settings.

Our faculty will help you get the skills necessary to succeed in criminal justice.

Police Science

The Police Science major prepares students to be leaders in their communities and offers specialized knowledge from faculty who have experience in all areas of the justice system.

With a focus on developing practical skills, students will learn the fundamentals of policing while building on a solid academic foundation.

WSU is certified by the Minnesota Peace Officers Standards and Training Board (POST) to provide Professional Police Officers Education (PPOE).

This offers majoring students the necessary classes to obtain POST licensure and move toward becoming a police officer in Minnesota.

Corrections & Justice Services

The Corrections & Justice Services major will teach students the necessary skills and knowledge to work in a variety of criminal justice positions.

Students will learn about institutional corrections, community corrections and other positions within the realm of justice services.

The Corrections & Justice Services major is right for you if you:

  • are interested in how offenders think
  • want to help offenders succeed after their release from prison
  • are passionate about working with juveniles or advocating for victims

Experiential Learning

The WSU Criminal Justice program strives to offer practical learning experiences in both the classroom and the field.

We conduct field trips to exciting locations like medical examiners' offices and prisons.

Most importantly, our internship is a cornerstone in our program, and students will be able to get actual “boots-on-the-ground” experience with an actual criminal justice agency.


WSU Criminal Justice faculty bring a wealth of professional and academic experience to the classroom.

Faculty have experience in each major area of criminal justice. WSU offers instruction from a former police officer, a former corrections officers, and a former prosecutor.

Faculty also have experience in social services and juvenile justice. Our faculty has conducted research that has been published in nationally recognized academic journals.


We take pride in our alumni.

Check out what wonderful things our former students have done in policing, corrections, and beyond!