Police Science Program

The Police Science major teaches students the fundamentals of policing along with specialized knowledge including: 

  • investigations
  • patrol operations
  • communications
  • intercultural competence
  • social scientific research

This program explores the complexities of the justice system along with important social context. 

Students will learn how to make ethical decisions and the impact of policing on individuals, families, and society. 

POST Licensure

WSU provides the required courses for graduates to become licensed peace officers in Minnesota. This service is offered with WSU’s accreditation and certification with the Minnesota Peace Officers Standards and Training Board (POST) and the university’s PPOE program. 

The selection and standards requirements to become a police officer in Minnesota are among of the highest in the nation. 

The core courses in the major follow the learning objectives set by the POST Board and prepare students for the POST licensing exam after the successful completion of skills and the degree. 

Transfer Pathways

If you have a Criminal Justice Transfer Pathways AS degree, you can earn a bachelor’s degree in Police Science at WSU. 

Eligible students must have completed Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC).

Experiential Learning

The Criminal Justice program believes that students learn best through hands-on experience. Throughout our curriculum, we focus on building students’ skills in communication, decision-making and critical thinking.

These interactive exercises and assignments will help you be well-prepared for the workforce. 

Learning in the Classroom

Forensic Interviewing

We offer training in the methods and practice of interviewing people who have been victims of a crime.

Our course Forensic Interviewing of Children features scenario-based training with mock interviews centered around the most recent forensic interviewing protocols.

Verbal De-escalation

Not only will you examine verbal de-escalation practices like Verbal Judo, but also participate in mock verbal de-escalation scenarios.

Verbal de-escalation is an important skill for all criminal justice professionals, and helps you practice communication methods.

Report Writing

Writing is one of the most important skills for working in the Criminal Justice field. Our program ensures that students learn the technical writing skills that are necessary for success.

Our program offers training in case summaries, pre-sentence investigations reports, arrest and incident reports, and many other types of writing common to the profession.

Data Analysis

The future of criminal justice will be driven by data, which is why we offer our students foundational data analysis skills.

You will learn how to analyze data, conduct research, and use statistical software when making data-driven or evidence-based decisions.

Offender Assessments

Our corrections majors learn how to conduct and analyze common assessments like the LSI-R or LCSMI-R.

Students then utilize those assessments to make informed decisions and craft management plans in different scenarios.

Mock Interviews

The first step in landing a policing job is to have a successful job interview.

Our Police Science students complete mock interviews during their senior year to help them succeed in their interviews as they enter the field.

The interview panel features former and current police officers to better prepare the student for future interviews.

Learning Outside of the Classroom

Contact the Sociology & Criminal Justice Department
Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice
Minne Hall 228


Email the Sociology & Criminal Justice Department
Mark Norman
Department Chair
Email Mark Norman
Dr. Rafael Narvaez
Sociology Program Coordinator
Email Dr. Rafael Narvaez
Michelle Eggerichs Rekstad
Office Manager

Minne Hall 212


Email Michelle Eggerichs Rekstad