Undergraduate Program

During the past few years, the demand for professionals in criminal justice-related careers has increased significantly. Many criminal justice agencies and program administrators see a continuing need for qualified professionals. The criminal justice program at North Dakota State University has graduated students who have pursued criminal justice careers in local, state and federal agencies throughout the United States. The program is designed so our graduates will succeed in both beginning and advancing their criminal justice careers.

The undergraduate program in Criminal Justice at NDSU prepares students for their future careers.  Listen to the experiences of a graduate of the NDSU CJ undergraduate program.






North Dakota ranks #6 in the United States for the best state to be a police officer.

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North Dakota ranks #8 in the United States for probation officer salaries.

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The criminal justice program is administered by the Department of Criminal Justice. Faculty in the program provide teaching, research and practical expertise related to many issues in criminal justice. The Fargo-Moorhead community provides a rich source of criminal justice education through a wide variety of criminal justice agencies that work with student interns. The department is located in Putnam Hall 102. 


The Department of Criminal Justice has a relationship with Alexandria Community and Technical College in Alexandria, MN, which permits our students to attend the peace officer skills program there and ultimately obtain eligibility for peace officer licensure in Minneosta.  NDSU criminal justice students are able to complete the skills training during the summer after their junior or senior year.  Students interested in local law enforcement careers in North Dakota may complete the Alexandria skills training, or may take Lake Region State College's peace officer skills training program in Fargo or in Devils Lake, ND.  More information about both skills training program options, and the career opportunities that follow, can be obtained from the Department of Criminal Justice.  


Students graduating from this program have experienced much success in pursuing their career goals. Our alumni work in law enforcement, courts/law firms, correctional agencies, probation and parole departments and do so at the local, state and federal level. These jobs typically come with good salaries and benefits, although they vary from agency to agency. Types of agencies that have employed our graduates include police departments, sheriff's departments, planning agencies, group homes, juvenile courts, family courts, probation and parole departments, juvenile and adult correctional institutions, halfway houses, and many federal agencies (e.g. U.S Marshals Service, Secret Service, and federal probation). Learn more...


The criminal justice curriculum is an interdisciplinary program drawing on the social sciences, behavioral sciences, humanities, and the law. Course requirements are based on the idea that our students should work through a curriculum that equips them with broad knowledge of the criminal justice system and criminological theory and prepares them for a wide range of duties and professional responsibilities. The department also offers a minor in criminal justice and partners with the Department of Accounting and Information Systems on a fraud investigation minor.


Many students elect to complete an internship.  This is usually done during their junior or senior year. Internship opportunities exist in many agencies in North Dakota and Minnesota and can be done at any time during the calendar year. By completing an internship, the student is able to combine the theoretical and applied aspects of professional preparation. Internship experience is an important element of successful job placement.


Students may expand their knowledge of criminal justice and career opportunities through the Criminal Justice Club. This student association allows participants to increase their knowledge and clarify career interests through field trips and meetings with professionals. Learn more...


Exceptional undergraduate students interested in pursuing a master's degree in criminal justice may apply in their junior year for admission into the department's accelerated master's program.  This program allows students to complete certain courses which will count for both their bachelor's and master's degrees in criminal justice, thereby shortening the time it takes to complete the master's degree.  Students interested in this option should consult with the department's graduate program coordinator or with their adviser.  Learn more...

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