Program Overview

Ridgewater College offers a Law Enforcement Associate in Applied Science Degree which is a two year college program.  The program is designed for anyone pursuing a career as a peace officer in Minnesota.  The curriculum will help prepare graduates to pass the Minnesota Peace Officer’s Standards and Training (POST) Board’s exams, which the student will take after completion of the course.   Upon passing the exam, the student can be licensed as a peace officer in Minnesota.

The curriculum focuses on the objectives the POST Board has established and has been certified by the Board.  There are three general areas the curriculum focuses on:  Law Enforcement Courses,  Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC), and  Electives.  This degree is currently the quickest way to become a peace officer in Minnesota; however, the AAS degree does not meet all the credits required for the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum, therefore, if the student wishes to transfer to a public university within Minnesota they will need to meet the MnTC requirements of the institution.  

If the student wishes to eventually earn a four-year degree, they are advised to pursue an Associate of Arts Degree with a Peace Officer emphasis.   This degree gives the student the required MnTC component as well as the eligibility of becoming a licensed peace officer in Minnesota.  There is also the opportunity to earn an Associate of Arts Degree with an emphasis in Corrections.  This program allows students to pursue careers in the criminal justice system other than a peace officer, such as a probations officer, parole officer, corrections counselor, or a community corrections officer.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Associate

    Delivery Format: 100% Online

    Accelerated Degree:

    Accreditation & Licensing

    North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission


    A high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) Certificate.


    The curriculum is designed for those wishing to become a peace officer only the the state of Minnesota.

    School Overview

    Ridgewater College is a public, 2-year institution that was founded in 1996 and is one of the newer 2-year, public institutions in the state of Minnesota. Located in Willmar, Minnesota, the mission of Ridgewater is “to provide quality educational opportunities for diverse student learners in an inclusive, supportive, and accessible environment.” Ridgewater College aims to build and strengthen its ties with the community by partnering with regional businesses and industries.

    Ridgewater College offers associate's degree programs and certificates, including many programs that are offered in completely online formats.


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