- Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology (concentrations in social deviance and social organization), South Dakota State University (dissertation: "Volunteer Police Reserve Officers: An Identity Theory Perspective")
- Master of Science in Criminal Justice, St. Cloud State University
- Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, University of St. Thomas
Hilal is in instructor for the Distance Learning Center at the University of Wisconwin-Platteville and previously was an assistant professor for campus where she taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate course. She was also the coordinator of the undergraduate criminal justice degree. Hilal has developed, revised, and taught numerous online courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level.
Prior to working at UW-Platteville, she was an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and taught at South Dakota State University while working on her doctorate.