Find Police Studies Programs in Your State:
What Are the Benefits of Earning a Degree in Police Studies or Law Enforcement?
In an effort to hire highly qualified individuals, law enforcement agencies are increasingly requiring applicants to have a college degree. While a criminal justice degree covers the basics of policing, earning a degree in police studies or law enforcement can provide you with a more comprehensive education. If you’re interested in a particular issue in law enforcement, such as terrorism or cyber crime, pursuing a graduate degree in police studies can prepare you for a specialized career. At the local or state level, your degree may qualify you for employment as a police officer, sheriff’s deputy, correctional officer, or criminal investigator. Federal law enforcement jobs include working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Customs and Border Patrol, Immigration Services, the Department of Homeland Security, or the Drug Enforcement Administration.
What Are the Degree Requirements?
Depending on what type of career you’re interested in, you could earn a police studies or law enforcement degree at the associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s level. The kinds of classes you may have to take include criminal law, criminal procedure, criminal investigation, restorative justice, forensics, terrorism, community policing, psychology, and sociology. In addition to meeting the educational requirements, there are other qualifications you’ll need to have to become a police officer. Generally, applicants must be able to successfully complete a physical training program and pass a criminal background check.
- Lamar University offers a Bachelors in Criminal Justice online and a Masters in Criminal Justice online. The BS in Criminal Justice is designed to help law enforcement professionals complete their degrees quickly by offering accelerated courses and providing opportunities to transfer work experience and training as academic credit. The MS in Criminal Justice is designed for professionals who want to progress to careers in the FBI, CIA or other federal security agencies.
Click here for more information on the BS or MS in Criminal Justice program information.
- The BA in Criminology at Arkansas State University is a 100% online program with affordable tuition that focuses its curriculum on developing an in-depth understanding of the big picture of crime and its social contexts. The 100% online B.A. degree program helps prepare you for a career in public service or criminal justice fields, including law enforcement.
Click here for more program information.
Job Outlook for Law Enforcement
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of police and other law enforcement officers is expected to increase by 7 percent through the year 2020. Hiring for positions at the state and federal levels tends to be more competitive and candidates who are bilingual or have previous military experience are highly desirable. The majority of law enforcement officers work as sheriff’s deputies or police patrolmen, but detectives and criminal investigators also account for a sizable segment of the field. As of May 2010, the median annual wage for a police officer was $55,010, with the highest salaries earned by detectives and those employed at the federal level.