A law enforcement degree can help students to pursue a variety of law enforcement professions that include parole/probation officer, corrections officer and police officer. A number of federal agencies and police departments require that candidates should have a bachelor’s or an associate degree in criminal justice or law enforcement. Today, universities are offering both campus based and distance learning programs focusing on criminal justice. These programs prepare candidates to succeed in entry level positions in the law enforcement departments. These programs provide training on constitutional, state and local laws as well as police ethics and civil rights.
Featured Programs and Schools
Since there will always be a need to ensure public safety, hence a career in the law enforcement field will always have bright prospects. Individuals who complete their undergraduate or associate degrees in law enforcement have the option of becoming correctional officers, police officers or probation officers. Candidates who have a law enforcement degree have better job prospects; hence applicants aspiring to join this profession should choose their degrees carefully.
The following list of Top 10 Law Enforcement Degree Programs in the US is based on acceptance rates, student reviews, student to teacher ratios, the percentage of students choosing the law enforcement major, etc.
- CUNY–John Jay College of Criminal Justice
This college is specifically tailored for those who want to have a career in the field of criminal justice or law enforcement. The college offers programs in criminal justice studies, forensic psychology and forensic sciences. Faculty members at John Jay College are world class researchers, practitioners and educators who have hands on experience in their fields. The students are given access to innovative teaching methods and are exposed to a range of courses. Its Bachelor program offers majors in criminal justice, criminal justice management, criminology, forensic science, forensic psychology, etc. The college also offers courses for in service and retired NYPD police officers. Its Master’s program includes courses like criminal justice, digital forensics and cyber security, forensic sciences, international crime and justice, amongst others.
- Liberty University
This university offers a B.S. in criminal justice that covers courses like juvenile justice, homeland security, criminal psychology, crime scene investigation, criminal justice, etc. It also offers Project based a certificate, M.S. and Ph.D. in criminal justice. The university offers both online project based courses. These courses help instructors to prepare candidates for positions in law enforcement departments.
- Northeastern University
The School of Criminology and Criminal justice at Northeastern University prepares candidates for supervisory, administrative, policy development and research positions within the criminal justice field. The B.S. program in criminal justice gives experiential education and rigorous training to the students. The courses taught cover criminal justice statistics, criminal justice research methods, criminology, psychology of crime, etc. M.S., joint JD/MS and Ph.D. programs in criminal justice are also offered by the university.
- University of California, Irvine
The university offers undergraduate, graduate and post graduate degrees in Criminology, Law & Society. These programs include courses in legal systems, forms of criminal behavior, juvenile and criminal justice, criminal justice policy, causes and consequences of crime, etc.
- University of Miami
The Department of Sociology at Miami University offers a B.A. in Criminology and a M.S. degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. The B.A. degree covers courses like juvenile delinquency, criminal justice, theories of deviant behavior, criminology, quantitative methods for sociologists and social research. The M.S. degree trains candidates in fundamentals of criminological theory, criminal justice system and research methods. Students are allowed to tailor their degrees through their chosen curricula tracks and electives.
- Penn State
Penn State offers an online B.S. degree in criminal justice. The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) has certified this degree. The university also offers an online Master of Professional Studies in criminal justice administration and policy. This program has 18 credits of core courses, while the remaining credits can be covered by choosing a number of electives.
- Howard University
The Department of Criminology and Sociology at Howard University offers the program ‘Administration of Justice’ at the undergraduate level. In addition, there are three areas of academic concentration at the Ph.D. level: (i) Medical Sociology, (ii) Criminology and (iii) Social Inequality.
- Florida A&M University
The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Florida A&M University offers Bachelors in Criminal Justice. The courses of this degree consist of juvenile justice, corrections, law enforcement, criminal law, research and theory. Students in this department have dedicated faculty members, small class sizes and numerous opportunities to complete full and part time internships.
- Keiser University
Keiser University offers Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Criminal justice. The university’s Sarasota and Flagship residential campuses offer a Criminal Justice Bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Forensics. Keiser University also offers shift friendly schedules for certified correctional and police officers who want to study while working.
- American University
American University’s Department of Justice, Law & Criminology is well renowned in the country. The degrees being offered include B.A. in Justice and Law, B.A. in Legal Studies, MS in Terrorism & Homeland Security Policy, MS in Justice, Law & Criminology and Ph.D. in Justice, Law & Criminology. These degrees blend a range of disciplines from law, social sciences, as well as humanities. The coursework is coupled with a number of research opportunities and challenging internships, which gives the candidates an edge in the job market.
The field of law enforcement is challenging both in terms of jobs descriptions and availability of jobs. Therefore it is highly advised that you get academically trained from a renowned university to get an edge in the job market.