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Bachelor of Professional Studies Programs in Police Science

Read about the courses you'd take as a student in a bachelor's degree program in police science. Check the availability of online degree programs in this field. Review your job options in law enforcement, and get info on continuing your education in a graduate program related to police science.

What Will I Study While Earning a Bachelor's Degree in Police Science?

Your coursework in a police science program is intended to strengthen your core understanding of law and law enforcement. You will receive specific, career-focused training related to your day-to-day responsibilities as a police officer. Topics you will cover include crime prevention, crisis management, traffic control and community patrolling. You will also study criminal behavior with regard to behavioral psychology, violent behavior and dealing with criminals in dangerous situations.

A Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) is similar to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, but the BPS is usually awarded in career fields. You may also find that BPS programs are offered through the professional development or continuing education divisions of colleges and universities rather than the standard academic departments. Regardless of the type of bachelor's degree they grant, all police science programs will give you nearly the same skills and training.

Common Courses Crisis management, behavioral psychology, crime prevention, community patrolling, criminal behavior
Online Availability Online programs are available
Possible Careers FBI agent, police officer, detective, highway patrol officer, secret service agent
Median Salary (2018)$63,380 (Police and Detectives)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)7% growth (Police and Detectives)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Are Online or Other Non-Traditional Options Available?

You can earn a bachelor's degree in police science online. In an online program, you will use a course management platform, such as Blackboard, to watch recorded lectures, submit homework assignments and complete exams. You can communicate with faculty and fellow students through the same platform, using message boards, e-mail and chat features. To study online, you will need a computer with high-speed Internet access.

Since bachelor's degree programs in police science are often designed for working police officers, you will find other non-traditional formats available. It is very common for these programs to be structured with evening or weekend classes. Many programs offer formats in which you can complete all of your coursework without morning or afternoon requirements.

What Career Options Can I Pursue?

A police science degree prepares you for work in many types of law enforcement, all of which may require further training. This includes work as a uniformed police officer, detective, court bailiff and highway patrol officer. You may also seek employment with a federal law enforcement agency, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Secret Service or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

You can also pursue graduate study in order to advance into a management position or transition to a related career. Graduate fields you may pursue that are related to police science include criminal justice, law and criminal psychology.