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Law Enforcement Bachelor's Degree Program

A law enforcement bachelor's degree program can train you for numerous criminal justice careers, such as corrections officer or agency administrator. Keep reading to learn more about these degree programs, including course information and what kind of career you'll be prepared for.

What Is a Law Enforcement Bachelor's Degree Program Like?

A law enforcement bachelor's degree program can prepare you for many careers in the criminal justice field, including policing, administration or investigation. While programs may go by the name criminal justice or police science, much of the coursework is the same. If you'd like to earn your degree from home, there are some online options as well.

You can find programs that prepare you for licensure as a police officer, and you may be able to attend a police academy as part of your bachelor's degree program. Other law enforcement programs are intended to be a foundation for your career, and you may need to undergo further training if you want to work as an FBI agent.

Program NamesLaw enforcement, criminal justice or police science
Course TopicsCriminal psychology, crisis evaluation, sociology and evidence; police academy or internships may be available
Career OptionsPolice officer, loss prevention agent, security guard and probation officer; further training may be necessary for some careers
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)

What Will I Learn?

The courses you take in a law enforcement bachelor's degree program cover police work, criminal psychology and deductive reasoning. You learn the history and sociology of crime in the U.S. and gain a thorough understanding of the laws and codes enforced and upheld by professionals. These courses give you the ability to evaluate crisis situations, preserve individuals' rights, collect and investigate evidence, resolve crises and apprehend suspects.

If your law enforcement bachelor's degree program qualifies you for licensure as a police officer or other agent of the law, you also take courses that meet the requirements set by your state. While some programs give you the option of attending a police academy, others offer an internship that lets you experience first-hand what it's like to work in law enforcement.

What Kind of Career Can I Have?

A criminal justice or law enforcement bachelor's degree gives you many career options. According to Payscale.com, people who have a criminal justice bachelor's degree have careers as FBI agents, crime analysts, detectives, police officers, probation officers and loss prevention agents. Other career options include security guards, legal secretaries, fraud investigators and intelligence analysts.

The training you need to pursue some law enforcement careers goes beyond your bachelor's degree program. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you need a bachelor's degree, experience and rigorous additional training to become an FBI agent (www.bls.gov). A bachelor's degree is typically required to work as a probation officer.