Best Master's Degrees for a Job in Law Enforcement

Individuals have a variety of master's degrees options that can prepare them for a career in law enforcement. Several of the best graduate degree options, including those in criminal justice and disaster and emergency management, for this field are covered here. Schools offering Law Enforcement degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Master's Degrees Good for Law Enforcement Jobs

Individuals interested in law enforcement careers may choose to pursue master's degrees in areas such as disaster and emergency management, homeland security, or criminal justice. These programs could help them prepare for specialized careers within law enforcement or for leadership or administration positions. These graduate programs are outlined in detail below, and you can see samples of common courses in the programs, such as environmental risks, organizational and leadership management, United States homeland security programs, ethical considerations in criminal justice administration, and the impact of trauma and crisis intervention.

Master of Science in Disaster and Emergency Management

A Master of Science in Disaster and Emergency Management program provides training in all aspects of hazard management from prevention to recovery.This degree combines aspects from areas such as public health, public administration, criminal justice, and fire service. Graduates can work in either the private or public sector. Some of the general coursework for this program includes:

Environmental Risks

A master's program in disaster and emergency management typically includes a course on the environmental hazards possible during a disaster. Students can learn about the proper handling and transporting for various hazardous materials, including farming, mechanical, and physical hazards. They may also study industry standards and best practices. Upon course completion, students should be prepared to design and implement contingency plans for disaster response.

Organizational and Leadership Management

Disaster and emergency management students could also take courses in organizational and leadership management. This course provides training on how to organize and activate personnel in the event of a disaster. Topics of study may include conflict resolution, 21st century management methods, and positional power and authority.

Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security

A master's degree in homeland security will provide individuals with training to work in the public, private, or non-profit sectors; some programs have concentration options, such as in counterterrorism. Students in these programs can learn about threat assessment and terrorism data analysis. Two courses student may see in the curriculum include:

Terrorism Overview

Homeland security master's degree programs usually include a course on the motivations behind terroristic acts. Students will examine the social, political, and financial aspects in play for both domestic and international terrorism. They could also study well-known terrorist attacks and current threats throughout the world. By better understanding what causes terrorism, students could be able to help develop counterterrorism strategies.

United States Homeland Security Programs

Students pursuing their master's in homeland security may take a course on the current security programs within the United States. This course may cover the creation and implementation of such programs. Students also receive training on current homeland security policies and administration.

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

A Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program includes studies on the criminal justice system, social control theories, and criminal behaviors. Students can earn their degree in 16-18 months with some programs. The descriptions for two criminal justice courses are provided here:

Ethical Considerations in Criminal Justice Administration

Students pursuing a master's degree in criminal justice may examine the relationship between ethics and administering justice. They will analyze how the justice system is organized within the United States, along with issues surrounding the current practices to reduce crime. Areas of study could include how to keep personnel motivated, professional ethics, various leadership theories, and organizational deviance.

Impact of Trauma and Crisis Intervention

Criminal justice master's degree programs typically provide training on the impact of trauma and crisis intervention. Students learn about how trauma affects both individuals and society as a whole, along with the role of trauma within the criminal justice system. The course may explore various types of trauma, such as international trauma, child maltreatment, and chronic, traumatic issues, and the appropriate treatment methods. Students gain an understanding of how trauma theory intersects with law enforcement and be able to utilize these theories in practical application.

Law Enforcement-Related Master's Degrees Program Admissions Criteria

Potential students will need a bachelor's degree for acceptance into one of these master's degree programs. A minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) is often required; however, some programs may waive the GPA requirement if applicants have relevant work experience or a graduate degree in a related discipline. Scores from tests like the GRE or GMAT are usually part of the admissions process, with some programs offering waivers if students meet a GPA requirement or possess required work experience. The admissions process for master's degree programs could include an online application, processing fee, official transcripts, references or recommendation letters, a personal essay or statement of purpose, and a resume.

Individuals considering a career in law enforcement can pursue a master's degree in many disciplines, including homeland security, criminal justice, and disaster and emergency management. Common admission requirements to master's programs include a bachelor's degree and a minimum grade point average.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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