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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Police Management

Majors Overview March 10, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in police management and their coursework, career choices, and job and wage outlook.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Police Management

Employers usually hire candidates with only a high school diploma or an associate’s degree in criminal justice or a related field augmented by state certification. Earning a bachelor’s degree in police management can benefit both those who seek entry-level jobs and others that seek career advancement within the field.

Coursework within a bachelor’s degree program covers the fundamentals of law enforcement, such as judicial administration, firearms safety, patrol techniques, and investigatory procedures.

Students enrolled in the program gain a basic grasp of the court system, routine law enforcement tasks, corrections, and police administration. Before candidates can seek employment as police officers, they must complete a four-year degree program followed by state-level certification. Certified training is offered at many schools via an affiliated academy.

First aid, emergency response, and crime scene investigation are covered within the majority of programs. Students can also expect to become adept at questioning witnesses and collecting evidence. The program may include an internship, during which students can apply these and other skills; internships are devised to help graduates train for leadership or investigative roles in law enforcement.


The curriculum covers not only basic law enforcement education, but also problem-solving skills within the communities and police forces that graduates may serve. Through basic police courses, law enforcement operations and criminal procedure are explored, while management courses facilitate the discussion of organizational behavior issues, human resources, and psychology in crime prevention. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Evidence collection
•Organizational management
•Law enforcement theory
•Constitutional law
•Probation and corrections

Career Choices

Holding a high school diploma or a two-year degree augmented by state certification is the most common route to a police officer’s job. Undergoing firearms training and obtaining licensure to carry a pistol may also be required. Candidates require a four-year degree for many federal law enforcement positions. Those seeking to become a sheriff would need to get elected to the post.

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of five percent has been predicted for police officers and detectives over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, police and sheriff’s patrol officers brought home $56,980, while over the same period, first-line supervisors of police and detectives as well as detectives and criminal investigators earned respective average wages of $78,270 and $74,300 (BLS).

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