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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Policing & Investigation

Majors Overview November 9, 2015

Master’s degree programs in policing and investigation are not available. Those still interested should look into Master of Science in Criminal Justice (M.S.C.J.) programs, which teach several aspects of criminal investigation and policing work.

Master’s Programs in Policing & Investigation

Courses in ethics, law, public safety and police science are all in a Master of Science in Criminal Justice (M.S.C.J.) degree program. These programs provide students with a solid grasp of every facet of criminal investigations and law enforcement. Students in the majority of these programs have to complete 36-40 credit hours of coursework and can usually complete the program within two years. Many programs have flexible formats to accommodate working professionals and may include weekend or online class sessions.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field. In some programs, applicants have to submit GRE scores, and if they are not native English speakers, they may have to submit TOEFL scores as well. Requirements include the submission of a statement of purpose, letters of recommendation and undergraduate transcripts. A copy of their resume may have to be submitted by currently employed students.

Coursework

Program coursework covers advanced training and skills in every facet of peacekeeping law enforcement, and criminal investigation. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Terrorism
•Patrol procedures
•Police Administration
•Forensic science
•Crime scene investigation
•Fingerprinting
•Criminology
•Use of force
•Corrections
•Interrogation techniques

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek careers in various roles in the law enforcement field, including available job positions such as:

•Law Librarian
•Court administrator
•Criminologist
•Private investigator
•Prison warden
•Coroner
•FBI agent
•Penologist
•Counterintelligence agent
•Corrections facilities manager

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, private detectives and investigators can expect a eleven percent job growth. Police and detectives are expected to witness a five percent job growth over the same period (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, detectives and criminal investigators brought in an average annual wage of $74,300 while sheriff’s patrol and police officers earned $55,270 per annum, on average.

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates can pursue continuing education by enrolling in a doctorate program or an additional post-graduate degree in forensic science, or public administration. They may also look for a law school to pursue a career as an attorney in either the public or the private sector. Students may also go on to seek careers as instructors.

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Quick Fact
In 2018, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma.*
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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