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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Police Science

Majors Overview March 8, 2015

Some schools offer bachelor’s degree programs in police science as police studies programs; coursework is devised to train students in psychology, law, leadership, and criminal justice. Unlike other law enforcement programs, this one does not have physical or minimum age requirements to be fulfilled by incoming students.

Information on Police Science

Various educational avenues are available to those seeking jobs as police officers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Earning a high school diploma would fulfill the needs of students seeking admission in an agency’s training academy to go on to undergo on-the-job training.

However, candidates are required to have completed some college-level courses to seek employment with some other police agencies. Those aspiring to become federal agents would typically need to earn at least a bachelor’s degree.
Schools offer different degree programs to serve individuals that seek employment in a police agency, including:

•Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
•Bachelor of Science in Corrections
•Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement

Bachelor’s Programs in Police Science

Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in police studies are provided with a strong grasp of the law enforcement field and criminal justice system. Students can expect to become adept at creating safe neighborhoods through the addressing of causes of crime and management of resources.

It takes four years for students to complete most programs; however, schools offer some programs devised to serve the needs of professionals currently employed in law enforcement; students can complete these in two years. Schools also offer online programs as well as combined bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.

Education Prerequisites

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Some schools offer these programs as bachelor’s degree completion programs, and incoming students to such programs must be holders of related associate’s degrees whose coursework includes general education classes, such as English composition and math.


Prospective police professionals that complete the coursework can expect to become adept at conducting investigations, managing high-stress situations, and planning for emergencies. Apart from instruction about police administration, constitutional law, and police ethics, core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Crime mapping
•Community relations
•Search and seizure laws

Career Choices

In May 2012, 780,000 police officers and detectives were employed across the United States (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Those who graduate from the police science program can seek occupations in civilian as well as law enforcement fields and pursue positions such as:

•Insurance claims adjuster
•Immigration inspector
•Private security agent
•Air marshal
•Police officer
•Criminal investigator
•Intelligence analyst

Continuing Education Choices

New employees with particular employers in law enforcement, such as police departments, are required to undergo additional training, such as the FBI or police academy (BLS). Schools offer continuing education programs in topic areas such as the administration of justice, intelligence-led policing, criminology, criminal justice, and police leadership. Those who complete these programs may obtain doctoral degrees apart from master’s degrees or graduate certificates.

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