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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Loss Prevention

Majors Overview November 8, 2015

A security term called loss prevention refers to minimizing theft-related issues, including embezzlement, employee fraud, and shoplifting. Few schools, if any, offer master’s degrees in loss prevention; those interested in the field can earn a graduate degree in security administration, with a loss prevention concentration.

Master of Science (M.S.) Programs in Security Administration

A wide range of subject areas are in master’s degree programs in security administration, these include security systems, comparative security, and crime prevention. Students learn about managing security organizations, protecting computer information and analyzing crime statistics. Psychology, organizational behavior, and computer science, among other courses area also in the program.

Enrollees in these degree programs usually complete about 36 credit hours of coursework, and schools often present programs in flexible formats, especially as many students are employed in full-time occupations. Some schools offer several concentration choices within their security administration programs. Students wishing to concentrate on loss prevention subjects may opt for a specialization in organizational security or asset protection. Research and presentation of a comprehensive research project, such as a thesis, usually marks the culmination of graduate education in security administration.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree, in addition to meeting minimum test score requirements and submitting letters of recommendation.


Coursework covers subject areas such as ethics, criminal justice, and law. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Crime prevention and environmental design
•Security system evaluation
•Security Programming
•Occupational safety
•Interviewing techniques

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek careers with private security companies and law enforcement agencies. Graduates can also seek employment with retail businesses as directors or loss prevention managers. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Security guard
•Security consultant
•Private investigator
•Police officer
•Retail security

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a 12% job growth has been predicted for security guards (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Private investigators and detectives, including loss prevention agents in stores, are expected to see an 11% growth, over the same period. In May 2014, security guards brought in an average annual wage of $28,040 while private investigators and detectives earned $52,880.

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates who seek continuing education can enroll in a doctoral degree program in criminal justice that could lead to careers in research or academia. Alternatively, program graduates may earn a Master’s of Business Administration (M.B.A.) and seek executive positions in private security firms, and corporations.

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