Masters Degree in Law Enforcement

As long as there is crime, the need for law enforcement will always be there. Upholding the law and social order is necessary for safety and peace within a society. There are a number of institutes set up that enforce law and apprehend criminals of all kinds. The Homeland Security Department, The Police Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are just a few of the main agencies that set a prime example of law enforcement in the US. The demand for law enforcement officials is steadily growing in many states. Did you know that patrol officer jobs have been ranked among the best occupations by US News and World Report?

Masters in Law Enforcement

Students interested in pursuing a career in Law enforcement can prepare themselves with the help of a master’s degree in this field. A master in law enforcement is a graduate-level program designed to equip students with advanced knowledge and career-skills necessary for the industry. The program has a typical duration of two years.


The degree program will cover numerous areas relevant to law enforcement. You will be required to complete all the course units. In most law enforcement programs, the curriculum will entail theoretical subjects, practical assignments, case studies, and project work. The exact curriculum may vary slightly from school to school. Each unit of the program carries credit hours. You will have to earn a minimum number of credit hours to complete the program. The credit hours requirement will depend upon the selected school, but generally range between 30-70 credits. Listed below are a few subjects you will be studying in a masters in law enforcement:

  • Crime Causation, Prevention, and Control (2-3 credits)

There are all kinds of criminal activities that take place within our society. In this course, you will learn about various theories of crime causation and how these are translated from theory to policy.

  • Criminology (2-3 credits)

This is one of the most important subjects covered in the program. Criminology focuses upon the scientific study of criminals and crime. You will learn about the psychological causes of crime and the society’s response to it.

  • Counterterrorism and Intelligence (2-3 credits)

You will develop a strong understanding of the meaning of terrorism (domestic and international). This course will provide insight on how intelligence is integrated to understand counterterrorism concepts.

  • Quantitative Methods in Criminal Justice Research (2-3 credits)

This course is designed to help you build research skills. You will learn how to use various statistical methods and approaches for collecting and analyzing data.

  • Professional Writing for Law Enforcement (2-3 credits)

In this course, you will develop writing skills and will learn how to analyze legal documents.

  • Homeland Security (2-3 credits)

The homeland security course is one of the main areas of study. This course covers the functions and operations of the homeland security department.

  • Policing and Investigations (2-3 credits)

This course will highlight the various techniques used for investigating criminals and suspects. You will acquire a brief understanding of criminal investigation procedures.

  • Globalization of Crime

This course highlights the international criminal activities that take place and what measures are used. You will learn about drug smuggling, human trafficking, and illegal immigration in this part of the program.

What Skills you will Develop

  • Analytical skills
  • Research skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Writing skills

Requirements for Admission

  • You must have a bachelor degree and will need to submit your transcripts
  • Minimum 2.5 CGPA requirements (Minimum C-grade in courses)
  • Fill out and submit the admission form before the deadline
  • 1 or 2 letters of recommendation

Other specific requirements will generally vary from school to school. It is recommended that you seek information about the admission process from the prospective institutes.

What Can You Do With a Masters Degree in Law Enforcement?

With a master’s degree in law enforcement, you can pursue careers in different law enforcement agencies such as the police department, homeland security department, corrections facility, border patrol agency, or even the FBI. Law enforcement is basically our front line defense, but you can also choose work at administrative positions in law enforcement agencies. The training requirements will depend upon the career-path you choose. Each department has defined its own criteria for law enforcement officials. Here are a few options you can consider:

Police Officer

  • Median pay (2012, BLS): $56,980
  • Growth rate: 5%
  • Training: state or local police academy

Correctional Officers

  • Median pay (2012, BLS): $38,970
  • Growth rate: 5%
  • Training: 1-2 years formal training at a federally sponsored academy

Probations Officer

  • Median pay (2012, BLS): $48,190
  • Growth rate: not specified
  • Training: federal or state sponsored academy

Private Detectives and Investigators

  • Median pay (2012, BLS): $45,740
  • Growth rate: 11%
  • Training: on-the-job

* All figures reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Prospects and Advancements

Careers in the field of law enforcement can be challenging as well as dangerous. You can also excel in your chosen career and advance towards high-paying occupations. Many individuals in law enforcement earn further qualifications and certifications, and move into different avenues of law enforcement.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Masters Degree in Law Enforcement?

Master's degree in law enforcement typically requires the successful completion of 30 to 36 credit hours, depending on the institute and program you enroll in. This roughly translates to 2 years of full time study or 3-5 years of part-time or online classes.

What Are the Requirements to Get a Masters Degree in Law Enforcement?

Most law enforcement positions require applicants to hold some level of undergraduate or graduate studies. To get a master's degree in law enforcement, students will have to meet certain coursework requirements, along with a capstone project towards the end of their program. Courses you might cover include leadership, public safety law, conflict resolution, criminal justice, legal systems, community assessment, budgeting and finance etc. You might be able to get transfer credits for specific law enforcement experience you had prior to applying.

How Much Can I Make with a Masters Degree in Law Enforcement?

The amount of money you make with a master’s degree in law enforcement depends on what career path you choose. For instance, you may choose to become a Customs and Border Protection Officer, the Chief of Police, FBI or CIA Agent, a Criminal Profiler or a Criminologist. Since most of these are government jobs, the salary you earn will typically come with a lot of additional benefits, such as health, and long-term benefits.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:Are there any scholarships for the Graduate Criminal Investigations degrees?

A:The Graduate Criminal Investigations degrees are offered on scholarships at some of the most renowned universities and schools throughout the United States. To maximize your chances of approval for the scholarship it is advised to apply well before the deadline, since the seats are limited.

Q:Can you please tell me what are the areas of discussion in the Social Impact of Technology lesson of the Master of Law Enforcement degree program?

A:The Social Impact of Technology lesson is a very contemporary and generic lesson of the Master of Law Enforcement degree program. This lesson makes the students examine the broader implications that technology has and innovation has over social organizations in political, personal, environmental as well as economic term. You will be discussing the various issues related to technological advancements in this lesson.

Q:What are the contents of the Criminal Law course in the Masters of Policing programs?

A:In the United States, heavy stress is laid on the Criminal Law course in Masters of Policing programs. The course is worth 4 credits and tries to examine the very fundamentals of the substantive criminal law as well as procedures that may be unique or peculiar in a criminal case. Other areas of discussion in the course are plea bargaining and the study of criminal trial.

Q:What are the contents of the course on Business Analysis in the Masters of Law Enforcement?

A:The Masters Of Law Enforcement has the dedicated course on Business Analysis. This course usually is worth 2 credits in total. It is designed to provide students with ample understanding of the various levels of algebraic concepts and how they can help in improving the business environment as well as solving the various types of issues.

Q:What are the career prospects of a master law enforcement?

A:Since 9/11, national security and public safety is a major concern and therefore more and more professionals are required to fill in the gaps in the security structure. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that opportunities in the field of law enforcement will increase by 16%, and almost three million new jobs are expected to turn up in this field by 2018. Master of Law Enforcement is therefore an ideal degree to pursue.

Q:What is a masters in law enforcement administration program aimed at?

A:A masters degree in law enforcement administration is geared towards providing students with in-depth understanding of administrative tasks and processes. The program will cover a wide range of subjects that will equip students with skills needed to pursue administrative roles in law enforcement agencies. Take a look at our page for more detail.

Q:What admission requirements do I need for a masters degree in law enforcement?

A:Admission requirements for a masters degree in law enforcement will vary from school to school. Most universities will require an application form, resume, statement of purpose and transcripts of prior education. These requirements are standardized for online and on-campus degrees. To pursue a master degree the student must hold a bachelor's degree from an institute recognized by regional accreditation agencies.

Q:How can I do a law enforcement masters degree online?

A:There are over 200 schools in the US offering law enforcement masters online. For most schools you will be asked to fill an application and provide your transcripts to the institution and if you fit their admission criteria you can begin your online law enforcement masters online. Normally you should have completed an undergraduate degree in a related field of study to qualify for a master's program.

Q:Can you tell me what DEA agents do and if I can become one after pursuing law enforcement masters programs?

A:Yes, you can pursue a career working as a DEA agent after completing a master's degree in law enforcement .DEA agents are responsible for enforcing laws and regulations pertaining to usage and possession of illegal drugs. According to the US Drug Enforcement administration website, DEA agents are usually hired at the GS-7 or GS-9 level, depending upon prior education and experience.

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