What You Should Know About This Degree
The main purpose of a master’s in law enforcement degree is to help students move from entry-level positions into managerial roles. Most programs require applicants to have an educational or work background in law enforcement before enrolling, and some programs only take officers who have graduated from a police academy. Make sure you meet all of a program’s requirements before applying.
Additionally, a master’s degree isn’t always required to advance within a law enforcement agency. Sometimes it’s possible to move up if you meet certain internal valuation and experience metrics. Of course, a master’s degree doesn’t hurt, and it also makes you more attractive to other agencies.
Online programs can mostly be completed remotely, but they may have brief in-person requirements. Make sure you account for any such requirements and how they’ll fit around your current obligations.
Before working for a law enforcement agency, you’ll have to pass drug screenings, background checks, and other evaluations. While certain situations may be excusable, serious infractions can prevent you from securing jobs. For example, you might need to reconsider this field if you have a previous felony conviction.
Consider these questions while evaluating master’s in law enforcement administration programs:
- How long does it take to complete this online degree? Most of these degree programs require between 30 to 36 credits, and many are set up on a year-round schedule. If you attend full-time, you can likely complete a degree within two years.
- Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? Programs may offer both synchronous and asynchronous classes. The former are given at a set time and attended by all students, while the latter have work that can be done on your own schedule. Consider how each of these formats might fit into your schedule.
Determine which schools meet your criteria; then research the required admissions materials and deadlines. You can get these details by visiting a school’s website or contacting the school directly.
Also give thought to how you’ll pay for a program. You can learn about financial aid and scholarship options from schools, and your employer might offer tuition reimbursement. Fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you’re eligible for federal funds.