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Police Officer Schools and Colleges with Program Overview

Police officer schools take the form of state and regional police academies, but colleges can also offer police officer education. Prior to training at the police academy, some officers may be required to obtain college degrees.

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Although admission to a police academy often requires only a high school degree or equivalent GED, college degrees for police officers are also available. These programs are offered through 4-year institutions, and usually in the field of criminal justice or law enforcement.

Colleges that Offer Bachelor's Degrees in Criminal Justice/Police Science

These schools offer bachelor's degree programs that focus on criminal justice and related fields.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees 2015-2016*
Armstrong State University Savannah, GA 4-year, public Bachelor's $5,360 in-state
$15,616 out-of-state
George Mason University Fairfax, VA 4-year, public Bachelor's $10,952 in-state, $31,598 out-of-state
Metropolitan State University Saint Paul, MN 4-year, public Bachelor's $7,566 in-state, $14,394 out-of-state
Rowan University Glassboro, NJ 4-year, public Bachelor's $12,864 in-state
$20,978 out-of-state
Texas State University San Marcos, TX 4-year, public Bachelor's $9,348 in-state
$20,268 out-of-state
Washington State University Pullman, WA 4-year, public Bachelor's $11,967 in-state
$25,567 out-of-state
Western Connecticut State University Danbury, CT 4-year, public Bachelor's $9,516 in-state
$21,786 out-of-state
Texas A & M International University Laredo, TX 4-year, public Bachelor's $6,635 in-state
$16,150 out-of-state
University of Baltimore Baltimore, MD 4-year, public Bachelor's $8,326 in-state
$19,744 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Corrections Admin
  • Corrections, Probation, and Parole
  • Criminal Justice and Safety Studies
  • Criminal Science
  • Forensic Science
  • Juvenile Corrections
  • Law Enforcement Administration
  • Police Science and Law Enforcement
  • Securities Services Mgmt
  • Security and Theft Prevention Services

School Selection Criteria

When choosing a school, prospective students should keep these things in mind:

  • Students pursuing a college education may prefer to take advantage of criminal justice and police science programs that offer courses focusing on strength training and physical fitness since these are important aspects of police training.
  • While taking a foreign language course is required for most degrees, students may also benefit from criminal justice or police science programs that offer bilingual classes as part of its curriculum, especially for students who plan to work in areas with large non-English speaking populations.
  • Students might want to consider programs that offer internships or externships, which are 'shadowing' programs that generally last a few days, and co-ops, also known as cooperative education programs, which combine classroom instruction with paid work experience in one's field of interest.

Bachelor's Degree Overview

A bachelor's degree program in criminology or criminal justice includes courses in law, ethics and investigative practice. Students also learn about operation of the American judicial and correctional systems. A student may be able to specialize with electives in subjects such as juvenile crime or rehabilitation. Sociology and psychology courses are often included with the general education requirements in a criminal justice program to help prospective police officers better understand human behavior.

Aspiring police officers should look for programs that offer internships or externships to gain experience. Other considerations include whether programs offer courses in strength training and physical fitness or bilingual classes.

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