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Schools with Police Management Programs: How to Choose

Police managers work in administrative roles in police departments or similar agencies. Training programs are available at numerous degree levels and in a wide variety of programs types in this field of study.

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Aspiring police managers might consider enrolling in an associate's or bachelor's degree program in law enforcement and criminal justice administration, police administration or criminology. Higher level positions such as chief of police, deputy director or director of security at a university or private business may require graduate-level education.

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Top 10 Schools with Criminology Programs

The following list includes a number of public schools that offer degrees in criminology.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition
(2015-2016)*
University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $9,996; Out-of-state Undergraduate $31,144; In-state Graduate $11,376; Out-of-state Graduate $24,534
University at Albany - SUNY Albany, NY 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $8,996; Out-of-state Undergraduate $22,116; In-state Graduate $10,870; Out-of-state Graduate $22,210
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $11,000; Out-of-state Undergraduate $26,334; In-state Graduate $12,790; Out-of-state Graduate $24,532
University of Missouri- St. Louis St. Louis, MO 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $9,394; Out-of-state Undergraduate $23,812; In-state Graduate $10,459; Out-of-state Graduate $25,176
Pennsylvania State University - University Park University Park, PA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $17,514; Out-of-state Undergraduate $31,346; In-state Graduate $19,328; Out-of-state Graduate $33,142
University of California- Irvine Irvine, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $13,252; Out-of-state Undergraduate $37,960; In-state Graduate $11,220; Out-of-state Graduate $26,322
Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $6,507; Out-of-state Undergraduate $21,673; In-state Graduate $9,684; Out-of-state Graduate $24,116
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $13,560; Out-of-state Undergraduate $36,360; In-state Graduate $16,122; Out-of-state Graduate $31,674
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Newark Newark, NJ 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $13,597; Out-of-state Undergraduate $28,987; In-state Graduate $16,272; Out-of-state Graduate $27,648
CUNY - John Jay College New York, NY 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's In-state Undergraduate $6,810; Out-of-state Undergraduate $13,920; In-state Graduate $10,130; Out-of-state Graduate $18,720

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Selection Criteria

There are a number of factors to consider when selecting a program in this field.

  • Consider individual interests when researching programs as the programs vary widely in their approach.
  • Many schools offer work/study programs that allow for experiential courses, but take longer to complete.
  • Consider if the school offers internships or other opportunities to gain practical experience.

Associate's Degrees in Justice Administration

Coursework at a 2-year community college typically begins with general education requirements, such as English composition, history, math and social sciences. Once students have satisfied this part of the program, they focus on specific courses in police science or criminal justice.

Bachelor's Degrees in Police Administration

While most bachelor's degree programs require four years of study, colleges that offer work-study programs in which students alternate between classroom study and on-the-job training may require five years to complete. Managerial communications, ethics, leadership, financial management and organizational change are examples of courses that can help train future police managers. Bachelor's degree programs usually offer specialized electives in police administration, such as law enforcement planning, community policing, and legal understanding of evidence.

Many institutions across the United States offer undergraduate and graduate programs in law enforcement, criminal justice, police administration and criminology. A degree in one of these disciplines is necessary to compete for positions in police management.

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