Students who are interested in obtaining an advanced degree in the area of law enforcement may want to consider pursuing a Master of Public Administration (MPA). These programs equip students with valuable knowledge and skills to prepare them for a variety of leadership roles in the public sector. Below, we will explore these programs in greater detail by reviewing some commonly required courses and admission requirements.
MPA in Law Enforcement
If you are interested in enrolling in an MPA program in law enforcement, you will typically want to look for a traditional MPA program that offers a concentration in this field or a closely-related one. MPA programs with a concentration in criminal justice are more commonly offered. These programs generally combine a core MPA curriculum with law and criminal justice-specific courses. We will look at a few of these courses in greater detail below.
Criminal Justice System
These programs generally include a course near the beginning of the program that focuses on the foundations of the criminal justice system in the United States. Students learn about the history and function of the system, how it is set up, and what happens as someone moves through the system. Students also study the criminal justice system from the larger perspective of how it functions in society.
Theory of Crime
Students can also expect to take a course that focuses on the theory of crime and criminology. In a course like this, students study various factors that may motivate criminal behavior, the differences between major and lesser crimes, and how crime affects society. They also study current trends and issues in crime.
Law and Justice
MPA programs in law enforcement typically include a course that focuses on the role of law in criminal justice or public affairs. Students may study constitutional law and the amendments relevant to criminal prosecution. They might also examine the laws and regulatory processes that influence day-to-day operations in the public sector.
Crime and Public Policy
In a course that focuses on the intersection of crime and public policy, students learn about the various laws and initiatives aimed at reducing and preventing crime. Students study factors influencing public policy and the ways in which public policy relates to the law. They may also study the evolution of public policy over the years.
These programs also generally require that students take a course in research methods to better prepare them to conduct their own research. Students may learn both quantitative and qualitative research and design methods that will enable them to design surveys and questionnaires and collect data. This course may also focus specifically on research methods that work well in criminal justice and law enforcement.
General Admission Requirements for MPA Programs in Law Enforcement
To gain admission into an MPA program in law enforcement, students generally do not need to completed any specific undergraduate program or major, as these programs admit students from a wide variety of backgrounds. To apply, students will need to prepare a personal statement and submit bachelor's degree program transcripts, a resume, and an application form.
To summarize, students who are considering enrolling in an MPA program in law enforcement can find these programs, though they may have to select a different but closely-related concentration in criminal justice.