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Police Administration Certification and Degree Program Information

Police administration training comes in two forms: A bachelor's degree and a master's degree. Learn about these degrees and common courses within them, as well as potential careers and continuing education information.

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Essential Information

Those interested in a formal police administration education often pursue a related bachelor's or master's degree. A Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement and Police Administration can be finished in 4 years of full-time study. Coursework addresses administrative practices, investigations, security, emergency management, and fire services. Concentration options and a required internship with a criminal justice agency are included. Applicants must have a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) equivalent and satisfactory American College Testing (ACT) or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores.

2-year Master of Arts in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration students learn about criminal and civil liability, policing, administration, criminal justice system multicultural perspectives, criminal justice theory, and research techniques. A research project or thesis must be completed. Prospective enrollees must have a relevant bachelor's degree.


Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement and Police Administration

Undergraduate police administration studies prepare enrollees for operational positions within law enforcement and private security organizations, as they gain a thorough understanding of criminal justice key concepts. Examples of core courses include:

  • Law enforcement techniques
  • Internal or external security
  • Criminal investigation
  • Handling and documenting evidence
  • Emergency and fire administration
  • Contemporary issues in security

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Master of Arts in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration

Master-level curricula is designed to introduce a wide range of advanced criminal justice topics, concentrating on the research methodologies applicable to criminal justice. Some central topics are:

  • Advanced criminal justice theory
  • Police and diversity
  • Criminal justice ethics
  • Management techniques
  • Legal and social problems
  • Criminal justice research methodology

Popular Career Options

Completion of the bachelor's degree program in police administration will prepare students for entry-level opportunities with law enforcement agencies at the local, state, and federal level. Popular options are:

  • Court referral officer
  • Security specialist
  • Court manager
  • Police officer

Those with a master's degree in justice administration can apply for a variety of opportunities with law enforcement agencies in the public and private sector. Positions include:

  • Chief probation officer
  • Chief of police
  • Court services administrator
  • Director of security operations

Continuing Education Information

Students who have completed an undergraduate program in police administration can pursue a master's degree. The master's degree focuses in more detail on the criminal justice system and the role of the law enforcement administrator. The master's degree also prepares students for study in a doctoral or law degree program.

Students who have completed the master's program can pursue their Ph.D. However, the doctoral degree in law enforcement administration is designed for students who wish to pursue teaching and research careers at a major college or university.

In police administration bachelor's and master's programs, students learn about the operational roles, functions, and approaches in the criminal justice system and get an understanding of emergency response tactics and criminal investigations. Many jobs are open to graduates at both levels, with doctoral learning as a terminal degree for those interested.

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