Best Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost % Enrolled Online Location Description
1 Michigan State University 74.71 3/5 18% East Lansing, MI

Michigan University's master of science in judicial administration focuses on issues and trends in judicial policy and administration, both in the U.S. and internationally. Students can complete the 30-credit master's in law enforcement administration program in just two years. Sample course topics include national and global trends in court planning, policy analysis under conditions of change, and courthouse planning: space, technology, security, and disaster recovery.

Asynchronous coursework, delivered through the Dream2Learn platform, includes weekly readings, small-group case problems, and occasional research papers. All students complete a final research-based policy analysis paper as part of their degree requirements. Students may transfer up to nine eligible, graduate-level credits with department approval. Online program tuition rates are the same for both in- and out-of-state students. Applications are submitted in February for admission in the following fall semester. Program admission requirements include minimum GRE scores (if an applicant's undergraduate GPA was less than 3.2) and three letters of recommendation.

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2 University of San Diego 69.43 4/5 0% San Diego, CA

Launched in 2015, USD's online law enforcement master's degree offers in-depth study of modern criminal justice issues and delivers opportunities for students to develop management and leadership skills. This master of science in law enforcement & public safety leadership curriculum promotes a collaborative and community-based approach to shaping law enforcement policy and managing organizations. Covered topics include conflict resolution and negotiation, multimedia communication approaches, and budgeting and resource allocation. The curriculum is primarily skills-based. Sequential, asynchronous courses follow a year-round structure, with three 14-week terms per year. Students can complete all the required 31 credits over five semesters, or 20 months. Students may be eligible to transfer up to six graduate-level credits toward their program requirements.

Law enforcement and public safety professionals, along with active military service members and their families, are eligible for tuition discounts. Flexible payment plans are broken into five installments each semester and allow students to effectively budget their resources.

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3 Sam Houston State University 67.27 3/5 37% Huntsville, TX

Located in Huntsville, Texas, SHSU offers innovative and career-oriented programs, including an MS in criminal justice leadership and management. This online master's in law enforcement management program is designed for mid- to upper-level criminal justice professionals seeking to advance their careers to a management-level position. As part of the application process, prospective students are required to provide evidence of current employment in the criminal justice field, with no less than three years experience in a related agency or two years experience in a leadership role.

Accelerated courses last less than two months, and online students usually take two courses each semester for a total of 18 credits per year. The 36-credit program offers courses such as emergent issues in criminal justice leadership, leadership psychology in criminal justice management, and tech applications for criminal justice. Students must earn a B or better in a final capstone course to graduate.

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4 Wilmington University 66.59 3/5 52% New Castle, DE

Wilmington's master of science in administration of justice, which can be completed entirely online, is available with concentrations in areas like leadership and administration and homeland security. Students also have the option of earning an additional post-master's certificate in homeland security to broaden their law enforcement administration job opportunities at managerial or academic levels.

The program's leadership and administration track offers in-depth knowledge of managerial and administrative functions in criminal justice organizations, while the homeland security track explores pressing contemporary issues like terrorism, security management, and legal policies. The required 36 credits are composed of five core courses, four major-specific courses, and three elective courses. A thesis is optional and encouraged for those students who plan to pursue a doctorate. All course content, structured in an asynchronous format, is accessed via the Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS). Wilmington's streamlined admissions process requires only that students complete an application and submit an official transcript from an accredited bachelor's program.

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5 University of the Cumberlands 65.70 3/5 27% Williamsburg, KY

With its main campus located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, UC delivers a flexibly structured and affordable master's in law enforcement administration. The program is designed for students looking to enter the law enforcement field for the first time, and for criminal justice professionals who want to advance their knowledge and skills in management. UC's master of science in criminal justice administration program, specifically geared toward nontraditional students who need an asynchronous course schedule, can be completed in as little as a year with a full-time course load. All program requirements must be completed within four years of program enrollment.

Students complete 18 credits of foundational coursework and can choose from 12 electives to further customize their degree, with career-specific options like family violence, corrections administration, and juvenile justice administration and management. A competitive tuition rate is offered to all online students. All criminal justice faculty at UC have years of experience in their field and most have a PhD in their area of expertise.

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6 Bellevue University 63.37 3/5 84% Bellevue, NE

Bellevue University is a private, nonprofit, postsecondary institution offering small class sizes and accelerated courses that allow for immediate, real-world application of learned content and skills. Appropriate for criminal justice professionals at all experience levels, Bellevue's 36-credit online master's in law enforcement management program teaches students about law enforcement at all levels, with an emphasis on crime management. Students complete their master of science in justice administration and crime management degree as part of an assigned cohort, a structure that offers opportunities to form peer relationships and seek networking opportunities. Students graduate with a range of field-specific knowledge and skills in areas like interdisciplinary research, budget development, and evaluation of the effectiveness of criminal investigations. Program admission requirements include an accredited bachelor's or master's degree, along with a minimum GPA of 2.5 in undergraduate work or 3.0 in graduate work.

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7 Arizona State University-Skysong 60.49 3/5 90% Scottsdale, AZ

ASU's master of public safety leadership and administration with a concentration in executive police administration is a 33-credit online law enforcement degree that can be completed in one year. Students learn elements of law enforcement agency management and gain policy and leadership skills in public administration. ASU online courses are developed with input from experts in the field and are assessed regularly by instructional designers as part of the school's Quality Matters program. A mentored final project allows students to apply knowledge learned to real-world practice along their chosen career path.

Graduates are qualified to serve in management roles within a diverse set of legal and administrative settings, including federal and tribal law enforcement agencies, child support services, and homeland security units. Graduate students have an average 90% success rate in finding a relevant job within 90 days of graduation. Competitive tuition costs are offered to all distance learners, regardless of state of residence.

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8 Chaminade University of Honolulu 60.04 3/5 47% Honolulu, HI

CUH's master's of science in criminal justice administration is designed for criminal justice professionals and those new to the field who are interested in pursuing career paths in local and federal law enforcement, homeland security, private investigation, parole and corrections, and law.

Students in this master's in law enforcement administration program have up to five years to complete 42 credits of coursework. Average completion time for the degree is 18 to 24 months. Online courses run in a 10-week format, with students taking at least two courses per term. Courses require one weekly synchronous evening meeting, with all other asynchronous coursework accessed through the Canvas LMS. Example course topics include constitutional law, terrorism and justice, and crisis negotiations. All students must complete a final capstone course. Students who earn a cumulative GPA of 3.4 during their program may be eligible for induction into Alpha Phi Sigma, the national honor society for criminal justice. Students may also be eligible for an endowed scholarship through the university.

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9 National University 59.70 4/5 73% La Jolla, CA

National University's master's of science in homeland security and emergency management is an interdisciplinary degree that covers the latest technology and sector knowledge in homeland security, anti-terrorism, and emergency management in response to both manmade and natural disasters. The curriculum fosters a global mindset in security, as well as in managing systems, resources, and policies across all three domains. This online master's in law enforcement management program requires students to complete 54 credits, 13 1/2 of which may be transferred from qualifying courses taken at another graduate-level institution. A final mandatory capstone course, which can be completed as an individual or group, requires students to complete a project or thesis that addresses a major issue in homeland security and/or emergency management.

Students can submit an online application at any time and begin their program on their own schedule. National University is a military-friendly school and, as a member of the Servicemembers Opportunity College, accepts nontraditional credit based on military experience.

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10 Salve Regina University 57.71 4/5 2% Newport, RI

SRU's main campus is located in Newport, Rhode Island. Students in the school's master's of science in administration of justice and homeland security program can choose a concentration in either leadership in justice or cybersecurity and intelligence. Coursework in both fields focuses on theory and the underlying processes of the justice system. The 36-credit online law enforcement degree program covers core topics like public policy in the global environment and constitutional issues. To graduate, students must complete a capstone project on an emergent global or social issue in the justice system. Instruction is delivered by expert faculty, 84% of whom have a terminal degree in their field. A six-credit supervised thesis is optional. State- and federal-level internships are available for interested students. Applications requirements include two letters of professional reference and all official college transcripts.

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11 University of Alaska Fairbanks 56.44 2/5 41% Fairbanks, AK

UAF's master's of arts in administration of justice immerses students in the theoretical and practical applications of the systems, structure, and administration of the criminal justice field. The program consists of six foundational courses, two electives, and a research project or thesis. Example course topics include community/restorative justice, justice program planning and grant writing, and media and public relations. Though most coursework is completed online, students are required to complete a one-week residency at the Fairbanks campus at the end of their program. During this residency, students complete a comprehensive exam and defend either a thesis or a project.

UAF offers competitive tuition rates for all distance learners. Graduates in this degree program have gone on to pursue various law enforcement administration jobs, including criminal investigators, natural resource managers, and probation officers. Admission requirements include official transcripts from a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

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12 Columbia College 53.44 3/5 66% Columbia, MO

Originally founded in 1851, Columbia College now enrolls nearly 16,000 students in its online courses each year. Students benefit from a tuition rate that is, on average, half the cost of a traditional private nonprofit or for-profit university.

Columbia College's master's of science in criminal justice administration with a concentration in law enforcement administration is designed for professionals looking to continue their education in graduate studies and/or advance to an administrative leadership role in their career. The master's in law enforcement administration curriculum emphasizes four key areas: criminal justice trends, policy creation and analysis, ethics, and research design. In addition to 27 credits of foundational courses, students complete four degree-specific electives, including development of standard operating procedure and law enforcement and the community. Students must earn a minimum grade of B in their major courses to earn the specialty designation of "Law Enforcement Administration" on their final diploma.

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13 Tiffin University 53.43 4/5 30% Tiffin, OH

Tiffin University offers a master's of science in criminal justice, with concentrations in justice administration or homeland security administration. The justice administration track gives students knowledge of the field at all levels, including operations and strategic decision-making. Course content covers topics like human resource management and legal, ethical, and policy research and analysis over three semesters. Students on the homeland security administration track also develop leadership skills through course content covering topics like application of statistics in understanding counter-terrorism strategies and administration of actionable intelligence.

All online coursework is accessible through Moodle. A final capstone project for both tracks in Tiffin's law enforcement master's degree program allows students to apply their knowledge toward solving a contemporary issue in the criminal justice field. Applicants with a minimum 3.0 GPA in an accredited bachelor's degree program are accepted into either track. Tiffin faculty are professionals and consultants in their fields and maintain active ties with their local and professional communities. Instructors in homeland security, for example, have joined Tiffin from local sheriff's departments, the CIA, and Air Force Intelligence.

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14 Faulkner University 46.38 4/5 37% Montgomery, AL

A Christian University based in Montgomery, Faulker is home to a small, tight-knit community and was one of the first Alabama colleges to offer online programs. The school delivers a fully-online master's of justice administration. Recent college graduates and professionals in the criminal justice field will find opportunities to develop their skill set in various areas of criminal justice. The program prepares students for a range of law enforcement administration jobs, as well as positions in parole and corrections. Each of the 10 required courses spans five weeks of study, and students complete one course at a time within an assigned cohort. Students with continuous enrollment can complete the degree in just 14 months.

The program's curriculum covers a variety of topics, including policing to the courts and corrections. Students are required to complete all components of the program and may not transfer any previously-earned credits. While applicants are strongly encouraged to have an accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA or minimum MAT scores, the program's admission committee may accept students who show considerable potential on a provisional basis.

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15 Texas Southern University 41.32 4/5 10% Houston, TX

TSU's executive master's of administration of justice is an online law enforcement degree geared toward students seeking a mid-level career in law enforcement, corrections, social services, or the courts. Full-time students can complete the 36-credit program in one year, and part-time students usually complete requirements within two years. A thesis option is available, but is not required for completion of the degree. A variety of electives allow students to customize their degree to further career objectives, with courses like juvenile justice administration, environmental crime and administration of justice, or terrorism and administration of justice. Online coursework and other content is accessed via the Blackboard LMS.

Applicants must have five years experience in criminal justice or a related field. Additional application requirements include an accredited bachelor's degree and a professional resume. TSU maintains strategic relationships with a number of public and private organizations, including the Texas Legislature and Texas Homeland Security, and routinely posts employment and internship opportunities in criminal justice through its proprietary School of Public Affairs job board.

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