Designed to tackle the challenges of leadership and public administration, the best online master's in law enforcement programs prepare students for advanced opportunities in a wide range of law enforcement careers. These multidisciplinary programs cover theories of criminal justice and incident response strategies. Coursework explores real-world case studies and statistical research methods so graduates can approach any situation with critical insight and analysis. Many schools offer specializations in areas such as emergency management, corrections, cyber intelligence, and homeland security. Supervised capstone projects and internships allow students to demonstrate skills gained during their studies.

Law enforcement professionals with advanced degrees earn introductory salaries ranging from $60,00 to $84,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even experienced enforcement professionals can enhance their job prospects by earning a master's degree in law enforcement.

WILL THIS PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

A law enforcement administration master's degree helps professionals reach the next stage in their careers. Students learn professional legal and regulatory responsibilities, best practices of organizational management, and strategic methods of public law enforcement. An online master's in law enforcement teaches students comprehensive methods of protection and public service, while also developing leadership skills.

DO I NEED PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE TO GET IN?

While many applicants have military or police experience, previous work as a law enforcement agent is not required. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Contact each school directly for admission and application requirements.

HOW DO I FIND THE RIGHT ONLINE PROGRAM FOR ME?

The best program for you will have strengths aligning with your career goals. Review each school's course offerings, program structure, and specializations. Choose a school that offers opportunities to develop your skills and passion, such as professional leadership or counterterrorism and intelligence. Consider the program's length and credit requirements, and communicate with admissions teams about your financial needs.

CAN I WORK WHILE I COMPLETE MY ONLINE MASTER'S IN LAW ENFORCEMENT?

Most online master's in law enforcement administration programs offer flexible scheduling so you can continue working. Schools understand that on-the-job experience complements classroom education. Many schools offer individual pacing so you can complete your degree based on your timeline and schedule internships around your work.

Rank School Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Georgetown University

Washington, DC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 95%

Founded as an all-male Jesuit institution in 1789, Georgetown University became fully coeducational in 1969 and now hosts nearly 19,000 students. Its nine schools and colleges offer programs in diverse fields of study at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Georgetown University holds accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and is consistently ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top institutions in the country.

The School of Continuing Studies at Georgetown University offers a master of professional studies (MPS) in applied intelligence with a concentration in law enforcement. The program also offers concentrations in homeland security intelligence, cyberintelligence, and business intelligence. Students can pursue the 33-credit degree full or part time. Most learners graduate in 2-5 years, depending on their enrollment. Coursework for this MPS degree is delivered asynchronously.

Students have the opportunity to participate in Red Cell projects for businesses and/or government agencies, in which learners engage in outside-the-box analysis of existing or emerging intelligence concerns of national or regional importance. All students -- regardless of their concentration -- complete four foundation courses: introduction to applied intelligence, psychology of applied intelligence, understanding intelligence connection, and applied intelligence communications. The MPS program requires the completion of a capstone course prior to graduation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Professional Studies in Applied Intelligence
Available Concentrations: Homeland security intelligence; cyber intelligence; law enforcement intelligence; business intelligence
Tuition: $45,936/year
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2-5 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (202) 687-6299
Email: scsadmissions@georgetown.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

University of San Diego

San Diego, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 82%

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, public safety law, multimedia communication approaches, and budgeting and resource allocation. The curriculum is contemporary and primarily skills-based. Asynchronous courses follow a year-round structure, with three 14-week terms per year. Students complete 10 seven-week courses (plus a final capstone project) online, completing the required 31 units over five semesters (20 months). Students may be eligible to transfer up to six graduate-level credits (including FBINA coursework) toward their program requirements.

Tuition is $699 per unit, with a discount of $50/unit provided to law enforcement and public safety association members, active military personnel, veterans, and military spouses. Flexible payment plans allow tuition to be paid in interest-free monthly installments.

100% of the program's students are online. There is no on-campus requirement for this program.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Science in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership
Tuition: $699/credit in-state and out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 31 credits
Program Length: 20 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Work Experience: Professional experience in law enforcement, active-duty military, public safety or a related field

Contact
Phone: (619) 260-4580
Email:criminaljustice@sandiego.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

Colorado State University Global

Greenwood Village, CO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 69%

Established in 2008, Colorado State University Global (CSU Global) began as an online extension of the brick-and-mortar institutions of the Colorado State University System. However, in 2009 the state legislature declared the school an independent university, and today CSU Global supports a population of 18,000 students from all over the country and across the world. Learners pursue bachelor's and master's degrees in various fields of study including healthcare administration, finance, criminal justice, and information technology. CSU Global holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

The 36-credit online master's law enforcement program includes 24 credits of core coursework and 12 credits of approved electives. Students coming into the program with an undergraduate GPA lower than 3.0 must also enroll in a foundational course in research and writing. Learners can also choose from multiple specialties to tailor their degree to their professional objectives. Graduates earn their master's in criminal justice and law enforcement degree and are prepared for careers throughout the criminal justice system.

Students complete asynchronous coursework completely online in topics such as criminological theories; criminal justice policy and analysis; administration and management of criminal justice organizations; and ethics, justice, and social control. The program also requires a three-credit capstone course prior to graduation; students demonstrate their mastery of the program's key learning components by presenting an evidence-based analysis of a justice policy, with relevant recommendations.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement
Tuition: $500/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 920-6723
Email: Admissions@CSUGlobal.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 79%

Michigan State University began in 1855 as a land grant institution known as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan. The school achieved university status in 1955 and took on its current name in 1964. MSU currently enrolls more than 50,000 students from all 50 states and 141 countries. The university's 17 degree-granting colleges offer more than 200 programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels, and U.S. News & World Report ranks the school among the top 100 national universities. MSU holds Higher Learning Commission accreditation.

MSU offers an online master's in law enforcement intelligence and analysis and an online master's in criminal justice. Each program is 30 credits and takes two years to complete, leading to a master of science (MS) degree. Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and submit GRE scores. Neither program requires applicants to have prior work experience in the criminal justice or law enforcement field.

The MS in criminal justice program offers a specialization in security management, however, students can specialize in another field by selecting four elective courses in an arena that more closely supports their professional goals and interests. The MS program in law enforcement intelligence and analysis prepares graduates to take on professional responsibilities as crime analysts or anti-money laundering investigators.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Criminal Justice; MS in Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis
Available Concentrations: Security management
Tuition: $745/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.20 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT

Contact
Phone: (517) 355-6676
Email: connel67@msu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

Arizona State University - Skysong

Scottsdale, AZ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 14%

Founded in 1886, Arizona State University began as the Territorial Normal School, one building that housed four classrooms and enrolled 33 students in its first year. Today, ASU enrolls more than 51,000 students across numerous campuses in Arizona. The 16 schools and colleges that make up the university offer programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. ASU holds Higher Learning Commission accreditation, and U.S. News & World Report includes ASU among the top universities in the country.

The Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions at ASU offers an online master's in public safety leadership and administration (PSLA) with a concentration in executive police administration. The 33-credit program can be completed in one year, and courses begin every seven weeks. The curriculum includes classes in public policy analysis, criminal justice organization and management, public budgeting and finance, and organization behavior. The program culminates with a mentored applied project that has a direct impact on a student's home community. Graduates develop creative and systemic crime reduction solutions.

Applicants must have a 3.0 minimum undergraduate GPA and a bachelor's degree in criminal justice or a closely related field from an accredited school or university. The PSLA degree does not require the submission of scores from a standardized graduate entrance exam.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Safety Leadership and Administration
Available Concentrations: Executive police administration
Tuition: $709/credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 1 year

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: 2 years

Contact
Phone: (480) 884-1525
Email: gradenrollment@asuonline.asu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 51%

Sam Houston State University began in 1879 as Sam Houston Normal Institute, the first training school for teachers in Texas. As its academic offerings diversified, the school became a state college in 1923 and finally a university in 1969. SHSU enrolls close to 21,000 students, and its seven colleges offer more than 80 bachelor's degrees, 50 master's programs, and six doctoral degrees. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited SHSU since 1925.

Designed for current criminal justice professionals, this 36-credit online master's degree in law enforcement leads to an MS in criminal justice leadership and management. Students follow a prescribed order of classes and enroll in two courses each semester -- including a summer term. The two-year curriculum includes coursework in leadership psychology in criminal justice management, emergent issues in criminal justice leadership, and legal aspects in criminal justice management. Students must complete a capstone course with a grade of B or higher to earn their MS degree.

Graduates of this MS program earn the same degree as their on-campus counterparts. The program requires applicants to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and submit GRE scores. Applicants also need 2-3 years of verifiable work experience in criminal justice.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management
Tuition: $6,006/semester
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE (if GPA requirement not met)
Work Experience: 2-3 years

Contact
Phone: (936) 294-1971
Email: graduate@shsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 69%

The University of Cincinnati traces its roots to two institutions founded in 1819: the Medical College of Ohio and Cincinnati College. The schools merged in 1870, and today the University of Cincinnati hosts 44,000 students across 12 schools and colleges at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. The University of Cincinnati holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

The online master's in criminal justice at the university offers three areas of concentration: law enforcement/crime prevention, analysis of criminal behavior, and corrections and offender rehabilitation. The 33-credit program leads to a master of science degree; full-time students typically complete the program after just one year, while part-time students usually take two years. The MS curriculum includes core courses in criminology, applied statistics, and basic research methods in criminal justice.

Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirement can submit the scores of their GRE or verifiable proof of at least five years of professional experience in the criminal justice field. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Cincinnati among the top universities in the country offering graduate criminal justice programs.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Criminal Justice
Available Concentrations: Law enforcement/crime prevention; analysis of criminal behavior; corrections and offender rehabilitation
Tuition: $724/term in-state; $13,105/term out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE (if GPA requirement not met)
Work Experience: 5 years

Contact
Phone: (513) 556-4307
Email: admissionssmcj@cjonline.uc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

Saint Leo University, founded by the Benedictine Order in 1889 as Saint Leo College, was Florida's first Catholic university. The school currently enrolls over 5,000 students from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds. The university holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The 36-credit master's in criminal justice program is offered in a blended format and can be completed as a traditional two-year program, or in an accelerated format. Learners explore topics such as computerized databases, human resource management, policymaking, and organizational leadership within criminal justice. Graduates are prepared for administrative careers across numerous federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

Students in this MS program in law enforcement can also select a concentration in behavioral studies, corrections, criminal investigations, critical incident management, forensic science, and legal studies. Core coursework in the curriculum includes ethical issues in criminal justice administration, leadership applications in criminal justice, legal issues in criminal justice administration, and public policy making in criminal justice. Students also complete a six-credit capstone course, in which they address a vital problem or initiate a program related to criminal justice administration in the real world.

Applicants need a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. The MS program does not require the submission of scores from any standardized graduate entrance exam.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Criminal Justice
Available Concentrations: Behavioral studies; correction; criminal investigations; critical incident management; forensic science; legal studies
Tuition: $590/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (877) 622-2009
Email: grad.admissions@saintleo.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, KY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 41%

The University of the Cumberlands was founded in 1888 by Baptist ministers to train young adults for the service ministry. The school became Cumberland College in 1913 and University of the Cumberlands in 2005. The university's 12,000 students hail from 36 states and 38 countries, and pursue degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. The University of the Cumberlands holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Designed for current law enforcement professionals, the online master's in justice administration (MJA) gives learners the chance to tailor their degree to their professional interests and goals. Available specializations in this MS degree include addiction studies, corrections, family services, homeland security, investigations, law enforcement, or juvenile justice. The 31-credit MJA program includes 18 credits of core coursework, six credits each in two areas of specialization, and a one-credit capstone course. The curriculum includes courses in ethical issues in justice administration, criminological theories, leadership fundamentals, and statistical applications in justice administration.

Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 to be considered for full admission to the MJA program. Students who do not meet this requirement -- but whose undergraduate GPA does not fall below 2.6 -- can be considered for conditional admission. The university gives MJA students up to four years to complete the program.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Justice Administration
Available Concentrations: Law enforcement; corrections; homeland security; juvenile justice; family services; investigations; addiction studies
Tuition: $315/credit
Credit Requirements: 31 credits
Program Length: 12 months

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (855) 791-7201
Email: gradadm@ucumberlands.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

Saint Joseph's University

Philadelphia, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 82%

Established in 1851 by the Jesuits, Saint Joseph's University became fully coeducational in 1970 and achieved university status eight years later. Saint Joseph's University currently enrolls 8,000 students in more than 60 undergraduate fields of study and 53 graduate programs. The university holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and U.S. News & World Report ranks the school among the top regional universities in the north.

The 30-credit online master's in criminal justice features a blend of coursework in core areas and a concentration. Core courses include research methods, ethics and criminal justice, criminological theory, and professional writing for law enforcement. Students then choose from one of five concentration areas in federal law enforcement, behavioral management, homeland security, behavior analysis, and intelligence and crime analysis. Coursework for each concentration varies. For instance, the federal law enforcement concentration includes topics in white collar crime, homeland security, forensic financial analysis, and threats and strategies in terrorism.

Graduates of the MS program in criminal justice pursue careers at federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, such as police chiefs and detectives. The program offers six start dates each year: January, March, May, July, August, and October. Applicants for the federal law enforcement concentration need a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.8 to be considered for admission. The program does not require the submission of scores from any standardized graduate admission exam.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Criminal Justice
Available Concentrations: Federal law enforcement; homeland security; behavior analysis; behavioral management; intelligence and crime analysis
Tuition: $870/credit
Credit Requirements: 30-36 credits
Program Length: 1.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.8-3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (866) 758-7670
Email: online@sju.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

Bellevue University

Bellevue, NE Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 17%

Established as Bellevue College in 1966, Bellevue University offered programs that focused on the educational objectives of adult learners. Although it continues to address the needs of adult learners, the school today also enrolls high school graduates. Bellevue College achieved university status in 1994 when it adopted its current name. More than 9,000 students attend Bellevue University, pursuing degrees offered by four academic schools at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Bellevue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The online master's in justice administration and crime management at Bellevue University focuses on helping students acquire the body of knowledge and practical skills necessary for leadership positions in the criminal justice field. The program comprises 36 credit hours and follows a cohort model. Students who complete the program graduate with a master of science (MS) degree. Curriculum includes coursework in criminal behavior analysis, ethics and decision making, crime analysis and case management, and organizational analysis and evaluation in criminal justice. By following a prescribed number and order of courses each semester (including summer terms), students can earn the MS degree in two years.

Applicants need a minimum GPA of 2.5 from the most recent 60 credits of undergraduate coursework completed at an accredited college or university. Bellevue's MS program does not require the submission of scores from a standardized graduate entrance examination.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Justice Administration and Crime Management
Tuition: $575/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (402) 293-2000
Email: BRUINSupportServices@bellevue.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Chaminade University of Honolulu

Honolulu, HI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

As a two-year college founded in 1955 by Marianists, Chaminade University of Honolulu (then known as St. Louis Junior College) admitted 30 men to its initial class. It achieved university status in 1977 and currently enrolls more than 2,200 students of all genders. The Chaminade University of Honolulu comprises five degree-granting academic schools and offers 23 undergraduate and six graduate programs. Chaminade is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and has continuously held accreditation since 1960. U.S. News & World Report ranks the school among the top regional universities in the West (No. 44).

Chaminade University of Honolulu offers an online master of science in criminal justice administration through the School of Education and Behavioral Sciences. The program totals 42 credits and includes courses that follow a 10-week delivery schedule. Most students enroll in two classes per quarter and complete the program in 2.5 years. The on-campus MS program offers four concentrations: correctional, forensic laboratory management, law enforcement, and generalist. Online students who wish to pursue a specific track may need to enroll in on-campus classes, as the online MS instead opts for a broader overview of criminal justice administration.

MSCJA curriculum includes classes in constitutional law, correctional management and administration, terrorism and justice, and ethics in criminal justice and public administration. Students need to complete a capstone course prior to graduating from the program. Most online courses at the university follow an asynchronous delivery format.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Criminal Justice Administration
Tuition: $1,000/credit
Credit Requirements: 42 credits

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (808) 739-4652
Email: spimente@chaminade.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

National University

La Jolla, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 42%

From its beginning in 1971, National University emphasized meeting the educational needs of adult learners and U.S. military service members. Today the university continues to maintain its strong ties with adult learners and military personnel while also supporting the academic goals of high school graduates entering college for the first time. Five schools make up the university, offering more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs in diverse fields of study. National University holds accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.

National offers an online master of science degree in homeland security and emergency management through its School of Professional Studies. The MS program consists of 54 quarter credits. Up to 13.5 credits can come from another regionally accredited graduate-level program as long as the credits have not been used to satisfy the requirements of another degree. Curriculum includes coursework in domestic terrorism, policies of homeland security, infrastructure protection, global lessons in security, and a capstone project prior to graduation.

Applicants need a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.5 for consideration for the MS program. Those applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement must submit the scores of a standardized graduate entrance exam, such as the GRE or MAT. U.S. News & World Report ranks National University among the top schools in the country offering online graduate criminal justice programs (No. 52).


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Tuition: $624/credit
Credit Requirements: 54 credits

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE, GMAT, or MAT (if GPA requirement not met)

Contact
Phone: (858) 642-8480
Email: sops@nu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Wilmington University

New Castle, DE Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 26%

When Wilmington College, the forerunner of Wilmington University, opened in 1968, it enrolled a total of 147 students. Sixteen full-time professors made up its faculty and the college offered bachelor's programs in just three fields: business administration, English, and political science. Wilmington achieved university status in 2007 and currently enrolls over 20,000 students. Associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in diverse fields including nursing, information technology, behavioral sciences, and education abound at Wilmington. Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Wilmington University offers an online master of science in administration of justice through the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The 36-credit program allows students to choose from the three concentration areas of criminal behavior, homeland security, or leadership and administration. Although the program design leans toward completion within two years of continuous enrollment, students can opt to pursue an accelerated version that can be completed in just one year.

Curriculum at Wilmington includes five core courses in criminological theory, criminal justice ethics, managing diversity, research methods in criminal justice, and technology for modern policing. All students enroll in these five classes no matter their chosen concentration area. Although the program does not require a thesis for completion, students who plan to pursue doctoral studies in the field are encouraged to write one. The program works with students in identifying a thesis mentor within the faculty.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Administration of Justice
Available Concentrations: Leadership and administration, homeland security, criminal behavior
Tuition: $1,431/course
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (877) 967-5464
Email: admissions@wilmu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

Salve Regina University

Newport, RI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 71%

Chartered in 1934, Salve Regina University began as an all-female school founded by the Sisters of Mercy. Then called Salve Regina College, the school enrolled 58 students during its first year. The college became fully coeducational in 1973 and achieved university status in 1991. Today Salve Regina University enrolls approximately 2,700 students and offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs in several fields of study. Salve Regina University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

An online master's in administration of justice and homeland security at Salve Regina University comprises 36 credits with three concentration areas in digital forensics, leadership in justice, or cybersecurity and intelligence. With the approval of the program director, students can also select elective courses from other programs at the university to develop an individualized program of study that supports their educational and professional objectives more closely. The program leads to a master of science degree.

No matter which concentration area students opt to pursue, the MS program requires all students to enroll in eight required courses totaling 24 credits. These core classes cover both foundational topics and emerging issues in the law enforcement administration field, including theories of justice, management issues in the justice system, cyber methodologies, and terrorism and transnational crimes. Students complete the remaining 12 credits within the program in their area of concentration.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Administration of Justice and Homeland Security
Available Concentrations: Cybersecurity and intelligence; digital forensics; leadership in justice
Tuition: $585/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (401) 341-3210
Email: david.smith@salve.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Fairbanks, AK Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 30%

The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) started out in 1917 as the Alaska Agricultural College & School of Mines. It initially enrolled a total of six students. By 1935, the school achieved university status and soon after adopted its current name. Today, UAF enrolls approximately 8,700 students hailing from all 50 states and more than 40 countries. UAF's broad spectrum of 147 undergraduate and graduate degrees and 32 certificate programs cover more than 110 discipline areas. UAF is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

The university offers a 30-credit master's in administration of justice program that can be completed almost entirely online and leads to a master of arts degree. Although students can access all the required coursework for the MA degree online, the program requires students to attend a weeklong residency at the Fairbanks campus toward the end of their studies. This residency typically includes the culminating activity of the MA program.

Curriculum includes courses in community and restorative justice, legal aspects of criminal justice management, and administration and management of criminal justice organizations. Applicants need a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 for consideration. Those applicants who do not meet the GPA requirement must submit GRE scores from within the past five years.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Administration of Justice
Tuition: $489/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Delivery
Format: Hybrid

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE (if GPA requirement not met)

Contact
Phone: (907) 455-2060
Email: uaf-ecampus@alaska.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

Faulkner University

Montgomery, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 28%

Faulkner University began as Montgomery Bible College in 1942, an institution founded to train and educate preachers. It became Alabama Christian College in 1953, achieved university status in 1984, and a year later adopted its current name. Faulkner University now enrolls more than 3,200 students coming from 36 states and more than 30 countries. The five colleges that make up the university offer more than 85 degrees at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Faulkner University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

An online master's in justice administration at Faulkner totals 30 credits and can be completed in just 14 months. The program follows a cohort model of education. Students enroll in one class at a time and each class lasts for five weeks. Applicants need a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 in their major field of study and a minimum 2.5 GPA in other subjects. Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirements must submit their MAT scores from within the past five years.

Curriculum includes coursework in policing in America, law and justice, ethics, and comparable criminal justice. Students can transfer up to six graduate-level credits from a comparable program toward the master's degree. The program requires students to complete a three-credit research project prior to earning their master's in justice administration degree.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Justice Administration
Tuition: $550/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 14 months

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: MAT (if GPA requirement not met)

Contact
Phone: (334) 386-7343
Email: graduateenrollment@faulkner.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

University of New Haven

West Haven, CT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 60%

Founded in 1920, the University of New Haven began as a division of Northeastern University and was known as the New Haven YMCA Junior College. After receiving the charter to award four-year degrees, the school changed its name to New Haven College and finally to New Haven University when it achieved university status in 1970. Over 6,900 students currently attend the university. The six colleges that make up the school offer more than 100 academic fields of study at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. The University of New Haven is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and has continuously held accreditation since 1948.

The Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at the university offers two online master's degrees in law enforcement, a 36-credit master's in criminal justice and a 30-credit master's in investigations. The MS in criminal justice program offers three areas of concentration in crime analysis, police behavioral studies, and leadership and management. Three concentrations in criminal investigations, financial crimes investigations, and digital forensic investigation are available for students enrolled in the master's in investigation program.

Both programs require applicants to have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirement need to submit recent scores of a standardized college admission exam such as the GRE or MAT. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of New Haven among schools offering the top online graduate criminal justice programs in the country (No. 35).


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Criminal Justice; MS in Investigations
Available Concentrations: Crime analysis; police behavioral studies; leadership and management; criminal investigations; financial crimes investigations; digital forensic investigation
Tuition: $915/credit
Credit Requirements: 30-36 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE, GMAT, MAT (if GPA requirement not met)

Contact
Phone: (800) 342-5864
Email: onlineadmin@newhaven.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

Tiffin University

Tiffin, OH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 28%

Established in 1888, Tiffin University, then known as the Commercial College, maintained an affiliation with Heidelberg College for the first 30 years of its existence. The school started out specializing in a variety of business courses. Today the university consists of three colleges with over 50 undergraduate majors and concentrations and more than 25 graduate programs. Approximately 3,100 students currently attend Tiffin University. Tiffin University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

An online master's in criminal justice program at Tiffin offers five concentration areas in justice administration, crime analysis, criminal behavior, homeland security, and forensic psychology. The program totals 30–36 credits, depending on the concentration. Most students graduate from the program in one to two years. Courses follow seven-week delivery schedules allowing students to enroll in two classes per term. Six start dates throughout the year (January, March, May, July, August, and October) provide flexibility for busy working professionals.

Applicants need a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 for admission consideration to the program. Students pursuing the justice administration concentration can transfer up to nine credit hours toward the MS degree if they completed the Certified Law Enforcement Executive Certification or the Police Executive Leadership College Certification. The homeland security administration concentration requires the completion of a capstone project. U.S. News & World Report ranks Tiffin University among the best schools in the country offering online graduate programs in criminal justice.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Criminal Justice
Available Concentrations: Justice administration; crime analysis; criminal behavior; homeland security; forensic psychology
Tuition: $700/credit
Credit Requirements: 30-36 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 968-6446
Email: admiss@tiffin.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20

Columbia College

Columbia, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 26%

Columbia College began in 1851 as a private two-year institution known as Christian Female College. When the school transitioned to a four-year, coeducational institution in 1970, it also adopted its current name. Three schools currently make up Columbia College offering undergraduate and graduate programs in social and natural sciences, business, technology, nursing, and the arts. Since 1918, Columbia College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commision.

Columbia College offers an online master's in criminal justice with two management tracks: law enforcement administration and corrections administration. Either track consists of 36 credit hours and leads to a master of science degree. Students complete the degree requirements by enrolling in 12 hours of foundation coursework, 15 hours of core criminal justice courses, and nine hours of specialization courses. The MS program requires all students (regardless of which track they pursue) to complete a capstone course on criminal justice leadership prior to graduation.

Applicants need a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 to be considered for admission to the MS program. Students who do not meet the GPA requirement can receive conditional admission, which limits their enrollment to one course per session for their first six hours in the program. Conditionally admitted students must receive a grade of "B" in their initial courses to continue forward in the program. U.S. News & World Report ranks Columbia College among the country's top schools offering online graduate programs in criminal justice (No. 43).


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Criminal Justice Administration
Available Concentrations: Law enforcement administration; corrections administration
Tuition: $490/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (573) 875-7352
Email: graduate@ccis.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Program requirements vary by school, but the best online master's in law enforcement programs train students to apply theories of organizational management and criminal justice administration. Graduates work in a variety of public law enforcement agencies. Programs often require capstone projects or internships that blend research with real-life training.

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE MASTER'S DEGREE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT

Graduate students complete general coursework in the field of criminal justice, as well as concentrated, seminar-style classes in specialized areas of law enforcement and administration. Sample courses in both formats are listed below.

  • Police administrative policy operations: This course provides an overview of strategic administrative approaches to evaluating and resolving internal management concerns. Students learn to make decisions involving the application of law enforcement policies. Topics include management and supervision of police personnel, critical incident management, technology for law enforcement, and community-oriented policing.
  • Research methods in criminal justice: Application of law enforcement policies requires an understanding of criminal justice statistics and conceptual data. This course exposes students to psychological and social scientific research techniques and equips students to apply this research to their work in the field. Case studies and research projects are required.
  • Correctional leadership: Students review the history and law of correctional institutions, punishment and rehabilitation, correctional practices, and current trends. Coursework explores best practices for institutional management and offender supervision with regard to contemporary shifts in the field of corrections.
  • Counterterrorism and intelligence: Students evaluate the concept of political terrorism in both domestic and international settings. Risk analysis is integrated with the study of intelligence gathering and best practices of counterterrorism.
  • Cultural competency in criminal justice: This course investigates race, gender, economic, and ethnic diversity within public law enforcement. Students use qualitative and quantitative research methods to review topics such as racial profiling, bias-based policing, and disparities in the demographics of court and correctional system populations.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE MASTER'S IN LAW ENFORCEMENT?

Time required to complete an online master's in law enforcement program depends on the student's transfer credits and academic status, along with the program's credit requirements. Programs typically require 30 to 36 credit hours, which full-time students complete in 18 months to 4 years. Many schools allow students to transfer in graduate credits, which can accelerate degree completion. Online master's in law enforcement administration programs are structured to support individual pacing, allowing students to complete courses on their own time. Full-time and part-time students may choose to take courses one at a time or simultaneously. In cohort-based programs, students complete coursework alongside peers. Applicants should contact schools directly for specific information on program length.

When choosing a program, thoroughly review the school's accreditation standing. Accreditation signifies that a school or specific program meets standards established by the United States Department of Education (DOE). Accreditation may be granted by a regional agency or a national agency. Regional accreditation is more demanding and is therefore more highly regarded. Universities reviewing transfer credits and employers offering tuition reimbursement typically require that coursework be regionally accredited. For students, these programs are often more costly and tend to require additional humanities coursework.

Nationally accredited schools often have dedicated certificate and vocational tracks, in addition to traditional degrees. While often less expensive, credits from nationally accredited institutions are typically ineligible for transfer and do not meet licensure requirements. For students seeking tuition assistance from a nonprofit organization or an employer, review reimbursement provisions to ensure your school qualifies.

Professional organizations recognize schools with field or industry accreditations. Because law enforcement administration degrees may be linked to criminal justice programs, prospective students should look for accreditation from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). However, very few programs are linked to the ACJS, so candidates should focus primarily on regional or national accreditation.

Alongside the DOE, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) oversees and catalogues the standing of universities nationwide. The CHEA advances higher education quality through its partnership with the U.S. government and educates the public on education standards. Further information regarding the demands of accreditation and a national registry of accredited institutions are available on the CHEA and DOE websites.

JOB PLACEMENT

Earning a master's degree in law enforcement online prepares students for lifelong leadership and creates a competitive résumé. Because law enforcement degrees are commonly housed within criminal justice programs, a recent report by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce is helpful for determining the degree's marketability. The study found that college graduates with no work experience and a degree in criminal justice or fire prevention had an unemployment rate of 8.4%, while graduate degree holders with experience faced only a 3.3% unemployment rate.

Graduates with a Criminal Justice and Fire Prevention Major Unemployment Rate
College graduate (no work experience) 8.4%
College graduate with experience 4%
Graduate degree holder (no work experience) 4.6%
Graduate degree holder with experience 3.3%

In recent years, higher education for law enforcement professionals has become a national priority. In its 2015 recommendations, the national Task Force on 21st Century Policing included more than 10 pages dedicated to incentivizing higher education for law enforcement personnel. Because of this federal focus and graduate degree holders' enhanced employment benefits, both experienced officers and new agents benefit from higher education.

MASTER'S IN LAW ENFORCEMENT SALARY

Professional experience increases annual earnings for law enforcement personnel. The following chart reviews reported and expected salaries for law enforcement agents at different stages in their careers, including police lieutenants, immigration officers, and other administrative law officers.

Job Title Overall Median Salary Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years) Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years) Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)
Police Lieutenant $77,809 $49,000 $61,000 $70,000
Immigration Officer $54,072 $50,000 $82,000 $86,000
Intelligence Analyst $65,430 $55,000 $67,000 $80,000
Federal Special Agent $76,394 $65,000 $75,000 $92,000
FBI Agent $64,613 $64,000 $75,000 $97,000

MASTER'S IN LAW ENFORCEMENT CAREERS

An online master's in law enforcement administration prepares candidates for an array of protective service positions. Graduates work in corrections, homeland security, local police administration, and emergency response teams. They also pursue roles as senior analysts for diverse government agencies. Jobs may demand physical agility, meticulous data review, or precise leadership of internal personnel.

First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives

Police and detective supervisors coordinate criminal investigations, enforce police procedures, and manage subordinate personnel. These roles require knowledge of policing techniques, organizational leadership, employee recruitment, and public safety.

Median Annual Salary $84,840

Projected Growth Rate 4%

First-Line Supervisors of Correctional Officers

Correctional supervisors maintain order, security, and discipline within correctional facilities, while overseeing the operational needs of their institutions. These positions require thorough knowledge of emergency response techniques and correctional procedures. Correctional managers demonstrate effective command leadership and hold budgeting, administration, and operational responsibilities.

Median Annual Salary $60,560

Projected Growth Rate 3%

First-Line Supervisors of Fire Fighting and Prevention Workers

Fire prevention and control supervisors coordinate and oversee firefighters and fire prevention officers. Specialized education in firefighting techniques is paramount. Training, staff management, and regulatory adherence are also important skills.

Median Annual Salary $74,540

Projected Growth Rate 5%

Emergency Management Director

Emergency managers perform administrative responsibilities for communities during times of public safety crises, such as opening public shelters, ordering evacuations, and implementing emergency response procedures. They stay apprised to new techniques in public safety and disaster preparedness and coordinate with public and law enforcement agencies during emergencies.

Median Annual Salary $70,500

Projected Growth Rate 6%

Police and Detectives

Police and detectives protect property and lives and preserve public safety. Those with advanced degrees may specialize as criminal investigators, border patrol officers, or intelligence analysts. In these roles, agents identify threats to public safety, investigate crimes, and develop procedures and responses for government agencies.

Median Annual Salary $61,600

Projected Growth Rate 4%

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

As you begin earning your master's degree in law enforcement online, connecting with professional organizations will support your education and future career. Below are a few organizations for law enforcement professionals, which will help you build relationships, stay up to date on legislation, and find scholarship opportunities.

To finance your online master's degree, explore the scholarships and funding opportunities at your prospective schools. Online master's in law enforcement programs may offer additional funding for prior military experience, through the Yellow Ribbon program or the GI Bill. Those with police experience should contact the Fraternal Order of Police for tuition assistance information. Applicants may be eligible for private grants or scholarships through nonprofit organizations or employers. For information on federal funding opportunities, such as grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study options, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Master's in Law Enforcement Administration Programs of 2018
Ranking School Location
1 Georgetown University Washington, DC
2 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
3 University of San Diego San Diego, CA
4 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX
5 University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH
6 National University La Jolla, CA
7 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
8 University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, KY
9 Colorado State University - Global Campus Greenwood Village, CO
10 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, HI
11 Bellevue University Bellevue, NE
12 Arizona State University - Skysong Scottsdale, AZ
13 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL
14 Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, PA
15 Salve Regina University Newport, RI
Best Online Master's in Law Enforcement Administration Programs of 2017
Rank School Location
1 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
2 University of San Diego San Diego, CA
3 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX
4 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
5 University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, KY
6 Bellevue University Bellevue, NE
7 Arizona State University-Skysong Scottsdale, AZ
8 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, HI
9 National University La Jolla, CA
10 Salve Regina University Newport, RI
11 University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, AK
12 Columbia College Columbia, MO
13 Tiffin University Tiffin, OH
14 Faulkner University Montgomery, AL
15 Texas Southern University Houston, TX