In the old days (your father’s generation) it was much easier to become a police officer. All you needed was to be highly motivated to help people and keep the peace.
These days life is much more complicated and police work more sophisticated. And most rookie cops have college degrees. What follows is a list of some of the best schools that offer police science degrees.
At these schools, you’ll learn the nuts and bolts of police work, from patrolling to investigating, from preventing crime to writing reports. And you’ll prepare to meet the many challenges of police work, including handling people who resist arrest, using force responsibly, and building a strong relationship with the people you’ll protect. It’s a noble profession. And one that needs good, educated and motivated people.
15. Ohio University
Tuition: $5,268 a semester, in-state students; $9,750 out of state
The Criminology Special Curriculum is designed for those students who plan to pursue careers in some aspect of the criminal justice system yet wish to receive a liberal arts education.
This program also provides the necessary background for students preparing for advanced study in law, criminology or criminal justice. Students who complete the program will receive a degree in sociology with emphasis in criminology.
For more information: https://www.ohio.edu/socanth/sociology/criminology/curriculum.html
14. Cedar Crest College (Allentown, Pa.)
While many criminal justice programs today focus on what happens after a crime has been committed, Cedar Crest College’s curriculum is a behavioral-based program: By understanding what influences criminal behavior, you will be better prepared to aid in the prevention of criminal acts, as well as in the steps that take place after one has occurred.
At Cedar Crest, you will participate in multiple field experiences throughout the curriculum, including a 220-hour senior experience, enabling you to apply what you have learned and, often, to secure your future employment. Studies will prepare you for a rewarding career in any area of the criminal justice system, from child welfare to corrections to security and beyond. The college’s interns and alumnae are well-known in the criminal justice community, locally and nationally, for their high ethical standards and behavioral-based knowledge.
For more information: http://www.cedarcrest.edu/ca/academics/criminal_justice/index.shtm
13. George Mason University
Tuition: $5,376 per semester, in-state students; $15,699 out of state
Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason is a dynamic, multidisciplinary unit. Students at the graduate and undergraduate level develop strong foundations in research, methods, theories and systems of justice, criminology and crime policy, security, and law and society.
Students will graduate with the knowledge and skills needed to understand the causes and consequences of crime and injustice, the responses by criminal and civil justice institutions, and what works to improve social conditions among affected individuals, communities, organizations, and countries..
For more information: http://cls.gmu.edu/
12. Oklahoma Baptist University
The criminal justice degree program at Oklahoma Baptist University prepares students for instruction that focuses on the criminal justice system, its organizational components and processes, and its legal and public policy contexts.
Students who graduate from the criminal justice degree program will have knowledge in criminal law and policy, police and correctional systems organization, the administration of justice and the judiciary, and public attitudes regarding criminal justice issues.
11. College of the Ozarks
Tuition: 0 [Cost of education scholarship is $18,300 paid for in exchange for work on campus]
The Criminal Justice Department at College of the Ozarks prepares a student to compete for professional positions within a wide range of government and private justice-related agencies by providing a comprehensive education that includes core and collateral courses along with a specific field of study within the two following emphases: Corrections and Law Enforcement.
Students have opportunities to participate in field trips to prisons, jails, law enforcement agencies, and other justice system sites and facilities. In their junior and senior years a student may participate in the Criminal Justice Internship program, in which students are assigned duties in a criminal justice agency for academic credit.
A Criminal Justice degree from College of the Ozarks is valued and respected by a wide range of agencies in the Midwest and beyond. The Criminal Justice program frequently receives calls from former students relating how well their educational experience from College of the Ozarks prepared them for their career. There are a number of our graduates who are either in law school or working for a law enforcement agency or juvenile delinquency agency, or in one of many other criminal justice related career fields.
For more information: http://www.cofo.edu/Page/Students/Academic-Programs/Criminal-Justice.135.html
10. Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
Tuition: $25,122 for the academic year, in state students; $41,229 for out of state
The Bachelor of Science in criminal justice at Miami University’s regional campuses offers students a comprehensive and dynamic understanding of crime, justice, punishment and corrections, policing, and the legal system within the context of a liberal arts education. Advancing analytical and critical thinking, problem solving, oral and written communication, technology, quantitative literacy, ethics, application of learning in the field, civic learning, and an appreciation of diversity and of the increasingly global world are core objectives of the program.
The ideal is to graduate students who possess the knowledge, experiences, and skills needed to lead a meaningful, reflective life, who will be productive and contributing citizens, who will be successful in their criminal justice careers, and who will be life-long learners.
9. Florida State University
Tuition: $215 a credit for in-state students; $721 out of state
Your mind is 21st century’s most important crime-fighting tool. There is no such thing as a robotic response to crime, which is why our students are taught to be critical, independent thinkers and learn from expert faculty.
FSU’s online bachelor’s degree program in criminology offers students the flexibility to remain employed and the opportunity to work with nationally known professors who are leaders in the field. It is required that you have completed the associate of arts degree prior to entering the program.
For more information: https://distance.fsu.edu/students/public-safety-and-security-bs-police-science
8. University of Tulsa
Tuition: $34,000 a year
The University in Tulsa offers the major Criminal Justice + Police Science. A program that prepares individuals to perform the duties of police and public security officers, including patrol and investigative activities, traffic control, crowd control and public relations, witness interviewing, evidence collection and management, basic crime prevention methods, weapon and equipment operation and maintenance, report preparation and other routine law enforcement responsibilities.
For more information: http://police-schools.com/university-of-tulsa
7. Hawkeye Community College Police Academy
Tuition: $3,150 a year
Hawkeye Community College offers a certification training option to law enforcement agencies that hire college graduates as police officers and reserve officer certification courses. Not only that, but they offer firearms training; quite unusual at colleges. Note: the curriculum is geared to Iowa law enforcement statutes.
6. Monroe College, The Bronx, NY
Tuition: $6,624 per semester
Criminal justice jobs are in high demand. Police units, law firms, social services departments and the courts actively seek top graduates to keep communities safe and to help make a difference. An Associate or Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Monroe College can help you move toward a rewarding and exciting career.
The School of Criminal Justice was founded in 2003 as a service-oriented response to the September 11th attacks. Monroe recognized the need for highly-trained criminal justice professionals, at the local, state and federal levels. We structured our curriculum to empower future law enforcement officers, social justice workers and emergency responders to solve real-life, on-the-job problems.
For more information: https://www.monroecollege.edu/degrees/undergraduate-degrees/criminal-justice-degree/
5. East Los Angeles College
Tuition: $1,221 in state; $6,161 out of state
For many students, a career in criminal justice is a life-long dream. Enthusiastic, energetic, and knowledgeable faculty will assist and guide you every step of the way. ELAC uses its contacts and resources with leading criminal justice professionals to make sure our graduates are among the best-prepared and well educated applicants for jobs in the criminal justice system.
Specialized career majors include a law emphasis, Chemical Dependency Specialist, custody, crime scene and fingerprint classification as well as patrol and preparation for police academy training.
For more information http://www.elac.edu/academics/departments/adminjustice/learnAboutAdminJustice.htm
4. Santa Rosa Junior College
Tuition: $1,280 in state; $6,599 out-of-state
The challenges and responsibilities of the modern police officer have undergone tremendous changes. Today’s public safety or private security officials must be prepared to meet the needs and expectations of an ever-changing, complex, and diverse society. The B.S. in Police Science prepares individuals to better meet these challenges.
Together with other working professionals, students study the management, leadership, communication skills, and tools necessary to respond to societal needs. Students also have the option of choosing between specializations in Forensic Investigations, Management, and Security Management.
The program also offers a generous credit transfer policy, including credit for Minnesota POST and military training. Courses are taught by experts in the criminal justice field.
For more information: http://www.smumn.edu/degree-completion-home/areas-of-study/bs-in-police-science
3. St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona
Tuition: $400 per credit
St. Mary’s University of Minnesota ranked among the top 200 national universities in 2012, according to U.S. News & World Report. The university offers a Bachelor of Science in Police Science at two different locations: the Twin Cities campus and the Apple Valley Center.
For more information: http://www.smumn.edu/
2. George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Tuition: $39,000 (60 credits over two plus years)
George Washington University offers associate and bachelor’s degree programs in police science that prepare students for leadership positions in the law enforcement field.
Tackling crime more effectively is an ever changing challenge for law enforcement that requires sophistication in analysis, problem solving skills, technology applications, and community relations. This program helps students prepare for the emerging challenges and responsibilities that come with protecting and serving communities. Taught by law enforcement experts, students learn the fundamental standards, strategic procedures, and leadership principles critical for modern police policing.
For more information: http://cps.gwu.edu/police-security-studies
1. John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, NY
Tuition: $3,165 (12-18 credits, NY resident); $560 per credit hour (out of state)
At John Jay College (City University of New York) future law enforcement professionals can earn a Bachelor of Science in Police Studies. Once enrolled, students take courses in criminal justice, police science, patrol function and community policing. They also study police systems and the role of labor relations in policing.
There is no college anywhere in the U.S. or the world quite like John Jay. Founded in 1964, John Jay College of Criminal Justice – a senior college of The City University of New York – has evolved into the preeminent international leader in educating for justice in its many dimensions. The College offers a rich liberal arts and professional curriculum that prepares students to serve the public interest as ethical leaders and engaged citizens.
For more information: http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/about-john-jay