Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

by Melissa Sartore

Updated October 19, 2022

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A bachelor's degree in law enforcement prepares you for work in corrections, policing, and forensics. This degree equips students to lead, help others, and protect their communities.

Students who want to help others, protect their communities, and promote social change may enjoy a bachelor's degree in law enforcement. Law enforcement work also includes excitement, some danger, and a sense of reward.

An online bachelor's degree in law enforcement prepares graduates for work as police officers and detectives, security guards and surveillance officers, and corrections officers. Additional employment opportunities include security consulting, law enforcement education, and private investigations. Degrees in law enforcement also help current criminal justice and corrections professionals advance in their positions.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, police officers and other essential workers continue to work in towns, cities, and communities around the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that protective service occupations will add nearly 286,400 jobs by 2030.

To find out more about the best online law enforcement degrees, review the rankings below.

The Best Online Bachelor's in Law Enforcement Programs

#1 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Florida State University

  • Tallahassee, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking flexible online study should consider Florida State University. A leader in online education, the public institution also offers fully online bachelor's degrees. Learners seeking to advance in the law enforcement field will benefit from the bachelor's in law enforcement intelligence.

Enrollees complete coursework pertinent to the field. Students complete industry-specific classes, with the option to add electives and modify their coursework. 

Undergraduates pay a tuition rate of $19,084. Distance learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs and other forms of aid. Degree candidates receve an average of $9,442 in financial aid.

Florida State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 19,802

Total Online Programs: 17

Online Bachelor's Programs: Data not available

Admission Rate: 36%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,640
Out-of-state
$19,084
Retention Rate
93%
Admission Rate
36%
Students Enrolled
42,450
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Colorado State University-Global Campus

  • Aurora, CO
  • 4 years
  • Online

Looking to earn a flexible online degree? Consider Colorado State University-Global Campus. Online learners seeking an undergraduate-level education can choose from 15 online bachelor's programs. One option includes a bachelor's in criminal justice. The program supports flexible study for learners from all walks of life.

During the program, students complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the field. The curriculum prepares learners for the demands of the field. Degree-seekers can individualize their studies by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

Bachelor's graduates can access more job opportunities and grow their earning potential over time. Enrollees can meet with the Office of Financial Aid to learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements for scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid.

Colorado State University-Global Campus at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: Data not available

Total Online Programs: 39

Online Bachelor's Programs: 15

Admission Rate: 99%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,400
Out-of-state
$8,400
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
99%
Students Enrolled
12,670
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

  • Whitewater, WI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater provides numerous top-tier bachelor's degrees. Distance learners can enroll in the school's online bachelor's in criminology. Degree-seekers prepare for the demands of the field through rigorous study.

The curriculum enables flexible study. Learners can collaborate with their academic advisor to find classes that complement their career interests. Online enrollees also choose minors and electives to individualize the degree.

Undergraduate students can expect to pay $15,240 in tuition. Degree candidates at the accredited institution can pursue funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships, to support their studies. The college reports that students receive an average of $5,445 in financial aid.

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 4,715

Total Online Programs: 2

Online Bachelor's Programs: 1

Admission Rate: 79%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,519
Out-of-state
$15,240
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
12,452
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Middle Tennessee State University

  • Murfreesboro, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Murfreesboro, Middle Tennessee State University enables online learning across 11 online degrees. Undergraduate students seeking flexible, remote study can choose from one of three online bachelor's programs, including a bachelor's in criminal justice administration. Learners can pursue full- or part-time study while modifying classes as they see fit.

Degree-seekers complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the field. This curriculum consists of general education and advanced coursework. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to customize their degree, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations.

With a bachelor's degree, graduates increase their job opportunities and earning potential. The institution reports a median salary of $33,600 earned by graduates six years after completing their studies. Learners can expect to pay $11,964 in tuition and fees annually. Prospective applicants can learn more about the opportunities available at Middle Tennessee State University, including admission requirements and financial aid eligibility, by contacting the department.

Middle Tennessee State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 7,920

Total Online Programs: 11

Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Admission Rate: 94%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,200
Out-of-state
$25,872
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
94%
Students Enrolled
21,721
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Rowan University

  • Glassboro, NJ
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students looking to earn a flexible college degree should consider Rowan University. The school offers three online bachelor's degrees from its main campus in Glassboro, New Jersey. The bachelor of arts in law and justice studies program accommodates flexible study, so enrollees can learn at their own pace.

Throughout their coursework, students gain industry-relevant knowledge through general and advanced classes. This curriculum consists of general education and advanced coursework. Degree-seekers can individualize their studies by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

Bachelor's graduates increase their job opportunities and earning potential. According to the college, graduates earn a median salary of $39,800 six years after completing their degree. Interested applicants should consider that the average price after aid for tuition and fees is $22,805. Students can meet with the department directly to inquire about admission requirements, application materials, and more.

Rowan University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 6,694

Total Online Programs: 11

Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Admission Rate: 74%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,076
Out-of-state
$18,908
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
19,618
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#6 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Drury University

  • Springfield, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Drury University, located in Springfield, Missouri, provides six online programs. For students looking to advance in the criminal justice field, the school's online bachelor of science in law enforcement is a wise choice. Degree-seekers benefit from flexible study, with the option to enroll full or part time.

Throughout their coursework, students gain industry-relevant knowledge through general and advanced classes. Learners can modify their studies, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations.

A bachelor's degree greatly increases one's earning potential. According to the college, graduates earn a median salary of $30,400 six years after completing their degree. Interested applicants can meet with the department directly to inquire about admission requirements, application materials, and more.

Drury University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 387

Total Online Programs: 6

Online Bachelor's Programs: Data not available

Admission Rate: 64%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$28,500
Out-of-state
$28,500
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
64%
Students Enrolled
1,743
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Thomas Jefferson University

  • Philadelphia, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Thomas Jefferson University, a private school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, boasts a robust online learning community. Of its online programs, 10 offer an undergraduate-level education. Students looking for an individualized education relevant to the criminal justice field can enroll in the online bachelor's in law enforcement leadership. The program offers flexible study options. Enrollees can pursue full- or part-time study while modifying classes as they see fit.

Degree candidates attend industry-relevant lectures while completing major-specific coursework. The program also incorporates general education requirements that strengthen critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students can modify their degree by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

The value of a bachelor's degree is clear. Graduates increase their job opportunities and earning potential. The institution reports that graduates six years out from their degree earn a median salary of $67,600. Applicants can meet with department leaders to discuss application materials, admission requirements, and other relevant information.

Thomas Jefferson University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 2,447

Total Online Programs: 19

Online Bachelor's Programs: 10

Admission Rate: 66%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$40,680
Out-of-state
$40,680
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
66%
Students Enrolled
8,026
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#8 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Texas State University

  • San Marcos, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Texas State University supports highly ranked bachelor's programs from its main campus in San Marcos. Distance learners benefit from top-ranked online education from this institution. One option includes an online bachelor of science in criminal justice.

The program enables flexible study. Learners can collaborate with their academic advisor to find classes that complement their career interests. Students can choose electives and minors and make other modifications to their studies.

Degree-seekers can expect to pay $19,868 in tuition. Enrollees can access internal and external funding opportunities to defray the costs of their studies. Learners typically receive a financial aid award package amounting to $9,570, on average.

Texas State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 11,452

Total Online Programs: 1

Online Bachelor's Programs: Data not available

Admission Rate: 81%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,052
Out-of-state
$19,868
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
38,187
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#9 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Regent University

  • Virginia Beach, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

With its main campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Regent University provides competitive bachelor's programs to learners from all walks of life. The private college supports 32 online bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor's in criminal justice.

The program balances rigor with flexibility, proving beneficial to working professionals, busy students, and other learners. By working with their academic advisor, learners can modify their course load to suit their needs. Students can also choose a minor and select electives as part of their curriculum.

Currently, undergraduate students pay $17,220 in tuition. Distance learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs and other forms of aid.

Regent University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 9,507

Total Online Programs: 137

Online Bachelor's Programs: 32

Admission Rate: 86%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$17,220
Out-of-state
$17,220
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
86%
Students Enrolled
10,365
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#10 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Southeast Missouri State University

  • Cape Girardeau, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students looking for competitive online learning should consider Southeast Missouri State University's online bachelor's  programs. Distance learners can choose from 11 fully online bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor's in criminal justice.

The online degree prioritizes flexibility. Degree-seekers can customize their studies by working with an academic advisor. Learners can benefit from electives, minors, and other modifications to their studies.

Undergraduate students can expect to pay $12,636 in tuition. The school's accreditation status allows learners to access funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships. On average, enrollees receive $6,845 in financial aid.

Southeast Missouri State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 5,553

Total Online Programs: 25

Online Bachelor's Programs: 11

Admission Rate: 86%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,606
Out-of-state
$12,636
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
86%
Students Enrolled
10,637
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#11 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Bemidji State University

  • Bemidji, MN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking advanced online study should consider one of Bemidji State University's 17 online degrees. Online undergraduate students can benefit from studying in one of 11 online bachelor's programs. The bachelor of science in criminal justice prioritizes flexibility, making it an attractive option for working professionals and busy students. The program offers flexible study options, where enrollees can pursue full- or part-time study while modifying classes as they see fit.

Degree candidates complete industry-relevant classes throughout their studies, gaining broad and specific knowledge of the criminal justice field. Students complete general education requirements, gaining a well-rounded education during their studies. Learners can explore electives, minors, and degree concentrations by working with their academic advisor.

Bachelor's graduates can access more job opportunities and grow their earning potential over time. The college notes a median salary of $37,000 for graduates six years after finishing their studies. The average undergraduate student pays $14,945 in tuition and fees every year, after aid. Prospective applicants can meet with the financial aid office to learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements.

Bemidji State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 2,213

Total Online Programs: 17

Online Bachelor's Programs: 11

Admission Rate: 65%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,858
Out-of-state
$7,858
Retention Rate
72%
Admission Rate
65%
Students Enrolled
4,897
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#12 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Stevenson University

  • Stevenson, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Stevenson University is a private institution that provides competitive study across 30 bachelor's programs. Located in Stevenson, Maryland, the college offers four remote bachelor's programs, including a bachelor's in criminal justice.

Students can maximize flexibility through modified coursework and the option to pursue part-time study. Enrollees can benefit from elective classes, minors, and other modifications.

Undergraduate students typically pay $34,528 in tuition. Students gain access to internal and external funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid.

Stevenson University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,982

Total Online Programs: 15

Online Bachelor's Programs: 4

Admission Rate: 81%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$34,528
Out-of-state
$34,528
Retention Rate
82%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
3,579
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#13 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Metropolitan State University of Denver

  • Denver, CO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Colorado-based Metropolitan State University of Denver offers seven online degrees. Undergraduate students can choose from six online bachelor programs, including a bachelor of science in law enforcement. The program allows for full- or part-time study, making it a flexible choice for working professionals and busy students.

Learners complete industry-relevant classes throughout their studies, gaining broad and specific knowledge of the law enforcement field. Majors choose electives, minors, and concentrations to customize their course of study.

Graduates can easily grow their earning potential with a bachelor's degree. The college notes a median salary of $36,100 for graduates six years after finishing their studies. The average undergraduate student pays $13,067 in tuition and fees every year, after aid. To learn more about admission requirements and financial aid opportunities, prospective applicants should contact the law enforcement department.

Metropolitan State University of Denver at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 8,275

Total Online Programs: 7

Online Bachelor's Programs: 6

Admission Rate: 61%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,432
Out-of-state
$20,009
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
61%
Students Enrolled
20,080
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#14 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Anderson University

  • Anderson, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Anderson University, a private college, enables study across 11 online programs. The bachelor's in criminal justice program is one of the school's eight online bachelor's degrees. The program supports flexible study for learners from all walks of life.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the field. These classes equip learners with knowledge and skills applicable to a postgraduate career. Students can work with their academic advisor to customize their degree, choose electives, and declare minors and concentrations.

Bachelor's graduates increase their job opportunities and earning potential. At the college, students can expect to earn a median salary of $31,000 six years after graduation. Interested applicants can contact the department for information regarding admission requirements and their eligibility for financial aid.

Anderson University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,545

Total Online Programs: 11

Online Bachelor's Programs: 8

Admission Rate: 69%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,130
Out-of-state
$26,130
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
3,543
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#15 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Excelsior College

  • Albany, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online

Excelsior College supports highly ranked bachelor's programs from its main campus in Albany, New York. The college boasts 54 fully online bachelor's degrees. Distance learners can enroll in the bachelor of science in criminal justice program to complete a college degree online.

Degree candidates complete coursework pertinent to the criminal justice field. Students can choose electives and modify coursework to individualize their studies.

Degree-seekers at the accredited institution can pursue funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships, to support their studies.

Excelsior College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: Data not available

Total Online Programs: 101

Online Bachelor's Programs: 54

Admission Rate: Data not available

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
25,245
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#16 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Eastern Kentucky University

  • Richmond, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A leader in online education, Eastern Kentucky University facilitates distance learning across 52 online programs. Of these offerings, 17 provide an undergraduate-level education. One option includes a bachelor of science in criminal justice. Working professionals and busy students will benefit from the program's flexible study options and class customization.

Degree candidates complete industry-relevant coursework, amounting to 180 credits. Students complete general education and advanced coursework, gaining broad and specific skills. Learners can customize their degree through electives, minors, and concentrations.

Graduates easily grow their earning potential with a bachelor's degree. The institution reports a median salary of $32,700 earned by graduates six years after completing their studies. Prospective enrollees should consider that the average price after aid for tuition and fees is $14,674. To learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements, students should contact the financial aid office.

Eastern Kentucky University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 6,661

Total Online Programs: 52

Online Bachelor's Programs: 17

Admission Rate: 94%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Accepted

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,266
Out-of-state
$19,338
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
94%
Students Enrolled
14,980
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#17 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Upper Iowa University

  • Fayette, IA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking to enroll in a competitive bachelor's program should consider Upper Iowa University. The institution supports 21 remote online degrees, including a bachelor's in criminal justice.

The program enables flexible study. Learners can collaborate with their academic advisor to find classes that complement their career interests. Enrollees can choose electives and minors to supplement their learning.

Undergraduate students can expect to pay $30,810 in tuition. The accredited institution connects students with internal and external funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships.

Upper Iowa University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 2,916

Total Online Programs: 57

Online Bachelor's Programs: 21

Admission Rate: 51%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$30,810
Out-of-state
$30,810
Retention Rate
64%
Admission Rate
51%
Students Enrolled
4,279
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#18 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Park University

  • Parkville, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Park University, a private not-for-profit school in Parkville, Missouri, boasts a robust online learning community. Undergraduates can choose from 22 online bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor's in criminal justice administration. Students in the program can complete classes at their own pace, with the option for part-time study.

During the program, students complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the criminal justice field. These classes equip students with field-specific and broad knowledge and skills. By consulting with their academic advisor, degree-seekers can modify their course load, choose electives, and declare minors and concentrations.

Bachelor's graduates can increase their job opportunities and earning potential. The college boasts a median salary of $42,200 for graduates six years after completing their studies. To learn more about admission requirements and financial aid opportunities, prospective students should contact the department.

Park University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 8,894

Total Online Programs: 58

Online Bachelor's Programs: 22

Admission Rate: Data not available

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,999
Out-of-state
$7,999
Retention Rate
66%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
11,415
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
78% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#19 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

North Carolina Central University

  • Durham, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

North Carolina Central University is a public college in Durham offering a variety of competitive bachelor's degrees. Enrollees can choose from nine online bachelor's programs, including a bachelor of science in criminal justice.

The program supports flexible study for learners from all walks of life. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to choose electives and minors to supplement their learning.

At present, undergraduates pay $16,435 in tuition. Degree-seekers can benefit from scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities. The college reports that students receive an average of $10,418 in financial aid.

North Carolina Central University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 3,771

Total Online Programs: 22

Online Bachelor's Programs: 9

Admission Rate: 68%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,728
Out-of-state
$16,435
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
68%
Students Enrolled
8,011
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#20 Best Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Union College

  • Schenectady, NY
  • 4 years
  • Campus

For students looking to advance in a legal-adjacent career, the online bachelor's in law at New York-based Union College is a wise choice. The program accommodates full- or part-time study.

During the program, students complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the field. Enrollees also complete general education classes, gaining a well-rounded education. By working with their academic advisor, degree-seekers can modify their course load, choose electives, and declare minors and concentrations.

Graduates greatly benefit from their education, gaining access to more job opportunities and a higher earning potential. According to the college, graduates earn a median salary of $51,400 six years after completing their degree. Prospective applicants can meet with the department directly to discuss admission requirements, application materials, and other relevant information.

Union College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: Data not available

Total Online Programs: Data not available

Online Bachelor's Programs: Data not available

Admission Rate: 43%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$56,853
Out-of-state
$56,853
Retention Rate
93%
Admission Rate
43%
Students Enrolled
2,189
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Best Online Bachelor's

Online Bachelor's in Law Enforcement Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%

Affordability - 15%

Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

Featured Online Bachelor's in Law Enforcement Programs

What Is an Online Bachelor's in Law Enforcement Degree?

An online bachelor's degree in law enforcement builds a fundamental understanding of the criminal justice system, policing, and correctional services. Students foster critical thinking and communication skills while exploring technical, psychological, and social aspects of law enforcement.

A law enforcement bachelor's degree typically includes four years of coursework and practical requirements. This degree is ideal for individuals looking to enter a law enforcement position. Current police officers, corrections personnel, and comparable protective service workers who want to advance within their professions also benefit from earning a degree in law enforcement. A bachelor's degree in law enforcement also serves as a pathway to a master's degree in law enforcement.

What Is the Difference Between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Law Enforcement and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Law Enforcement?

Some schools offer a bachelor of arts in law enforcement, a bachelor of science in law enforcement, or both. Most coursework in both programs is identical, but a BA emphasizes humanities courses like psychology, economics, and sociology.

A BS in law enforcement integrates technical aspects such as forensics, information technology, and natural science as they relate to the field. Individuals looking to work as a criminologist or detective benefit from a BA, while crime scene investigators are better served by a BS.

Choosing an Online Program

When choosing the right online bachelor's degree in law enforcement, consider cost, length of degree, and specializations. Ensure the program meets your personal and professional interests and goals. Prospective students should also consider regional accreditation, resident tuition eligibility, and program structure.

What to Expect From a Degree in Law Enforcement

Law enforcement degrees include comparable coursework and requirements, but no two programs are alike. Core classes emphasize law enforcement theory and practice, but some programs may include specialization options. Many law enforcement bachelor's degrees integrate research courses and practical components as well.

Law Enforcement Concentrations

Homeland Security

A homeland security concentration focuses on the role of law enforcement as it relates to the policies and functions of the Department of Homeland Security. Students learn how law enforcement prevents and combats domestic and international terrorism. Coursework also introduces learners to tools and techniques used by Homeland Security, investigation practices, and legal considerations.

Criminal Forensics

Criminal forensics specializations emphasize the science behind crime scene investigation. Students learn how to locate, collect, and analyze evidence. Additional aspects of criminal forensics, such as psychology, build an essential understanding of crime, criminals, and criminal investigation practices.

Cybersecurity

A cybersecurity concentration explores both sides of cybercrime. Students learn about common crimes like identity theft while gaining skills to investigate and prevent cybercrimes. Cybersecurity coursework trains students how to protect computer systems, networks, and data breaches; follow laws related to cybersecurity; and identify potential cyber threats.

Juvenile Justice

Juvenile justice concentrations teach law enforcement students to understand juvenile behaviors as they relate to crime and criminal activities. Coursework emphasizes prevention and rehabilitation, law and policy, and intervention for juvenile suspects and offenders. A juvenile justice specialization prepares learners to work as juvenile corrections officers, counselors, and probation officers.

Law Enforcement Curriculum

Common coursework in law enforcement programs emphasizes fundamentals of the legal system, corrections institutions, and court and judicial processes. Students learn theoretical and practical aspects of law and justice in local, state, and federal contexts.

  • Criminal Law: Criminal law classes explore types of crime, evidence, and resulting punishments. Students learn about legal classifications, criminal procedures, and defenses associated with specific criminal laws.
  • Criminal Justice and the Constitution: This course focuses on how the Constitution defines rights as they relate to criminal behavior, arrest, and judicial procedures. Students learn the nature of the Constitution, its role in shaping the criminal justice system, and its continued influence.
  • Corrections: Corrections coursework introduces students to types of jails, prisons, and related corrections facilities. Learners gain the knowledge and skills to carry out the duties of corrections officers. Corrections classes also explore theories, techniques, and changes to corrections practices and institutions in the U.S. and around the world.
  • Courts and Judicial Process: Individuals learn about the structure of the court system in the U.S. and how it operates at local, state, and federal levels. By exploring courts and judicial processes from political, social, and legal perspectives, law enforcement students understand the reasoning behind the court system in the U.S.
  • Ethics for Criminal Justice Professionals: Students explore decision-making and ethical dilemmas in issues of justice, punishment, and law. Classes in ethics also focus on the role law enforcement professionals play within their communities, in the general public, and in daily interactions.

Joint/Dual Degrees in Law Enforcement

Students enrolled in an online bachelor's degree in law enforcement may want to double major or pursue a joint degree. A double major in law enforcement and information technology would optimize opportunities to work in cybersecurity, while a dual degree in biology or chemistry and law enforcement can lead to careers in forensics.

Some schools also offer joint degrees, which are programs that lead to a bachelor's and a master's degree in law enforcement. This five-year program may attract students who want to continue on to law school.

Law Enforcement Careers

A law enforcement bachelor's degree is versatile and can lead to jobs in private and public sectors alike. An online bachelor's degree in law enforcement opens employment opportunities in criminal justice, police work, and corrections.

Some positions available to law enforcement students may require additional training or certification from a local, state, or national body. This list represents common careers for individuals with a bachelor's degree in law enforcement.

Top Careers in Law Enforcement With a Bachelor's Degree
Career Median Annual Wage (2020) Projected Job Growth (2020-2030)
Police Detectives $86,940 7%
Emergency Management Directors $76,250 6%
Police or Sheriff's Patrol Officers $65,540 7%
Fish and Game Wardens $58,040 7%
Probation Officers $55,690 4%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Law Enforcement Organizations

Professional organizations for law enforcement workers offer networking opportunities, career guidance, and resources for career development. Some professional organizations operate at the national level, while others provide regional and local opportunities to make connections. Within the larger scope of law enforcement, professional organizations can also allow for exploration of specializations within the field.

SRLEEA focuses on the needs of small, rural, and tribal law enforcement agencies and professionals. SRLEEA offers free symposia and training, hosts an annual conference, and provides industry discounts to members. Law enforcement employees, federal partners, students, and citizen supporters can join SRLEEA at no cost. Dedicated to ensuring equity in the administration of justice, NOBLE offers conferences and training exhibitions each year. Members receive access to NOBLE's continuing education programs, its extensive member database, and representation in federal, state, and local government. NAWLEE is the first organization formed to focus on the needs of women in law enforcement. It provides mentorship programs, job resources, and awards to members. NAWLEE also offers newsletters, partnerships, and committee memberships to law enforcement professionals and students. NLPOA brings together Latino peace officers from around the country through citizenship, mentor, and training programs. Workshops, awards, and job postings are available to chapter and individual members alike.

Frequently Asked Questions About Law Enforcement Degrees

How Do I Start a Career in Law Enforcement?

First, determine the requirements necessary at the law enforcement agencies in which you are interested. Many entry-level careers in law enforcement do not require a degree, but a bachelor's degree gives you a great start to a position in the field.

What Is the Best Degree for Law Enforcement?

The best degree for law enforcement is the one that prepares you for the career you want. A degree in law enforcement builds knowledge and skills for positions in policing, corrections, and protective services.

How Many Years Does It Take to Study Law Enforcement?

The length of time you study law enforcement depends on your goals. Students can earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four, and a master's degree in two years of study.

Portrait of Melissa Sartore

Melissa Sartore

Melissa Sartore holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her BA and MA in history are from Western Illinois University. A medievalist by training, she has published on outlawry in medieval England with additional publications on outlaws in popular culture and across geographic and historical boundaries.

Header Image Credit: kali9 | Getty Images

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