The independent, trusted guide to online education for over 24 years!

Best Online Colleges for Law Enforcement Degrees – The Top 12

best online colleges for law enforcement degrees

Does due process, public safety, and criminal justice fascinate you? Do you want to earn a degree from the comfort of your home? If this describes you, attending one of the best online colleges for law enforcement degrees is an excellent route to explore. Pursuing a degree in this field offers excellent opportunities for advancement and stable employment.

As you may know, law enforcement is a vital part of any society since it helps to investigate, detect, prevent, and curtail the activities of criminals. These actions are important departments of the law enforcement profession.

Therefore, earning a degree in law enforcement paves the way to an in-demand career. Graduates in this profession are eligible to work in any state and federal agency as corrections officers, police officers, special aides, etc.

This article reveals the best online colleges for law enforcement degrees. It is essential to know that the selection of colleges that made our lists come from college reputations, accreditations, tuition fees, and quality of course contents. Read on to uncover more.

What is a Law Enforcement Degree?

A law enforcement degree is an academic program designed to equip graduates for careers in public safety, community policing, and criminal justice. This undergraduate program instills in each student the necessary skills for success in a law enforcement career. Such skills include critical thinking, conflict resolution, and mental agility.

What is the Importance of Studying Law Enforcement?

The law enforcement career provides “justice for all.” That means convicting culprits, protecting the innocent, and providing fair justice in different situations.

Without the law enforcement system, all those who work or operate within it are at risk of danger. But because law enforcement professionals exist, we can be confident to move around safely and securely.

12 Best Online Colleges for Law Enforcement Degrees

To pursue a career in law enforcement, you must first obtain the necessary education. Many law enforcement jobs require a bachelor’s degree. As a result, it is essential to go over our list of the best online colleges for law enforcement degrees.

1. Bemidji State University

Bemidji State University is a Minnesota public university founded in 1919 as a preparatory institution for teachers. It offers graduate education to the people of north-central Minnesota.

Bemidji State University offers an online law enforcement degree program through its distance learning platform. It primarily confers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. To earn this degree, students must complete 120 credits with 48 credits program-specific.

Aspiring students can gain valuable hands-on experience by participating in a summer internship. Students who have completed the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum in the past may apply their education credits toward their degree.
Students taking law enforcement courses online have support through financial services, IT support, and their academic advisors.

The metrics below apply to the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program:

Course Work

  • Domestic Violence
  • Criminal Justice and Society
  • Criminology and Delinquency
  • Forensic Victimology
  • Corrections and Penology,
  • Police and Community Relations

Admission Requirements

  • High school diploma
  • Submission of previous transcripts
  • ACT/ SAT results. Note: Students with a minimum GPA of 2.75 do not need ACT/SAT scores
  • Submission of an online application

Financial Aid

  • Institutional grants
  • Federal loans
  • Federal and state grants
  • Work-study programs

Acceptance rate: 69%

Graduation rate: 47%

Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission

Degree offered: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement

Campus location: Bemidji, Minnesota

2. State University Of New York (SUNY)

The State University of New York (SUNY) at Canton, founded in 1906, is an agriculture school. SUNY Canton’s campus offers educational degree programs to more than 3,100 students. This university is a Yellow Ribbon University that accepts military veterans who want to further their education.

SUNY offers an online law enforcement degree program. It awards eligible graduates a Bachelor of Technology in Criminal Justice focusing on law enforcement leadership. The degree program caters to all students, including those with an associate degree in criminal justice. The 122-credit-hour curriculum is regionally accredited.

The metrics below apply to the Bachelor of Technology in Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement Leadership program:

Course Work

  • Ethics and Criminal Justice
  • Law Enforcement Communications
  • Managing Patrol Function, Police Services
  • Current Issues in Law Enforcement
  • Criminal Procedure

Admission Requirements

  • Submission of previous transcripts
  • High school diploma
  • Submission of an online application

Financial Aid

  • Veteran benefits
  • Federal and state grants
  • Work-study programs

Acceptance rate: 58.5%

Graduation rate: 69%

Accreditation: The Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Degree offered: Bachelor of Technology in Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement Leadership

Campus location: Canton, New York

3. Florida State University (FSU)

Florida State University is a public research university in Tallahassee, Florida. The university offers a robust, online Bachelor in Criminology. The law enforcement program, primarily aimed at non-traditional students, gives those who are busy or do not live nearby the flexibility to take coursework while juggling a busy schedule.

To meet the program’s requirements at the Florida State University, students must have completed 120-semester credits. The metrics below apply to the Bachelor in Criminology program:

Course Work

  • Drugs in the Justice System
  • Minorities, Crime, and Social Policy
  • Victimology

Admission Requirements

  • Personal essay
  • Completed online application
  • SAT/ACT scores
  • High school diploma

Financial Aid

  • Private scholarships
  • Federal and state grants
  • State scholarships
  • Institutional grants

Acceptance rate: 32%

Graduation rate: 80%

Accreditation: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Degree offered: Bachelor in Criminology

Campus location: Tallahassee, Florida

4. Indiana State University

Indiana State University is a public university located in Terre Haute, Indiana. It was established in 1865 and provides over 105-undergraduate majors and more than 80 professional programs. Through its distance learning platform, the university offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Students in the Criminology and Criminal Justice program prepare for careers in law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice, private security, and other fields ranging from personal security management to private investigation.

Students benefit from online classes taught by award-winning professors with doctorates in criminal justice, sociology, and psychology. Many have worked as probation officers, police and correctional administrators, prosecutors, probation officers, and criminal investigators in the past. Of the 42 credits in criminology and criminal justice, students must complete 27 credits.
The metrics below apply to the Bachelor in Criminology and Criminal Justice program:

Course Work

  • Criminology
  • Intro to Corrections
  • Intro to Law Enforcement
  • Credits Intro to Court Systems
  • Criminal Justice Report Writing
  • Victimology
  • Intro to Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Dynamics of Criminal & Delinquent Behavior
  • Ethics in Criminal Justice

Admission Requirements

  • Personal essay
  • Completed online application
  • SAT/ACT scores
  • High school diploma

Financial Aid

  • Work-study programs
  • Veterans’ benefits
  • Institutional scholarships

Acceptance rate: 85%

Graduation rate: 41%

Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission

Degree offered: Bachelor in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Campus location: Terre Haute, Indiana

5. University Of Massachusetts (UMass)

The University of Massachusetts is a public research university located in Lowell, Massachusetts. The institution offers an online bachelor’s degree through its recognized distance learning platform.

UMass Lowell’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice focuses on criminal justice courses combined with a traditional, full-fledged liberal arts education. The program equips students for careers focused on keeping the people and nations safe.

The institution prides itself on excellence in academic scholarship. It is equally focused on using its resources to address real-world problems. Students enrolled in the Bachelor in Criminal Justice program must complete 120-credit hours to be awarded a degree.

The metrics below apply to the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice program:

Course Work

  • Policing
  • Emergency Management
  • Criminal Law
  • Homeland Security
  • Corrections
  • Terrorism
  • Hate Crime
  • Criminal Profiling
  • Victimology and Violence

Admission Requirements

  • Application
  • Non-refundable application fee
  • High school transcripts
  • GED transcripts or High school diploma certificate

Financial Aid

  • Student employment programs
  • Federal and state grants
  • State and federal loans
  • Institutional scholarship

Acceptance rate: 75%

Graduation rate: 59%

Accreditation: The New England Commission of Higher Education

Degree offered: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Campus location: Lowell, Massachusetts.

6. Metropolitan State University

Metropolitan State University is a public university in Minnesota that offers high-rewarding, flexible and affordable options in graduate and undergraduate programs. The School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice was established by statute in the Minnesota legislature to “advance the profession of law enforcement.”

The university prepares students for the rigors of 21st century policing by emphasizing racial and social justice; ethical, evidence-based policing; peace officer health and wellness; and community engagement.

The institution offers three possible online degree tracks for law enforcement majors:

  1. Track-1 serves students who want to become “license-eligible” in Minnesota
  2. Track-2 serves students with an associate’s degree in law enforcement and “license-eligible” in Minnesota
  3. Track-3 serves licensed peace officers

Of all the three tracks offered for law enforcement majors, track 3 is the most sought after by distance learning students. The metrics below apply to the Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement for Licensed Peace Officers program.

Course Work

  • Policing in the 21st Century
  • Criminology and Public Policy
  • Diversity in Criminal Justice
  • Legal Studies in Law Enforcement
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Law and Human Behavior

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants must submit a completed online application or physical application at the appropriate date
  • Official high school transcripts

Financial Aid

  • Federal and state grants
  • State and federal loans

Acceptance rate: 62%

Graduation rate: 48%

Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission

Degree offered: Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement

Campus Location: Minnesota

7. Southeast Missouri State University

Southeast Missouri State University is a public university located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. This university provides courses that promote analytical and critical thinking, confidence, leadership, and lifelong learning. Why? Because crime prevention, victim services, law enforcement, and rehabilitation necessitate these strong skill sets.

Southeast Missouri State University provides two paths to degree completion: an Academic/University track for those looking for a bachelor’s degree and a Law Enforcement Academy track for specialized law enforcement training.

A minimum of 120-credit hours are required to complete the criminal justice degree, including general education requirements and at least 39 senior division hours.

The metrics below apply to the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice program:

Course Work

  • Introduction to Law enforcement
  • Introduction to criminal justice
  • Juvenile justice
  • Introduction to criminal courts
  • Planning and research in criminal justice
  • Theories of crime
  • Justice administration
  • Victimology

Admission Requirements

  • Online application
  • High school transcripts
  • Non-refundable application fee

Financial Aid

  • Federal and state grants
  • State and federal loans
  • Institutional scholarship

Acceptance rate: 93%

Graduation rate: 51%

Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission

Degree offered: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Campus location: Cape Girardeau, Missouri

8. North Carolina Central University

North Carolina Central University offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice to campus and distance learning students.

The institution provides a professional orientation that will be vital to your career goals and your participation as a citizen in community affairs. Students at NCCU also complete a 120-hour internship with a criminal justice firm during their senior year.

The metrics below apply to the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program:

Course Work

  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Sociology of Law
  • Data Analysis in Criminology
  • Community and Crime
  • Violence, Terrorism, and Public Policy
  • Social Deviance
  • Admission Requirements
  • Non-refundable application fee
  • SAT/ACT scores
  • Submission of an online or physical application form
  • High school transcript

Financial Aid

  • Federal and state loans
  • Work-study programs
  • Institutional scholarship

Acceptance rate: 46%

Graduation rate: 79%

Accreditation: The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Degree offered: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Campus location: Durham, North Carolina

9. Eastern Kentucky University (EKU)

Eastern Kentucky University is a public research university in Richmond, Kentucky. The university offers associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in police studies in traditional on-campus and distance learning formats, resulting in the same accredited degree.

Students interested in pursuing a law enforcement degree here can take advantage of its generous credit transfer policy, which allows the transfer of up to 90 credits. Unlike traditional training, the program focuses on engaging students in critical reading and thinking and logical and ethical reasoning, allowing them to develop a deep and practical understanding of justice issues.

Eastern Kentucky University is the only institution that offers a four-year academic policing program in Kentucky. The department is one of the largest in the country.

The metrics below apply to the Bachelor of Science in Police Studies program:

Course Work

  • Drugs and Society
  • Organized Crime
  • White-collar Crime
  • Police and Society
  • Gender and Society
  • Environmental Crimes
  • Property Crime
  • Media and Criminal Justice
  • Police Liability
  • Administration and Management

Admission Requirements

  • High school diploma
  • Most importantly, aspiring students must select Police Studies as their major upon applying to the university.

Financial Aid

  • Work-study programs

Institutional scholarship: The two institutional scholarships available are- the Joseph Famularo scholarship and the program of distinction academic scholarship

Acceptance rate: 98%

Graduation rate: 43%

Accreditation: The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Degree offered: Bachelor of Science in Police Studies

Campus Location: Richmond, Kentucky

10. Columbia Southern University

Columbia Southern University is a private, for-profit online university located in Orange Beach, Alabama. The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration program at Columbia Southern University is appropriate for seasoned professionals and entry-level students. The program is offered online through the university distance learning platform.

This program trains criminal justice professionals to make sound decisions and respond to daily challenges in law enforcement, courts, and corrections. Aspiring students can capitalize on the maximum of 90-transfer credits. The total course credits come to 120.

The metrics below apply to the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration program:

Course Work

  • Drugs and Society
  • Criminal Investigation
  • Victimology
  • Management and Supervision in Criminal Justice
  • Criminology
  • Criminal Justice Organization and Administration

Admission Requirements

  • High school diploma
  • Previous transcript from other institutions (for transfer students)
  • Non-refundable application fee

Financial Aid

  • Work-study programs
  • Institutional scholarship

Acceptance rate: 73%

Graduation rate: 58%

Accreditation: The Distance Education Accrediting Commission

Degree offered: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration

Campus location: Orange Beach, Alabama

11. Western Illinois University

Western Illinois University is a public university located in Macomb, Illinois. Established in 1899 as a regular school, it expanded to become Western Illinois State Teachers College.

The program collaborates with leaders in the law enforcement, corrections, security, legal, and fire industries to create a well-rounded degree. Professionals with experience in this field teach the courses.

Western Illinois University offers 100% online and traditional undergraduate and master’s degree programs. The total course credits needed to graduate are 120.
The metrics below apply to the Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration program:

Course Work

  • Homeland Security Entities
  • Diversity and Ethics
  • Professionalism in Criminal Justice
  • Legal Aspects of Homeland Security and Terrorism
  • Principles of Terrorism
  • White-Collar Crime
  • Current Issues in Criminal Justice Specialties

Admission Requirements

  • High school diploma
  • A relevant transcript obtained from other institution
  • Completed online application

Financial Aid

  • Work-study programs
  • Institutional scholarships
  • Federal and state grants
  • Federal and state loans

Acceptance rate: 67%

Graduation rate: 50%

Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission accredits the university.

Degree offered: Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration

Campus location: Macomb, Illinois

12. Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University is a public university in Cullowhee, North Carolina. The Western Carolina University online program gives students the flexibility and convenience to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Studies from their location while preparing for a professional career.

At Western Carolina University, all the criminal justice courses are accessed online through the Canvas course management system. Instructional activities such as group interactions, lectures, reading assignments, presentations, class projects, and submission of assignments stream via the course management system. The criminal justice degree is an eight-semester degree plan.

The metrics below apply to the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program:

Course Work

  • Police and Society
  • Professionalism in Criminal Justice
  • Institutional Corrections
  • Current Issues in Criminal Justice Specialties

Admission Requirements

  • SAT/ACT scores: This is not required based on your previous academic grades
  • Official high school transcripts
  • Non-refundable application fee
  • Completed online application form
  • Personal essay
  • Letters of reference

Financial Aid

  • Work-study programs
  • Institutional scholarships
  • Military benefits
  • Federal and state grants
  • Federal and state loans

Acceptance rate: 48%

Graduation rate: 58%

Accreditation: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Degree offered: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Campus location: Cullowhee, North Carolina

FAQs on the Best Online Colleges for Law Enforcement Degrees

Q: What are the best degrees for law enforcement?
A: The best degrees for law enforcement are:

  • Criminology
  • Law Enforcement Administration
  • Homeland Security
  • Public Safety
  • Corrections
  • Emergency Management

Q: How long does it take to get a law enforcement degree?
A: Depending on your course of study, it takes two years and a maximum of 4 years of academic excellence to merit a law enforcement degree.

Q: Salary comparison for law enforcement officers
A: An entry-level law enforcement officer with less than 1-year experience can earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $49,159, according to PayScale.

Apply to a Best Online College for Law Enforcement Degrees Today!

The number of online colleges offering law enforcement degree programs is limitless. But in this post, we have chosen the best online colleges out of the several colleges providing the law enforcement degree. You should know that pursuing an online bachelor’s degree in law enforcement will provide you with an excellent foundation as you forge ahead in your career pursuits. At GetEducated.com, we have quality educational resources to help you in your quest for a rewarding academic experience.

Browse Now

Search Over 1,600+ Schools with 30,000+ Degrees