Overview

Designed to tackle the challenges of leadership and public administration in law enforcement, a master’s in law enforcement program prepares students for advanced administrative duties in the field. These multidisciplinary programs cover theories of criminal justice and incident response strategies, so graduates can approach any situation with critical insight and analysis.

In addition, students can receive specialized training to become voices of authority in specific fields. 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, which means graduates can feel confident they are prepared to offer value as soon as they obtain a position.

Degree holders can work as public officials, in the FBI, or as leaders in law enforcement administration.

Yes. The key is to find an accredited program that suits your specific scheduling needs.

Most online degrees are accepted by employers, and many highly respected schools offer online degrees.

A master’s in law enforcement administration takes around 2-3 years to complete. Students can obtain their degrees faster, but it’s best to take your time to absorb the material.

A master’s degree can lead to higher salaries and chances of employment. In addition, it is a good match for those who want leadership positions in law enforcement.

A law enforcement master’s degree can also open the door to well-paying, rewarding careers at senior levels of law enforcement and justice administration. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts steady annual job growth for a number of senior-level positions like police lieutenant over the next decade. More importantly, that means graduates can enjoy a career that is both stable and fulfilling.

Best Online Masters in Law Enforcement Administration Programs

We took a deep-dive and analyzed every online Masters in Law Enforcement Administration program in the nation. Below are the results of our analysis and a list of the Top 20 best online Masters in Law Enforcement Administration programs.

Read about our methodology here.

Graduation Rate
79%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$745 per credit
Best Virtual Classroom

Michigan State University makes it easy for distance learners to complete the law enforcement administration coursework while receiving a campuslike experience. The asynchronous coursework is delivered via Dream2Learn, a virtual learning system that provides the lessons and gives students a way to collaborate on group projects as if they were in a real on-campus classroom.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Criminal Justice
Program Name: Master of Science Degree in Judicial Administration
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2-3 years
Program start dates: Summer, Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Summer or Fall: February 1; Spring: September 1
GPA: 3.2

Address:

655 Auditorium Rd

East Lansing, MI 48824

517-432-4793

Graduation Rate
95%
School Type
Private
Tuition
$699 per credit
Best for Law Enforcement and Military

The University of San Diego offers a Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) and military-friendly law enforcement and public safety administration program. The program grants benefits for veterans, active military, and current members of a LEA, who want to advance their careers in leadership or administrative roles. Eligible students can benefit from reduced tuition costs and flexible payment options to make earning their master's degree less of a financial burden. Graduates of the FBI National Academy may also transfer up to 12 credits towards the program.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Science in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership
Accrediting Body: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 31 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 20 months
Program start dates: Fall: September 4; Spring: January 22; Summer: May 21

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: August 7; Spring: December 3; Summer: April 22
GPA: 2.75

Address:

5998 Alcala Park

San Diego, CA 92110

619-260-4580

Graduation Rate
52%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$500 per credit
Best New Program

Colorado State University-Global Campus was created in 2007 by the CSU System to provide high quality online education for modern learners. The master's in law enforcement program develops leaders through distance education and prepares them for advanced roles within their respective fields. The curriculum was designed to establish a strong foundation on traditional criminal justice topics, but also focuses on contemporary, cutting edge areas such as cybercrime, terrorism, international investigations, forensics, white collar crime, data analytics and technology.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
Accrediting Body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Every month

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

"We are excited to have our Master's in Criminal Justice recognized as a leader in the field for our focus on ensuring students are prepared for jobs of tomorrow. Students in this program will be right on the front line of these cutting edge topics and news events and will have an impact on the safety of the United States and beyond."
- Dr. Michael Skiba, Program Chair-Criminal Justice Programs
Contact:

Andrew Dixon

Admissions Contact

Address:

7800 E Orchard Rd, #200

Greenwood Village, CO 80111

720-897-8368

Graduation Rate
35%
School Type
Private
Tuition
$1,431 per course
Best for Working Professionals

Wilmington University designed its master's in administration of justice program for students who are already working in a related field and can't commit to a full-time schedule but want to earn their degree for career advancement. Upon earning their degree, students can transition into management-level positions in homeland security and local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Program Name: Master of Science in Administration of Justice
Specialized Concentration: Leadership and Administration
Accrediting Body: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

DeliveryFormat: Online, Hybrid

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credit hours

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 year
Program start dates: January 14

Address:

320 N DuPont Hwy

New Castle, DE 19720

302-356-4636

School Type
Private
Tuition
$585 per credit
Best for Internships

Salve Regina University gives students a way to put into practice what they learn in the master's in law enforcement administration program. Students are able to sign up for both state and federal internships to improve their skills in the field.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Graduate Studies and Continuing Education
Program Name: Master of Science in Administration of Justice and Homeland Security
Specialized Concentration: Leadership in Justice
Accrediting Body: New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree in any undergraduate major from a regionally or nationally accredited college or university
Credit Requirements: 36 credit hours

Program LengthProgram start dates: January 22

Address:

100 Ochre Point Ave

Newport, RI 2840

800-637-0002

Graduation Rate
29%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$575 per credit
Best Cohort

Students in the online master's in law enforcement administration program at Bellevue University are part of a cohort, meaning they remain together as a group upon enrolling in the program. This format allows them to build lasting relationships and to collaborate on assignments as they work toward earning their degree, as well as to develop networking opportunities for career advancement after college.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Science in Justice Administration and Crime Management
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's or Master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
Credit Requirements: 36 credit hours

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

Address:

1000 Galvin Rd S

Bellevue, NE 68005

402-293-2000

Graduation Rate
53%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$503 per credit
Best for Criminal Justice Professionals

Sam Houston State University designed its law enforcement administration program for criminal justice professionals who want to move into management-level positions. The curriculum includes subjects in leadership psychology and law enforcement management, providing the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed at the next level.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Criminal Justice
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management
Accrediting Body: Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC)

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree
Credit Requirements: 36 Credit Hours

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years
Program start dates: January 16

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling

Address:

1905 University Ave

Huntsville, TX 77341

936-294-1971

School Type
Private
Tuition
$1,345 per credit
Most Flexible

Students in the law enforcement administration program at Georgetown University have the flexibility to tailor the program to their specific educational and career needs. Distance learners can select between online and hybrid classes, enroll on a full- or part-time basis and take as many as five years to earn their degree.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Continuing Education
Program Name: Master's in Applied Intelligence
Available Concentrations: Law Enforcement, Homeland Security
Accrediting Body: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's Degree
Credit Requirements: 33 credit hours

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2-5 years
Program start dates: January 9

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: December 1
GPA: 3.0

Address:

640 Massachusetts Ave NW

Washington, DC 20001

202-687-6299

Graduation Rate
Public
School Type
60%
Tuition
In-state: $724 per credit; Out-of-state: $739 per credit
Most Accelerated

The University of Cincinnati offers an accelerated law enforcement administration program for full-time students. Distance learners can complete the entire degree program in one year and even reduce that time with transfer credits from a previous graduate program.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Criminal Justice
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Specialized Concentration: Law Enforcement & Crime Prevention
Accrediting Body: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university
Credit Requirements: 33 semester hours

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall; Spring: January 7; Summer: May 8

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall; Spring: December 1; Summer: April 1
GPA: 3.0

Address:

2600 Clifton Ave

Cincinnati, OH 45221

800-645-5078

Tuition
$490 per credit
Most Interactive

Columbia College takes a hands-on approach to teaching students in the master's in law enforcement administration program. The courses are structured in a way to maximize student interaction, creating a collaborative educational environment for distance learners.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Humanities, Arts & Social Science
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Specialized Concentrations: Law Enforcement Administration, Corrections Administration

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credit hours

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years
Program start dates: January 7

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: December 1
GPA: 3.0

Address:

1001 Rogers St

Columbia, MO 65216

573-875-7352

School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $392 per credit; Out-of-state: $807 per credit
Best Credit Transfer

University of North Texas gives students a way to shorten their time in the online master's in law enforcement administration program with a generous credit transfer program. Students can transfer up to 9 credit hours into the program, helping them to take only the necessary courses to earn their degree and reducing their time in school.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Health and Public Service
Program Name: MS in Criminal Justice with Concentration
Specialized Concentration: Justice Policy and Administration

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credit hours

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Contact:

Dr. Brooke Nodeland

Admissions Contact

Address:

1155 Union Cir

Denton, TX 76203

940-565-2562

Graduation Rate
73%
School Type
Private
Tuition
$870 per credit
Best Curriculum

Saint Joseph's University has more than 160 years of educational experience and has developed one of the more rigorous and structured curricula in that time. Students in the law enforcement administration program learn foundational and advanced topics in analytical reasoning, forensic financial analysis and more, gaining invaluable skills and knowledge for use in their careers.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Specialized Concentration: Federal Law Enforcement
Accrediting Body: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's Degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years
Program start dates: January, March, May, July, August, October

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

Address:

5600 City Ave

Philadelphia, PA 19131

866-758-7670

School Type
Private
Tuition
$750 per credit
Best Foundational Development

Students who want a well-rounded knowledge of law enforcement administration should enroll in the online master's program at Bethune-Cookman University. This program not only includes the basics of administrative leadership in public and private criminal justice environments but also covers foundational theories of justice and ethical standards, giving students a solid foundation for leadership careers at the administrative level.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Graduate Studies
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration (MSCJA)
Accrediting Body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's Degree
Credit Requirements: 33 credit hours

Program LengthProgram Length: 18 months
Program start dates: January 14

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: November 1
GPA: 2.75

Address:

640 Dr Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd

Daytona Beach, FL 32114

800-448-0228

School Type
Public
Tuition
$675 per credit
Best Focused Education

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville offers several concentrations and customized focus paths in its master's in law enforcement administration program. Students are able to select a single concentration or a primary focus path to increase their knowledge for assuming leadership positions in the field.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Specialized Concentration: Criminal Justice Management

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credit hours

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: January 22

Admission RequirementsGPA: 2.75

Address:

1 University Plaza

Platteville, WI 53818

855-382-9487

Tuition
$315 per credit
Best Novice Program

The University of the Cumberlands caters to novices of law enforcement who are entering the field for the very first time. Online students learn the foundations of law enforcement and can customize their degree with specializations such as juvenile justice administration to create a program that's truly their own.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Science in Justice Administration
Available Concentrations: Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, Corrections, Juvenile Justice
Accrediting Body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree
Credit Requirements: 31 credit

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Spring I: January 7; Spring II: March 4; Summer I: May 6; Summer II: July 1; Fall I: August 26; Fall II: October 21

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

Address:

6178 College Station Dr

Williamsburg, KY 40769

606-539-4390

Graduation Rate
45%
School Type
Private
Tuition
$575 per credit
Best Online Tools

Distance learners in Saint Leo University's law enforcement administration program benefit from state-of-the-art tools, software and resources to improve their productivity in the program. Students can access the university's digital library, receive online tutoring, join online clubs and more at the click of a button.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Available Concentrations: Behavioral Studies, Corrections, Criminal Investigations, Critical Incident Management, Forensic Science, Legal Studies
Accrediting Body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 36 graduate credit hours

Program LengthProgram Options: Online, Hybrid
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: January 9

Address:

33701 State Rd 52

Saint Leo, FL 33574

877-622-2009

School Type
Public
Tuition
$300 per credit
Most Customized

Albany State University offers the most customization options in the master's in law enforcement administration program. Students can customize the program with numerous electives and graduate certificates to enhance their degree for future career advancement.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Arts and Humanities
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Specialized Concentration: Law Enforcement
Accrediting Body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

DeliveryFormat: Online, Face-to-face

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or University
Credit Requirements: 30 semester hours

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Contact:

Denata Williams

Admissions Contact

Address:

504 College Dr

Albany, GA 31705

229-317-6325

Graduation Rate
49%
School Type
Private
Tuition
$945 per credit
Best Value

Chaminade University of Honolulu offers great value for distance learners who are new to the field and have worked professionally for years. Distance learners in the law enforcement administration program benefit from affordable tuition, structured coursework, scholarship support, various start dates and more.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Division of Behavioral Sciences
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration
Available Concentrations: Law Enforcement, Corrections
Accrediting Body: Western Association of Schools and Colleges

DeliveryFormat: Online, Evening
Instruction Style: Synchronous, Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 42 credit hours

Program LengthProgram Length: 18-24 months
Program start dates: January 7

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Contact:

Shauna Pimentel-Motooka

Admissions Contact

Address:

3140 Waialae Ave

Honolulu, HI 96816

808-739-8364

School Type
Private
Tuition
$915 per credit
Best Career Development

Students in the online master's in law enforcement program learn alongside industry professionals in law enforcement, forensic science and investigation to prepare for leadership careers after college. The faculty members use their knowledge to develop the students' expertise in the field while the Career Development Center helps them with internship opportunities, resume building, interview training and more.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Focus Area: Leadership and Management

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Spring; Summer; Fall

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Spring: January 4; Summer: May 6
GPA: 3.0

Contact:

Kathleen Borho

Admissions Contact

Address:

300 Boston Post Rd

West Haven, CT 6516

203-932-7461

Graduation Rate
26%
School Type
Private
Tuition
$700 per credit
Best Faculty

Tiffin University's faculty members are academic leaders and have administrative experience in the field. These instructors share their expertise with students in the law enforcement administration program, helping them to gain the skills for becoming leaders in their own careers.


Program OverviewProgram Name: MS in Criminal Justice
Specialized Concentration: Justice Administration
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsCredit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years
Program start dates: January, March, May, July, August, October

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Address:

155 Miami St

Tiffin, OH 44883

800-968-6446

What Can I Expect from an Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Program?

Law enforcement professionals serve the public and protect lives and property while enforcing laws and solving crimes. An online master’s in law enforcement administration provides you with the skills and knowledge you need to assume a leadership role. Online programs offer the flexibility law enforcement professionals need to work around their schedule while continuing their education. Many programs allow individual pacing, so you can complete your online master’s degree based on your time line, and offer accelerated programs for those who want to finish quicker. Top ranking online programs follow the same rigorous standards as traditional on-campus courses and provide graduates with the education they need to succeed.

Concentrations Offered for an Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration

Online master’s in law enforcement administration programs offer a variety of concentrations that help improve your crime prevention, personnel management and leadership skills. Most programs are designed for mid-level to upper-level law enforcement professionals, but the curriculum varies. Compare program details and choose one with courses that align with your career goals, especially when you seek advancement into supervisory roles.

CONCENTRATIONDESCRIPTIONPOSSIBLE CAREERS THIS CONCENTRATION PREPARES FOR
Crime PreventionDeterring criminal activity and covers topics like basic crime prevention theory, police effectiveness, police ethics and community policing.Crime scene investigator, criminal investigator, forensic scientist, law enforcement detective, FBI agent
CorrectionsCovers prison reform and the various types of correctional, rehabilitation, probation and parole programs.Crime scene photographer, forensic photographer, expert photo analyst, crime scene specialist
Homeland SecurityThe impact and response to domestic and foreign terrorism, including topics on ethics, emergency management and protection of critical infrastructure.Latent print examiner, latent print expert, fingerprint analyst, crime scene specialist
Crime Analysis and InvestigationThe intricate details of crime, including analysis and investigation of various types of crime, national security, death investigations and cold cases.Law enforcement, forensic science technician, crime scene investigator, forensic analyst, criminologist

Curriculum for an Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration

Online master’s programs in law enforcement administration are multidisciplinary with subject matter that covers numerous specialties useful in leadership roles. Graduate students explore budgeting, communication, human resources, conflict resolution and negation, resource allocation, technology and management principles as they relate to law enforcement administration, as well as theories in criminal justice, crime prevention and criminology. Programs often require capstone projects or internships, but schools usually allow employed students to complete these requirements around their work schedules. Contemporary curriculum is primarily skills-based and may include courses like:

COURSESDESCRIPTION
Police Administrative Policy OperationsAn overview of strategic administrative approaches to supervising police personnel, including resolving internal management concerns, critical incident management and community-oriented policing.
Research Methods in Criminal JusticeEthics and confidentiality issues and explores the psychological and social scientific research methods used to study crime, criminal justice and organization administration.
Homeland Security and CounterterrorismAn in-depth understanding of domestic and international terrorism, including topics on risk analysis, counterterrorism, tactical and strategic solutions, intelligence and anti-terrorism technology.
Emergency ManagementProvide graduates with advanced skills in emergency preparedness, response and recovery, including effective information management and decision-making procedures.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Master’s Degree in Law Enforcement Administration?

Online master’s in law enforcement administration programs typically include 30 to 36 credit hours that include core courses, electives and a final capstone or thesis project. Full-time students can usually complete required coursework in 18 months to two years, but accelerated programs can often be completed in a year. Students typically take classes either one at a time or simultaneously in either cohort-based or individually paced programs. Before choosing a program, contact the school for specific information on program length, curriculum and admission requirements.

Certifications and Licenses an Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Prepares For

CERTIFICATIONDESCRIPTION
P.O.S.T. Certified Police SupervisorFull-time police officers at a Peace Officer Standards and Training-participating agency with a P.O.S.T. Intermediate Certificate and who have earned a minimum of 60 semester units at an accredited college, served two years as a first-level supervisor and completed the P.O.S.T. Supervisory Course may earn supervisory certification from the Peace Officer Standards and Training certification board in their state.
P.O.S.T. Certified Police ManagerFull-time police officers at a POST-participating agency with a POST Advanced Certificate who have earned a minimum of 60 semester units at an accredited college, served two years in middle management and completed the POST Management Course may earn a police management certification from the Peace Officer Standards and Training certification board in their state.
P.O.ST. Certified Police ExecutiveFull-time police officers at a POST-participating agency with a POST Advanced Certificate who have earned a minimum of 60 semester units at an accredited college, served two years as a department head and completed the POST Executive Development Course may earn police executive certification from the Peace Officer Standards and Training certification board in their state.

Accreditation for Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Degrees

Accredited online master’s degree programs in law enforcement administration meet the same rigorous educational standards as traditional on-campus programs. Choose a college or university with regional or national accreditation from agencies recognized by the Department of Education or Council for Higher Education Accreditation to ensure you receive a high-quality education and the best opportunities for career advancement.

Because law enforcement administration programs are often linked to a university’s criminal justice college, the law enforcement program may also have its own accreditation from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. However, the ACJS only accredits a limited number of programs, so focus on and confirm regional and national accreditation.

Employment Outlook for Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Graduates

Job Placement: Master’s v. Bachelor’s

Earning a master’s in law enforcement administration creates a competitive resume that makes you a desirable candidate to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Your degree can help ease the way into your desired career path or accelerate your current career into the leadership or administrative position you seek.

Expected Salary

A master’s in law enforcement administration provides you with advanced knowledge of police personnel leadership and public administration. Your degree can effectively open up numerous opportunities in a wide range of law enforcement career paths. Your career track could lead you to law enforcement positions with varied levels of responsibility and salary ranges like the ones listed below.

Job TitleSalary Range
Detective/Criminal Investigator$38,343–$106,472
Police Sergeant$42,852–$111,316
Police Lieutenant$49,575–$130,492
Police Captain$49,202–$144,690
Police Chief$42,245¬$136,136
Prison Warden$53,160–$140,036
Emergency Management Specialist$36,359–$94,490

Source: PayScale.com

Your online master’s in law enforcement administration combined with experience on the job allow you to move up through the ranks. As your rank increases, so does your annual salary. Some of the median salaries for law enforcement personnel based on their rank are listed below.

Median Salaries of Law Enforcement Personnel

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Opportunities

The demand for peace officers at the local, state and federal levels is expected to continue rising through 2026. An online master’s in law enforcement administration prepares you for a wide variety of positions in law enforcement, public administration and protective services. Graduates may work in police administration, correction, emergency response, homeland security or information analysis.

JOB TITLEJOB DESCRIPTIONMEDIAN SALARYPROJECTED GROWTH RATE
Supervisors of Police and DetectivesThis career track includes police chiefs who directly supervise the activities of a police force and manage subordinate personnel while promoting public safety and appropriate use of current and new policing policies and techniques.$87,910 per year7%
Criminal Intelligence AnalystIntelligence analysts gather, evaluate and analyze information from various sources in law enforcement, intelligence and surveillance networks so they can anticipate and prevent organized criminal activities, including issues with narcotics, gangs, auto theft, human trafficking, and foreign and domestic terrorism or other national security threats.$79,970 per year7%
Emergency ManagerEmergency managers plan, execute and coordinate crisis management activities and appropriate emergency responses to natural and man-made disasters, acts of war or terrorism and hostage situations to ensure public safety.$72,760 per year8%

Professional Organizations

Professional organizations support law enforcement personnel in their careers and desire to continue their education. While pursuing your master’s degree in law enforcement administration, connect with professional organizations that offer scholarships or tuition aid programs, training and professional development opportunities, job listings and solid networking potential. Membership should also allow you to collaborate with your peers and provide access to additional guidance and resources that help you stay current on relevant law enforcement legislation.

Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association: This organization exclusively represents and advocates on behalf of federal law enforcement agents, offering members legal assistance, insurance assistance, networking opportunities and scholarships.

Fraternal Order of Police: The largest organization exclusively for sworn law enforcement officers, the FOP provides members with legal defense, insurance and banking options, online educational resources, national conferences and other professional events, professional certification programs, tuition assistance and scholarships for members and their families.

Federal Criminal Investigators Association: An online association that offers a convenient source of job opportunities and a network for communication and support with news releases and articles covering legislation that impacts law enforcement.

National Association of Police Organizations: A U.S.-based association that provides legal assistance, a source for new legislation that affects law enforcement officers, professional conventions and seminars, scholarship opportunities, research sponsorship, awards for top professionals and deeply discounted special offers from participating companies available to members only.

International Association of Chiefs of Police: An international association especially for police leaders that offers timely research, programming and training opportunities, the leading periodical for law enforcement executives, the largest annual conference worldwide, year-round professional training events, assessment centers, management studies, comprehensive police executive search services, job listings and awards of recognition for outstanding service in various fields.

Financing Your Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration

Taking classes online is often less expensive than on-campus programs, but some schools do charge higher per credit rates if you live out of state. Prospective online graduate students who require financial assistance can quality for many of the same types of state and federal financial aid as traditional students. You can also find scholarships, private tuition assistance and other awards strictly available to distance learners — sometimes even specific to your field of study. The following resources provide further information about various ways to finance your continuing education.

Resources

Scholarships

Scholarships

Details

Fraternal Order of Police: Grand Lodge Education Scholarship

Award: Up to $500

Deadline: 45 days after semester completion

Eligibility: Tuition reimbursement for eligible FOP members enrolled in a National FOP University with courses that can be taken completely online to accommodate a working law enforcement officer’s schedule.

Margaret Farnworth Graduate Scholarship Fund

Award: $2,000

Deadline: March

Eligibility: Full-time graduate or doctoral students enrolled in the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University who plan to teach at an institute of higher learning or work at a criminal justice or law enforcement agency.

Sergeant Peter Tam Law Enforcement Scholarship

Award: $1,000

Deadline: April

Eligibility: Part-time graduate students, currently or soon-to-be employed full-time in a law enforcement capacity and enrolled in a master’s program in criminal justice, public administration, digital forensics, cyber security, forensic science or forensic psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.