What is a M.S. in Law Enforcement Administration?

Have you always dreamed of pursuing a career in the field of criminal justice? If you want to be involved in some aspect of law enforcement, you need to decide which career you want to pursue and what educational path you should take to help you accomplish your goals. As you are reviewing all of the degree program options, you may start to wonder what makes a degree in Law Enforcement Administration different from a basic Criminal Justice degree. If your goal is to become a member of management in a law enforcement office or agency, you may want to pursue a degree with a specific focus in Law Enforcement Administration. Read on and learn how a Master’s degree in Law Enforcement Administration will prepare you to take advantage of high-level open law enforcement administration positions.

What Separates a Law Enforcement Administration and Criminal Justice Degree?

Many schools will combine Law Enforcement Administration and Criminal Justice curriculum at the undergraduate degree level to prepare you to enter the field. While you will take courses with a focus in criminal justice, when you choose a Law Enforcement Administration program on a graduate level, the program will prepare you to become a police chief, a captain, a member of the DEA, or a supervisor at the Federal level.

If your goal is to be an officer or a high-level manager in a law enforcement office, earning your Master’s degree with a concentration in Law Enforcement Administration will help you obtain the educational background that you need to skip the time-consuming process of working your way up the ranks. While a Master’s in Criminal Justice may qualify you for supervisory positions, this degree is much more focused so that you can become an expert in the field of law enforcement and not the broad field of Criminal Justice.

What Will the Elective Courses Teach You

When you are selecting a Master’s degree program major, you need to take the time to review the required courses that you must complete to earn your degree. If you take a Law Enforcement Administration degree program, you will focus on aspects that have to do with administration and running a law enforcement agency. Some of the common required courses that students must take to earn an MS degree will include:

  • Ethics
  • Budgeting
  • Law
  • History
  • Public Administration
  • Sociology
  • Public Relations
  • Leadership and Management

As you can see, the classes focus a lot on organizational and operational leadership in the field. You will learn your legal responsibilities and the regulations that you must follow, as well as how to be an exceptional leader and the face of the agency in difficult times. Majoring in this field and earning a graduate degree is what will ultimately help you make your way to the top of the ladder without having to put in more than a decade as an officer.

Law enforcement managers carry a lot of responsibility but have a fulfilling job. Police chiefs earn an average salary of $71,489 per year, but can raise earning potential with an advanced degree and experience. Compare programs, dedicate yourself to your education, and you can advance in the field of law enforcement.