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What Do You Major In To Become A Police Officer

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Police Education Requirements By City


The education required for prospective police officers can vary widely between major cities. For example, the New York City Police Department requires that candidates have earned at least 60 college credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0 if they have not previously served in the military, and the Houston Police Department requires 48 semester hours of college with a GPA greater than 2.0 for non-military applicants. Currently, Minnesota is the only state that requires a two-year degree to become a peace officer statewide, while most other states POST educational requirements are more lenient. The Arlington Police Department and the Tulsa Police Department have among the most stringent educational requirements for law enforcement recruits, as both require those without a military background to have a bachelors degree.

City Police Department

How Do You Get Into The Police Academy

Most commonly, you get into the police academy one of three ways:

  • Go through the academy on your own and then apply to the agency or department of your choice.
  • Get hired at an agency or department and have them sponsor you through the academy.
  • Some jurisdictions may accept external or outside academy certificates and only require you to take an abbreviated version of the local academy.
  • Keep in mind that as with all other aspects of how to become a police officer the requirements for qualifying for and getting into a police academy varies depending on the state and jurisdiction.

    How To Prepare For Constable Exam And Interview

    The test includes objective type questions on GK and Current affairs. Aspirants must be updated with current affairs. Also, questions on English language and numerical aptitude are also included in the test. Aspirants must go through specialized books and practice sample papers to prepare for the test, which will help in preparation and boosting their confidence. Solving the sample papers will help them evaluate their performance and discover their weak areas.

    Those who wish to pursue their graduation before choosing to make a career as a police officer can opt to specialize in any field of their interest.

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    Becoming A Police Officer

    How do you go about becoming a police officer? Some departments require no more than a high school diploma or a GED, and then successful completion of their training program. But increasingly, officers are being required to successfully complete a certain number of semester hours from an accredited college with a minimum GPA.

    While some future police officers take courses in pre-law, most seek an associate’s degree in criminal justice. As with most fields, higher education can make a difference in the criminal justice field when it comes to attaining advancement and higher pay. You may not always want to work as a patrol officer, so an investment in college can pay off in the future in the form of promotions and higher salaries.

    Bachelors Degree In Law Enforcement

    How to Become a Police Officer?

    A law enforcement degree at the bachelors level typically takes four years to complete and can include many different topics or subjects. There are prototypical degrees such as criminal justice, criminology and law enforcement studies. But there are other majors that can hold police officers in good stead. For example, graduates with a degree in accounting are excellent candidates for a career in white collar crime investigations, while computer science majors can have an advantage if theyre interested in pursuing a career in computer forensics or cyber crimes.

    Those in a bachelors degree program in a law-related field can expect to find courses like these:

    Police Ethics

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    Why College Educated Police Officers Make More Money

    Having a college degree could means thousands more in income each year

    While it may not be required, having post-secondary education under your belt as a police officer will net you a higher salary and make it easier for you to move up in the ranks.

    Police officers with more education may also be better able to adapt to proposed community policing initiatives, including public outreach and crime prevention initiatives.

    What Types Of Career Advancements Can A Bachelors Degree In Policing Lead To

    Besides the knowledge that you gain, the skills youll develop can lead to many exciting career paths. The list below is a small sample of the careers Laurier police studies degree graduates have gone on to:

    • Chief of Police / Commissioner / Chief Constable
    • Deputy Chief of Police / Deputy Chief Constable
    • Staff Superintendent
    • Sergeant / Detective
    • Police Constable 1st Class / Detective Constable

    In the curriculum guide, you’ll find:

    • Complete curriculum listings

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    Police Training Academies In Michigan

    One of the basic requirements set by MCOLES for all law enforcement officers in the state is to complete an approved police training academy program. These programs are designed to be intensive and provide new recruits with training in the essential areas of police work. This includes firearms training, traffic codes, criminal law, ethics, and physical fitness. Some academies are based on college campuses and are combined with two-year associate degrees in criminal justice. The list of MCOLES-approved police academies comprises 21 institutions, including:

    • Lake Superior State University Sault Ste. Marie, MI
    • Washtenaw Community College Ann Arbor, MI
    • Oakland Police Academy Auburn Hills, MI
    • Grand Rapids Community College Grand Rapids, MI
    • Detroit Metropolitan Police Academy Detroit, MI
    • Kalamazoo Law Enforcement Training Center Kalamazoo, MI

    For a complete list of the approved academies see the MCOLES website.

    Picking The Right Program

    Police Jobs : How to Become a Police Officer Without a Degree

    Once you know which program level you want to pursue, its time to figure out which one best suits your needs. When researching the schools that make it onto your all-important shortlist, keep the following questions in mind:

    • Is the school regionally accredited?
    • Can you afford the tuition?
    • Does the timeline fit with your future goals?
    • Does the program have a high success rate?
    • Does the program provide POST exam prep?

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    Beyond Law Enforcement Careers

    No matter how much pride you get from patrolling streets, responding to emergencies, and being a first-contact between the police department and the community, you may eventually want to leave your position and go beyond a police officer career.

    So what are your options? When it comes to advancement, police officers should consider positions both vertically and horizontally.

    If you are most interested in vertical promotions should first focus on being the best police officer possible. Like any career, attitude makes a difference. While you can train for hundreds of hours a year and have decades of experience on your resume, an attitude focused on the positives of policing will be crucial for your success. Good captains, chiefs, and commissioners need a strong attitude that will rub off on the minds of other officers.

    Education still matters. While many ground-level police officers are hired without a college degree, higher-ranking police officers are all but required to have a post-secondary academic education. An associates, or better yet a bachelors degree, is a wise choice for anyone who aspires to work in law enforcement leadership.

    There are almost no limits to the potential careers beyond a police officer position. From advancing in your local department to taking your skills to the private sectors, police officers have a variety of skills that can apply almost anywhere!

    Best Online Courses For Police Officers

    Sometimes things are just better when you get to stay in your pajamas all day. That includes school. We found top courses for police officers from Udemy, Coursera, EDX, and ed2go that will help you advance in your career. Here are essential skills you need to be a police officer:

    • Police department

    The American criminal justice system is in need of reform. We incarcerate too many people. We pay insufficient attention to scientific advances that can help separate out the most and least culpable and dangerous. We grant the police far too much power to use force and technological surveillance. As a way of thinking about dealing with these problems, this course examines two over-arching issues: What should we do with people who have committed crime, and how should we identify who they are? On…

    About the Course – From the Nuremberg trial to the case against Saddam Hussein, from the prosecution of Al-Qaeda terrorists to the trial of Somali pirates – no area of law is as important to world peace and security as international criminal law. Taught by one of the world’s leading experts in the field, this course will educate students about the fundamentals of international criminal law and policy. We will explore the contours of international crimes such as genocide, war crimes, terrorism, a…

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor’s In Law Enforcement Programs

    A bachelor’s in law enforcement qualifies students for public service and safety careers. Bachelor’s degree-holders can pursue jobs in fields, such as policing and investigation that usually offer salary and pension benefits.

    While the cost of higher education varies, the National Center for Education Statistics calculates the cost of earning a degree at a four-year institution at more than $27,000. Many online programs, however, offer benefits, such as flexible enrollment and set or in-state tuition rates.

    Law enforcement is a common major among candidates for police academy training, which is required by most police agencies for new officers.

    Emergency management directors can earn a median annual wage of more than $76,000. Among law enforcement officers, detectives and criminal investigators earned the highest salary at nearly $87,000, with earnings exceeding $92,000 for federal government workers.

    Corrections is one area of specialization under the broader category of law enforcement. Aspiring correctional, probation, or parole officers may study corrections, while a bachelor’s in law enforcement can lead to careers in policing, investigation, and public safety.

    Accounting And Finance Degrees

    Career Spotlight: Police Officer

    Whether its your own paperwork or the investigation of somebody elses finances, an understanding of accounting and finance can be a huge asset to law enforcement officers. Officers active in their union can help keep fellow officers better informed about decisions regarding pensions, retirement investing, and other issues. Investigators with a finance or accounting degree know what red flags to look for, and how to follow the money.

    This is a finance degree from Penn State University. The program is AACSB accredited, ensuring the student that it is among the top 5% of the business schools in the world. This ensures the prospective law enforcement professional of having a respected skillset suitable for advancement within law enforcement, and a good education for a career outside law enforcement should the student decide to change career paths.

    Tuition: $16,050

    This is the accounting program from UMUC, the school offers both finance and accounting programs online. The program is designed to help students develop the necessary skills to work in an interdisciplinary fashion within their organization. Students will also learn skills valuable to investigators like researching, preparing, analyzing, and reviewing financial data.

    Tuition: $12,336

    Tuition: $16,398

    Tuition: $9,990

    Tuition: $9,985.50

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    Police Officers With Degrees Earn A Higher Salary

    Minimum education requirements for new police officers range from a high school diploma to having a four-year college degree. Many officers receive an education bonus just for having an education beyond the required high school diploma or GED.

    Dallas PD, for example, automatically gives officers with a bachelors degree an additional $300 per month, and also offers a bonus payment of $110 to $150 per month for knowing specific foreign languages. Depending on your level of proficiency, a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement certification can net you an additional $50 to $600 per month.

    The LAPD likewise offers an educational incentive bonus amounting to $4,560 per year for officers with associate’s degrees and $6,960 for those having earned a bachelor’s.

    The Application Process For Police Officer Candidates

    It isnt easy becoming a police officer. Potential candidates need to go through a stringent application process designed to weed out those who dont have what it takes to become outstanding police officers.

    Police officers help maintain peace and order and ensure that members of the community stay safe. This job comes with immense responsibility. The application process itself is not for everyone.

    Canadian police agencies generally follow the same process which involves a series of tests, checks and interviews, including:

    • A written exam
    • A polygraph exam
    • A background investigation

    Some of these tests require detailed paperwork but minimal preparation. For some tests, like the physical tests, you would be best prepared if you did a fitness training program, prior to, depending on your fitness level. Other tests, like the polygraph exam, require no preparation at all.

    Applicants can be declined at any point in the stages listed above and even if a candidate passes every stage, an offer of employment is not guaranteed.

    Once you have completed all assessments, your entire application package is reviewed and measured against other applicants to determine the most suitable candidates for the role as a police officer.

    If you are recruited, you can expect a conditional offer of employment that allows you to advance to the final step before you become a police officer: cadet training.

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    From Security Guard To Police Officer

    While there are a fair number of employment opportunities, as you have seen in the information presented in this article, policy agencies hire only the most suitable candidates. So you need to do what you can to ensure that your application stands out from the rest.

    Police agency recruiters advise applicants to significantly improve their chances of being selected through:

  • Private Security Jobs: Security jobs provide a work experience that prepares you for your role as a police officer. The skills you learn, the duties involved, the situations you encounter as well as the opportunities to work alongside law enforcement officers, all provide well-rounded preparation for your future role as a police officer.
  • Awards: Awards that recognize your ability to be a top performer are a strong indicator of work ethic.
  • Volunteer Experience & Community Involvement: Contributing your time to an organization that does meaningful work demonstrates good character. Be an active member of your community to show that participating and serving your community is important to you.
  • Training & Education: While a degree in criminology would help, you dont necessarily need post-secondary education. Relevant training and education can include training that you receive on the job as a security officer. And unlike the time and financial investment involved in post-secondary education, you can get paid while you learn with a job as a security guard.
  • Recommended Online Criminal Justice Degrees

    How to Become a Cop – Step by Step

    Contact schools for information on enrollment, tuition, and aid

    To start your career in law enforcement, you will need to start by getting the right education. Many jobs require an undergraduate degree, but you should be sure to research your prospective career path to fully understand what training you will need. Therefore, you should take a look at some of the best degree options that available for people who are seeking to start a career in the field of law enforcement.

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    How To Become A Police Officer: 4 Steps To The Best Job Outlook

    Its hard to image our society without police officers.

    Under-appreciated even in the most appreciative communities, police officers are the stewards of justice, peace, and safety all over the country. They may not be perfect, and their public images may not be flawless, but police officers and other law enforcement officials are vital to this county.

    You can be one of the proud police officers who protect the peace and safety of our communities, but it takes the right attitude, fortitude, and education to make it a reality.

    To make the right decision for your future, you probably have a lot of questions. This article walks you through each of the 4 steps needed to become a police officer, so you can make the right choice and hit the ground running in your new career.

    ARTICLE NAVIGATION:4 Steps to Become a Police Officer | Step 1: Basic Police Officer Requirements | Step 2: Police Officer Education Requirements | Step 3: Police Academy | Step 4: Find Your Perfect Police Officer Job

    How To Become A Police Detective: Your 6

    By Brianna Flavin on 08/16/2018

    Police detectives might make their job look easy, but theres more to it than the dusting for prints and intense interrogations of suspects found in crime dramas. Working in law enforcement can mean long hours and unsafe working conditions, but it also means helping people in need and bringing criminals to justice.

    If detective work is what youre drawn to, youre likely wondering what exactly what you need to do to make your dream a reality. The first thing to know is that becoming a police detective starts with becoming a police officer. But if you want to take that next step in your careeror youre just curious about becoming a detectiveheres where to begin.

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    Detailed Discussion Of Degree Programs For Police Officers

    The more officers know about the world around them and the communities they serve, the better equipped they are for success in their career. There is also the issue of advancement. Officers with degrees may be preferred for advancement, especially if those degrees have provided them with knowledge that helps them execute their duties.

    This article examines five different kinds of degrees that can be beneficial to law enforcement officers. The programs listed here are all online programs, but analogs of these programs can likely be found at local universities. One of the benefits of online programs for working police officers, is that they can earn their degree while working in the field because of the flexibility offered by the online format. This means officers no longer have to sacrifice years on the job to earn their degree.

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