10 Best Schools with Online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement

Online Bachelor's in Law Enforcement - featured image

Law enforcement helps ensure community peace and order. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports show that there are more than 808,200 police and detectives in police departments across the United States. They are employed as municipal police officers, state troopers, game wardens, and county sheriff’s officers. Some also qualify for federal agencies, such as the DHS-Department of Homeland Security and FBI-Federal Bureau of Investigation, particularly with a master’s degree.

Online Bachelor's in Law Enforcement - fact

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Law enforcement agencies and organizations are responsible for the investigation of criminal activities, identification and temporary detention of suspected criminals, and referral of the results to state or federal prosecutors. They also deter and prevent crimes and serve and enforce the courts’ warrants, writs, and other orders.

Today, the demand for highly trained and knowledgeable law enforcement professionals is on the rise! Graduates have numerous career options waiting for them, such as investigators, intelligence officers, police officers, probation officers, and other critical roles.

Quick Summarization

An online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement degree program is for those who want to start stable employment in the field. Earning this degree, which is closely related to a Criminal Justice degree, means gaining foundational knowledge of criminal justice, police administration, ethics, criminal law, emergency management, criminology, data analysis and research, and more. All these prepare students for various law enforcement careers in public safety, criminal justice, and emergency management.


Sorting through the multiple online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement program options can be overwhelming! To help you decide right, we picked 10 excellent undergraduate degree programs! Each online program and college was recommended based on these criteria:

  • Offered as an online or hybrid program for flexible undergraduate learning,
  • Features a curriculum that highlights the fundamental principles of and practices in criminal justice, criminology, law enforcement, and homeland security,
  • Offers concentration tracks, Including Cybercrime, Emergency Management, Law Enforcement Administration, Law Enforcement Analytics, Forensic Science, Corrections, and Public Safety,
  • Discusses specialized topics, including Law Enforcement and Policing, Introduction to Criminal Justice, Criminal Law, and Forensic Psychology,
  • Facilitates small class sizes to give students focused attention,
  • Provides easy access to their Law Enforcement coursework through top-rated virtual learning platforms,
  • Taught by police instructors or field researchers with terminal degrees in Law Enforcement to ensure a linear training approach that integrates stress and anxiety into training, which police officers normally experience in their line of work,
  • Offers lower tuition rates and offers financial assistance and credit transfer options to reduce students’ overall cost of an online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement degree,
  • Obtained appropriate accreditation from respectable accrediting bodies, such as the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges and Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and meet the highest educational standards.

Please read our Methodology page for details.

10 Best Online BS in Law Enforcement

Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Southwestern Assemblies of God University offers a BS in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement to help students develop the required knowledge and tactics in investigating crimes and understanding the justice system and correctional rehabilitation strategies. Through this program, students will also undergo skills training to prepare them to handle difficult situations ethically, efficiently, and tactfully.

BS Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement majors will be required to complete a police academy training program at an authorized site. After completion of training, students must submit proper certification of academy transcript and evidence of awarded credit hours to receive transfer credits. This is recommended by the Workforce Education Course Manual (WECM) by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB).

Classes for the Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement degree program are small, allowing for one-on-one interactions with teachers who help ensure students’ performance and well-being. Enrollees are also guaranteed 20% less debt on average, as well as a financial aid team to help them secure scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options for more affordable undergraduate education.

SAGU students can take advantage of full campus support and resources, as well as job training and assistance from the Career Center and Counseling Center.

This school is SACSCOC-accredited and Council for Higher Education Accreditation-approved.

Baker College

Baker College

Baker College’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement and Police Academy provide rigorous training to those who want to join the police force. This is a law enforcement and police academy training program that gives students a chance to learn and be trained alongside veteran law officers.

Law Enforcement and Police Academy classes are taught by professors who have the experience and capabilities to equip students for rewarding careers in the field through hands-on experience and education on the principles of evidence collection, psychology, first aid, cybercrime, and policing. Classes are small to ensure students can get ample attention and guidance on conflict resolution and other crisis management training.

At the end of this online degree program in law enforcement and the police academy, students will have a real understanding of the concepts of duty, societal issues, and justice along with various ethical issues surrounding criminal justice. Education is enhanced through hands-on training in criminal and juvenile justice, psychology, ethics, and corrections. More importantly, graduates will hold a bachelor’s degree that gives that competitive edge when applying for jobs at the FBI, U.S. Marshal Service, and other agencies.

Major courses for the BS in Criminal Justice include:

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to Corrections
  • Criminology
  • Legal Issues in Corrections
  • Criminal Law
  • Juvenile Justice Concepts
  • Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice
  • Drugs, Crime, and Society
  • Cybercrime Investigations
  • Evidence Collection and Procedures
  • Organized Crime and Youth Gangs
  • Criminal Courts
  • Evidence-Based Practices
  • Terrorism and Homeland Security
  • Organizational Leadership in Criminal Justice
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Trauma-Informed Care in Crisis Intervention

State University of New York (SUNY) Canton

State University of New York (SUNY) Canton

At SUNY Canton, those who are interested in pursuing a career in crime prevention can enroll in a Bachelor of Technology in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement Leadership. This program is specially designed for students with two years of criminal justice credits who want to continue their education, as well as law enforcement professionals who want to advance in their careers.

The Law Enforcement Leadership concentration is a combination of business and public service courses that provide students with all of the crucial elements that will help them qualify for supervisory positions in the field. They will also be qualified to attend an authorized police academy in their eighth semester, as well as join unique courses that are beneficial to their future roles in the field.  

Throughout this online degree program in law enforcement, students will be able to gain leadership, fiscal, and managerial skills to qualify them for managerial positions in law enforcement agencies. Eligible students can graduate with both a bachelor’s degree and pre-certification as law enforcers.

Program requirements include:

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Intro to Business
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Critical Issues in Criminal Justice
  • Police Services
  • Law Enforcement Communications
  • Managing Law Enforcement Training
  • Managing Patrol Function
  • Civil Liability Issues for CJ Admin
  • Principles of Management

Students also have the option to do additional coursework or a semester-long internship. One of the authorized internship sites they can attend is the David Sullivan-St. Lawrence County Law Enforcement Academy.

Drury University

Drury University

At Drury University, students who dream of becoming law enforcement agents can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement. Through this online degree program, learners will be equipped for leadership roles.

The aim of Drury University’s BS in Law Enforcement program is to prepare new and veteran law enforcement professionals with both practical and theoretical know-how of current procedural and investigative techniques, as well as in enhancing their communication and leadership skills. Students have the freedom to attend classes through a combination of evening, online, and blended learning.

BS in Law Enforcement students at Drury demonstrate their know-how of theoretical perspectives, major concepts, historical trends, and empirical findings in behavioral sciences and their influence on behavioral phenomena.

They will also be able to confidently use scientific approaches, critical thinking, and skeptical inquiry to solve problems related to organizations, institutions, and behavior. Moreover, they will display career readiness using disciplinary content and effective project management, teamwork, and self-reflection skills.

Core courses for Drury University’s BS in Law Enforcement program include:

  • Principles of Criminal Justice
  • Statistical Foundations for Behavioral Sciences
  • Law and Society
  • Victimology
  • Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Introduction to Corrections
  • The Judicial Process
  • Public Information Management
  • Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
  • Contemporary Workforce Issues

Drury University has a State Missouri Department of Public Safety-certified Law Enforcement Academy that provides professional training for those pursuing a law enforcement degree. To be accepted into the academy, students must complete an assessment test. Individuals who meet the eligibility requirements receive an invitation for the orientation.

Metro State University

Metro State University

The Bachelor of Science in Police Science offered by Metro State University is specially designed for current law enforcement agents or license-eligible students with an associate’s degree. This is a Transfer Pathways program that allows students to do coursework that builds on their previous experience and education, making them more effective officers. This helps students save time and money since they don’t need to lose credits or take extra courses toward a bachelor’s degree.

The curriculum for the BS in Police Science provides students with a deeper understanding of criminal justice, police operations, and the law, which will be taught by experienced instructors.

Because faculty members have years of experience in the field, students will also have access to the latest research, allowing them to delve into topics, including forensic science, police ethics, crisis management, and police management.

This Police Science degree program will equip students to handle complex cases, manage crises, and make ethical decisions. Plus, they will have the credentials to pursue leadership roles.

This program was designed to eliminate structural and systemic inequities. It was also developed with input from stakeholders and the community. What’s more, it will deliver, assess, and monitor the training and overall education of peace officers who are more than qualified to serve justice and protect the people and communities.

Courses and requirements include:

  • Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • Criminology and Public Policy
  • Police Communication, Report Writing, and Courtroom Testimony
  • Diversity in Criminal Justice
  • Ethics and Professionalism in Criminal Justice
  • Crisis Response, Mental Illness, and Working with Special Populations
  • Violent Crime Investigation
  • Crime Analysis
  • Police Culture
  • Police Strategies and Management
  • Technology and Modern Policing
  • Policing and Society
  • Contemporary Issues in Policing
  • Exploring Forensic Science

Western Illinois University

Western Illinois University

Western Illinois University’s Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration is an internationally recognized Criminal Justice/Public Safety program. It has over 1,400 partner agencies that accept interns from WIU.

Through this online program, students will receive education with real-world applications through discussions and demonstrations. Classes are taught by experienced and academically qualified instructors with years of criminal justice/public safety experience.

Classes for this program are taught by instructors with a wide background and experience, including sheriffs, correctional officers, judges, attorneys, chiefs, and FBI agents. Students will have real-world applications and exercises through a state-of-the-art crime laboratory and internships at their agency of choice. Additionally, they can earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in just five years through WIU’s accelerated program.

Upon graduation, BS in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration majors will be able to demonstrate a deep understanding of the basic criminal justice system components and the application of criminal procedure and criminal law. They will be knowledgeable in research components and methodologies, as well as be able to compare and solve common moral issues and dilemmas that still exist in the criminal justice system using different ethical systems.

WIU’s BS in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration online program has ranked as third best bachelor’s degree in law enforcement in the U.S.

American Intercontinental University

American Intercontinental University

American Intercontinental University’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Specializing in Law Enforcement emphasizing law enforcement, policing theory, crime investigation, and other aspects of criminal justice. This degree program is a mobile-friendly program that teaches students in-depth knowledge of criminal justice concepts to reduce crime.

Through this program’s curriculum, students will be able to apply what they have learned about constitutional principles concerning criminal justice and law enforcement. They will also study about contemporary policing in the country and its crucial role in other criminal justice functions, such as homeland security, corrections, and forensics.

Students who want to pursue this law enforcement degree at AIU can complete the program in less time by transferring up to 75% of credits earned through work or military experience. Professional or industry certifications, individualized assessments, experiential essays, portfolios, non-college programs, and AIU challenge exam scores can help students enroll in fewer classes and graduate sooner than expected.

Core course requirements for AIU’s Law Enforcement specialization track include:

  • Criminal Justice Today
  • Introduction to Criminology
  • Introduction to Criminal Law
  • Introduction to Law Enforcement
  • Introduction to American Court System
  • Foundations of Corrections
  • Crime Victim Studies
  • Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Theory
  • Constitutional Issues in Criminal Procedures
  • Evidence
  • Research Methods & Statistics for Criminal Justice
  • Community Oriented Policing
  • Advanced Law Enforcement
  • Criminalistics
  • Terrorism and Homeland Security
  • Criminal Investigation

Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University - Online

Eastern Kentucky University offers the Bachelor of Science in Police Studies 100% online. This law enforcement online degree prepares learners to conquer the unique challenges in the field and to successfully meet education requirements for current officers who want to advance in their careers.

Through this program, students will gain ethical, practical, and theoretical approaches to modern policing and be equipped in becoming outstanding law enforcement officers, effective change agents, and community representatives. Moreover, it will guide students in developing their conflict resolution, critical thinking, and analytical skills to become responsive and community-minded law enforcement agents.

At EKU, students will have access to free online tutoring, career services assistance, textbooks, personal advisors, and a dynamic and supportive learning environment. Aside from that, this institution has a generous credit transfer policy, allowing students to transfer up to 90 credit hours from accredited institutions.

General education, major, and free electives courses include:

  • Criminal Justice Ethics
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Theory
  • Research Methods
  • Criminal Justice Statistics
  • Police, Order Maintenance and Crime
  • Ethical Decisions and Police
  • Social Forces and Policing Society
  • Contemporary Police Strategies
  • First Response Emergency Care
  • Introduction to Emergency Medical Care
  • Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Introduction to Explosion Investigations and Bombings
  • Traffic Crash Causation and Investigation

Park University

Park University

Park University’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration – Law Enforcement program offers an expert understanding of the US criminal justice system. Students who pursue this degree can choose from three concentrations: Law Enforcement, Security, and Corrections.

Law Enforcement students at Park University will develop comprehensive knowledge from a practical, theoretical, and philosophical perspective, providing them with a robust background of more than 40 career options in public and private sectors and at local, state, national, and global levels.

Core requirements for Park University’s BS in Criminal Justice Administration program include:

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice Administration
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminology
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Agency Administration
  • Research in Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to Law Enforcement
  • Introduction to Corrections
  • Introduction to Security
  • Criminal Investigation

This institution accepts transfer credit from previous coursework and prior learning experience. However, students must have completed coursework from accredited agencies, including Higher Learning Commission, New England Commission on Higher Education, and Western Association of Schools & Colleges.

Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University offers a Bachelor of Public Safety Administration – Law Enforcement and Corrections. FAU’s Law Enforcement and Corrections concentration is designed for professionals and pre-professionals looking to have a career in the police, disaster response, and fire practice and administration.

Law enforcement professionals looking to continue in a professionally focused graduate program can study can pursue this program. This interdisciplinary degree also allows learners to combine major areas from various disciplines to complete the program with a pre-professional degree. On top of that, graduates with this online degree in law enforcement will have improved opportunities in homeland security, disaster management, and police fields throughout America.

BPSA students can choose one or both concentrations in Law Enforcement and Corrections and Disaster Management. However, this depends on the free elective space available. They can seek advice on their curriculum through FAU’s Academic Advising Team.

Required core courses include:

  • Organizational Behavior & Administration Communication
  • Introduction to Public Safety Administration
  • Public Safety Systems
  • Diversity and Social Vulnerability in Public Safety Administration
  • Administrative Process and Ethics
  • Corrections
  • Crime in the Schools
  • Organized Crime and the Business of Drugs
  • White Collar Crimes
  • Policing in America
  • Crime Analysis
  • Criminal Justice Management
  • Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation
  • Juvenile Justice Administration
  • Terrorism
  • Crime Prevention
  • Studying Violence

Check this out: Best Schools with Online Bachelor’s in Corrections

Industries Where Law Enforcement Graduates Can Work In

Entry-level positions in law enforcement do not require a college diploma, only a high school diploma or completion of the police academy. However, those who want to stand out among the candidates and qualify for higher-paying roles in the future should seriously consider pursuing an online bachelor’s degree in law enforcement.

Oftentimes, when we hear the words law enforcement, we automatically think of those working in the police department or sheriff’s office. Those with a law enforcement degree can work for federal and state agencies, and private sectors, including the following:

US Marshals Service

The US Marshals Service is the oldest and most versatile federal law enforcement agency within the US  Department of Justice responsible for enforcing federal laws and supporting all elements of the federal justice system.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

The FBI is a domestic security and intelligence service and the country’s principal federal law enforcement body that enforces civil rights law and investigates various criminal activities, including cybercrime, terrorism, public corruption, and more.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives

Commonly referred to as the ATF, it is a domestic agency that investigates and prevents federal offenses involving the unlawful manufacture, use, and possession of firearms and explosives.

Customs and Border Protection

Customs and Border Protection officers are responsible for the country’s border security at ports of entry, protecting America from illegal activities, narcotics, terrorism, and human trafficking.

Drug Enforcement Administration

The DEA is a federal agency that ensures the health and safety of all Americans by enforcing controlled substance laws and fighting criminal drug networks.

Federal Bureau of Prisons

The BOP maintains public safety by ensuring that criminals serve their sentences of imprisonment in safe, humane, and secure facilities.

Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division

The IRS Criminal Investigation Division conducts investigations to find out more about an alleged violation of the Internal Revenue Code and other money laundering activities.

Department of Homeland Security

The DHS is an executive department responsible for cybersecurity, counterterrorism, border security, aviation security, maritime security, port security, and administration and enforcement of immigration laws.

It is through an online bachelor’s degree in law enforcement that students gain specialized knowledge and skills in upholding law and order and maintaining security. Law enforcement programs are often a combination of theoretical and hands-on experience through the expert guidance of police and investigation professors.

Throughout this online degree program, students will study professional codes of conduct and complex scenarios that will hone their decision-making skills, which are crucial skills for law enforcement officers. Typically, police training will be incorporated into the coursework, giving students a deeper understanding of law enforcement.

Top Jobs for Graduates with Online Law Enforcement Degrees

Labor Statistics data show that police officers and detectives are paid a median annual salary of $66,020 as of May 2021.

Below are the average base salaries for other law enforcement roles:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can online Law Enforcement degree students apply for student aid?

Law enforcement students can apply for several financial aid resources. They can apply for FAFSA eligibility, particularly for student loans, work-study programs, scholarships, or grants.

Some of the scholarships and other financial aid options law enforcement students can explore include:

How long does a Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement degree online take?

Full-time students earning an online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement can finish the program in three to four years. It may take longer for part-time students. However, law enforcement majors can complete the degree faster if the school they are transferring to accepts credit transfers for work experience, military background, or prior learning experience from an associate degree.

What are the most important skills that Law Enforcement students can gain from earning an online bachelor’s degree?

While working in a law enforcement agency does not require a bachelor’s degree, those with one can develop the skills to become a police officer, FBI agent, DEA agent, or criminal investigator.

These are the critical skills law enforcement students gain throughout the online degree program:

  • Conflict resolution – to resolve tension and conflicts and provide peaceful solutions to their dispute.
  • Communication – to communicate effectively with other law enforcement personnel and civilians, especially when sharing essential information.
  • Critical thinking – to successfully find clues, answer questions related to criminal activity, and assess evidence, which are crucial for criminal investigations.
  • Empathy – to be able to consider the individuals involved in a crime.
  • Problem-solving – to overcome challenges and enforce laws in the local and national justice systems.
  • Covert operations – to use secret techniques to gather intelligence to prevent or detect crimes or danger.
  • Investigative techniques – to keep close attention to details that can support a case that the investigator is building.
  • Physical fitness – to display stamina and endurance, especially when spending long hours on the job.

Key Points to Ponder

  • An online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement provides students with a comprehensive overview of law enforcement through its curriculum, coursework, and internship.
  • An online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement degree develops students’ general and specialized know-how and skills in law enforcement practices and concepts, preparing them for crucial roles in the industry.
  • Most online Bachelor’s in Law Enforcement degree programs take about four years to complete, which may be longer for part-time students.

Before you go, research this: Best Schools with Online Bachelor’s in Criminology Degree Programs

Malcolm Peralty
Chief Editor