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Police Officer Degree & Career Center

Police Officer Degree Information

A college degree is typically recommended or required by police departments for employment as a police officer. Requirements for a college degree can often be waived if the candidate has prior law enforcement or military experience but is still helpful in gaining a competitive edge against candidates without a degree. A degree can also lead to higher pay and a quicker path to promotion in some police agencies. A bachelor’s in criminal justice is a common type of degree to pursue if you are interested in getting started in law enforcement, although other related degrees such as homeland security or sociology are good alternatives.

View the following pages to learn more about specific police degrees.

Police Career Information

Learn more about specific police careers in the law enforcement field including job descriptions and salary.

Advice from Leaders in the Police Field

Learn the best police career advice for being successful in a police career by reading the responses from 35 leaders in the law enforcement community.

Police Career Interviews

police degreeWe interviewed several experienced police professionals including police chiefs and gang investigators as part of our criminal justice career interview series to learn what qualities and skills are important for a police career and advice for starting a career.

  • Interview with David Couper, former Police Chief of the Madison Police Department
  • Interview with Peter Moskos, former Baltimore police officer, author of Cop in the Hood, and Assistant Professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • Interview with Ron Hampton, President of the East Coast Gang Investigators Association

Sheriff Career Interviews

We interviewed eight Sheriffs for our sheriff career interview series. Read these insightful interviews to learn about a career at a Sheriff’s Department.

Top 50 Police Blogs

Check out our list of Top 50 Police Blogs which feature the best blogs on the Internet by current police officers who share their thoughts, experiences, and tips for a successful police career.

Police Officer Requirements by Metro

Learn about the police department officer requirements for employment at some of the largest police departments in the country including New York City and Los Angeles.

State Trooper Requirements

Read about the trooper requirements by state to learn about becoming a state trooper or highway patrol officer in your state.

Criminal Justice Schools by State

Find a directory of criminal justice schools in your state to learn about online and on-campus criminal justice programs in your area.

Free Criminal Justice Lectures

View our list of free criminal justice college lectures that you can view or listen to online for free. The lectures are from some of the top universities in the country including Harvard and Yale and include classes on psychology, sociology, and law.