How do I get a Law Enforcement Education?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 19 December 2018
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There are four items to consider when looking to obtain law enforcement education: determine the type of career your want, find the appropriate post-secondary eduction school, qualify for admissions, and complete the course work. Law enforcement education is available from universities, community, and career colleges. Law enforcement training is required for a career as a police officer and is recommended for careers in law and correctional institutions. The level of training that you have determines the career options available to you.

There are two streams for law enforcement education: university or college. A university law enforcement program is four years in length and focuses on criminal and civil law, human psychology, sociology, the role of economics in crime, and other related subjects. Upon graduation, candidates can apply to law school or graduate degree programs.

A community or career college law enforcement education program is one to two years in length and provides the training necessary for front-line police officer, security guard, or related professional. The training focuses on practical issues related to law enforcement, and courses include human psychology and criminal law. Upon graduation, candidates can apply for positions as a security guard or police officer.


The first place to start when looking for law enforcement eduction is to register in the appropriate post-secondary education program. To gain admission to a law enforcement program, you will need high school credits in math, English, law, and physical eduction. In addition to academic qualifications, most programs require an essay or personal interview. It is important to note that police record check and drug testing have become standard practice for many jobs in law enforcement.

At the university level, much of the course work requires essay writing, research, and presentation skills. There is a large volume of material reading required. Many students invest in speed reading classes to increase their efficiency and reduce the time required to complete the readings.

At the college level, there is a more physical aspect to the program and fitness tests are part of the graduation requirements. The expectation is that graduates of this type of program are applying for front-line positions and will need the skills to resolve conflicts and protect people quickly. The course work is significant, but more focused on the application of knowledge than the collection of knowledge for future use.

People who report the highest level of satisfaction with law enforcement eduction enjoy working with people, are naturally outgoing, and are physically fit. Most law enforcement education and training programs have a physical fitness component to them. Candidates applying for positions as police or security officers are required to complete certain physical tests that measure cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, and speed.



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