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How do I get an Associate's Degree in Law Enforcement?

Misty Amber Brighton
Misty Amber Brighton

In order to get an Associate's degree in law enforcement, you should enroll in a college that offers this degree plan. You may attend classes via the Internet or in a traditional classroom environment. Some courses you may take include ethics in law enforcement, criminal investigations, evidence, and criminal procedure. You may be able to obtain college credit for some of the work experience you already have. Exit exams are sometimes required before graduation, or possibly also an internship with a local police department.

Check with colleges in your area to see which ones offer an Associate's degree in law enforcement. Visit these institutions and talk with the admissions counselors about your career goals. Look at the college catalog to see what courses you could be required to take, and think about how these classes might be important in your future endeavors.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

You may also be able to find online colleges that offer law enforcement degrees. Completing one of these programs could also help you become a police officer. Compare these schools with ones near your home to determine which one of these programs might best help you fulfill your educational goals.

Think about the classes you might need to take in order to earn an Associate's degree in law enforcement. Most programs require students to study topics such as police ethics, handling evidence, conducting a criminal investigation, and other law-related subjects. Some of these courses should include practical experience in law enforcement related activities, such as writing police reports or interviewing witnesses.

If you are already working in the law enforcement field, you may be able to use some of your experience in lieu of college classes. Ask the admissions representative at your chosen college if this is the case. If they allow you to do so, you may be able to earn an Associate's degree in law enforcement much sooner than the typical two years of study.

After completing all your courses, you might need to prove you understand the material you have studied. This could be measured by taking an exit exam, which could be a cumulative test of all the classes you have taken. Some colleges may ask you to put this knowledge into action and require you to complete an internship with a law enforcement agency before issuing you a diploma.

An Associate's degree in law enforcement could open up a number of employment opportunities in the criminal justice field. If you desire one of these jobs, education might be the first step in achieving this goal. With persistence and hard work, you can be on your way to a more promising future, no matter where you might work after graduation.

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