In this article, we profile the top 20 affordable online master’s in law enforcement administration programs of 2020.

Most administrative and leadership roles in law enforcement require graduate level training or extensive work experience. In fact, some positions accept education in lieu of work history. This is especially true of law enforcement administration jobs, such as FBI agents, police chiefs, and postsecondary criminal justice and law enforcement teachers. To qualify for one of these jobs, you will need a master’s in law enforcement administration. But if you don’t want to give up your current role in law enforcement to return to school, you don’t have to. As a result of the demand for flexible learning options, online master’s in law enforcement administration programs are available.

Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs Methodology

We reviewed approximately 60 colleges and universities listed by the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator and reputable online sources (U.S. News and World Report) that offered online master’s in law enforcement administration or closely related programs. We then narrowed our original pool of schools by applying the following criteria: accreditation (regional and/or national), institution rankings with U.S. News and World Report, and affordable graduate tuition and fees of less than $28,000. As a result of our findings, we ranked our chosen schools according to raw affordability.

Below are the resulting selections for our top 20 affordable online master’s in law enforcement administration programs of 2020.

#20 – University of San Diego

Online Master’s in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership

San Diego, California

Website

University of San Diego - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
100% online master’s in law enforcement administration – University of San Diego.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $27,762

One of the best degrees for law enforcement careers is the online master’s in law enforcement and public safety leadership offered at University of San Diego. This program is delivered 100% online and designed for current law enforcement professionals wanting to gain leadership skills. Within just five semesters, law enforcement professionals can earn their master’s degree. Online courses cover topics in budget and finance for law enforcement leaders, communication skills for law enforcement leaders, and law enforcement management and conflict resolution.

To be admitted to USD’s law enforcement program, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 2.75 or higher and have adequate professional experience in law enforcement, active-duty military, or public safety. The University of San Diego, in addition to offering quality master’s programs, ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 91st best national university.

#19 – Chaminade University of Honolulu

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Administration

Honolulu, Hawaii

Website

Chaminade University of Honolulu - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
Study criminal justice with a law enforcement concentration! Chaminade University of Honolulu.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $24,000

For individuals seeking online master’s in law enforcement administration programs, the online master’s in criminal justice administration at Chaminade University offers a law enforcement track. This 42-credit program includes six required credits to complete the law enforcement concentration. Courses are delivered online and offered in a ten-week format. Topics covered in the online classes include agency administration, constitutional law, criminology, ethics in criminal justice and public administration, and terrorism and justice. The program is geared toward professional and working law enforcement personnel seeking advancement to leadership roles. Chaminade is a top-ranked institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #34 in best regional universities in the West.

#18 – Michigan State University

Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis

East Lansing, Michigan

Website

Michigan State University - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
Ranked with U.S. News & World Report! Michigan State University’s online master’s in law enforcement administration program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,858

Michigan State University offers an accredited master’s in law enforcement online degree program designed to uniquely position graduates as subject-matter specialists in areas of law enforcement intelligence and analysis. With curriculum informed by the Department of Justice and classes delivered online, MSU’s master’s program is considered one of the best online law enforcement programs. Courses cover topics like comprehensive threat assessment, design and analysis in criminal justice research, introduction to crime analysis, and the intelligence process and counterterrorism. Students are required to complete 30 credits and ten courses to earn their degree. MSU ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, 2020 rankings include #84 in best national universities and #52 in best colleges for veterans.

#17 – Saint Joseph’s University

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice – Federal Law Enforcement

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

School Profile

Saint Joseph's University - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
One of the few federal law enforcement online programs available! Saint Joseph’s University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,334

Saint Joseph’s University offers a uniquely designed online master’s in law enforcement administration program. The online master’s in criminal justice has an option to earn a concentration in federal law enforcement. This program prepares students for the coveted field of security and investigation and for gaining roles with the CIA, DHS, and FBI. Online courses explore topics like criminological theory, ethics and criminal justice, forensic financial analysis, homeland security, terrorism – threats and strategy, and white-collar crime. Saint Joseph’s is a top-ranked institution with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. As a result, the most recent rankings with Best Colleges lists Saint Joseph’s as the 10th best regional university in the North.

#16 – University of New Haven

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice

West Haven, Connecticut

School Profile

University of New Haven - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
No GRE or GMAT required! University of New Haven – a top choice for a master’s in law enforcement administration online degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,150

One of the best degrees for law enforcement careers is a master’s in criminal justice, such as the online program offered at University of New Haven. With no GRE or GMAT required, the application process for the online master’s in criminal justice at University of New Haven is easy. In fact, you may complete the application online through the program’s website. Courses are also delivered entirely online. Core curriculum emphasizes topics like administration of justice, research methods in criminal justice, and theories of criminal behavior. In addition to the core classes, there are three focus areas where students may elect to tailor their degree. These focus areas include crime analysis, leadership and management, and police behavioral studies.

University of New Haven ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 66th best regional university in the North. Also, the online master’s in criminal justice programs rank #41 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#15 – National University

Online Master’s in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

La Jolla, California

School Profile

National University - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
Year-round admission! National University – affordable options in online master’s in law enforcement administration programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,480

An alternative to the master’s in law enforcement online degree program is earning a master’s in emergency management or homeland security. National University offers an online degree that combines the disciplines. By taking four-week classes online, students focus their attention on one subject each month. In addition to the flexible and accelerated pacing of the program, classes start monthly and applications for admission are accepted year-round. Core course requirements include communication and security, domestic terrorism, emergency and disaster response, leading complex environments, and managing information security. National University ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report among the top regional universities in the West. Also, the online criminal justice master’s programs, such as the homeland security and emergency management degree, rank #56 out of more than 1,200 programs.

#14 – University of Cincinnati

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement

Cincinnati, Ohio

School Profile

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,468

A master’s in law enforcement online degree, such as the one offered at the University of Cincinnati, offers a concentration in law enforcement and crime prevention. The program, fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, consists of 33 credits taught entirely online. Students may graduate in just two years of part-time study or one year of full-time study. Courses covered in the program include advanced crime analysis, applied statistics in criminal justice, basic research methods in criminal justice, introduction to crime mapping, and theory and practice of law enforcement. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with an overall GPA of 3.0. In addition, applicants must also have five years of criminal justice work experience.

The University of Cincinnati ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 139th best national university in the country. Also, the online master’s in criminal justice programs rank #12 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#13 – Tiffin University

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice

Tiffin, Ohio

School Profile

Tiffin University - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
Offering one the best degrees for law enforcement careers! Tiffin University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,000

Tiffin University offers one of the best degrees for law enforcement careers – the online master’s in criminal justice. This fully online program offers six concentrations designed to help students tailor their degree to align with their law enforcement or other career goals. Concentrations include crime analysis, crime science, criminal behavior, forensic psychology, homeland security, and justice administration. While most of the concentrations are available online, the forensic psychology specialty must be completed on campus. Admission to the program requires an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 preferred. In addition, applicants must also provide a professional resumé and personal statement essay. Also, Tiffin ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 114th best regional university in the Midwest.

#12 – Arizona State University

Online Master of Public Safety Leadership and Administration – Executive Police Administration

Tempe, Arizona

School Profile

Arizona State University - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
Affordability! ASU offers an accredited and cheap master’s in law enforcement administration online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,608

Arizona State University offers a degree in public safety leadership and administration that might appeal to individuals researching master’s in law enforcement online programs. The online PSLA degree consists of 33 credits and 11 classes. These classes run 7.5 weeks and can be completed entirely online. There are also three available concentrations for students wanting to tailor their graduate degree. Concentrations include emergency medical services, executive fire administration, and executive police administration. Courses covered in the general degree and executive police administration concentration include organization behavior, public budgeting and finance, public human resource management, and public policy analysis. ASU is a high-ranking public university. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks ASU #117 in best national universities.

#11 – University of Alaska

Online Master’s in Justice Administration

Fairbanks, Alaska

School Profile

University of Alaska Fairbanks - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
Ranked and affordable! University of Alaska’s online master’s in justice administration.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,256

University of Alaska offers one of the best degrees for law enforcement careers – the online master’s in justice administration. This 30-credit program examines both theoretical and applied concepts seen and used in the field of criminal justice. Courses are taught by the same faculty who instruct on campus. Online courses cover topics like administration and management of criminal justice organizations, ethics in criminal justice management, legal aspects of criminal justice management, and personnel management in criminal justice. The University of Alaska at Fairbanks ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 263rd best national university and 128th top public school. Also, the online master’s in criminal justice programs rank #37 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#10 – Faulkner University

Online Master of Justice Administration

Montgomery, Alabama

School Profile

Faulkner University - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
Only 10 courses! Faulkner University’s online master’s in law enforcement administration.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,530

Faulkner University offers an accredited and affordable online master’s in law enforcement administration. The program is founded on Faulkner’s Christian principles and ethics and prepares students for leadership roles in criminal justice, law, and law enforcement. This fully online program consists of 10 courses, each running five weeks in length. There is also year-round enrollment with rotations every six weeks to add to the program’s flexibility. Students may earn their master’s in justice administration degree in just 14 months. To be eligible for admission, applicants must hold a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree with a minimum major GPA of 3.0. Faulkner ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 96th to 122nd best regional university in the South.

#9 – Bellevue University

Online Master’s in Justice Administration and Crime Management

Bellevue, Nebraska

School Profile

Bellevue University - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
All courses online! Bellevue University – a top choice for online master’s in law enforcement administration programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,205

Bellevue University offers an affordable master’s in law enforcement online degree program that emphasizes justice administration and crime management. This 36-credit hour program is designed to help students become successful in management positions in areas of corrections, criminal justice, investigations, and law enforcement. All courses are delivered online and taught by Bellevue’s experienced faculty. These courses cover topics like advanced crime analysis, criminal behavior analysis, criminal law, ethics and decision making, and technology and future trends. Applicants must possess a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and have maintained a 2.5 GPA or better. Bellevue has received recognition from U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the Midwest.

#8 – Salve Regina University

Online Master’s in Administration of Justice and Homeland Security

Newport, Rhode Island

School Profile

Salve Regina University - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
18-24 months to finish the online master’s in administration of justice at Salve Regina University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,010

Salve Regina University offers a type of online master’s in law enforcement administration program that emphasizes the administration of justice and homeland security. The curriculum is delivered entirely online. Also, three specialized concentrations allow students to tailor their degree toward career goals and interests. These concentrations include cybersecurity and intelligence, digital forensics, and leadership in justice. To add to the convenience of the program, rolling admission and an accelerated time to completion are offered. In fact, students may earn their master’s degree in just 18-24 months. Salve Regina is a top-ranked institution: U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #23 in best regional universities in the North.

#7 – Colorado State University Global

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice

Aurora, Colorado

School Profile

Colorado State University Global - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
CSU Global’s online master’s in criminal justice offers courses in crime prevention and law enforcement.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,000

Earning a degree in criminal justice is one alternative to an online master’s in law enforcement administration. At Colorado State University Global, the master’s in criminal justice online degree program emphasizes community-based justice in preventing crime; forensics; and fraud prevention and management. All courses are delivered online and taught by CSU Global’s experienced faculty. There are also two 12-credit degree specializations in fraud management and information technology. These specializations allow students to tailor their degree to align closely with their career goals. In recent years, including 2020, CSU Global’s online master’s in criminal justice programs ranked #17 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News and World Report.

#6 – Wilmington University

Online Master’s in Administration of Justice

New Castle, Delaware

School Profile

Wilmington University - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
Several concentrations offered to help tailor the online master’s in law enforcement administration degree! Wilmington University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,834

Wilmington University offers one of the best degrees for law enforcement careers. The online master’s in administration of justice offers fully online options for those seeking a master’s degree and career in justice and leadership. In addition to completing online coursework, students may choose one of three specialized criminal justice concentrations. These concentrations allow students to tailor their degree to fit closely with their career goals. Concentrations include criminal behavior, homeland security, and leadership and administration. Wilmington ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university and offers one of the most affordable online master’s in law enforcement administration programs on our list.

#5 – Columbia College

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Administration

Columbia, Missouri

School Profile

Columbia College - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
Accredited and affordable! The online master’s in law enforcement administration at Columbia College.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,602

Columbia College offers one of the best degrees for law enforcement careers – the online master’s in criminal justice administration. The MSCJ degree is designed for practitioners in the field of criminal justice who are interested in developing and enhancing their administrative skills. Students enrolled in the graduate online program may also focus on their management skills by choosing a management track. These tracks include corrections administration or law enforcement administration. For the law enforcement administration track, courses cover topics like law enforcement and the community and readings in criminal justice administration. Columbia’s online master’s in criminal justice programs currently rank #57-#75 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News and World Report.

#4 – Sam Houston State University

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management

Huntsville, Texas

School Profile

Sam Houston State University - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
100% online! Sam Houston State University – top choice for affordable online master’s in criminal justice leadership.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,016

Sam Houston State University’s master’s in law enforcement online program is a graduate degree that emphasizes criminal justice leadership and management. This program is ideal for working students looking to leverage their careers in leadership and law enforcement administration. The program consists of 36 credits and takes up to two years to complete. Also, the program is fully accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. When you graduate, the degree will not show that the completion was online; your degree will be the same regardless of how the credit is earned. Sam Houston ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 281st best national university.

#3 – University of North Texas

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice – Justice Policy and Administration

Denton, Texas

School Profile

University of North Texas - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
Ranked and accredited! UNT’s online master’s in law enforcement administration.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,788

The University of North Texas, College of Health and Public Service, offers online master’s in law enforcement administration programs designed for working students. The online master’s in criminal justice with an emphasis in justice policy and administration examines the nature and problems posed by crime and the operation of the criminal justice system. Classes are delivered entirely online and taught by UNT’s esteemed and experienced faculty. Courses cover topics like advanced criminological theory, criminal justice policy, and the legal aspects of the criminal justice system. The degree requires each student pass a written comprehensive exam prior to graduation. UNT ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 281st best national university.

#2 – Saint Leo University

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice

Saint Leo, Florida

School Profile

Saint Leo University - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
Ranked by U.S. News! Saint Leo University has a top ranked online master’s that appeals to those interested in law enforcement.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,296

Saint Leo University offers one of the most affordable and best degrees for law enforcement careers. The online master’s in criminal justice is an accelerated program that can be completed in less than two years. Courses covered include ethical standards in the administration of justice, fiscal resource management, information resources and systems, and organizational leadership in criminal justice agencies. Upon graduation, students from Saint Leo have gone on to secure positions with the FBI, sheriff’s departments, and the U.S. Coast Guard, among other private and public organizations. In addition to quality programming, Saint Leo University ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 25th best regional university in the South.

#1 – University of the Cumberlands

Online Master’s in Justice Administration

Williamsburg, Kentucky

School Profile

University of the Cumberlands - Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration Programs 2020
#1 most affordable – Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Administration! University of the Cumberlands.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,970

The #1 most affordable online master’s in law enforcement administration program on our list is offered by the University of the Cumberlands. This program offers more available specialization tracks than any other program on our list. Students may elect to tailor their degree to align with career goals by choosing one of ten available specializations, including criminal justice education, investigations, and law enforcement. All classes are delivered online and cover topics in justice administration. For the law enforcement specialization, courses include critical issues in law enforcement and law enforcement administration. The University of the Cumberlands ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 293rd to 381st best national university. Also, the online master’s in criminal justice programs rank #7 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News. Above all, University of the Cumberlands lands a #1 spot as our most affordable program.

BCO Staff
April 2020

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This concludes our list of top 20 affordable online master’s in law enforcement administration programs of 2020.