College Classes Needed for Police Officer Requirements

A police officer doesn't require any college coursework in order to receive a badge.
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There are about 75 applicants for every position at a police station, so a college degree can help to distinguish one job application from another. Many police officers find college coursework is necessary for future job mobility, as detectives and administrators are required to have a degree. Pursuing college classes before you turn 21, as most agencies have an age requirement for job applicants, will help you hit the ground running after joining the force.

1 English 101

It seems like a basic class, and that’s more or less its purpose. Many criminal justice programs require their students to take English 101 in order to gain familiarity with composition’s fundamentals as preparation for their later classes and careers. Policing is, after all, not a hard science, and a prospective police officer should be aware that the job can require a lot of paperwork. English 101 provides future officers with the framework necessary to communicate clearly and effectively in writing.

2 Introduction to Criminal Justice

This class is among the basic requirements to declare a criminal justice major at schools conferring both associate and bachelor’s degrees in the field. Students in introduction to criminal justice get a basic overview of criminological theory analysis, law enforcement history and how justice is administered in the United States. By the end of the semester, students will have a working understanding of law enforcement organization and administration at agencies around the country.

3 Criminology 101

This class builds off a student’s understanding of law enforcement after an introductory class in criminal justice. Unlike criminal justice, which emphasizes the role of law enforcement in the criminal justice system, a class in criminology emphasizes the role of the criminal. After taking a class in criminology, students should have a working understanding of the scientific methodology implicit in criminal measuring methods. Furthermore, they should be able to identify the connections between different types of criminal behavior, the offender’s environmental influences and the probability of recidivism. Classwork will focus on predicting and preventing criminal behavior.

4 Introductions to Corrections

Introduction to corrections emphasizes the aftermath of an arrest and provides a theoretical foundation for understanding the American jailing system. Students learn about how sentences are determined and what sentence options can be passed down to the guilty parties, as well as about how prisoners are treated in the correctional system. The class provides insight into health care, rehabilitation alternatives, release, re-entry and prison subculture.

Suzy Kerr graduated from Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia. She completed her Master's degree in Nutrition Sciences, also at the University of Georgia. Suzy has been a successful health, fitness and nutrition writer for more than 10 years, and has been published in various print and online publications.