Law Enforcement

The Law Enforcement major is designed to provide a balanced introduction to all aspects of the criminal justice process with particular emphasis on the theoretical and practical aspects of law enforcement. The program is interdisciplinary in content, utilizing courses in the social sciences as well as those more directly related to functions and programs in the criminal justice system. This program is designed for both personnel already employed in criminal justice and pre-service students interested in criminal justice careers.
Career Forecast Growing OutlookAverage Salary $50,000 hybrid

Law Enforcement at Washburn

The Law Enforcement major offers small courses taught by both academics with field experience, as well as instructors who are current practitioners in a variety of positions. In addition to having worked in the field, our full-time faculty have terminal degrees, including PhDs in criminal justice and related fields, as well as JDs. This variety of experience provides students a wide variety of perspective and ensures students graduate with the ability to think critically and provide equitable justice to those in which they come into contact. 

Those completing the law enforcement major will learn about all aspects of the criminal justice system to ensure an understanding of what happens before and after interaction with clients and community members. The program also provides courses to aid in understanding the causes of crime as well as research regarding the evidence-based practices used to address those issues.

Students will be prepared to verbally communicate when interacting with clients, writing reports, testifying in the courtroom, and a variety of other settings. Perhaps most important, our graduates are well prepared to evaluate critically and systematically the realities of the law enforcement field.  

To ensure those graduating from the program are well rounded, civic minded individuals, the degree requires a minor, which is 15 to 24 hours of work in another program, such as legal studies, sociology, and English. 

4-Year Plan

The Bachelor of Criminal Justice in Law Enforcement can be achieved in 4 years with approximately 120 credit hours. Courses in this program are offered in a variety of ways. Core classes – those required of all emphasis, as well as well as those which are required for the major – are offered online as well as in person. Elective courses, such as Firearms Decision Making, Serial Killers, and other special interest courses, are sometimes offered over the weekend as a workshop!

Jobs and Opportunities

CAREER FORECAST: growing outlook
The field of law enforcement has experienced a decrease in applicants and has experienced a shortage of staff over the past 15 years. Data and statistics sourced from

Average Salary

$50,000 in Kansas

($65,000 nationally)

Career Opportunities

Patrol Officers
Park Rangers

Job Growth


(2019 - 2029)

Law Enforcement Internships

Opportunities for internship placement are diverse and encompass local, state and federal agencies. Many students who do well at their internship site end up using this experience as a transition into employment with the host agency. Our graduates have been offered positions with both local agencies, such as the Topeka Police Department and Shawnee County Sherriff's Office, as well as those at the federal level.  

How to Apply

While there are not specific requirements for admission to the Law Enforcement program, application to Washburn can be done in five easy steps. Learn about admission requirements.

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