Law Enforcement

Law enforcement professionals are enforcing many laws and regulations in their day-to-day work. An MLS can provide you with the knowledge you need to operate within the law, and better prepare you to write reports and investigate cases.

Careers in law enforcement that you can pursue with a Master of Legal Studies degree include:

Police Officer & Sergeant

Police officers and sergeants know the law — they use it every day to successfully and lawfully negotiate and communicate on the job. With an MLS, you will gain additional, more comprehensive knowledge that will help you while negotiating, writing up offender reports, or conducting arrests. You will also gain the practical skills needed to better prepare cases that need to be transferred to a district attorney.

  • The mean annual wage for police and sheriff’s patrol officers was $67,600 in May 2019.1
  • The job outlook for police and detectives is projected to grow 5 percent from 2018 to 2028.2

Criminal Investigator

Criminal investigators help solve crime. They gather research, collect evidence, and search databases for the information they need to solve a case. Through our MLS program, you will develop a more thorough understanding of the law and the regulations that impact your day-to-day work, including researching records, doing investigations, and running background checks.

  • The mean annual wage for detectives and criminal investigators was $86,030 in May 2019.3
  • The job outlook for police and detectives is projected to grow 5 percent from 2018 to 2028.

MLS courses relevant to jobs in the law enforcement field

Prepare for the Next Phase of Your Career

Learn more about how an MLS can give you a competitive edge in the law enforcement field. Explore the online Master of Legal Studies program at American University Washington College of Law today.

Request Information

The included data is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is not directly associated with American University’s online MLS degree. It also does not take into account unpredictable changes to job outlook due to the economy.

  • Salary statistics are the mean annual wage found by the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey.
  • Job outlook statistics are the projected employment change from 2018 to 2028. For reference, the average growth rate for all occupations in 5 percent.

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers, Accessed June 2020arrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference
2Bureau of Labor Statistics, Police and Detectives Outlook, Accessed June 2020.arrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference
3Bureau of Labor Statistics, Detectives and Criminal Investigators, Accessed June 2020arrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference

Return to footnote referenceReturn to footnote reference