Criminal Justice

Bachelor of Science in Police Studies

EKU Online > Online Criminal Justice Degrees & Certificates > Bachelor of Science in Police Studies

Responsive, Community-Minded Law Enforcement

Policing has evolved drastically over the last 30 years, placing higher standards and increased scrutiny on law enforcement professionals. While these changes bring a host of new challenges, there is also plenty of opportunity.

EKU’s online bachelor’s degree in police studies prepares students to meet the unique challenges of law enforcement and to successfully enter the policing profession or meet education requirements for current officers wanting to advance their career. Graduates gain theoretical, ethical and practical approaches to policing and are well positioned to become excellent officers, community representatives and effective change agents.

Whether you currently work in law enforcement or are interested in beginning a career in the field, we have the degree program for you.

Program At-A-Glance


100% Online

Learn From Anywhere

120 Credit Hours

to Graduate

Up To 90 Hours

Transfer Credit
Cost per hour


Per Credit Hour

Learn More

Minors & Certificates

Benefits of EKU Online

Whether you are interested in community policing or federal law enforcement, EKU’s online police studies degree provides the analytical, conflict resolution and critical thinking skills needed to be a responsive, community-minded law enforcement officer.

  • Accelerated 8-week terms
  • No campus visits required
  • Free online tutoring and career services assistance
  • No application fee
  • Free textbooks for undergraduate students
  • Courses begin 6 times per year
  • Generous credit transfer policy
  • Reduced tuition for active duty service members
  • Law enforcement officers that have completed Kentucky’s DOCJT training can receive 9 hours of college credit
  • Personal advisors stay with you from application to graduation
  • Study anytime, from anywhere
  • Dynamic, supportive learning environment

Minors & Certificates

Select from a wide range of minors, allowing you to explore interests or make use of prior credits. Suggested minors available online for this program include:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Psychology
  • Social Intelligence & Leadership

You can also choose from numerous undergraduate certificates in specialty areas that complement and enhance your major as you work toward your degree. Suggested online certificates for Police Studies include:

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Veteran Studies
  • Youth Services
  • Social Intelligence & Leadership
  • Correctional Intervention Strategies

View the full list of certificates available for completion as you earn your degree

Police Studies Careers

Law enforcement careers are challenging and rewarding. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics* (BLS) estimates that the number of individuals employed in police and detective positions will see an increase through 2028.

Competition is expected to increase for state and local positions and remain especially high for federal positions with organizations such as the U.S. Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Those with college degrees will have a competitive edge.

Although education was not historically mandatory in the policing field, it has become increasingly necessary as perceptions about policing change, technology advances, and more agencies implement college credit requirements.

Continuing education and training helps police officers, detectives, and special agents improve their job performance and their chances for advancement. 

Job Opportunities Include:

  • Federal law enforcement officer
  • State law enforcement officer
  • Local law enforcement officer
  • School resource officer
  • Delinquency prevention specialist
  • Policy analyst
  • Program evaluator
Find your career


Focusing on society’s response to crime through policing, EKU’s curriculum blends academic and professional preparation through course topics such as contemporary policing strategies, crime patterns, technology and ethics.

Degree Requirements

A total of 120 credits are required to graduate, including 42 upper-division credits. Complete degree requirement information about the Police Studies program is available in the University undergraduate catalog.

Please review the admissions requirements before applying for this or any program. If you have questions about the program or are planning to register for classes, please speak to the program advisor.

Transfer Credits

Students may transfer up to 90 hours of credit from accredited institutions. Please note that a minimum of 30 credit hours in this degree program must be completed at Eastern Kentucky University.

Previously earned credits must be reviewed upon admittance to EKU for appropriate articulation. Learn more about transferring to EKU.

Sample Courses

For a full list of course descriptions please see section 7 of the University undergraduate catalog.

PLS 103 – Police, Order, Maintenance and Crime (3)
Overview of the role of police. The historical development of policing, police functions and bureaucratic organization are examined. Police misconduct, discretion and effectiveness receive special attention.

PLS 326 – Ethical Decisions and Police (3)
Examines the problems of ethical philosophies, theories and law in the context of policing. Consideration is given to problems of police judgment arising from unquestioned assumptions about morality. Focuses on forms of ethical violation at the individual, group and organization levels as well as strategies for prevention and control.

PLS 220 – Criminal Investigation (3)
Fundamental of criminal investigation, crime scene search and recording, collection and preservation of physical evidence, scientific aids, modus operandi, sources of information, interviews and interrogation, follow-up, case preparation and case management.

 PLS 415 – Contemporary Police Strategies (3)
Review of contemporary police issues, programs, and strategies. Detailed analysis and evaluation of police practices, including impact on the relationship between the police and the community. Assessment of police reform measures and accountability mechanism.


Jordan Tayce

Jordan Tayce

Enrollment Advisor

Call or email Enrollment Advisor Jordan Tayce for information about the EKU Online Police Studies program.

Contact Info:

Application Deadlines

Term Application Deadline Classes Begin
Fall A July 5 August
Fall B August 31 October
Spring A November 30 January
Spring B January 31 March
Summer A April 5 May
Summer B  May 31 June

Additional Contact Information

Admissions: 859-622-2106
Academic Testing: 859-622-1281
Financial Aid Office: 859-622-2361
Military & Veterans Affairs Office: 859-622-2345
Student Account Services: 859-622-1232

Student Success

When you talk about a criminal justice program, almost immediately EKU is at the top of the list. And that’s nationwide. The professors and my classmates are so supportive. You feel like you’re set up for success from day one.

Dominique BlessinEKU Online Criminal Justice Student

Online Military Students

EKU Online offers veterans and active duty military students an unparalleled online learning experience that provides accessibility, convenience and flexibility.

Special Tuition for Active Duty* Military
Eastern Kentucky University offers reduced tuition expenses to $250 per credit hour for undergraduate and $325 per credit hour for graduate courses to all service members currently serving on active duty.

*Active duty is defined as on federal orders for 180 days or more.

“I’d like to thank the EKU College of Justice & Safety for the opportunity to complete my degree online. It’s very user-friendly, and everyone has bent over backwards to make this happen.”

– 1LT Heath Bergmann, EKU Online graduate student on deployment in Afghanistan

Heath Bergmann
  • “I can confidently say that — as someone who doesn’t even live in the United States — EKU’s online program has been extremely accommodating and flexible. I can discuss advising appointments over email, and I can have my textbooks shipped to my address overseas.” – Sydney Garner Lewis
  • “After the birth of our first child, I knew I needed to go back and finish what I started,” said McKenzie. “I was happy that I could pick up where I left off at EKU even though I lived in a different state.” – EKU Online student and mom
  • “I chose EKU because I am a unique student with unique needs, and EKU provides an avenue for students like me to succeed.” – EKU Online Psychology student Jason Tate
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