Bachelor’s Degree in Law Enforcement Advancement

Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement Advancement

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

In the criminal justice system, police officers, detectives and investigators need strong and supportive leaders behind the scenes so they can do their best work on the front lines.

The Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement Advancement degree at Grand Canyon University (GCU) explores all components of the justice system while maintaining an emphasis on advanced leadership models for law enforcement professionals.

As a student in this bachelor’s degree law enforcement program, you will have the opportunity to prepare for advancement within your organization; developing the skills necessary to lead your agencies through the challenges of policing diverse communities facing modern policing problems.


GCU’s Police Department is the first independent law enforcement entity for a private university in Arizona.1


Estimated number of job openings for police and detectives projected, on average, from 2021 to 2031, as of September 2021.2

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About GCU’s Online Law Enforcement Advancement Degree

The 120-credit online law enforcement degree at GCU is offered 100% online so you can complete your undergraduate studies with added flexibility and convenience. You will learn from expert faculty in the criminal justice field and have access to helpful online learning resources throughout the program.

At the conclusion of the bachelor’s degree law enforcement program, you will complete a capstone course, which provides the opportunity to create a community policing strategic plan through a thorough step-by-step process.

Earn Your BS Degree in Law Enforcement Advancement

If you have a desire to serve and protect those in your community, earning your bachelor’s degree in law enforcement is your first step. GCU is committed to guiding you through the program and developing your skills so you can become a leader the criminal justice field needs.

The bachelor’s degree law enforcement program helps future leaders gain competencies in the following key areas of the criminal justice field:

  • Law enforcement administration
  • Public engagement
  • Law enforcement communication
  • Ethical servant leadership

When you pursue a bachelor’s law enforcement degree, you will gain self-confidence in your leadership style as you examine the core principles of communication, team-leading and ethical practices in law enforcement. In addition, you will examine the function, organization, issues and practices of law enforcement agencies throughout the United States.

GCU’s degree in law enforcement focuses on servant leadership, and as a student, you develop skills in effectively communicating your organization’s mission and vision to diverse audiences and key stakeholders. Graduates will also gain competencies in:

  • Recommending strategies to reduce the effects of crime among vulnerable populations
  • Creating plans to address community needs that incorporate multiple community stakeholders
  • Developing strategies to build relationships with multi-cultural community members and create a climate of trust between community and law enforcement

As part of GCU’s Christian learning community, students in the online law enforcement degree program develop leadership skills that place special importance on contributing to the greater social good. By being a part of this program, you will explore the fundamentals of how to inspire and lead others through established, modern theories with the ethical principles of servant leadership.

You also gain a thorough grounding in:

  • Constitutional law
  • Statutory law
  • Case law interpretation
  • Modern issues such as strategic policing and cybercrime

Students in the Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement Advancement program learn to use ethical principles to build and maintain ethics driven law enforcement organizations. As a graduate, you will be able to:

  • Apply principles of Christian Ethics to a law enforcement setting
  • Develop policies that define codes of conduct that reflect an agency's guiding principles
  • Create strategies to instill a culture of ethical behavior in a law enforcement agencies
  • Develop techniques for creating a culture of accountability through consistent, fair and transparent reviews of departmental conduct

Pursue Schooling for Law Enforcement to Advance Your Career

Schooling for law enforcement professionals is designed to provide future leaders with the skills needed to guide and support their teams on the front lines. Earning a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement Advancement degree can help prepare you for career advancement or for future study in an advanced criminal justice degree program.

Bachelor’s Degree Law Enforcement Advancement FAQs

If you want to learn more about schooling for law enforcement professionals, read our answers to these frequently asked questions.

Within the law enforcement field, there are three main career areas — uniformed officers, detectives and investigators and support staff. A bachelor’s degree law enforcement program is an excellent choice for those looking to pursue a leadership role. Depending on your career goals, GCU offers additional undergraduate concentrations for future law enforcement professionals, including:

GCU’s bachelor’s degree law enforcement advancement requires 120 credits to completion and is available 100% online. This allows you to complete your studies with flexibility, which is a bonus for those already working in the law enforcement profession.

The online law enforcement degree at GCU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which provides a foundation of trust for quality education. As a student in this program, you will learn from faculty who are experts in the criminal justice and other relevant fields.

If your career goals involve leading and supporting fellow police officers, detectives and other personnel, then earning your degree in law enforcement may be your best choice. If you prefer to use your skills helping families and communities through advocacy and policy change, then you should consider a justice studies degree.

If you are already working in law enforcement and have your eye on an advanced position, such as corporal, sergeant, lieutenant or captain, you should consider pursuing a degree in law enforcement. In addition to your work experience, earning a degree can help make you a more competitive candidate for promotion as it builds skills in leadership, conflict and negotiation, organizational management and strategic planning.

1 Retrieved from in August 2016

2 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Police and Detectives, retrieved on March 9, 2023.

Total Credits: 120
Online: 7 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Online: $485 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
44 credits
Open Elective Credits:
36-42 credits
Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.


Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4
  • UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
  • PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
  • BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Core Courses

Course Description

This course provides a thematic review of the basic components of the criminal justice system in the United States today: corrections, courts, and law enforcement.

Course Description

This course provides an examination of issues and tangible solutions in the professional law enforcement environment.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of criminal liability with an emphasis on the mechanical components of the criminal justice system from arrest to conviction or acquittal.

Course Description

This writing-intensive course covers the fundamental requirements of effective communication skills such as report writing, interpersonal communication and interviewing and questioning.

Course Description

This writing-intensive course covers the many facets of what it means to be a responsible and effective public servant leader. The course examines the ethical principles that are required of those working as public servants, so they are prepared to make moral judgments in the execution of their duties. This course instills professional ethics in a law enforcement workforce through effective leadership.

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce the concepts and theories relevant to understanding conflict communication and the negotiation process. In this course, students are introduced to various elements of conflict and negotiation communication across a variety of contexts including interpersonal, organizational, and international. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to analyze power dynamics in relationships, identify conflict styles and tactics, and apply intervention techniques in contexts that are relevant to their future relationships and careers.

Course Description

This course focuses on servant leadership and ethical leadership, explores how servant leadership is different from other styles of leadership, and examines how this connects to ethics, accountability, and being a responsible leader.

Course Description

In this course, students learn what it takes to build healthy relationships in the workplace. Students investigate the role of motivation, emotional intelligence, diversity, and ethical behavior in promoting effectiveness at work. The class focuses on “people” skills and utilizing these skills in an increasingly team-based and customer-oriented workplace. Content provides opportunities to become more effective in discerning, ethical, flexible, and perceptive behaviors while working with people. Special attention is given to the challenges students will face in interpersonal communication at work and the opportunities that a workplace environment offers in building social virtuosity.

Course Description

Drawing upon real-world management situations, this course is a study of individual and group behavior in organizations through detailed coverage of the functions of management, individual differences/diversity, leadership, motivation, decision making, organizational design, and organizational change and development. Emphasis is placed on how an understanding of organizational behavior leads to effective management practice.

Course Description

This course examines performance management policies, practices, and systems related to community policing needs. The course covers how to enhance and redesign existing performance management practices across the community through collaborative engagement and management of resources. It covers how to use data to create a strategic plan to address justice-related problems.

Course Description

This course provides students with the opportunity to create community policing strategic plan. Students in this course have the opportunity to scaffold their strategic plan in a step-by-step process. Prerequisite: JUS-481.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.