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Police Studies

Program Overview

At Eastern Kentucky University, we offer you the chance to study at the only four-year police studies program in Kentucky, and one of the few in the country. Here you will study under internationally renowned professors who write the books other colleges are using in their curriculums. You will meet law enforcement professionals from around the country who will help prepare you for the reality associated with your chosen career.


Career Opportunities

State and Local Law Enforcement¬†(State Police, County Sheriff’s Office, City Police)
Federal Law Enforcement (ATF, FBI, Secret Service, Park Service, Fish and Wildlife)
State and Local Corrections (Probation, Parole, Prisons, Jails)
Federal Corrections (Bureau of Prisons, Probation and Parole)
Corporate / Industrial Security Services
Crime Policy Analyst
Crime Scene Investigators
Customs Agent
Private Investigator
State and Federal Courts
U.S. Military Services


Bachelor’s Degree

Total Curriculum Requirements: 120 Hours
37 hrs –¬†Gen Ed. / Univ. Requirements
24 hrs – Core Courses*
24 hrs –¬†PLS Electives
6-9 hrs –¬†Supporting Courses
26-29 hrs –¬†Free Electives

Associate Degree

Total Curriculum Req: 64 Hours
37 hrs –¬†Gen Ed. / Univ. Requirements
15 hrs –¬†Core Courses*
12 hrs –¬†PLS Electives


Total Curriculum Req: 18 Hours
9 hrs – Core Courses*
9 hrs – CRJ 101, PLS 103, PLS 414 (PLS Electives – Upper Division)

*Indicates core course requirement in course descriptions below.

Core Courses

CRJ 101 – Introduction to Criminal Justice*
A general overview of the criminal justice system including a description of the major agencies; police, prosecution, courts, and corrections, and analysis of their interdependence in the criminal justice process.

CRJ 331 – Criminological Theory
Overview of crime and its control. Examines law making, law breaking, and the social response from theoretical perspectives including social, economic, cultural, symbolic, phycological, and biological. Includes historical and contemporary developments.

CRJ 388 – Research Methods
Overview of the research process, with emphasis on finding, using, and evaluating criminal justice research. Examination of both quantitative and qualitative social science research methods and procedures appropriate to the study of crime policy and criminal justice.

CRJ 400 – Criminal Justice Statistics
Analytical and statistical concepts and procedures relevant to crime and criminal justice data. Includes quantitative and qualitative techniques.

PLS 103 – Police Order Maintenance & Crime*
Overview of police functions and responsibilities at the local, state, and federal levels. Police operations are examined relative to effectiveness in crime control, delivery of services and maintenance of order.

PLS 326 – Ethical Decisions and Police*
Police conduct is examined relative to ethical and legal principles. Application of federal and state civil, criminal and administrative law including civil rights issues.

PLS 414 – Social Forces and Policing Society*
Examines the history and evolution of policing the United States with an emphasis on the political, social, cultural, legal, and organizational forces that have molded that history. The roles and functions of police in America are examined in detail within the context of race, class, and gender.

PLS 415 – Contemporary Police Strategies*
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.


Choose from any of the electives listed below:

PLS 103  Police, Order, Maintenance, and Crime
PLS 216  Criminal Law
PLS 220  Criminal Investigation
PLS 315  Police Administration and Management Criminal Evidence
PLS 316  Ethical Decisions and Police
PLS 330  Topics in Police Studies
PLS 349  Applied Learning in Police Administration Terrorism / Counterterrorism
PLS 380  Police in Popular Media
PLS 385  Police Related Violence
PLS 401  Multi-Culturalism and Policing
PLS 403  Homicide
PLS 408  Policing and Technology
PLS 410  Policing and Community
PLS 414  Social Forces and Policing Society
PLS 415  Contemporary Police Strategies
PLS 416  Criminal Procedure
PLS 420  Surveillance and Society

Students may also choose elective courses from Criminal Justice (CRJ) to meet the Police Studies elective requirement.

Information based on EKU’s 2022-23 course catalog and is subject to change.

College of Justice, Safety, and Military Science

521 Lancaster Avenue
Stratton 354
Richmond, KY 40475
Phone: 859-622-3565

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