Attention: Law Enforcement Professionals

 Earn a degree through one of our partner colleges that will advance your career and set you up for future success. This program is for you if any of these apply to you:

  • Your department requires a specific number of college credits for promotion.
  • You want a degree to help you stand out when applying to specialized units
  • You are nearing the end of your career and want to obtain a degree for your second job or are planning for when this happens.
  • Your department offers tuition reimbursement.
  • Your department offers education incentive pay.
Attention: Law Enforcement Professionals
Education Requirements for Police Officers


Our company, Smarter Degree, includes former members of law enforcement who are committed to helping you reach your professional and financial goals by earning a fully accredited bachelor’s degree with one of our many college partners, in a wide variety of subjects.

To shorten your path to graduation, each student receives an individualized assessment of all prior work/college experience to maximize the college credits you already have and plan a custom tailored, quick, and affordable path to graduation.

Each of our students is contacted by one of our former law enforcement member advisors who answer any questions a student might have and share their personal experience with obtaining their degree the same way as you are now.

Our advisors will walk you through a wide variety of degree options that can help you stand out when applying for a unit within your department or are planning for a second career and want to position yourself for an opportunity outside your department, or law enforcement, in areas such as education or finance.

In some cases, police academy coursework can be applied towards your degree with a partner college. We will ensure you receive the maximum allowed credit recommendations for prior life/work/military experience.

Attention: Law Enforcement Professionals
How to Become an FBI Agent

The Degreemaps offered by SmarterDegree are more affordable by 70% than the average college degree program, and offer discounts for family members of law enforcement professionals as well. Payment plans are available to help make the program as accessible as possible.

We also help you finish your coursework as quickly as possible, as all our courses are self-paced, and can be taken as soon as you are ready to begin.

Attention officers of the NYPD

  • Our partner universities accreditation will satisfy your department’s promotional requirements for all ranks.
  • All our courses are online and asynchronous
  • Sixty-four (64) college credits are required for promotion to sergeant.
  • Ninety-six (96) credits are required for promotion to lieutenant
  • A bachelor’s degree is needed for promotion to captain.
Attention: Law Enforcement Professionals
Attention: Law Enforcement Professionals
Attention: Law Enforcement Professionals

Promotion levels for officers in New York State based on information on the New York State website:

There are numerous promotional opportunities from Sergeant to Superintendent through competitive and appointive processes for both the Uniformed Force and Bureau of Criminal Investigation. A few examples are provided below:

  • You may apply to be appointed as an Investigator in the Bureau of Criminal Investigation after 4 years of service or after 2 years of service with a bachelor’s degree. Base Salary: $104,040
  • You may compete in the promotional process for the supervisory rank of Sergeant after 4 years. Base Salary: $115,844
  • You may compete in the promotional process for the middle management rank of Lieutenant after serving 2 years as a Sergeant. Base Salary: $138,487
  • Based on information from Indeed ( , the median annual salary for a captain is $187, 537

Salaries listed above for Investigator, Sergeant and Lieutenant do not include: Longevity compensation; hazardous duty compensation; command pay; expanded duty pay; maintenance pay, holiday pay; expertise pay; overtime; or additional location compensation for New York City and the following counties: Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester.

Smarter Degree

Have more questions?

To learn about the coursework needed to qualify for transfer to specialized units such as advanced criminal investigations, organized crime, antiterrorism, and others, schedule a free consultation to speak with one of our advisors. To speak with an advisor today