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The Best Schools for Becoming an FBI Agent

by Lori Garrett-Hatfield

Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation spend their days combatting crime on the federal level. Once qualified, agents work in one of five areas: intelligence, counterintelligence, counterterrorism, criminal or cyber. Because the FBI requires the minimum of a bachelor's degree, majoring in one of the areas specified by the FBI is a good option. The FBI suggests several areas that agents could major in.

Intelligence and Counterintelligence Colleges

FBI Agents who work in either intelligence or counterintelligence are either responsible for gathering information, or preventing others from gaining access to information. George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, offers a minor in intelligence analysis. Students who are studying intelligence at George Mason are eligible to apply to the FBI Intelligence Division for an internship. A master's degree in geoinformatics and geospatial intelligence is also an option at George Mason. George Mason is ranked sixth in the up-and-coming schools category by "U.S. News & World Report" in 2014, and listed in "Forbes Magazine's" top colleges rankings for 2014.

University of Massachusetts-Lowell Counterterrorism Major

The University of Massachusetts -- Lowell's program in counterterrorism allows students to major in criminology and criminal justice, and specialize in homeland security and counterterrorism. Although many universities have homeland defense and security majors, the University of Massachusetts is one of the few universities that have a major in counterterrorism. Students can take courses in domestic terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, forensic psychology and hate crimes. Some courses are offered online. A master's program that allows the student to specialize in homeland security and counterterrorism is also available. The university is ranked in the top 200 colleges by "U.S. News & World Report," and is one of the top colleges in the United States for 2014, according to "Forbes Magazine."

Criminal Justice Majors

Many students choose to major in a criminal justice program while in college, and there are several excellent criminology schools to choose from. The University of Maryland offers a bachelor's or master's degree in criminology. Students may specialize in areas related to terrorism, both domestic and foreign. The University of Maryland was ranked first in criminology by "U.S. News & World Report" in 2009, and listed in the top 100 colleges by "Forbes Magazine" in 2014. The University of California at Irvine, ranked fifth by "U.S. News & World Report," has a bachelor's program and a minor in criminology, law and society. Electives within the program include terrorism and society, and reactions to terrorism.

Cyber Security and Cyber Crime

Utica College in Utica, New York, has a cyber security bachelor's program available at the college and online. Undergraduate students can choose to major in cybercrime investigations and forensics or information assurance. Utica College also offers a master's program for cybersecurity and economic crime management. The college was ranked in the top 200 regional universities by "U.S. News & World Report" in 2014. Penn State offers an online Bachelor of Science in Security and Risk Analysis with an emphasis in information and cyber security. Penn State also offers a master's program in information security and forensics online. Penn State is ranked in the top 50 national universities by "U.S. News & World Report" in 2014, and in the top 100 college rankings by "Forbes Magazine."

About the Author

Lori Garrett-Hatfield has a B.J. in Journalism from the University of Missouri. She has a Ph.D. in Adult Education from the University of Georgia. She has been working in the Education field since 1994, and has taught every grade level in the K-12 system, specializing in English education, and English as a Second Language education.

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