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An online Master’s in Public Safety Administration can help interested students and working professionals become effective administrators in numerous public safety organizations and agencies.
In this online program, students are taught to develop important skills in effective decision-making, management, conflict resolution, policy-making, and communication when dealing with potentially dangerous environments.
Depending on the university or college offering public safety administration programs, the curriculum may include courses such as criminal justice, homeland security, public safety law, emergency management, and more.
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Online master’s degree programs can help working professionals pursue leadership roles in public safety efforts, ensuring a rewarding career in public safety organizations and agencies that provide emergency response services.
If you want to acquire advanced theoretical and practical knowledge in the field, then an online master’s program in public safety administration is an ideal choice.
The area of Public Safety is one of the cornerstones of a healthy and functioning society, as it is directly related to ensuring the safety and well-being of a society’s members. Success in this field requires not only experience but knowledge of concepts and techniques that are provided by a masters-level education.
Students would also do well to choose the best education they can get that would help them advance their proficiency, as they continue to practice and aim for leadership in the field.
We’ve got you covered! We’ve put together graduate schools that offer the best online Master’s in Public Safety Administration Programs, selected according to the following characteristics:
- Offers their degrees online, perfect for the needs of working professionals who benefit from minimal disruption to their careers and commitments,
- Feature curricula that cover major areas of public safety, and includes coverage of administrative skills, best practice, as well as research skills,
- Also, feature designs that emphasize developing students into well-rounded professionals that anchor their practice on ethics and professional standards,
- Taught by faculty who have extensive expertise and experience in the field,
- Feature competitive tuition rates, as well as a range of options that let students reduce their tuition costs, including financial aid,
- Hold the proper accreditation credentials.
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Best Online Master’s in Public Safety Administration Programs
Arizona State University
Arizona State University is fully committed to providing quality programs for students all over the country and beyond. Its extension, ASU Online, was created to provide accessible, quality education anytime and anywhere. Students can expect an exceptional digital learning experience under the tutelage of world-class professors.
- The online Master of Public Safety Leadership and Administration program offered by Arizona State University serves public safety professionals who wish to gain the necessary skills integral to managing and leading public safety organizations.
- Students can expect to learn how to become strong agents of positive change when it comes to working in public safety agencies.
- The program equips students with skills in various key elements, including organizational management and leadership, data analysis, and public and policy administration.
- To earn the online master’s in public safety administration, students must complete a total of 33 credit hours, exploring courses such as Public Budgeting and Finance, Public Human Resource Management, Organizational Behavior, and Program Evaluation for Emergency Management & Homeland Security.
Considered a leader in online education, Arizona State University has a total of 10 years of experience in providing high-quality online education. Currently, the university offers more than 300 programs to accelerate career growth. It has catered to over 80,000 online graduates and counting.
Did You Know?
Students who want to prepare for a rewarding career in the field and meet their professional goals may want to choose a public safety concentration that they can focus on. Their options include:
- Emergency Medical Services – Mobile Integrated Healthcare,
- Executive Fire Administration,
- and Executive Police Administration.
Established in 1971, Liberty University is considered one of the largest nonprofit universities in the country. Committed to preparing students to join today’s workforce, the university makes education more accessible by offering online programs.
It has a SASCOC or Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges approval.
- The Master of Science in Public Safety offered by Liberty University helps students learn the ropes in managing the people and resources to ensure public safety.
- Students are trained to influence organizations and relevant agencies across all levels, developing cost-effective and beneficial security strategies in the process.
- The master’s degree program’s curriculum is designed to help students prepare for leadership roles that involve making high-level decisions and fostering people’s well-being.
- To earn the program, students must complete a total of 30 credit hours, which can usually be done within one year.
- Some of the courses included in the rigorous curriculum are Crisis and First Responder Training: Skills and Techniques, Introduction to Disaster Management, Fundamentals of Public Safety Leadership, and Management of Public Sector Organizations.
The online Master of Science in Public Safety Administration program allows students to customize their online learning experience to help them better align with their career goals and interests. They can specialize in:
- General Public Safety Administration,
- Criminal Justice,
- Fire Administration,
- or Homeland Security.
Did You Know?
Liberty University’s nonprofit prominence is more than a status. It is fully committed to investing in students’ success by maintaining low tuition rates, offering award-winning online degrees, and providing students with scholarships and other financial aid resources.
University of Maryland
College Park, MD
Founded in 1856, the University of Maryland grew from a state agricultural school to become one of the top public national universities in the country.
It is home to 12 schools and colleges, offering 104 undergraduate majors, 115 master’s degree programs, and 84 doctoral programs. Currently, it is serving more than 40,000 students.
- The University of Maryland offers a Master’s degree in Public Safety Leadership and Administration that is available online and can be completed in about 18 months.
- This master’s degree is a Francis King Carey School of Law and College of Behavioral and Social Sciences joint venture designed to equip professionals with skills and knowledge for an array of public safety careers.
- Some courses in the program include Leadership in Diverse Organizations, Power and Status in Organizations, Making Sense of Criminal Justice Methods and Statistics, and Technology in Modern Policing, among others.
Along with the master’s degree in Public Safety Leadership and Administration, students will also be able to earn two graduate certificates:
- Criminal Justice Administration
- Leadership in Diverse Organizations
They are expected to acquire essential skills such as program assessment, leadership, and legal skills, among others.
Did You Know?
In 2021 alone, the University of Maryland recorded combined research expenditures of $1.1 billion. In the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development Survey, the university ranked number 16 among public institutions for research and development spending.
It also made it to the top 10 among the country’s public institutions in terms of patents awarded, as vetted by the National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association.
Southern Illinois University
Established in 1869, Southern Illinois University is considered one of the top higher education institutions for research. The university has been committed to fostering diversity since its foundation, with 29% of minority students making up its total enrollment. Currently, it is home to more than 11,000 students.
- Southern Illinois University’s Master of Science in Public Safety Administration is designed for professionals working in the fields of fire, police, or emergency medical department administration.
- The public safety administration program equips students with enhanced problem-solving tactics and knowledge of public safety and homeland security solutions to fulfill leadership roles.
- This master’s degree features practical coursework that includes career advancement in a convenient online forum.
- Students will need to complete a total of 30 semester credit hours, with core courses including Legal Administrative Law, Public Policy/Ethics, Fiscal/Financial Management, Strategic Planning, and Practicum.
The online master’s in public safety administration features faculty and staff members who are known experts in the field of homeland security and public safety. Students can gain real-world skills from the faculty’s combined years of research and professional experience.
Did You Know?
The Carnegie Foundation (or Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching) ranked Southern Illinois University among the top 5 percent in terms of research expenditure. The university offers research opportunities in a wide range of categories. Students can take advantage of research facilities such as:
- Aquatic Research Laboratory and Saluki Aquarium,
- Laboratory Animal Program,
- Mass Spectrometry Facility,
- and Fermentation Science Institute, among others.
Tennessee Tech University
Focusing on providing transformative experiences, Tennessee Tech University cultivates a lifelong desire for learning under the guidance of supportive faculty. To date, the university offers degrees across eight academic schools and colleges.
This includes Education, Engineering, Arts and Sciences, Agriculture and Human Ecology, Fine Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Nursing, among others.
- The Master’s of Professional Studies in Public Safety is an interdisciplinary program designed to provide leadership and strategic management tools to public safety professionals who want to lead in a dynamic field.
- Students are equipped with important skills such as risk assessment and disaster preparations, public safety leadership, crisis response, research administration, and more.
- The program requires 30 credit hours, with courses including Professional Environment Issues and Ethics, Leadership and Communication, and Research Methods, among others.
As the final course of the program, the Professional Project must be completed. Students are required to start planning the project the moment they enter the program. This serves as the integrative culmination of the program of study, serving as a substantial piece of independent research consistent with the theme and content of the program of study.
Did You Know?
Tennessee Tech University has an accreditation from the SACSCOC. The university is considered one of the best public universities in the South.
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia, or UVA, is a public research university located in the city of Charlottesville. It is the state’s flagship university and was established in 1819 by then-US President Thomas Jefferson, who envisioned a university anchored on the emerging Liberal Arts education at the time.
Presently, UVA is composed of 12 colleges and schools and has a population of around 26,000 students. It is also a member of the Association of American Universities, and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.
- The University of Virginia offers the web-based Master of Public Safety Program, designed to develop the leadership skills of working professionals from the field of public safety and create greater public safety in their communities.
- The program contains a total of 30 credit hours, split into five core courses and five restricted electives.
- The program curriculum covers key content areas that are relevant to law enforcement professionals and other allied public safety fields, including emergency management, the fire service, and more.
- Students are required to pass a comprehensive examination in order to graduate.
The program is designed to be forward-thinking and is ideal for professionals who are ready to challenge the status quo and confront new realities in the modern field of public safety.
Also, students in the program who have completed training in the FBI National Academy, FBI ELEVATE, or the UVA’s National Criminal Justice Command College can apply for a number of graduate credits from these, letting them finish the program sooner.
Did You Know?
While it doesn’t appear on its official seal, a lot of symbolism used by the UVA features The Rotunda, a building located on the university’s original grounds. It was originally designed by President Thomas Jefferson and is modeled after the Pantheon in Rome.
Mercer University is a private research university in the city of Macon, Georgia. It was established in 1833 as the Mercer Institute, a preparatory school, later gaining university status in 1837, granted by the state’s legislature.
At present, Mercer University is composed of 12 colleges and schools and operates campuses throughout 6 other locations in the state aside from the main campus at Macon.
Mercer University has a total population of around 9,000 students, and is classified among “R2: Doctoral Universities – High Research Activity”.
- Mercer University’s Online Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership is designed to prepare working students to become well-rounded professionals who can occupy leadership roles in the field.
- The program is fully online and contains a total of 30 credit hours (10 courses). Courses are self-paced, and the program can be completed in 16 months.
- The program’s final component is a Master’s Research Report, which consists of a writing critical analysis of scholarly literature in the field. Students also have to complete a comprehensive examination.
- Emphasizes excellence in leadership, cooperation, ethical behavior, critical thinking, and consolidated public service.
Mercer University’s MS in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership program features a comprehensive coverage of key public safety topics and includes related subject areas such as deviant behavior, forensic psychology, and disaster response.
Did You Know?
Mercer University is named after Jesse Mercer, who was at the time a prominent leader of the Baptist church. He provided a founding endowment for the school and also served as the first chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees.
Lewis University is a private university in the city of Romeoville, Illinois. It is a Roman Catholic institution and is affiliated with the De La Salle Brothers.
It was established in 1932 as the Holy Name Technical School, and started focusing on aviation technology courses, and eventually became Lewis University in 1973. It is currently composed of 6 colleges and schools and has a population of around 6,500 students.
- Lewis University offers the Master of Science in Public Safety Administration program that prepares students for leadership roles in a number of public safety fields, including law enforcement and emergency response.
- The program is ideal both for those working in private and public sector organizations and fields and prepares them for taking on leadership roles in these.
- The program contains a total of 36 credit hours. Courses are accelerated, letting students finish sooner, allowing for flexibility in their scheduling, and integrating best practice training.
- The program is primarily offered on campus, however, students with difficult schedules can also avail of a 100% online option, which consists of a pre-scheduled cohort.
Students to the program who are active First Responders receive a 20% tuition discount, as well as a tuition deferral of six weeks after the end of each class. The program also features a comprehensive coverage of various approaches to risk and crisis management, as well as financial, analysis, budgeting, and data analysis, and emphasizes developing ethical and professional practice.
Did You Know?
As a university affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, Lewis University was founded by the Archdiocese of Chicago. It is named after Frank J. Lewis, a philanthropist who provided funding for many of the university’s buildings.
Western Illinois University
Western Illinois University is a public university located in the city of Macomb, Illinois. It was established in 1899 as the Western Illinois State Normal School, originally dedicated to teacher training, with the first classes being held in 1902.
It grew over the decades and finally became a university in 1957. At present, Western Illinois University is composed of 4 colleges and has over 7,600 students.
- Western Illinois University’s Master of Arts in Public Safety Administration was designed as an interdisciplinary program to prepare students working in the fields of public safety and related fields to pursue career advancement and leadership positions.
- The program features two options for completion: the thesis option contains a total of 33 credit hours, which includes 27 credit hours of coursework and 6 credit hours dedicated to thesis work. Coursework also includes room for 9 credits of electives.
- The program also has a non-thesis option, which features 39 credit hours of coursework and the completion of a comprehensive examination at the end of the last semester.
- The program features a blend of theoretical, administrative, practical knowledge, and research skills.
Western Illinois University’s MA in Public Safety Administration is highly regarded for its quality not only within the state but nationally as well. The program provides students with the most current information in key areas of the practice, including:
- administrative & organizational behavior,
- quantitative research,
- and more.
The program also includes content from the fields of policing, fire, corrections, the courts, and security.
Did You Know?
Western Illinois University’s public safety education has a lot to show in terms of community impact. The latest figures from WIU indicate that over 30% of first-line supervisors and administrators in law enforcement agencies within the state obtained their degrees from WIU.
Charleston Southern University
Charleston Southern University (CSU) is a private university located in Charleston. CSU was first established in 1960 and was originally called the Baptist College of Charleston.
The university was renamed Charleston Southern University in 1990 following a vote by the South Carolina Baptist Convention.
At present, Charleston Southern University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees from over 50 fields of study and has a population of around 3,400 students.
- Charleston Southern University’s Master of Science in Public Safety Management produces graduates ready to take on leadership and management-related positions within the public safety field.
- The program is available in traditional/on-campus and fully online formats. The program contains a total of 33 credit hours and can be finished within 18 months.
- The program features a comprehensive curriculum and covers various key areas such as forensic science, criminal behavior, legal issues, juvenile delinquency, human trafficking, and ethics.
- The program concludes with a Public Safety Capstone Project and culminates with a paper and presentation.
Charleston Southern University aims to maximize students’ learning experience, whether through their online or on-campus programs. Class sizes are small, and are taught by expert practitioner-scholars.
Also, all active and retired First Responders and Public Safety Personnel are eligible for a 20% First Responders/Public Safety Tuition Discount.
Did You Know?
Charleston Southern University is SACSCOC-approved. It is a Christian institution that is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a Master of Public Safety Administration program differ from a Master’s in Homeland Security Program?
Public Safety Administration is considered part of the Criminal Justice field of discipline and is focused on the specific needs of communities in the areas of law enforcement/policing, corrections, policy, crime deterrence and prevention, and other allied emergency and public safety concerns, such as responding to fire and health emergencies.
Homeland Security programs, meanwhile, tend to have a broader focus. It is a younger field with its current form born out of the events surrounding 9/11. Its original focus was on detecting and responding to terrorist threats, but has since expanded to include a wider range of threats including cyberattacks, and even natural hazards.
Is a master’s degree required to work in public safety?
Generally, entry-level jobs or even leadership roles in the field of public safety do not require a graduate degree for one to be competitive in the job market. However, a master’s degree can give them an edge when pursuing advanced roles in the industry.
A master’s degree in Public Safety can equip them with safety skills integral to lead along with modern techniques that are useful in managing public safety in the community.
What can I do with an online Master’s in Public Safety Administration degree?
Students who want to pursue careers in management, leadership, and administrative positions within public safety agencies and organizations will find an online master’s in public safety administration program highly beneficial.
Other potential career paths for public safety administrators include emergency medical technicians, public safety officials, emergency management directors, federal law enforcement officers, firefighters, police officers, paramedics, rescue professionals, and more.
- An online Master’s in Public Safety Administration is a program focused on preparing students to take on advanced/leadership roles in various public safety organizations and emergency management agencies, including local police, federal law enforcement, fire departments, and other emergency services.
- A Master’s in Public Safety Administration degree is generally considered to be a part of the field of Criminal Justice and includes coursework that covers key areas in the said field, including corrections, crime prevention, and more.
- Public Safety Administration and Homeland Security are related fields that have largely similar end goals, however, they differ in a number of aspects, namely that Homeland Security currently has a wider scope.