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Best 15 Online Master’s in Public Safety Administration in 2021

April 21, 2021 | Staff Writers

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1. University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA 

Master’s in Public Administration – Disaster/Emergency Management degree from the University of West Georgia, designed for professionals hoping to advance their career in disaster and emergency management and mitigation. Core requirements of the program focus on the theory, law, and procedural aspects of public administration, including budgeting and human resources. The disaster and emergency management 12-hour curriculum delves deeper into the specialization’s theory, policy, and strategy. 

  • Tuition: $241
  • Credits: 36
  • Estimated Completion Time: 24 Months

2. Missouri State University, Springfield, MO 

Obtaining a Master of Public Administration Online with Public Safety Certificate at Missouri State requires an additional 15-hours of elective courses. There are 12 course offerings in the certificate program, of which a candidate must choose five to complete the specialization. The broad spectrum of classes allows students to curate a certificate program that most closely aligns with their career goals. Whether the intended direction is toward health services, security, or a combination of the two, the added certificate gives candidates the knowledge they will need to progress in a public safety career. 

  • Tuition: $303
  • Credits: 36
  • Estimated Completion Time: 24 Months

3. California State University, Long Beach, CA 

The Master of Science in Emergency Services Administration program at California State University is one of the more concentrated degree options on this list. The school believes that the program is ideal for public administrators at all levels, industry disaster planners, first responders, military, and humanitarian aid workers. Undoubtedly, the program designers had several outcomes in mind. With a focus on leadership, communication, high-pressure decision-making, risk management, critical thinking, and analysis, the curriculum provides the knowledge and information integral to the field while stressing pertinent soft-skill development. 

  • Tuition: $499
  • Credits: 32
  • Estimated Completion Time: 24 Months

4. Charleston Southern University, Charleston, SC 

Charleston Southern University offers its Master of Science in Public Safety Management degree to all retired and active first responders a 20% first responder/public safety tuition discount. Additionally, a low student/professor ratio and convenient online class schedule allow those working in the field to advance their education without taking time away from their careers. 

  • Tuition: $500 per credit ($400 for retired and active-duty first responders)
  • Credits: 33
  • Estimated Completion Time: 18 Months

5. Mercer University, Macon, GA 

Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership degree is possibly one of the most highly sought-after credentials for several fields in this day and age. From corrections and law enforcement to disaster relief and private security, having the knowledge, skills, and wherewithal to assist during a public crisis is valuable in a diverse spectrum of domains. In this program, Mercer University provides the students with a faculty of experienced public safety practitioners, an elective program allowing candidates to design for their specific career goals, emphasis on less-tangibles like critical thinking and effective communication, and critical thinking and reasoning skills. 

  • Tuition: $615
  • Credits: 30
  • Estimated Completion Time: 16 Months

5. Saint Leo University, St.Leo, FL 

Since 2001, public safety has entered an entirely new realm. A Master’s in Emergency and Disaster Management from Saint Leo University is a highly-specialized degree. So much more goes on behind the scenes than the average person can grasp. Candidates pursuing a career in public safety need to understand the legal, regulatory, financial, organizational, operational, personnel, risk, after-effects, and mitigation of major public incidents, accidents, and crises. Course requirements will cover all of these aspects of public safety administration at St. Leo in classes such as Social Dimensions of Disaster, Hazard Mitigation, Risk Identification and Assessment, and an Applied Project in Critical Incident Management. 

  • Tuition: $610
  • Credits: 36
  • Estimated Completion Time: 24 Months

7. Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY 

An integral part of the public safety sector is that it is fluid. A Master of Science in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management from Eastern Kentucky University prepares those entering the field to use the knowledge they’ve been given and build upon that knowledge moving the practices forward through research and education. This program’s primary goal is to educate candidates in such a way so that they move forward to make further advancements in the management and mitigation of safety, security, and emergency management. 

  • Tuition: $611 per credit
  • Credits: 36
  • Estimated Completion Time: 18 Months

7. Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL 

Under the more broad umbrella of a Master’s of Public Administration, graduate students at Southern Illinois University can curate their study program to specialize in Public Safety and Security. Candidates can use a for credit individualized research project and choice of internship to customize their MPA with an emphasis on public safety. 

  • Tuition: $340 per credit 
  • Credits: 39
  • Estimated Completion Time: 12 Months

9. University of San Diego, San Diego, CA 

Graduates of the Master of Science in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership program at the University of San Diego currently hold positions at the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and other high-profile government and private entities. Under the direction of experienced criminal justice and public safety professionals, candidates are required to complete 11 courses, including an Integrative Capstone project with faculty approve subject matter. Convenient online class scheduling makes this an ideal option for those already working in the field and highly recommended for law enforcement officers looking to embark on a second career after retirement. 

  • Tuition: $699
  • Credits: 31
  • Estimated Completion Time: 20 Months

10. Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA 

The Master of Science in Safety and Health Management curriculum at Central Washington University, approved by the Board of Safety Professionals, allows candidates to apply for qualification as a Graduate Safety Practitioner® upon program completion. 

Courses such as Administration and Ethics, Risk Management Principles and Practices, and Crisis Management and Continuity of Operations prepare graduate students for leadership roles in various private and government sectors. 

  • Tuition: $367 per credit
  • Credits: 45
  • Estimated Completion Time: 24 Months

11. Pace University, Pleasantville, NY 

Pace University’s Master’s of Art in Management for Public Safety and Homeland Security is a highly competitive program offer candidates a well-rounded and in-depth public safety and security management curriculum. Core curriculum courses include Introduction to Homeland Security, Public Sector Planning and Budgeting, and U.S. Constitution and Ethical Issues. Beyond the core courses, candidates can choose six elective courses, including International Human Rights, Technology and Critical Infrastructure Protection, Psychology and Terrorism, Comparative Governments, and Intelligence Gathering Strategies.

  • Tuition: $1048 per credit
  • Credits: 36
  • Estimated Completion Time: 18 Months

11. Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 

The Texas A&M University Executive Master of Public Service & Administration program includes a unique yearly one-week residency providing students with hands-on experience and further insights into potential career paths. Additionally, after choosing a Homeland Security, Nonprofit Management, or Public Management Track, candidates participate in a Capstone Project in which they pair with appropriate private sector or government agency partners. Accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), this program, highly regarded throughout private industry and government entities with recent graduates holding leadership positions at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Federal Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Space Transportation, USAID’s Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning, Texas House of Representatives, and the nonprofit Hope For New York. 

  • Tuition: $503
  • Credits: 39
  • Estimated Completion Time: 18 Months

13. New England College, Henniker, NH 

This novel program, partnered with D. Stafford & Associates, a leading authority in campus public safety, prepares students to pursue safety leadership positions addressing public and private campuses’ unique needs. A New England College Master of Science in Higher Education Administration: Public Safety Administration graduate is qualified to plan and manage the day to day campus safety and security, handle crises and emergencies on campus, ensure campus compliance with all state and federal law, and demonstrate an understanding of inclusivity and an ability to work with, and for, a community of diverse individuals. 

  • Tuition: $566 per credit 
  • Credits: 40
  • Estimated Completion Time: 12 Months

14. Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York  

The Master of Public Administration and Law Enforcement degree program at Marist College now offers fifty percent tuition for qualifying first responder applicants. One of the primary goals of this program’s leadership is to develop and maintain strong relationships with public and private agencies of distinction. Most recently, Marist has partnered with Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE) and the National Organization for Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE). Pursuing these relationships is only one example of the college’s commitment to acknowledging and addressing the underrepresentation of women and minorities in public safety and law enforcement organizations. 

  • Tuition: $850
  • Credits: 42
  • Estimated Completion Time: 24 Months

15. Calumet College of St. Joseph, Whiting, IN 

Calumet College’s Master of Science in Public Safety Administration program attracts students, many already working in the field, with ease of schedule and accelerated format. In only 22 months, candidates complete the program prepared to lead public safety initiatives in various sectors. Highly-qualified and experienced faculty members understand the demands of a career in public safety and pursue the abolition of the time barriers that have traditionally prevented qualified and motivated candidates from pursuing advanced education. 

  • Tuition: $840 per credit 
  • Credits: 42
  • Estimated Completion Time: 22 Months

Our Ranking Methodology

Each of the Online Master’s in Public Safety Administration programs was ranked using a comparison of tuition and credit requirements. While this methodology allows us to rank for affordability and potential completion time, different online Master’s Programs in Public Safety Administration appeal to students based on previous work experience and future career goals. 

For more programs check out our emergency management programs.

School representatives should connect with us to correct the given information or to request a review of another academic program. 

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