Public Safety Administration / Master of Science

The 36-credit hour Master of Science in Public Safety Administration provides a concise, accelerated, and contemporary course of study that is unique, flexible, and relevant to the changing needs of today’s public safety practitioner. It is designed to help those who are preparing to manage police, fire, emergency medical, private law enforcement services and other public safety occupations in our society. The program is characterized by:

  • A curriculum that offers both theory and practical application.
  • Faculty that bring formal education and experience.
  • Accelerated coursework that allows flexibility in scheduling. Courses are offered in an accelerated format on a year-round basis and scheduled to accommodate both students who wish to enroll continuously and those who stop and re-enroll later. Courses are eight weeks in length with six sessions per year and are offered in the evening and online. Individual class meetings are held once a week for four hours.

Program Objectives

The objectives of this program are to provide students with the essential knowledge and skills that should enable them to function effectively as a manager or as an administrator of a public safety agency.

Graduate Learning Outcomes

Successful graduates of the Master of Science in Public Safety Administration program will be able to:

1. Synthesize theoretical and research concepts from multiple perspectives to inform inquiry and practice.

2. Formulate creative responses to complex issues through critical analysis.

3. Model ethical and professional behaviors to guide inquiry and practice in a global and diverse society.

4. Discern principles and theories of motivation that relate to employee performance and behavior within organizations.

5. Demonstrate knowledge of leadership theories, concepts, and practices as related to the effective management of organizations.

6. Systematically examine principles and values of managing diversity within organizations.

7. Critically analyze issues associated with decision making, communication, and conflict resolution that impact organizational behavior.

    Full Admission

    Students must meet the following requirements for full admission:

    1. Possess a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education with a major in Criminal/Social Justice, Fire Science, or Private Security.


    Possess a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education in another major with a concentration of 12 semester credit hours related to Criminal/Social Justice, Fire Science, or Private Security.


    Possess a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education and be currently serving as a Criminal/Social Justice, Fire Service, or Private Security practitioner with a minimum of five years' experience.

    2. Submit a completed application, accompanied by a non-refundable application fee.

    3. Submit two letters of recommendation.

    4. Submit official transcripts from each institution attended.

    5. Submit a personal statement.

    6. Have earned an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a scale of 4.0 calculated on the most recent 60 semester hours.

    7. Obtain acceptance by the College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Council.

    Provisional Admission

    Provisional admission status may be granted to an applicant who has applied for full admission but did not achieve an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. An applicant in this case may be granted provisional admission status provided the student achieved an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or greater on a scale of 4.0.  Provisional students must achieve a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the first 9 credit hours of coursework before being reviewed for full admission by the Graduate Council in the College of Arts and Sciences. If a provisional student fails to achieve a 3.0 GPA in the first 9 credit hours, the student may not be able to continue matriculation in the program.


    International Students

    International students are required to meet all the admission requirements for full or provisional admission and also the admission requirements specified in the General Information section of this Catalog entitled "Entering International Students."



    A student-at-large is not a degree candidate. In order to be admitted as a student-at-large, the applicant must submit official documentation of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education and complete a modified application form. The decision to admit an at-large student to graduate courses belongs to the Graduate Program Director, whose decision is based on an evaluation of the applicant’s undergraduate coursework and possibly an interview. However, should the student decide to apply for full admission status at a later time, but within 5 years of course completion, only a maximum of 9 semester hours of graduate coursework completed as a student-at-large can be applied toward an advanced degree. In the event that an at-large student applies for full admission to the degree program, only courses with grades of B or better will count toward the degree.

    Transfer Credit

    1. A maximum of 9 credit hours directly related to the program contents may be transferred from a regionally-accredited institution provided the grade for each course is no less than a B. Ordinarily, all transfer credits must be documented and approved before full admission into the program will be granted.

    2. Appropriateness of coursework will be decided by the Graduate Program Director at the time of the student’s application to the program.
    3. Courses from outside the United States will be considered if they are evaluated as graduate level by the Office of Admission or the Commission on Accreditation of the American Council on Education.
    4. Credit for prior learning is not awarded for graduate courses.


    Transfer of Credit after Matriculation

    Students who are already matriculated at Lewis University and who wish to transfer in a graduate course must seek written approval from the Graduate Program Director before a course is attempted at another institution. Permission may be granted only when extraordinary circumstances exist. If permission is granted, the transfer of credit for the course will be accepted only if the student earned a grade of B or better. Students may not transfer in graduate courses used to satisfy the requirements for a graduate degree in another program.  

    Internal Transfer of Lewis University Credits

    Students may transfer 9 graduate credit hours from a different graduate program provided a degree had not previously been awarded for those credit hours. Transferred credits must apply to the Public Safety Administration curriculum and must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.

    Time Limitation for Completion of Program

    Students must complete all degree requirements within 7 years from the time of completion of their first graduate course at Lewis University. Students remain under the requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of matriculation unless they discontinue attendance for 2 years or more, in which case they will follow the catalog requirements in effect upon their return.

    Grade Point Requirement

    Only grades earned at Lewis University will be used in determining GPA. No more than two courses in which a grade of C or C+ is earned will count toward degree requirements. A grade in the D category will not count toward degree requirements. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation. Any student fully admitted to the Master of Science in Public Safety Administration program whose GPA falls below 3.0 will be automatically placed on academic probation.

    Academic Probation

    A student admitted to the Master of Science in Public Safety Administration program whose GPA falls below 3.0 will be automatically placed on academic probation. If the academic probation extends beyond 2 further courses, the student may be dismissed from the degree program. Students must attain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 to graduate.

    Graduation Requirements

    Students must complete 36 semester hours of required course work with a GPA of no less than 3.0 to complete the Master of Science in Public Safety Administration. The student must also pass a comprehensive examination as a requirement for the completion of the degree.

    Degree Offered:  Master of Science

    Total Credit Hours:  36


    Program: MS-PSAD-A

    Core Courses (36)

    PSAD-52000Public Safety Administration and Management


    PSAD-52300Fiscal Management for Public Safety Administrators


    PSAD-52700Public Safety Leadership - Theory and Practice


    PSAD-53300Public Safety Training - Management and Development


    PSAD-53600Ethics, Integrity, and Social Responsibility


    PSAD-53900Public Safety Law and Civil Liability


    PSAD-54200Public Safety Administration Incident Command


    PSAD-55000Human Resource Management


    PSAD-55300Multicultural Diversity


    PSAD-55600Organizational Behavior in Public Safety Systems


    PSAD-58100Research Methods 1


    PSAD-58200Research Methods 2


    Comprehensive Examination

    At the conclusion of the coursework, the student must successfully pass a Comprehensive Program Examination.