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 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.

Student Learning Outcomes

A number of learning outcomes are associated with the Public Safety Administration degree program. It is the design of the program, and the intention of the University, that a graduate student of Public Safety Administration will

  • Understand the contemporary practices of public safety management and responsibilities.
  • Prepare budgets for a public safety organization.
  • Demonstrate organizational development leadership through the practices of reflection on action, critical and spatial thinking, and analysis and interpretation of data and logic.
  • Develop and maintain organizational effectiveness through the knowledge and employment of select training modalities.
  • Maintain organizational and personal values that are ethical and socially responsible.
  • Understand law that applies to the field.
  • Articulate issues of employee relationships with the public safety organization.
  • Develop theories and practices involving issues of risk management and crisis management.
  • Demonstrate sound practice in human resource development.
  • Make decisions consistent with the responsibilities of serving and relating to the community.
  • Organize ideas in such a manner that communication is optimized within the organization.
  • Work effectively in a diverse and multicultural organization and community.
  • Evaluate the impact of costs, assets, losses, and politics.
  • Analyze qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Develop solutions for public safety problems.

Admission Requirements

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.
  3. Pay a non-refundable application fee with the completed application.
  4. Submit two letters of recommendation.
  5. Submit official transcripts from each institution attended.
  6. Submit a personal statement.
  7. Have earned an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a scale of 4.0 calculated on the most recent 60 semester hours.
  8. Obtain acceptance by the Graduate Council.

Provisional Admission

Provisional admission status may be granted to a student 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 they will be reviewed for full acceptance 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.

Admission Requirements for International Students

International students should consult General Information in this catalog for acceptable scores on the TOEFL as well as other pertinent information. The student must also meet the published requirements for admission to the Public Safety Administration degree program.

Student-at-Large Status

A student-at-large is not a degree candidate. If an at-large student decides to apply for full admission into the Public Safety Administration degree program, only 9 hours of completed course work will be accepted for credit toward the advanced degree. The courses must have been completed within five years of the time of application for admission.  Students may not complete more than 3 courses as students-at-large. 

Academic Probation

Any student fully admitted to the graduate Master of Science in Public Safety Administration program whose GPA falls below 3.0 will automatically be placed on academic probation. The student will have the following semester of enrollment to raise their GPA to a minimum of 3.0. If the student fails to do this, he or she may be dismissed from the program.

Only grades attained in 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 cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.

Transfer Credit

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.

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 more than 2 years, in which case they will follow the catalog requirements in effect upon their return.

Graduation Requirements

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

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 be approved by the chair of the department.

Degree Offered: Master of Science

Total Credit Hours: 36


Core Courses (36)

There are 12 courses required to complete this 36 credit hour program. At the conclusion of the coursework, the student must successfully pass a Comprehensive Program Examination.

91-520Public Safety Administration and Management


91-523Fiscal Management for Public Safety Administrators


91-527Public Safety Leadership - Theory and Practice


91-533Public Safety Training - Management and Development


91-536Ethics, Integrity and Social Responsibility


91-539Public Safety Law and Civil Liability


91-542Public Safety Administration Incident Command


91-550Human Resource Management


91-553Multicultural Diversity


91-556Organizational Behavior in Public Safety Systems


91-581Research Methods I


91-582Research Methods II