Public Safety Leadership and Administration (Online)

Advising | Overview


Mentoring and advising are essential parts of the Graduate Programs in Public Safety Leadership and Administration. Students meet with faculty and the program director to ensure that educational goals are being met. Prospective students are encouraged to contact:

Lester Andrist, Ph.D.
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Department of Sociology/ Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Phone: 301.405.6392

Admitted students are required to maintain continuous enrollment for courses as outlined in the plan of study. Graduate School policy stipulates a five-year Time Limitation for completing a master degree or graduate/post-baccalaureate certificate. Circumstances may arise when students cannot continuously dedicate time to the program. In such cases, students making satisfactory progress may receive a Waiver of Continuous Registration or Leave of Absence. The time taken on an approved leave of absence is not included in the time limitation for degree completion.


Graduate Programs in Public Safety Leadership and Administration use the semester academic calendar: fall and spring semesters (16 weeks each) and Summer Session (two 6-week sessions). Instruction is provided by faculty from the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, the Department of Sociology, and UMB's Francis King Carey School of Law. UMD’s online learning environment delivers online content through easy to use web-based technology that enables learning in an engaging, interactive environment. Students who successfully complete requirements for the GC-Criminal Justice Administration or GC-Leadership in Diverse Organizations may apply these credits towards the MPS-Public Safety Leadership and Administration if the student applies and is admitted to the MPS program.

MPS-Public Safety Leadership and Administration

  • Key aspects of good leadership in the public safety sector are being a model of ethics and equity, making decisions based on sound evidence, building relationships both within the department and with outside constituents, policy development, and successful policy implementation. To develop these areas of leadership, the MPS-Public Safety Leadership and Administration focuses on: interpersonal skills both within and outside of an organization, understanding power dynamics and equity, conflict management and resolution, and evidence-based decision making. To add value to the degree in this modern data-driven world, the MPS provides training in evaluating and interpreting statistics to help you intelligently draw conclusions from different data sources. The MPS-Public Safety Leadership and Administration provides advanced leadership training to personnel working in the area of public safety either through law enforcement, first response, social services, or administrative agencies coordinating with the judicial system. The curriculum combines lessons in organizational leadership, cultural competency, law enforcement, criminal justice, and data interpretation to prepare law enforcement and public safety professionals for leadership roles. Students are trained on evaluating organizations for best practices, implementing policies that impact capacity to lead organizations, and understanding social interaction and human behavior to solve complex problems. A student successfully completing this degree will be able to evaluate their organization, provide innovative recommendations, rationally evaluate data and statistics, and more deftly manage interpersonal conflict. See the MPS-Public Safety Leadership and Administration Plan of Study.

GC-Criminal Justice Administration

  • Learn how to apply evidence-based research to your professional endeavors while developing the skills you need to overcome the emergent challenges of careers in public safety. The GC-Criminal Justice Administration prepares students for taking their careers to the next level in work pertaining to law enforcement corrections, public safety education, juvenile justice, social services, and disaster preparedness for their next level of career advancement. Students learn to analyze law enforcement ethics and strategies for balancing legal, cultural, and political issues in an applied working environment. Students have the opportunity to choose an elective in order to develop a deeper understanding of one of the following topics: (1) The demands of criminal justice leadership in the context of social service agencies, (2) Responses to terrorist threats, (3) The complexities of campus safety on university campuses, or (4) Technologies in modern policing. Become an informed consumer of high-quality research and develop critical understanding of criminal justice responses to common problems by receiving instruction from academic faculty and experienced practitioners. See the GC-Criminal Justice Administration Plan of Study.

GC-Leadership in Diverse Organizations

  • Learn how to evaluate the effectiveness of organizations, cultivate effective leadership, implement transformative policy, and develop an understanding of social interaction and human behavior in order to solve complex problems. In the 21st century, employers seek leaders who have the skill set and credentials to sufficiently deliver on strategic planning promises. The GC-Leadership in Diverse Organizations prepares professionals to deal with growing challenges related to equity and inclusion. Students learn to assess and evaluate their organization and provide innovative recommendations to change organizational and cultural norms. Become a leader of organizational and cultural change through instruction by academic faculty and experienced practitioners. See the GC- Leadership in Diverse Organizations Plan of Study.

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