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Curriculum & Plan of Study: MPS - Public Safety Leadership and Administration (MPLA)

Mentoring and advising are an essential part of the program. Students meet with faculty and the academic program director to ensure that educational goals and career learning and development goals are met. To learn more, prospective students should contact the program director, Dr. Les Andrist via email:


  • The MPS-Public Safety Leadership and Administration is a 30-credit, 10-course graduate program that provides advanced leadership training in organizational leadership, cultural competency, and data interpretation. 
  • 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 learn to evaluate their organizations, provide innovative recommendations, rationally evaluate data and statistics, and manage interpersonal conflicts.
  • Program designed for personnel working in the area of public safety, including professions in law enforcement, first response, social services, or administrative agencies coordinating with the judicial system. 
  • Program can be completed in eighteen months of continuous full-time enrollment. Part-time enrollment is welcome. See Designation of Full-time/Part-time Status.
  • Program uses the semester academic calendar with classes held in fall and spring semester (16 weeks each) and Summer Session (two 6-week sessions). 


Semester Course Number Title
Fall CCJS631 Ethics in Criminal Justice
Fall CCJS632 Making Sense of Criminal Justice Methods and Statistics
Fall SOCY646 Public Image Management and Policy Solutions
Fall SOCY657 Constitutional Law and Public Safety
Spring CCJS633 Translating Research Into Practice
Spring CCJS658 Civil Legal Issues in Policing
Spring SOCY641 Leadership in Diverse Organizations
Spring SOCY643 Power and Status in Organizations
Summer CCJS*** Elective Course
Summer SOCY670 Applied Research Methods

Registration Overview

  • See the sample plan of study, below. Students should use this as a guide to develop a plan with the academic program director. 
  • Actual course offerings are determined by the program and may vary semester to semester. Students should note if a course has a pre-requisite or co-requisite. 
  • Specific class meeting information (days and time) is posted on UMD’s interactive web service services, Testudo. Once on that site, select “Schedule of Classes,” then the term/year. Courses are listed by academic unit. 
  • The program uses specific section codes for registration, which are listed on the sample plan of study.

Sample Plan of Study

Semester Course Number Section Code Credits
Fall CCJS631 PLL* 3
Fall CCJS632 PLL* 3
Fall SOCY646 PLL* 3
Fall SOCY657 PLL* 3
Spring CCJS633 PLL* 3
Spring CCJS658 PLL* 3
Spring SOCY641 PLL* 3
Spring SOCY643 PLL* 3
Summer CCJS*** PLL* 3
Summer SOCY670 PLL* 3

Online Learning

  • The program features 100% online instruction with engaging and interactive learning.
  • Instruction provided by University of Maryland faculty and professionals in the field. 
  • Using advanced audio and video technology, UMD’s online learning environment delivers dynamic and interactive content.
  • Featuring convenience and flexibility, online instruction permits asynchronous or synchronous participation.
  • Lectures are video archived. Students who are unable to attend in real time can review the session through asynchronous participation.

Upon successful completion, graduates will have mastered the following competencies:

  • Demonstrate understanding of key statistical methods by interpreting tables and graphs.
  • Demonstrate ability to distinguish between high and low quality evaluations.
  • Apply leadership strategies to accommodate organization diversity.
  • Examine human interaction and human behavior to better work with organizational members to solve complex problems.
  • Identify and understand key constitutional law concepts as they relate to the practice of policing and public safety. 
  • Analyze public safety issues that arise under the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments.
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