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Program Overview

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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 with Graduate Programs in Public Safety Leadership and Administration. Become an informed consumer of high-quality research and develop a critical understanding of criminal justice responses to common problems through instruction by academic faculty and experienced practitioners. These programs are designed to prepare public safety personnel in a broad array of careers, including those related to law enforcement, corrections, public safety education, juvenile justice, social services, and disaster preparedness for their next level of career advancement. 

Graduate Programs in Public Safety Leadership and Administration includes a Master of Professional Studies and two Graduate Certificates. Students who successfully complete requirements for a Graduate Certificate may apply these credits towards the Master of Professional Studies if the student applies and is admitted.

Master of Professional Studies in Public Safety Leadership and Administration

The MPS-Public Safety Leadership and Administration is a 30-credit graduate program designed to be completed in two years of study while minimally disrupting personal and professional life. 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 curriculum 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-Public Safety Leadership and Administration provides training in evaluating and interpreting statistics to help you intelligently draw conclusions from different data sources. The curriculum 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. Coursework 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.

Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Administration

The GC-Criminal Justice Administration is a 12-credit graduate program designed to be completed in one year of study while minimally disrupting personal and professional life. 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 program prepares criminal justice professionals in a broad array of careers, including those related to law enforcement corrections, public safety education, juvenile justice, social services, and disaster preparedness for their next level of career advancement. The curriculum focuses on the analysis of law enforcement ethics and strategies for balancing legal, cultural, and political issues in an applied working environment. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate 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 heightened terrorist threat, (3) The complexities of campus safety on University campuses, or (4) Technologies in modern policing. 

Graduate Certificate in Leadership in Diverse Organizations

The GC- Leadership in Diverse Organizations is a 12-credit graduate program designed to be completed in one year of study while minimally disrupting personal and professional life. Learn how to evaluate organizations for best practices, implement policies that impact the capacity to lead organizations, and understand social interaction and human behavior to solve complex problems.  In the 21st century, employers are searching for leaders who have the skill set and credentials to sufficiently deliver on strategic planning promises. The program 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.

Graduate Programs in Public Safety Leadership and Administration features online instruction which offers greater flexibility and increased opportunity to tailor learning that accommodates personal and professional responsibilities. UMD’s online learning environment delivers online content through easy to use web-based technology that enables learning in an engaging, interactive environment. Instruction is provided by School of Public Health faculty and experts in the field. The program uses the semester academic calendar with classes held in fall and spring semester (16 weeks each) and Summer Session (two 6-week sessions).

Academic Program Director Contact Information

Graduate Programs in Public Safety Leadership and Administration are offered through a collaboration between the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice and the Department of Sociology in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland-Baltimore Francis King Carey School of Law. As the top ranked Criminology program in the United States for more than two decades, the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice is uniquely positioned to train public safety leaders. The Department of Sociology ranks in the top 10 in social psychology and social stratification and has consistently ranked in the top 20 of sociology graduate programs. Students with specific academic questions may contact:

Dr. Lester Andrist
Department of Sociology
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
4125 Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building
3834 Campus Drive
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-1315
Email: landrist@umd.edu

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