Top 25 Public Safety Degrees

by SSF | Last Updated Feb. 29th, 2016

best public safety college degree programs in the USThere’s a growing need for leaders within the broad segment of public safety. Professionals with both workforce skills and leadership qualities are needed to coordinate and manage the efforts of fire and police safety organizations, disaster preparedness and management and homeland security entities. Tomorrow’s public safety leaders are those who have developed a foundation in communication, critical thinking, planning and leadership, financial management and operations.

Higher education institutions are increasingly offering degree programs in public safety and public safety administration as the need for leaders in this field has become apparent over the last few decade. An undergraduate education in public safety also provides students with a foundation for further graduate studies or law school.

To help you choose the right school for an education in public safety or public administration, we’ve compiled our list of “The Top 25 Public Safety College Degree Programs.”

Schools that made our list offer public safety degree programs with a thorough foundation in core leadership and management competencies needed to turn today’s students into tomorrow’s public safety leaders. We looked at programs that have earned recognition from outside ranking institutions, such as U.S. News and World Report, and have affiliations with leading industry organizations, such as the Homeland Security Educational Consortium Association. These universities offer either a broad approach to public safety from an administration perspective or offer various areas of concentration for students who wish to pursue a more focused education in a specific sector. Please note that the following list is in no particular order.

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The Top 25 Public Safety College Degree Programs

1. Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, FL
Undergraduate Degree in Public Safety Administration
http://www.fau.edu/spa/bpsa/

Florida Atlantic University’s undergraduate program in Public Safety Administration is ideal for students interested in police, fire and disaster response careers and administration. The program culminates with a bachelor’s degree in Public Safety Administration (BPSA); graduates are qualified to enter the fields of law enforcement, fire safety, homeland security and disaster response.

2. Keiser University
Daytona Beach, FL
Bachelor of Science in Public Safety Administration
http://www.keiseruniversity.edu/public-safety-BS.php

Students attending Keiser University may pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Safety Administration. The program offers a combination of public administration and management courses with a focus on public policy – including budget development, grant writing, property management and more. Keiser University offers a combination of day, evening and online classes to meet the needs of today’s busy professionals.

3. St. Petersburg College
St. Petersburg, FL
Bachelor’s Degree in Public Safety Administration
http://www.spcollege.edu/bachelors/cpsa/

Students pursuing Public Safety Administration studies at St. Petersburg College work towards a bachelor of applied science degree. Students are equipped to serve in leadership roles within public safety organizations in both government and private sector entities. Students may choose from five areas of concentration, including criminal justice, emergency medical services, emergency management and homeland security, fire science or a cross-disciplinary course of study. Both part-time accelerated and online formats are offered.

4. Florida State College
Jacksonville, FL
Undergraduate Degree in Public Safety Management
http://floridastatecollegecatalog.fscj.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=25&poid=4472

Students graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Public Safety Management from Florida State College are prepared to manage and lead public safety agencies. The curriculum emphasizes a broad range of core competencies, including administrative, management, communication and critical thinking skills with a focus in criminal justice, homeland security, emergency management, fire science and similar public service efforts.

5. Grand Canyon University
Phoenix, AZ
Bachelor of Science in Public Safety and Emergency Management
http://www.gcu.edu/degree-programs/bachelor-of-science-in-public-safety-and-emergency-management

Grand Canyon University offers a Bachelor of Science Program in Public Safety and Emergency Management. The program focuses on homeland security and public safety, emphasizing emergency management and planning. Graduates enter any number of career fields, such as emergency management, fire protection, emergency medical response, law enforcement, environmental health and safety, and similar fields. Grand Canyon University offers both campus-based and online formats.

6. Cleveland State University
Cleveland, OH
Bachelor of Arts in Public Safety Management
http://www.csuohio.edu/academic/majors/publicsafetymanagement.html

Cleveland State University provides students with the opportunity to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Public Safety Management. The program is offered through the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, named among the top 10 urban affairs schools in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report in 2008. The program offers a solid foundation for graduate studies in public administration or law school and equips students with the skills and competencies for entry-level positions in public safety fields.

7. Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI
Undergraduate Degree in Public Safety Administration
http://extended.emich.edu/programs/public_safety_admin.aspx

Eastern Michigan University’s undergraduate program in Public Safety Administration is an inter-disciplinary program involving coursework from three different departments within the University. Students are prepared to take entry-level positions within public safety organizations, including law enforcement, fire protection, corrections, private security, emergency management and similar positions within both the public and private sectors.

8. Franklin University
Columbus, OH
Safety, Security and Emergency Management Degree Program
http://www.franklin.edu/degree-programs/college-of-health-public-administration/undergraduate-majors/safety-security-and-emergency-management

Franklin University’s Safety, Security and Emergency Management Program prepares students to take leadership and management roles within the public safety or private security sectors. Students are exposed to the latest developments in emergency management, homeland security, risk management, safety and security planning and more. Students who have 24 hours of technical credits may be able to transfer those credits to take advantage of Franklin’s Public Safety Management Program.

9. Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL
Bachelor of Science in Applied Management: Public Safety
http://www.niu.edu/offcampusacademics/programs/bsam/public_safety/index.shtml

The Bachelor of Science in Applied Management with an emphasis in Public Safety program is designed to provide police officers, fire fighters and first responders with the skills and education to assume leadership roles within their chosen professions. The curriculum emphasizes a number of leadership and administrative areas, such as operations management, management and leadership theory, homeland security and disaster preparedness and more.

10. Mercer University
Macon, Atlanta, Savannah, GA
Undergraduate Degree in Public Safety Leadership
http://ccps.mercer.edu/undergraduate/public-safety/

Students pursuing Public Safety Leadership education at Mercer University are prepared to pursue graduate-level studies or to enter their chosen field with the competencies necessary to excel in leadership roles within public safety organizations.  The program is designed for adult learners and provides students with a core understanding of ethics in public safety, critical thinking, professionalism as well as the philosophical, theoretical, and structural aspects of the public safety field.

11. Davenport University
Grand Rapids, MI
Public Safety and Security Management Degree
http://www.davenport.edu/programs/business/bachelors-degree/public-safety-and-security-management-bba

Davenport University offers a bachelor of business administration degree with an emphasis in Public Safety and Security Management. This program is designed for students who have already obtained an associate’s degree in a specific area of study, such as criminal justice or emergency health services, focusing on enhancing those core competencies with further education in business and management fundamentals.

12. University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO
Bachelor of Science in Safety Management
http://www.ucmo.edu/majors/print/4yearplan.cfm?ftd=103

Students opting to pursue Undergraduate Studies in Safety Management at the University of Central Missouri have the option of concentrating in industrial and occupational loss prevention, including fire science, security, emergency management and health. The program culminates with a bachelor of science degree and prepares students to pursue careers in safety analysis, safety management, public service administration and similar fields.

13. Florida State University – Panama City
Panama City, FL
Bachelor Degree in Public Safety and Security
http://appliedstudies.pc.fsu.edu/Academics/Public-Safety-and-Security

Florida State University – Panama City’s Undergraduate Program in Public Safety and Security is based on a broad overview of the public safety system as a whole while incorporating analytic, theoretical and hands-on experiences to prepare students for careers in law enforcement, security, intelligence and investigations. Students graduate with a bachelor of science degree as well as an in-depth understanding of the multi-faceted public safety system from a managerial, operational and intelligence perspective.

14. Hampton University
Hampton, VA
Bachelor of Science Segree in Public Safety Administration
http://cecs.hamptonu.edu/docs/public_safety_curriculum.pdf

Students at Hampton University may pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Safety Administration with an emphasis in criminal justice, emergency and disaster management, emergency medical systems, or fire administration. Students receive a multi-disciplinary education with a foundation in organizational leadership, management and public administration.

15. Indiana University – Purdue University – Indianapolis
Indianapolis, IN
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: Public Safety Management
http://www.iupui.edu/~bulletin/iupui/2010-2012/schools/spea/undergraduate%20programs/student_learning_outcomes/bscj.shtml

Students at Indiana University wishing to pursue education in public safety management can opt for this major within the university’s criminal justice program. Students will earn a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ) in Public Safety Management. The program emphasizes homeland security, terrorism, emergency services, technology and its impact on public safety, crisis management and other topics designed to equip students with the skills to excel in careers in the public safety industry.

16. St. Edwards University
Austin, TX
Bachelor of Arts in Public Safety Management
http://www.stedwards.edu/academics/newcollege/publicsafetymanagement

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Public Safety Management at St. Edwards University explore the topics most relevant to today’s public safety professionals, including budgeting, leadership, terrorism, disaster preparedness and more. Students are prepared to lead and navigate a public entity through a crisis with critical thinking, communication and conflict-resolution skills.

17. Charter Oak State College
New Britain, CT
Bachelor Degree in Public Safety Administration
http://www.charteroak.edu/PublicSafety/PSADegree.cfm

Charter Oak State College is an online educational institution offering both current professionals and those with prior education in public safety a foundation to prepare them for careers in law enforcement, corrections, fire safety, homeland security and other emergency management entities.

18. Pensacola State College
Pensacola, FL
Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Safety/Public Service
http://www.pensacolastate.edu/program_page.asp?DeptID=9697&ProgID=1238

Pensacola State College offers a Bachelor of Applied Science Degre in Public Safety and Public Service. The program facilitates professional advancement and prepares graduates to take entry-level positions in public safety fields and provides the leadership skills necessary to assume managerial roles within their respective industries.

19. Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, KY
Bachelor Degree in Safety, Security and Emergency Management
http://ssem.eku.edu/

Eastern Kentucky University offers several options for students wishing to pursue careers in public safety. Both on-campus and online programs are offered, although not all specialties are offered in both formats. Major areas of concentration include emergency medical care; fire protection administration; homeland security; fire, arson and explosion investigation; occupational safety and fire protection administration.

20. State College of Florida – Manatee-Sarasota
Venice, FL
Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Safety Administration
http://www.scf.edu/Academics/BaccalaureateDegrees/baspsa/default.asp

Students graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Safety Administration from the State College of Florida – Manatee – Sarasota are qualified for positions such as emergency management coordinator, fire inspector, fire marshal, training officer and similar positions in public safety management and leadership. The program emphasizes risk assessment, organizational behavior, environmental disaster management and other key functions in the broader field of public safety.

21. Midway College
Midway, KY
Bachelor of Arts in Public Safety Administration
http://www.midway.edu/academic-programs/business/ba-public-safety

The Bachelor of Arts in Public Safety Administration program at Midway College has been adapted from a previous course of study in homeland security, expanding to encompass the broader significance of public safety administration in other key functional areas. Students undertake a rigorous course of study including in-depth case studies of existing organizations and how they’re equipped to handle disasters and emergencies from the perspective of enhancing emergency response and preparedness.

22. Reinhardt University
Alpharetta, GA
Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management and Leadership – Public Safety Leadership Option
http://www.reinhardt.edu/working_adults/Bachelor_Degrees/psl_overview.html

Reinhardt University offers a public safety leadership (PSL) option within its Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management and Leadership program. The program is designed to meet the national demand for more than 500,000 trained public safety professionals by 2015. Reinhardt University is a member of the Homeland Security Educational Consortium Association and provides students with the skills and expertise to lead public safety organizations against the threat of criminal activity, as well as domestic and international threats to the United States.

23. Herzing University
Milwaukee, WI
Bachelor of Science Homeland Security and Public Safety
http://www.herzing.edu/academics/homeland-security-and-public-safety/programs

Students at Herzing University may choose from a number of undergraduate programs within the broader field of public safety management, including the Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Public Safety. The program includes an individual capstone project and prepares tomorrow’s professionals in identifying potential terrorist targets and maintaining public safety through an interdisciplinary approach encompassing criminal justice, public safety and homeland security.

24. Palm Beach State College
Lake Worth, FL
Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management – Public Safety Management
https://www.palmbeachstate.edu/programs/bachelor/supervision-and-management/public-safety-management.aspx

Palm Beach State College offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management with an emphasis in public safety management. The program provides an overview of public safety administration and management encompassing preparedness, planning, mitigation and response in relation to emergencies, disasters and other public safety concerns.

25. Polk State College
Winter Haven, FL
Bachelor of Applied Science  in Supervision and Management – Public Safety Management
http://www.polk.edu/futurestudents/degreesandprograms/BachelorsDegrees/BAS/Pages/PublicSafetyManagement.aspx

The Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management at Polk State College offers a number of concentration options to students, including public safety management. Designed for students who have attained an associate’s degree or equivalent, the applied science in supervision and management program builds on this foundation with upper-level coursework in management and leadership, preparing students to take on critical roles in planning and administration within the public safety field.


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