Master's in Public Safety & Security: Degree Program Information

Oct 10, 2019

If you're working in the public safety and security sector and want to improve your future career prospects, you can earn a master's degree in the field. Find out what you need to apply and what you can expect during and after the program.

Essential Information

In a master's degree program in public safety and security, students are trained in the prevention and management of major public safety risks, including both natural disasters and terrorist attacks. Students in these programs analyze a wide range of homeland security policies and practices, and they evaluate the application of particular protocols in commercial, residential and public scenarios. Through both theoretical study and hands-on experience, students learn to find more effective ways to manage threats to public safety. Most of these programs are aimed at mid-career professionals who already have established careers in the public safety and security sector and want to advance their careers in the field.

In order to apply to one of these programs, students must hold a bachelor's degree, and they may be required to have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0. Most master's degree programs require GRE examination results of at least 1000 points. Undergraduate coursework in in the social sciences and prior or current experience in the military, law enforcement, corporate security, fire service, public safety or emergency management can be also increase a student's chance of admission.

Master's Degree Programs in Public Safety and Security

Over the course of these programs, students learn to apply critical thinking and leadership skills in public safety management scenarios, which can help prepare them for future public policy positions. Possible course topics include:

  • Protection management
  • Public administration and the politics of leadership
  • Criminal justice
  • Terrorism and political violence
  • International security and global threats
  • Civil liberties and security

Popular Career Options

Many jobs in public protection and security are government-related. There are also private agencies that employ individuals to cover safety and security concerns at the corporate level. Possible job titles include:

  • Homeland security officer
  • Personal bodyguard
  • FEMA personnel
  • Cyberwarfare specialist
  • Travel security agent
  • Border patrol agent
  • CIA agent

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, the employment projection for emergency management directors showed fast-as-average growth (5%) for the years 2018-2028. The data also indicates that emergency management directors earned a median annual salary of $74,420 as of May 2018.

A master's degree in public safety and security can provide experienced professionals with the advanced theoretical and practical training they need to pursue high-level careers in the field.

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