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Online Bachelor's Degree in Public Safety: Program Info

Get info about online programs in public safety. Read about program requirements and course topics, as well as career and continuing education information to make an informed decision.

Essential Information

Bachelor's degree programs in public safety are available in a fully online format. They are designed for those who want to enter the field and those who already have experience and want to advance their public safety careers. Some online programs include specializations options, such as criminal justice or fire science. Online students must have updated software and program-specific hardware.

Bachelor's Degree in Public Safety

A bachelor's degree in public safety prepares graduates for administrative and leadership positions in organizations that deal with law enforcement, public policy and emergency management, among other areas. Topics range from legal ethics to emergency planning, and specialties may be available in related areas, such as criminal justice or fire science.

Information about the Program and Requirements

Online bachelor's degrees in public safety provide students with the same coursework as an on-campus degree program. Participants communicate with instructors and peers using e-mail, chats and discussion boards. These programs typically take four years to complete.

Applicants need basic computer skills, an e-mail account and access to a computer with high-speed Internet. Some programs require distance students to meet minimum technical requirements, such as having an up-to-date operating system, in addition to having word processing software, such as Microsoft Office. Computers must often be equipped with speakers and a sound card; specific hardware requirements vary by program.

Popular Bachelor-Level Courses

Baccalaureate coursework includes general education courses, electives and core public safety courses that cover topics such as public administration, intergovernmental relations, emergency planning and public policy. Some programs may offer concentrations in homeland security or crime scene technology, for example. Coursework, including lectures, assignments and tests, is accessed entirely through the school's website.

Public Safety Issues

Students learn the different trends, issues and components found in public safety, and then explore their implications. Topics cover criminal law, the judicial system and homeland security, along with modern issues, such as terrorism and cyber crime.

Information Systems

This class discusses the applications of technology and data storage in relation to the justice system and human services. Topics examine information infrastructures, the ways real-time systems are used and information levels ranging from local to federal judicial systems.

Ethics and the Legal System

Students explore the history of ethics in law, in addition to current trends and problems. They also learn models for making ethical decisions and the consequences of unethical conduct.

Organizational Leadership

This class reviews the leadership skills and requirements that are necessary to run high-performing organizations. Various viewpoints on leadership, from the individual to the organizational level, are covered and compared.

Law Enforcement

Students learn the duties of police officers, along with the roles of local and federal law enforcement agencies. Lessons also examine the ways law enforcement agencies work within the criminal justice system.


Career Information

Job growth for police and detectives is expected to be 4%, slower than the average for all occupations, between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, the BLS reported median annual salaries for $58,320 for police and sheriff's patrol officers, $77,210 for detectives and criminal investigators, $46,870 for firefighters and $67,330 for emergency management directors.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates may have a number of continuing education options, depending on their choice of career. Those working for private organizations may find opportunities for advancement with experience, while others working in fields including law enforcement or firefighting may need to pass civil service examinations. Graduates may also pursue specialized certifications, such as by becoming an emergency medical technician (EMT). Or they may wish to pursue graduate degrees in public safety or a related field.

Public safety bachelor's degree programs are available online to prepare students for careers in a variety of protective services occupations, such as police officers, detectives, and fire fighters. Throughout this program, students complete courses online that teach them about criminal law, law enforcement and modern issues in pubic safety.


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