Public Safety Administration Degrees by Program Level

Oct 14, 2019

Individuals interested in obtaining an education in public safety administration can enroll in a bachelor's or master's degree program in public safety administration or earn a doctoral degree in public administration management.

Essential Information

Highlighting the importance of budgeting and crisis management, bachelor's degree programs in public safety administration include an internship and require an associate's degree for admission. 60 transferable credits of undergraduate coursework are also acceptable. Aspiring management professionals enroll in a master's degree program where they hone their fiscal planning and leadership skills. Doctoral program students prepare to enact public administration policies. They conduct research, attend related seminars, and fulfill a dissertation requirement. Applicants to the latter two programs should have bachelor's or master's degrees, respectively. Master's degree applicants should also have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and a personal statement.

Doctoral applicants should have a master's degree in public administration. Students with a degree in a different area of study might also be considered for admission. Other requirements include satisfactory scores on the Graduate Records Examination (GRE), letters of reference, a personal statement essay, resume, and academic writing sample. Graduates go on to careers in fire services, emergency management, law enforcement, and education.


Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Safety Administration

The curriculum includes subjects in administrative law, public policy, leadership, and management. Coursework in financial management explores areas of budgeting, and a course in emergency management introduces students to environmental hazards, disaster recovery, and crisis management. Other topics include the design and implementation of public safety programs, and the strategic management of public safety agencies. Towards the close of the program, students complete an internship experience at a participating public safety agency.

In addition to traditional coursework, students take a capstone course towards the end of the program where they are required to develop a professional paper demonstrating expertise in the field of public safety administration. Other course topics include:

  • Control applications
  • Contract negotiations
  • Policy implementation
  • Emergency management mitigation
  • Administration theories

Master of Science in Public Safety Administration

The curriculum is designed to prepare students to become public safety managers and leaders effectively responding to emergencies and crises, such as natural disasters or acts of terrorism. Studies in social justice introduce students to cultural diversity, criminal justice, and methods for communicating with diverse populations. A course in public safety management explores topics in risk assessment, public safety programs, and management theories. Other areas include research methods, counter-terrorism, constitutional law, and information security.

Coursework examines topics in business management, information technology, and administration. Additional course topics include:

  • Torts and contracts
  • Operational procedures
  • Recruiting
  • Fiscal planning
  • Privacy and security

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Administration Management

Designed for future educators and researchers, the research-intensive program includes studies in theories and techniques used in the development of public administration policies and programs. Coursework in disaster research and management introduces students to the planning and execution of disaster response programs that incorporate preventative methods and post-disaster efforts in emergency management. Studies in technological disasters investigate dangers of modern technologies used in transportation and energy production, taking into consideration accident causation and environmental hazards. Ph.D. candidates attend seminars, take comprehensive examinations, write an original article for publication in an academic journal, and complete a doctoral dissertation.

Coursework covers a broad range of subjects from public administration research methods to management and social science. Coursework discusses topics in:

  • Public programs
  • Economics
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Management theory
  • Mitigation activities

Popular Career Options

Graduates go on to careers in government, non-profit organizations, public administration and more. Potential job titles for graduates include:

  • Emergency manager
  • Public events coordinator
  • Law enforcement officer

Graduates find jobs in local, state and federal government, policing, corrections and more. Possible careers for graduates include:

  • Police administrator
  • Security operations manager
  • Emergency response director

Career opportunities exist in education, research, emergency management and more. Job titles of recent graduates include:

  • Professor
  • Research analyst
  • Director of administration

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that emergency management directors earned a median annual wage of $72,760 in May 2018. Average growth was predicted in this field, with 500 job openings expected between 2018 and 2028. Occupation and health safety specialists took in a median yearly salary of $71,780 in May 2018, with about as fast as average growth projected from 2018-2028, according to the BLS.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates who want to obtain executive management positions might consider enrolling in a master's degree program in a related area of study. Options include a Master of Business Administration in Public Administration and a Master of Business Administration in Public Safety and Security.

Public safety administration degrees are available at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral level. Depending on whether a student is interested in working in a more hands-on career or in a more research-oriented or director role will help them determine which educational path is right for them.

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