Criminal Justice Degrees

Become a more effective, innovative law enforcement leader

Important Upcoming Dates

Term Start Dates

Fall 2024 Term

September 3

Spring 2025 Term

January 7

Summer 2025 Term

April 4

Fall Application Deadline

August 2


Top-Rated Program!
MS in Law Enforcement & Public Safety Leadership
August 2

Industry Overview

Criminal Justice Leadership

Law enforcement today is more complex than ever, with issues ranging from dynamic community relations to international terrorism and rapidly evolving technologies requiring a greater level of critical thinking, problem-solving and analysis than ever before. Recognizing the benefits of a college-educated force, an increasing number of states are looking at ways to incentivize or even require a college degree in their recruitment and promotional processes.

Even the Task Force on 21st Century Policing cited improved training & education as its primary recommendation, asserting that “The skills and knowledge required to effectively deal with these issues requires a higher level of education as well as extensive and ongoing training in specific disciplines.” For early-career officers as well as those looking to promote within their departments, there has never been a better time to consider an advanced degree, especially one that focuses on core leadership competencies that are specifically relevant to today’s law enforcement agencies.



Percentage of law enforcement CEOs who hold a graduate degree


Number of police agencies in the United States


Number of sworn officers per 1,000 US residents

5 to 7.5%

Typical pay increase with a master’s degree

Success Stories

The program has far exceeded my expectations. U.S.D has been supportive in every facet. The courses are designed to balance personal/ professional life as well as education. I highly recommend the online Masters program!

The last year of coursework from USD has been nothing short of outstanding! In a career where tradition often complicates the freedom toward innovation, this learning environment with numerous law enforcement professionals throughout the country, and world, has been a significant enhancement to my professional experience. I have zero reservations recommending this program and have referred several coworkers already. I’m thankful for this program and feel like it has supercharged my comprehension of significant law enforcement leadership concepts and how to put them into practice. In addition, professional networking opportunity is completely worthwhile. The instructor staff is also exceptional and highly engaged and focused on ensuring student involvement, comprehension and future success.

The University of San Diego LEPSL program provided a unique experience of learning and collaboration with other public safety professionals. I gained a better understanding of social issues and evidence-based strategies, which helped my professional and personal development. The program was thought-provoking and innovative and has assisted me in my new role as Chief. I believe it will help me better serve my department and community in the years to come.


A Degree to Be Proud Of

University of San Diego is consistently ranked one of the Top 100 universities in the United States.

A Smart Investment

Your career-building degree pays for itself in the workplace.

Career Advancement

Move forward in your current field or blaze a new career path.

Scheduling Freedom

Study on your own schedule – balancing school, work and life.


Your Future Now

Earn your master’s degree on a schedule that’s convenient for you.