Erik Fritsvold, PhD

Academic Director, MS-LEPSL Program

Erik Fritsvold serves as the Academic Director for the Master of Science in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership program. He was the founding faculty member for the program and part of the team that shepherded it from concept through launch – a process that included three years of research and collaboration with law enforcement. Prof. Fritsvold personally directs all aspects of program academics, including curriculum, faculty, admissions, accreditation, and any issues related to students.

Prof. Fritsvold’s primary expertise is applying core tenets of academic criminology and criminal justice to dynamic, modern-day law enforcement. The cutting-edge nature of the Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership program requires Prof. Fritsvold to be meaningfully engaged with an array of academic and practitioner-centric specialties including leadership, organizational theory, Constitutional Law, communications, data-driven and intelligence-led policing, law enforcement and criminal justice policy, conflict resolution, and law enforcement best practices.

Prof. Fritsvold has been a full-time faculty member at USD in various capacities since 2005. He formerly served as an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Crime, Justice, Law & Society Concentration, teaching an array of undergraduate courses in sociology, criminology, and criminal justice. He has also served as both a Department Chair and Interim Associate Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences. In 2013, Prof. Fritsvold was recognized by Princeton Review as one of America’s “Best 300 Professors” in a book by the same name.

Erik earned his B.A. in Sociology from the University of San Diego in 2000, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Criminology, Law & Society Department at the University of California at Irvine in 2003 and 2006 respectively.

Student Reviews:

 

“Dr. Fritsvold is absolutely fantastic. He is very thoughtful and very concerned about his students well-being and the overall course value and effectiveness. He is a very engaged and excellent professor. The students are lucky to be under his tutelage.”
– Summer ’20 Student
“Dr. Fritsvold is an excellent instructor. One of the best I have had over about 30 years of learning, from undergraduate to professional learning.”
– Summer ’20 Student
“Dr. Fritsvold is amazing, brilliant and insightful. He’s also responsive and available. I tell my colleagues here that he’s “the real deal”. I appreciate that he took time to host virtual office hours. His evaluations of my work were spot on (even the criticisms) and he clearly took the time to read every submission and post, understand them and give feedback where appropriate. His efforts are noticed and appreciated.”
– Summer ’20 Student
“Dr. Fritsvold is truly incredible. I have been so overwhelmed by what has been happening across the country and unfortunately have not been able to get a lot of free time, and when I do I try to spend as much as I can with my family. Dr. Fritsvold took it upon himself to adjust the coursework to remove some of the strain we were all facing. I cannot say how much this meant to me, I was ready to accept I wouldn’t be able to complete the assignments and likely have to take the class again. By removing some of the demands, it allowed me to regroup and truly see how much Dr. Fritsvold and USD faculty care about me. This has been a challenging last 6 months, I have witnessed firsthand how Dr. Fritsvold has navigated the program and feel fortunate to learn from such an incredible leader. ”
– Summer ’20 Student
“Dr. Fritsvold provided superior guidance throughout the course and is a consummate professional in his field.”
– Summer ’20 Student
“I was looking forward to having the mastermind of this unique, outstanding, and highly rated program as my instructor. He is definitely as advertised and even better. Dr. Fritsvold is a great instructor with a wealth of knowledge, experience, and understanding and provides valuable feedback and excellent instructions. I am incredibly impressed with his compassion, flexibility, and adaptability during these uncertain times. It was an honor and privilege to learn from him.”
– Spring ’20 Student
“Dr. Fritsvold, always made the topic interesting and facilitated a quality learning environment. In addition, he made it clear that he would work with us to make adjustments as needed based upon the national pandemic. To know that he truly understands and appreciates what we are dealing with as law enforcement leaders has tremendous value to us as students.”
– Spring ’20 Student
“Erik is an incredible professor. I have had several classes with him now and I have nothing but wonderful things to say about him. He is passionate and fair in his grading and the efforts he puts into his students and the course.”
– Spring ’20 Student
“Professor Fritsvold was always actively engaged with all students throughout the discussion board which always brought more substance to the discussions. It was nice to have a professor involved as much as Professor Fritsvold was. He also responded to all emails quickly and fully. The grading was always done in a fast manner and provided plenty of quality feedback to students to strengthen their assignment and their writing style.”
– Spring ’20 Student
“I was fortunate to have Erik Fritsvold as my section instructor. Although it has been over ten years since my last formal education, I cannot remember a more engaged instructor since my high school days in the late ’70s and early ’80s. His commentary in the discussion boards encouraged participation through thoughtful questions that showed he cared about what the authors were writing. His encouragement made me want to do better with each assignment.”
– Spring ’20 Student
“Professor Erik Fritsvold provided prompt feedback to questions and our discussions to include emails with relevant references. I found all the material to be relevant and fresh with current Law Enforcement issues. I couldn’t be happier to have joined USD.”
-Summer ’19 Student
“I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Fritsvold. He provided informative feedback on my discussion board comments and written assignments. He’s extremely knowledgeable on course-related topics. USD should be pleased to have an instructor of his high caliber.”
– Summer ’19 Student
“Professor Fritsvold brought a lot of interesting discussion to each of the modules. He provided feedback, as well as additional reference material.”
-Summer ’19 Student
“Prof. Fritsvold is an absolute asset to USD and this program. He deeply cares about each students success and is engaged to make sure we are getting everything possible from the class experience. I am very pleased with my decision to enroll in this program and look forward to many more similar class experiences!!”
– Summer ’19 Student
“Professor Fritsvold is an exceptional instructor and facilitator, and has done an outstanding job with the research, development and implementation of this entire program.”
-Spring ’19 Student
“Once again, it has been a pleasure to be a student in one of Professor Fritsvold’s courses. I appreciate his timely and detailed feedback on coursework as well as his optimistic and enthusiastic attitude. His teaching style makes me try harder.”
– Spring ’19 Student
“I think I just enjoy his deep wisdom and ability to ask questions, from an academic perspective, in attempts at learning our police culture.”
– Spring ’19 Student
“It was a pleasure to finally have Professor Fritsvold as an instructor. Professor Fritsvold was always attentive to the student questions and his research background and insight contributed a great deal to our DB conversations.”
– Spring ’19 Student