Join 1,100+ Law Enforcement Professionals Who Have Already Enrolled
Next Class Starts in September – Application deadline: August 1
The MS-LEPSL program offers three start terms each year.
Spring term – Classes start in January; Applications are due in early December
Summer term – Classes start in May; Applications are due in mid-April
Fall term – Classes start in September; Applications are due in early August
The following elements are the standard admissions requirements for the Master of Science in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership program.
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
A minimum of two years of professional experience in law enforcement, public safety or a related field. Applicants with current or recent active duty military experience who are actively pursuing or engaged with a career in law enforcement may also qualify at the discretion of the admissions committee.
Bachelor’s GPA of 2.75 or higher. An extended graduate-level essay may be required of applicants whose undergraduate GPA is under 2.75. (This is waived for graduates of FBINA, FBI-LEEDA Trilogy, PERF’s SMIP and Command College)
A short statement of purpose
Letter of support from your employer, or two letters of reference
TOEFL scores of 90 or above (for international applicants)
Please contact your advisor at (888) 832-0239 or use the chat feature on this page if you are interested but do not meet all published admissions requirements. Our application review process always includes a holistic look at your law enforcement and/or military experience and other professional training opportunities you’ve had, as we understand that a low undergraduate GPA is not a reliable indicator of your potential success as a graduate student. Please also note that meeting all admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the program.
Applying to a graduate program can be complicated – which is why we are here to help answer your questions and even pay for your transcripts! If you have questions regarding the application, contact one of our enrollment advisors who will be able to answer your questions and assess your situation. Our enrollment advisors will also assist you with ordering and tracking your transcripts.
Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. You can apply and start in any semester (spring, summer, or fall. Ready to apply? Start your application online.
Special Note: please anticipate that some colleges and universities can take 2 – 3 weeks to prepare and send official transcripts. Your application package is not complete until all official transcripts are received.
Do you accept transfer credit from professional leadership training programs?
Yes! USD has entered into formal partnerships with several law enforcement training and professional development organizations to make it easier for graduates of those programs to seamlessly transition into the LEPSL program. Current transfer credit opportunities include:
FBI National Academy (up to 12 units)
FBI-LEEDA’s Trilogy (6 units)
PERF’s Senior Management Institute for Police – SMIP (6 units)
California POST’s Command College (12 units)
California POST’s Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute (6 units)
San Diego County Regional Leadership Institute (6 units)
Marine Corps University’s Command and Staff College – CSCDEP (6 units)
We are constantly evaluating new partnerships – check the transfer credit page on this website for more details.
Can I still apply if I don’t meet all of the admissions criteria?
Please work with your enrollment advisor if you are interested but do not meet all published admissions requirements. The two most important and least flexible criteria are that you must have completed your bachelor’s degree and you must have at least two years of experience working professionally in law enforcement. Military experience may also be considered. Beyond that, if your bachelor’s GPA falls short, or if you earned your undergraduate degree from a nationally accredited school rather one that is regionally accredited, we encourage you to speak to an enrollment advisor about your specific circumstances. Sometimes a low undergraduate GPA can be offset by exceptional experience and/or the completion of prestigious leadership training programs like the FBI National Academy. Alternately, you may be given the opportunity to write an additional graduate-level essay to demonstrate your readiness to take on the writing demands of a rigorous master’s degree program.
What is the cost of tuition for the MS-LEPSL program?
Tuition for the MS-LEPSL program is $729 per unit, which is discounted to $679 per unit for members of a law enforcement association or union, military personnel and veterans (documentation is required at the time of enrollment). The total discounted tuition cost for the 31-unit program is $21,049.
Reduced tuition begins in the semester in which approval is granted and cannot be retroactively applied.
Tuition amounts shown on this website, or in other university publications or web pages, represent tuition and fees as currently approved. However, the University of San Diego reserves the right to increase or modify tuition and fees without prior notice and to make such modifications applicable to students enrolled at USD at that time as well as to incoming students. In addition, all tuition amounts and fees are subject to change at any time for correction of errors. Please note that the displayed tuition covers only the cost of courses, and additional expenses such as books and other fees are not included.
Does the program have to be completed within 20 months?
The curriculum schedule functions on a carousel system, meaning that if you miss a course you will have to wait for the rotation to complete before jumping back in. Each course is offered once every five semesters. We encourage you to speak with an enrollment advisor or your program coordinator if you think you might need to take a leave of absence.