Study Courses Relevant to Today’s Law Enforcement Environment

Our 31-unit program is designed and taught by experienced criminal justice professionals

Best Online Programs Criminal Justice 2020This nationally-ranked online criminal justice degree program is designed for experienced law enforcement, public safety, and criminal justice professionals who hold, or are seeking, management positions and wish to develop their leadership and management skills. The program is also ideal for law enforcement leaders nearing retirement and preparing for their second career.

In this program, you will learn leadership and management skills, ethical practices, and legal and policy matters that will inform your choices as a member of a public safety or law enforcement agency. Completion of all the courses in the prescribed curriculum of ten 3-unit courses and the 1-unit Integrative Capstone course, for a total of 11 courses and 31 units, is required to successfully complete this program.

Prior to beginning your first term, you’ll be required to complete the program orientation course, which generally takes about 6-8 hours. The course is self-paced but is mandatory. Please plan your schedule accordingly.

View the list of courses below, or download a PDF of all courses included in the MS in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership program.

Program Learning Outcomes

The curriculum is designed to achieve the following learning outcomes, in addition to the graduate learning outcomes shared across all of USD’s Master’s level programs.

Promoting Ethical and Effective Leadership for Law Enforcement and Public Safety Organizations

Effective and ethical leadership is essential to the future of American criminal justice and the safety of our communities. Our Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership degree program will nurture a series of leadership skills that represent the most current best practices for encouraging integrity and creating a culture of ethical awareness within law enforcement institutions. From process-based conflict resolution, to evidence-driven decision making, to effective leadership actions in a challenging and dynamic criminal-justice environment, our nationally recognized experts and criminal justice practitioners will cultivate both a theoretical and practical understanding of ethics in modern law enforcement.

Developing Law Enforcement and Public Safety Knowledge and Skills for the 21st Century

Leadership in contemporary law enforcement is challenging and complex. Institutions that thrive often have leaders who possess strikingly diverse skill sets that include practical, professional, administrative, and leadership components. Our Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership degree program will cultivate the analytical skills, critical thinking strategies, communication abilities, legal awareness, and financial and budgetary competencies essential for effective management in law enforcement and criminal justice.

In addition, students will assess cutting-edge law enforcement technologies for improved organizational effectiveness and policing impact. Other law enforcement technologies, such as database and crime analytics will be taught in order to identify trends, hot spots, and appropriate community-based public safety responses and strategies. This program will provide a well-rounded series of practical skills that are vital both within and beyond the modern law enforcement environment.

Engaging in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Institutional Assessment and Change

This program not only builds the skills to look outward on social and criminal justice issues, but also to look inward at our own public safety institutions. Critical reflection and assessment of law enforcement institutions, in the context of its own dynamic environment, is essential for law enforcement leaders. Collectively, we will learn and practice the research methodologies and statistical tools for ethical, efficient and effective institutional assessment that will shape and refine our criminal justice system in the coming decades. Concepts of data-driven decision making will strengthen the organizational effectiveness and advancement potential of program participants who seek professional advancement and promotion within these public safety agencies.

Critical Understanding of Modern Criminal Justice Issues

From unmanned aerial vehicles to crisis communication, social media to recruitment and retention, biometric technology to the changing landscape of use of force, this program will delve into some of America’s most challenging crime problems and the issues facing criminal justice institutions. Drawing from real-world case studies and evidence-based best practices, students will actively integrate and apply the skills developed throughout this program to some of the nation’s most pressing law enforcement challenges.

Courses and Schedule