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M.S. in Law Enforcement & Public Safety Leadership

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USD’s Master of Science in Law Enforcement and Public Safety leadership program was designed in collaboration with law enforcement, and we value our relationships with unions, associations and other groups representing and advocating for law enforcement professionals.

Student Testimonials

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.

When I heard that USD was offering this program, I was nervous, excited and proud. Nervous that I was about to start a program and unsure of the demand with my job, excited about the thought of obtaining a Master’s degree from such a prestigious university, and proud once I was accepted. The program is very manageable with my work schedule and now that I am over half way through, I look forward to putting USD on my resume. The staff is extremely helpful and has made the entire experience one that I would recommend for anyone!

When I completed POST Command College, I was motivated to further my education. After researching a variety of master’s programs, I learned that the University of San Diego offers graduate level credit for Command College coursework that was transferable to the MS-LEPSL program. I definitely recommend this program to those who are desirous to promote. Managing a contemporary police agency is a complex, demanding profession that requires a motivated and educated individual. The MS-LEPSL program prepares you for these challenges and responsibilities.

Great Interactive Program. This program really enables working professionals to achieve graduate level education in an in-depth manner. Allows for timely and rigorous coursework completion with interactive feedback.

As leaders, it is critical that we constantly strive to keep ahead of trends and developments in our profession. This allows us to avoid trying to apply yesterday’s solutions to tomorrow’s problems, or “fighting the last wear.” The program will allow me to add value, mentor our future leaders and position me well to assume greater responsibilities in the profession.

Love this program! I apply things I’ve learned in this program on a daily basis.

I am extremely impressed with this program and how hard it pushes us to dig deep into our experiences while coupling them with relevant research. The professors challenge us to think differently and apply our learning to our current positions. The quality of leadership within this program is amazing. I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of pursuing a leadership position within law enforcement.

When looking at schools, I valued the history and reputation of USD. I identified with the small campus feel, and first name interactions I had with everyone through the enrollment process. The advisors, coordinators and professors made me feel like a person – not another student number!

USD’s law enforcement and public safety leadership program has been amazing. From the quality and experienced instructors to one of its kinds course material, this program has genuinely assisted me in my career development and has prepared me for today’s challenges in this profession. Dr. Fritsvold genuinely cares about his students and law enforcement. When I first researched various master’s programs, I was unable to find what I was looking for until I found this program. The all online program is quick-paced but thorough. Every week I am learning something new and applicable to my profession. I have utilized the leadership skills learned from this program and have applied them within my agency with such positive results. I wish every law enforcement officer could attend this program. This program has made me into the leader that I am today and am grateful for that.

Acquiring MS in Law Enforcement Leadership from USD was one of the best educational choices I have made. The staff is accommodating the ideas innovative and informative. This program, the staff, and it’s completion have led me on many of my professional decisions and aided in my promotion to Sergeant last year. Great people and a great program that offers a great opportunity.

I chose USD for the simple fact that no other school provided the type of degree program I was looking for. I’ve had a lot of negative leadership throughout my law enforcement career. Based on my personal experience, I wanted to make that change. I knew I needed a program that was based on leadership but focused on law enforcement. Other universities had “Global Leadership” type programs, but these did not suit what I needed as a LE Professional.

The LEPSL program provided me with a competitive edge among my peers. Although I brought 7 years of business management experience into my law enforcement career, the leadership challenges specific to policing demanded a different focus which is what the University of San Diego have built this program around. I was able to complete my Master’s degree while working full time and raising a young family. Excellent syllabus combined with knowledgeable industry leaders made the experience unforgettable.

Having applied to the National Academy before I began my search for a master’s program, the prospect of receiving credit towards a degree was quite appealing to me. list, I enrolled in four master’s level courses at the National Academy that would count towards my LEPSL degree. I was able to complete my USD courses while also attending the NA because of the convenient, online format of the LEPSL program. In the end, I saved thousands of dollars in tuition and received a Master’s degree in some of the most up-to-date, current police training I have ever taken. Highly recommended.

I chose the LEPSL program because of the immediate and future application of the curriculum towards my profession of police leadership and the tremendous networking opportunities. The online format is perfect for me to be able to balance school, work, and life. I am able to commit the required time to the program when it best suits me and my family and my schedule fluctuates week to week. I researched programs for a few years prior to starting. LEPSL was the best choice for me after factoring in tuition costs, time management requirements, the professionalism of faculty and the prestige of the University of San Diego. I feel like I am a more effective leader within my organization and am better prepared for a second career after retirement.

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.

I chose the LEPSL Program based upon recommendations from co-workers and the fact it was 100% online. The faculty, curriculum, and format were top-notched. The professors challenged your thought process always emphasizing seeing the big picture, like all good leaders do. I promoted to Lieutenant the same day I completed to LEPSL Program (August ‘19). I attribute much of my recent success to the program. I highly recommend this program to all law enforcement professionals.

I chose the LEPSL online degree program at the University of San Diego because I wanted to be part of a program that was not only educational but also one that was highly relevant towards what I am doing in 21st Century Policing. I considered MPA programs and Master’s in Criminal Justice degrees, but neither were the right fit for me. The Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership program ties together everything I do at the practical level while enhancing my efforts through proven theories based on research and empirical evidence. As a progressive police executive, I know that the knowledge that I am gaining from this degree program will make me a better leader for my agency and the community I serve. I highly recommend this program to anyone who is looking to advance their career, improve their knowledge base, and become a change-maker within the policing profession.

My experience while attending USD’s LEPSL program was exceptional. During the entire program, I was supported by the entire faculty in order to achieve my goal. Although it was challenging, I was always provided to tools, advice, and support necessary to succeed. Thank you USD, my experience in the program have made lasting memories that I will never forget.

After attending an informational meeting the decision to apply to USD was quite simple. The innovative concepts, the relevant topics discussed, and the network of peers to be able to debate with became the overwhelming reason behind my decision to enroll at USD. I’m glad I selected a school where I will be proud to announce my alma mater.

I couldn’t be prouder of being an alumnus of the University of San Diego’s, LEPSL program. From the moment I was first made aware of LEPSL I knew it was the program for me. This format is so well conceived from the curriculum to the professors. The interactions I shared with my classmates and professor were really productive and enhanced the learning environment. I looked forward to the weekly assignments and comments from my peers. During the course of my studies, I traveled across the United Stated on multiple occasions without having a single issue completing work or submitting assignments. The flexibility built into LEPSL makes it possible to succeed regardless of your schedule. Not only would I recommend the LEPSL program, I never stop tell my peers about it. Simply stated, I enjoyed every aspect of this program. Even though the courses are taught in an online format I was able to communicate with my professors whenever I had questions or needed direction.

I chose the Law Enforcement Public Safety Leadership (LEPSL) Program for the well-rounded subject matter commensurate with law enforcement management skills needed in the policing enterprise of today and the future. Inspired by co-workers who graduated from LEPSL, I found the program focused on key topics piquing my interest such as: analytical procedures for evaluating crime scenes, collective bargaining and contract negotiation, budgeting, law enforcement policy shaped by Constitutional Law, organizational leadership, communication techniques and more. More amazingly is the 100% on-line course curriculum. The flexibility afforded to 40 plus hour a week-professionals allowing students to time manage their schedules are work, family and personnel time is a thumbs-up. Also, engaging with law enforcement professionals from around the Nation including top-notch professors who are experts in the field adds value to the program. Consequently, in personnel observation of co-workers who recently graduated from the program during the past year I see the change in their knowledge base and academia in their thought processes and approach to all situations. Their actions continue to inspire me. I would definitely recommend LEPSL to others based on the course layout and flexibility.

I have used every bit of the skills and academia provided by this LEPSL program, especially in these unprecedented times. I had fear and trepidation going in. Now, I have confidence and a depth of knowledge as a foundational platform to increase the likelihood of success in law enforcement, municipal leadership, and ICS management.

I enrolled in this program because of the reputation USD holds. I was previously enrolled in a different university and was greatly disappointed. I felt as though the staff and faculty were not of the quality of education I was looking for in a Master’s program. In my previous experience, I also found a lack of practicality or connection between my profession and the education I was receiving. I am extremely happy that this has not been the case at USD. Rather this program has prepared me not only academically but professionally set me on a platform above the others.

The University of San Diego Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership program has had an immediate and profound impact on me. From my first course through my last, examples of the real-world practical value of course material were apparent. In addition, the course material was adapted as current events centering on civil unrest and policing during a pandemic evolved. Throughout the program, active discussions concerning civil unrest and policing during a pandemic allowed professionals from law enforcement and public safety professions across the country to discuss their unique perspectives and share their challenges, equipping one another with alternative methods to address unique conflicts head-on.

I had been contemplating the pursuit of my Masters degree for several years when I came upon the University of San Diego’s Law Enforcement Public Safety Leadership program. The program’s structure and content were exactly what I had been looking for. As law enforcement leaders we all have busy lives and work schedules but the format of this program fits into my busy life style. The contemporary issues covered in the courses have helped me become a better leader while preparing me for promotion. The faculty has been very accommodating and the instructors have been top notch. I couldn’t be happier with my choice of USD and the LEPSL program.

The USD Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership Master of Science program was outstanding! The professors were exceptionally accomplished in their respective fields and the student support was invaluable. I highly recommend this program for those who are currently serving or for retirees. The knowledge gained from the contemporary and meaningful curriculum prepared me well for retirement opportunities in the field. The curriculum is very relevant to the challenges facing law enforcement today as well providing superb preparation fTrainiunbg or the future. The skills learned throughout the curriculum introduced practical solutions to complex problems while engaging all aspects of leadership development. I am grateful to the University of San Diego for offering this unique program to law enforcement professionals.

Given my busy professional and personal life, I needed a master’s program that allowed for maximum flexibility along with relevant information to enhance my career. The University of San Diego’s Master’s in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership online program was a perfect fit! The professors and all the staff associated with LEPSL are extremely knowledgeable and provide topical instruction for the law enforcement professional. I highly recommend this program for all law enforcement professionals seeking to take their careers to the next level.

When I began exploring schools and programs, I had two requirements. I wanted to find a program from a reputable brick-and-mortar institution, and I wanted a program that would actually benefit me personally and professionally. I found that program at USD. The curriculum is real-time and applicable to my everyday work. Additionally, the Professors are knowledgable, have street credibility, and many of them are still working in law enforcement or public safety. I recently promoted to Lieutenant and LEPSL program was a huge reason I felt confident and prepared for the testing process. If you’re looking for a graduate program that greatly benefits you, your career, and your promotability, look no further than the USD LEPSL program!

When I began exploring schools and programs, I had two requirements. I wanted to find a program from a reputable brick-and-mortar institution, and I wanted a program that would actually benefit me personally and professionally. I found that program at USD. The curriculum is real-time and applicable to my everyday work. Additionally, the Professors are knowledgable, have street credibility, and many of them are still working in law enforcement or public safety. I recently promoted to Lieutenant and LEPSL program was a huge reason I felt confident and prepared for the testing process. If you’re looking for a graduate program that greatly benefits you, your career, and your promotability, look no further than the USD LEPSL program!

This is the best, most well written and scheduled, program out there.

My experience was exceptional. The courses provided valuable insight into a number complex and often daunting societal issues while also enhancing critical management and leadership qualities. I highly recommend this program and I am more than confident it will continue to provide me with a strong and objective foundation from which to effectively address the challenges I will be faced with throughout my career in law enforcement.

I am half way done with the program and my experience has been awesome. I have learned from all the instructors and classmates. The experience that the instructors bring to the table is amazing. I would recommend this program to anyone that is looking into a Master’s in Public Safety.

The LEPSL program has been a great experience and has taught me some very relevant information about law enforcement. The discussions between fellow students and the instructors is very progressive and forward thinking.

The LEPSL program has been the single greatest investment that I have ever made toward my professional development. The LEPSL Program not only enhanced my academic skills, but it also made me examine my leadership point of view and developed my understanding of executive-level leadership concepts. Near the end of my time in the LEPSL program, I was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, which I largely credit to the LEPSL program. Through the LEPSL program’s innovative courses and discussion boards, I became well versed in the latest trends affecting law enforcement and public safety. I will forever be grateful to the LEPSL faculty for the overwhelming guidance and advice that they provided to me during my experience.

This is a great professional advancement learning program. The courses are well paced and absolutely relevant to the current culture in today’s law enforcement. The classes are challenging and force you to think outside the box regarding real life issues. I was able to work my regular work assignment and still find time to complete my school work. Take the extra time you have to better yourself, improve your resume, and actually learn relevant material. I also found it more beneficial to attend a well respected university that will carry more national weight. Great job to everyone involved, and thank you for your hard work in making this a smooth and legitimate program.

I have to say in my 24-year law enforcement career, this experience ranks up there with the FBI National Academy as one of the most rewarding and insightful ones of my career and life. The program learning outcomes of LEPSL have equipped me with the tools needed to advance, not only in my career but also in my personal life. The program critically addresses the challenges arguably facing law enforcement in modern times, it covers the inward examination of the organizations, and conflict resolution to name a few. It is highly recommended for ALL law enforcement leaders, both present and aspiring ones, who care about the profession and are committed to the improvements needed as we face today’s challenges, and diligently focus on rebuilding relationships and trust with the public we swore to protect!

The University of San Diego Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership (LEPSL) Program is a real-world graduate program with a pragmatic approach to contemporary issues in law enforcement. The program focuses on the efficacy of modern policy and procedures while maintaining a focus on ethics throughout every facet of the program. Each Primary Learn Objective (PLO) identifies applicable concepts with a digestible blend of concepts and theory. The LEPSL program encompasses leadership concepts that are relatable and immediately usable in my current assignment.

I was nervous about starting a program online, especially at the higher education level. After meeting the instructors and Professor Fritsvold, my nerves were quickly calmed. Engaging with class participants throughout the country offered different prespectives to common law enforcement issues. I have personally recommended the program to others inspired to continue their education.

The LEPSL is an amazing program and the professors are knowledgeable and supportive.

I absolutely love this program. Having the online platform was the best thing that could have happened to me educationally. It’s very flexible for working professionals. The USD professors are all criminal justice professionals and understand the very sensitive and often turbulent nature of our profession. The structure of the coursework is excellent as well. And the topics are so contemporary that we not only learn the theory but their application in the demanding challenges we face as LE professionals. It is by far the best program I have seen compared to all the others my colleagues attend online.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in the LEPSL program. While there are other Master’s degree programs out there, I believe the LEPSL program is the most applicable to a career in law enforcement. Everything I learned has been very practical and relevant to my career goals. The online format is very flexible, I was able to do my schoolwork on my own time and at any time of the day (or night!). I highly recommend this program to anyone wishing to improve their leadership capabilities and advance their careers.

I had reached a point in my career where I felt stagnant. It was beginning to affect my career as well as my personal life. I began doing some research on various programs and came across USD. The advisers were great and helped with every question I had. Once enrolled I enjoyed the program from the start. I found it challenging and enlightening. It began to give me a different outlook on my life and career. The faculty was excellent. The curriculum was easy to follow and well structured. Since completing the program I have been promoted to Sergeant and also serve as our Union President. Thank you!!!

I chose this program because of the history and reputation of the University of San Diego. The instructors in the program have a lot of experience and most importantly, current experience. This program helped me improve as a leader and furthermore expanded my critical thinking skills as a result of the challenging topics that were discussed in each course.

I was initially very nervous and worried the LEPSL program would be too much. Since I have started the LEPSL masters program, I have had nothing but positive experiences. The support available is just outstanding. Additionally, the Professors are very knowledgeable and approachable with vast experience in law enforcement. It is also great to learn from my classmates that represent various other agencies in law enforcement which allows for networking. I am very glad I decided to pursue my masters through USD. I would highly recommend this program for those who are considering in obtaining their masters.

My goal is to advance my law enforcement career by being promoted through the ranks, and having a master’s degree – especially one from a top-ranked university like USD – is going to help me assume more leadership responsibility. If you want to advance your law enforcement career and move into a leadership role as a sergeant, captain, or commander this program is right for you.

The USD LEPSL program has been an amazing journey, and the best investment I have made. I learned so much from this program with a curriculum that was relevant and applicable to contemporary law enforcement issues. I HIGHLY recommend the LEPSL program to anyone looking for higher education, from an elite University, that will be another great tool in your bag when it comes to marketing yourself for promotion, or life after law enforcement. Thank you USD, professors, and fellow students for everything you did in making this program a success for me. Be safe, Eddie Esqueda, Class of 2020.

The Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership Masters Degree program at the University of San Diego is simply the only way to go for law enforcement professionals looking to further their education. The professors are well-respected experts in their fields and utilize current national issues that we in law enforcement deal with on a daily basis. This degree program will not only enhance your knowledge but it will also give you that edge that is needed during the promotional process.

The service provided by the USD and LEPSL staff has been superb! I am just about to finish my first graduate course and have had nothing but positive experiences. The professionalism and support has made returning to school a breeze!

The USD LEPSL program offers a top quality masters level education at a very reasonable price. It is a value price when you consider USD’s ranking and reputation in addition to the quality of the LEPSL program be it the course work and faculty. LEPSL is the perfect combination of academia and work experience. What I have learned throughout LEPSL can be immediately applied at work. I’m very pleased with my choice to obtain a masters degree at USD.

Creating change within my field is what inspires me to study, even when I have had a long shift. I believe that having more knowledge will not just give you a career advantage; it will make you a better person. What I like about this degree program is that it is very contemporary, teaching students current issues that face today’s law enforcement leaders. The leadership skills we’re developing from this program can be used in any career field.

As a past President of the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA), I first became aware of LEPSL during our annual conference in Los Angeles, CA. Having been enrolled in other graduate-level programs, I was immediately impressed with LEPSL’s progressive and relevant curriculum. I’m currently only a few courses away from graduation and wish I would have known about this program years ago. As a career 35-year law enforcement leader, with both local and federal government experience, I unequivocally endorse this program for aspiring law enforcement leaders.

When I decided to return to school to obtain my MS, I was fortunate to come across USD and the LEPSL Program. It had been 25 years since I received my BA, and I was nervous/hesitant to begin my journey. Dr. Fritsvold and the entire LEPSL faculty and staff embrced, encouraged, and guided me through the program. I am so grateful for their efforts and ability to teach and mold me. My interactions with my fellow classmates has left a lasting impact on my personal and professional life. If you are looking for a way to enhance your professional career and personal life, the USD LEPSL program is the right place to make that change and become a better leader for yourself, your agency, and the communities you serve.

There is a huge focus on relevant and timely issues that are affecting law enforcement today, and that really differentiates this program from many other criminal justice programs. I also like that the class is mostly composed of high-ranking law enforcement officials. Their feedback in the course is just exceptional. The stuff that you can get from their experience is tremendous – you don’t get that in normal classes.

The Law Enforcement Public Safety Leadership degree at the University of San Diego was designed in a true collaboration between academics and law enforcement professionals. LEPSL offers you the opportunity to understand the theory and origins of topics central to our profession while simultaneously demonstrating how your new, and deeper, understanding can be put to work immediately. The opportunity to learn from other professionals across the United States is invaluable. Combining all this with unequaled support from professors and university staff makes this a truly unique educational experience!

I was a bit apprehensive about being able to balance academics and work, and I am glad I made the decision to attend USD. The LEPSL program has current relevant topics and coursework that carries over into my profession.

Choosing the University of San Diego’s LEPSL program was a great choice. The program is challenging and a great way to advance your skills as a law enforcement leader.

The LEPSL program at USD is both challenging and rewarding. I started the program at the end of my law enforcement career and couldn’t be happier about the decision. I love the interaction with fellow students throughout the country and enjoy the feedback provided to me. I find the coursework challenging, contemporary, and interesting. I highly recommend the program.

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