Merit Scholarship Available to New LEPSL Students Applying for Fall 2021 Admission

Apply by June 8th to be considered for one of ten $2,500 scholarships.

Could you use an extra $2,500 to cover the cost of your master’s degree? USD is funding up to $25,000 in scholarships for new students admitted to the M.S. in Law Enforcement & Public Safety Leadership (LEPSL) program for the Fall 2021 term. Individual scholarship awards of $2,500 each will be granted to applicants who are determined, based on their application and essay, to become student leaders who will enrich the quality of the program for the entire MS-LEPSL student community.

Eligibility and Process

  • The scholarship funds are only available to new students applying to the M.S. in Law Enforcement & Public Safety Program with a start term of Fall 2021
  • Standard program admission requirements apply:
    • Online application for admission must be completed and submitted by June 8th. Your designated start term must be Fall 2021. (Classes start Sept. 7).
    • Official transcripts showing completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution must be sent to  (USD can request transcripts on your behalf. Please fill out this form and return it to your enrollment advisor.)
    • Resume demonstrating professional experience in law enforcement, active-duty military or public safety
    • Statement of purpose
    • Letter of support from your employer, or two letters of reference
    • Note: You may be required to provide additional supporting materials if your undergraduate GPA was lower than 2.75 or was conferred by a university outside the U.S.  Please let our admissions team know if either of these conditions applies.
  • In addition to the standard application materials outlined above, if you wish to be considered for the merit scholarship you must write and submit a 350-word essay answering one of the following prompts:
    • Option 1: “Reimagining” law enforcement is a visible and hotly debated topic in the modern era. In your view, what does an engaged public safety agency look like in 2022 America?
    • Option 2: The 30×30 Initiative seeks to increase female representation in the law enforcement profession to 30% by the year 2030. From an organizational leadership perspective, what tangible and cultural steps need to be taken to reach this goal?
  • All application materials, as well as your scholarship essay, must be submitted by June 8th as follows:
    • Application and letter of recommendation submitted online
    • Scholarship essay submitted via email to your enrollment counselor
    • Official transcripts sent to the Graduate Admissions Office (

Additional Details

  • All applicants must work with an enrollment counselor to apply for the scholarship. Fill out the form on this page to start the process.
  • Applicants who were admitted to the program for a prior start term (whether or not they enrolled) are not eligible to apply for a Fall 2021 scholarship award
  • Scholarships will be awarded by the end of June, with email notifications going out the week of June 28.
  • Recipients of scholarship funds must register for the Fall term by August 16. The merit scholarship funds will be deposited in the student’s account and applied to tuition for the first term.
  • Recipients of a scholarship award are not eligible to receive any other incentive gift or promotional offer.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Scholarship

Will everyone who applies for the scholarship by the deadline receive an award?

No, not everyone will receive the scholarship, although the odds are good! Historically we’ve had 30-40 applicants competing for ten awards.

I don't know if I can apply for the Fall term. Will there be a scholarship available in the Spring?

We don’t know if and when another scholarship opportunity will be available. Currently, the funds available for the merit scholarship are designated for students starting the Fall 2021 term only. Future merit scholarships, if available, may vary in amount as well as selection criteria.

What happens after I apply for the program and submit my scholarship essay?

We review applications as soon as they are complete and all supporting documents (official transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc) are received. You will be notified of our admission decision by your enrollment counselor, and this generally happens within three days.

The scholarship award process follows a different timeline. All scholarship essays will be reviewed by a selection committee in June, and you will receive an email notification directly from the Academic Director the week of June 28.

When will I be notified if I have been awarded a scholarship?

You will be notified the week of June 28 by email, whether or not you were selected to receive scholarship funds.

How much does the program cost if I don't receive the scholarship?

The full LEPSL program tuition runs just over $21k, which is based on 31 units at $699/unit. If you are a member of a union or law enforcement association (for example a POA, DSA or PPL, or the IACP, FBINAA or FOP), you will receive a law enforcement discount that brings the total tuition to $20,119. The same discount applies to active duty military, honorably discharged veterans, and their spouses.

If you have graduated from FBINA, California Command College, Sherman Block SLI, FBI-LEEDA Trilogy or San Diego Regional Leadership Institute, you will also be eligible to receive transfer credit toward your master’s degree, further reducing your out-of-pocket costs.

Finally, please check with your department and your union/association to see if they provide any tuition assistance to further offset your tuition cost, whether you receive a scholarship or not. 


If I submit my essay and application before the June 8th deadline will I be notified earlier?

You will be notified of your admission decision within a few days of applying. However, you will not be notified of your scholarship decision until the week of June 28.

If I am awarded a scholarship, how will I receive the money?

Your scholarship award will be deposited directly into your student account so that you can apply them toward your first term’s tuition.

How can I learn more about the MS-LEPSL program?

Designed for current law enforcement professionals who want to grow and lead, this 100% online, leadership-focused master’s degree program supports rapid career advancement by providing immediately practical skills and developing your management acumen. The program is ranked as one of the top online criminal justice master’s degrees in the country.

In just 5 semesters (20 months), you’ll learn organizational leadership, analytical skills, critical thinking strategies, legal awareness, financial and budgetary acumen, and superb communication abilities – all in a flexible online format that is focused on current issues pertaining to law enforcement.



Who Enrolls in the MS-LEPSL Program?
Who Enrolls in the Program?, M.S. in Law Enforcement Leadership