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

Apply by February 14th 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 Summer 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 Summer 2021
  • Standard program admission requirements apply:
    • Online application for admission must be completed and submitted by February 14th. Your designated start term must be Summer 2021. (Classes start May 11).
    • 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: Describe the unique academic, personal, and professional qualities and experience that you bring to the classroom that will enhance and enrich the LEPSL program.
    • Option 2: Describe how your unique academic, personal, and professional skills and experience helped your agency adapt and respond to the COVID19 pandemic.
    • Option 3:  Describe how your unique academic, personal, and professional skills and experience helped your agency adapt, respond, and engage your community in the wake of the George Floyd incident and related civil unrest. 
  • All application materials, as well as your scholarship essay, must be submitted by February 14th 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 Summer 2021 scholarship award
  • Scholarships will be awarded by the end of February, with email notifications going out the week of March 1.
  • Recipients of scholarship funds must register for the Summer term by April 23. The merit scholarship funds will be deposited in the student’s account and applied to tuition for the first term.

Get a Free iPad too!

All applicants for the Summer 2021 term who apply by the scholarship deadline of February 14 will also qualify for the early application incentive of a free iPad! Simply register for your Summer classes by April 23, start classes on May 11, and remain enrolled past the final drop deadline, and your free iPad 10.2″ will be mailed to the address you provide us. You’ll receive the iPad whether or not you are awarded the merit scholarship, making the effort of the extra essay worth it either way!

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. But everyone will receive the free iPad, as long as they enroll in the program for the Summer term and remain enrolled past the final drop deadline.

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

We don’t yet know if and when another scholarship opportunity will be available. Currently, the funds available for the merit scholarship are designated for students starting the Summer 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 by the end of February, and you will receive an email notification directly from the Academic Director the week of March 1.

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

You will be notified the week of March 1 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 February 14th 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 March 1.

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