Looking for the Best Criminal Justice Education?

Compare USD’s Law Enforcement Leadership Degree to a Traditional Criminal Justice Program

The University of San Diego spent more than 2 years conducting numerous interviews with law enforcement and public safety leaders, with the goal of developing a truly contemporary and practical graduate degree program for law enforcement professionals. By partnering with current law enforcement leaders, we knew we could develop a program that would support the diverse needs of law enforcement professionals by preparing them with the skills needed for future advancement.
Leaders in law enforcement need to possess a strikingly diverse set of skills, such as business and financial management, communication, law, community engagement, and organizational theory and change to be successful in the continuously changing roles of modern law enforcement and public safety.

M.S. in Law Enforcement Leadership Typical Criminal Justice Master’s Program
  • Emphasis on leadership development
  • Interdisciplinary curriculum including management, communication and conflict resolution
  • Curriculum designed for modern law enforcement needs
  • Skills are meant to immediately impact day-to-day law enforcement actions
  • Criminology emphasis, limited leadership training
  • Heavy course load on criminal justice topics
  • Minimal changes in curriculum in the past two decades
  • Curriculum is theoretical in nature

Unlike traditional criminal justice programs, USD’s program emphasizes leadership development, ethics, tangible skill building and the immediate application of these skills to contemporary law enforcement and public safety issues.

As a student in the Master of Science in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership program, you’ll study management, administration, leadership, budgeting, conflict resolution, change management, community relations, and data-driven analysis and decision-making. This advanced education will not only contribute to career development, but will also provide applicable and useful skills necessary to be more effective in day-to-day policing.

Every course in the program is designed to be practical and applied – not abstract theories. You’ll experience less telling, and engage in more doing.  You will learn the concepts and skills, and then demonstrate that you can apply them in your current professional role.

The purpose of this program is to not only support rapid career advancement, but also to prepare the next generation of leaders who have the expertise to not only successfully police, but also to work with their communities and support their subordinates in being successful law enforcement professionals. Read what some our students have said about their experience in the program.

Deputy Sheriff's Assn.