A Practical Master’s Degree Focused on Current Criminal Justice Issues

Learn organizational leadership, analytical skills, legal issues and more

As a student in the online M.S. in Law Enforcement & Public Safety Leadership program, you will delve into some of America’s most challenging crime problems while learning practical management and leadership skills, including:

  • Organizational leadership frameworks, and how to influence others for the common good
  • Constitutional law and how it shapes law enforcement policy
  • Budget, finance and resource allocation
  • Collective bargaining and contract negotiation
  • Communication techniques, including interpersonal dialogue, written/electronic communications, report and grant writing, media relations and communicating to large audiences
  • Techniques for successful community engagement
  • Dispute and conflict resolution skills that emphasize ethics, personal and professional integrity
  • Research methods for conducting community and organizational assessments
  • Analytical procedures for evaluating crime trends

Throughout the program, you’ll create and maintain a portfolio that reflects the knowledge you’ve developed and skills you’ve mastered – serving as an asset for career advancement as well as a tangible demonstration of the program and work you’ve completed. Review the full program curriculum.

Program structure

USD’s online M.S. in Law Enforcement & Public Safety Leadership is a 31-unit program designed to be completed in 5 semesters (20 months). Coursework is taken year-round, with three 14-week semesters each year. Each 14-week semester consists of two courses running for seven weeks each back to back, allowing you to focus on one course at a time.

All courses are presented in a flexible online format that allow you to schedule classes around your schedule. As an online graduate student, you will have access to your classroom at any time and can view your assignments, syllabus and course resources from any computer with internet capability.

Our online courses offer the same high-quality content, expert instruction and rigor as the courses held on-campus at University of San Diego. Instructors facilitate courses through engaging multimedia presentations and provide prompt feedback to questions within a 24-48 hour timeframe. As an online student, you’ll interact with instructors and classmates from around the world through weekly discussion forums, chats and email correspondence.

Learn more about what makes this criminal justice degree different

Becoming a student


Student Testimonials
Most of the professors are working in the field. This is a real contemporary degree program. What I really like is that with the online format I get to sit back and read peoples experiences from all across the country.
Alan Mills, US Border Patrol Supervisor
Student Testimonials
I chose to attend the Master’s in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership program based in part on USD’s reputation as one of the premier academic institution in America. In addition, this program is unique in that it develops leadership skills through contemporary criminal justice issues. The ability to complete my course work based on my schedule and not my instructors makes it possible to take advantage of this amazing program.
Kenneth Ehrman, California State Law Enforcement Association
Student Testimonials
I absolutely love this program. The USD professors are all law enforcement 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.
Jennifer Montoya, CI-RDA Special Agent, U.S. Air Force
Student Testimonials
I like that the class is mostly composed of high ranking law enforcement officials. Their feedback in the course is just exceptional.
Ryan Flick, Watch Commander, Department of Defense