Why This Matters


    Employment in emergency management is expected to continue growing as fast as the average for all occupations through 2028. Individuals with a combination of experience and education will have the best job prospects.


    A master’s degree can prepare you for advancement in law enforcement and criminal justice fields. Job options include front-line police supervisors, correctional facility management, and more.


    Obtaining a master’s degree in public safety administration can lead to director positions with higher earning potential. Those working in scientific and technical services can earn an average of $101,570 annually.

Our Research

For this list, we sought to identify the best master’s programs in public safety administration. Students can earn a range of degrees in this field, including a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), or Master of Public Administration (MPA).

We also looked for master’s programs that are delivered primarily or completely online. Some programs are also offered on-campus, and students may have the option to complete these degrees through a combination of in-person and online classes.

All programs are offered by regionally accredited institutions, confirming their commitment to quality in postsecondary education. Credits and degrees from regionally accredited schools are more transferable and widely recognized by other schools and employers.

We evaluated each program for its reputation, outcomes, faculty, flexibility, and cost. Based on this information, we calculated an Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100 for each program. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 81 hours to write this article
  • 135 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 339 education programs we compared

The Top 19 Online Master’s in Public Safety Administration Degree Programs

Best Online Master's in Public Safety Administration Degree Programs
Intelligent Pick
California State University, Northridge
Best in the Midwest
University of Illinois Springfield
Best in the Northeast
University of Delaware
Best for Homeland Security
Clemson University
Best Accelerated Program
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Best for Transfer Students
Lindenwood University
Best for Veterans
American University
Best for Emergency Management
Southern Illinois University
Best Master of Arts Degree
California State University, San Bernardino
Best Public University
Arizona State University
Most Affordable
Lewis University
Best Occupational Safety Focus
Eastern Kentucky University
Fastest Completion Time
Southern New Hampshire University
Most Experienced Faculty
University of San Diego
Best Global Campus
Colorado State University Global
Best For-Profit University
Capella University
Best Catholic University
Anna Maria College
Best Cohort-Based Program
University of St. Thomas, Minnesota
Best Master of Science Degree
Central Washington University
Best Online University
Columbia Southern University
Best Research University
Oakland University
Best in the South
Sam Houston State University
Best Christian University
Texas Christian University
Best Private University
Pace University

Discover More Options

What You Should Know About This Degree

Working in public safety is demanding, both physically and mentally. It often requires working long hours in stressful situations, sometimes in dangerous conditions. Public safety personnel must be able to think clearly, make decisions, communicate effectively, and stay organized in high-pressure situations. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate your own personal aptitudes before pursuing a career in this field.

Public safety administration encompasses a wide range of services, including emergency management, law enforcement, homeland security, and more. As such, many master’s programs focus on a particular area of public safety. When considering master’s in public safety administration programs, individuals should consider their backgrounds as well as their career goals to help them select a program that provides in-depth training in their area of specialization.

While a master’s in public safety administration can give you a strong theoretical foundation of public safety principles and best practices, the only way to truly test your abilities is through real-world experience. Employers often seek individuals with hands-on experience, and it may count equally, if not more, in consideration for certain jobs and promotions. Before enrolling in a master’s program, consider your career goals and weigh the benefits of advanced education versus on-the-job training.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Public Safety Administration programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? As a master’s in public safety administration is an advanced degree, most programs expect students to have experience in a public safety-related field such as emergency services or law enforcement. Review the program’s eligibility requirements before applying to ensure that you meet the minimum qualifications for admission.
  • Are there accelerated options for experienced professionals? Some programs may incentivize students with extensive public safety experience by offering an accelerated track or waiving certain classes. Depending on where you are in your career, you may want to investigate programs that offer credit or the option to complete the program sooner based on experience.

Other steps that you should take at this point include researching application deadlines, gathering admissions materials including transcripts and letters of recommendation, and considering your funding options. If you are currently employed, find out if your employer offers tuition assistance benefits. You should also apply for available student loans, scholarships, and assistantships.