School of Professional Studies

Public Safety

Master's of Professional Studies: Public Safety
Accredited Online Master's Degree and Certificate Program
-No GRE required

  • Course Outline & Descriptions

    Master's of Professional Studies | Public Safety
    Course Requirements & Descriptions

    Public Safety Degree 30 Hours

    12 Hours Core Courses:

    • PRST 6100 - Professional Environment Issues and Ethics (3)
      Overview of ethics in general, with practical tools for assessing ethical dimensions of professional life, diagnosing or identifying the moral issues at hand, and then developing reasonable options to address particular moral and ethical issues.
    • PRST 6110 - Leadership and Communication (3)
      This course focuses on leadership as a function of communication behavior. Through discussion, cases and exercises, participants will explore effective communication strategies within an organizational setting. The course will cover team leadership skills, rhetorical sensitivity, charisma and practical suggestions for improving leadership effectiveness. 
    • PRST 6300 - Research Methods (3)
      The student and application of research methods appropriate to professional studies. The course will provide a general introduction to research methods, as well as providing practical exposure to Problem Statements, Literature Reviews, Writing the Research Proposal, and Organization of the Research Report. Quantitative and Qualitative Research methodologies will be covered.
    • PRST 6998 - Professional Project (3)
      Taken as the final course of the program. Students should begin planning the project when they enter the program. Please consult with your advisor about appropriate topics and submit your proposal for approval prior to entering the final project course.
      The Professional Project is the last requirement for the MPS Degree, serving as the integrative culmination of the program of study. It should be a substantial piece of independent research or a significant professional project that is logically consistent with the theme and content of the program of study. Student’s work should demonstrate familiarity with and understanding of a body of professional literature related to a specific topic. The Project should grow out of the program of study and should demonstrate the student’s ability to use the knowledge gained from this program of study.

      Choose 15 Concentration/Certificate Hours:

    • PRST 6200 - Globalization and the Professions (3) 
      The purpose of this course is to assess the impact of globalization on professional life. The course examines globalization as it relates to information flow, mass media, government and public safety.

    • PRST 6700 - Conflict and Negotiation (3)
      Negotiation and Conflict Management presents negotiation theory—strategies and styles—within an employment context. A different topic will be presented each week. In addition to the theory and exercises presented in class, students practice negotiating with role-playing simulations in threaded discussions and chat. Students also learn how to negotiate in difficult situations, which include abrasiveness, racism, sexism, whistle blowing, and emergencies. The course covers conflict management from two perspectives. From a first party perspective you will be directly engaged. As a third party, you will develop and enhance your skills in helping others deal directly with their conflicts, mediation, investigation, arbitration, and helping the system change as a result of a dispute.       

    • PRST 6710 - Risk Assessment and Prevention (3) 
      This course provides discussion for risk assessment and vulnerability analysis application to manmade and natural disasters. The course will also review methods for preparing public safety personnel, and the communities they serve, for potential disaster and emergency response.

    • PRST 6720 - Crisis Response Management (3)
      This course will focus on response issues surrounding a natural or man-made crisis/disaster. A focus will be given to Commanding, Controlling, Communicating, Coordinating, and Cooperating during a crisis according to NIMS/ICS standards.

    • PRST 6721 – Managing Emergency Volunteers (3)
      This course will focus on the management and benefits of using Internal Volunteer Organizations, External Volunteer organizations and Spontaneous Volunteers to support an agency’s preparedness and increase capacities during crises response to incidents, emergencies, or disasters. (The course includes an overview of Managing Community donations.)

    • PRST 6730 - Leadership in Public Safety (3)
      This course examines the history and development of leadership within public safety organizations. Principles, styles, and theories of leadership, management, and administration are discussed.

    • PRST 6740 - Diversity in Public Safety (3)
      This course examines the impact of diversity, culture, and ethnic origin on public safety response and assessment, and is designed to better prepare individuals to meet the challenge of cultural diversity in organizations. Attention is given to how language, tradition, gender, age, race, education, economic structure, and organizational philosophy interact to create a set of rules for acceptable behaviors in complex organizations and society.

    • PRST 6750 - Preparedness & Mitigation (3)
      This course is intended to provide a more focused discussion of preparedness and mitigation as it relates to homeland security and emergency management. This course will address strategic planning and mitigation measures that create effective preparedness and mitigation plans. The course will also cover federal government policies, procedures, and funding opportunities for public safety organizations.

    • PRST 6751 - Global Terrorism: Pandemics and Epidemics (3)
      This seven-week accelerated curriculum provides the various tools needed for public health and public safety agencies to overcome pandemics and epidemics. The students will learn how to identify the differences between pandemics, epidemics, and outbreaks and to overcome these incidents. Throughout this class, they will research various mitigation measures and preparedness efforts related to pandemics/epidemics. Students will learn mitigation strategies to ensure that critical infrastructure and essential work can be functional during a pandemic or epidemic, even if key personnel are unavailable. The course will look at the potential risks of a bioterrorist attack and the ways that bioterrorism might be perpetrated. Students will research acts of bioterrorism and utilize critical thinking skills needed to prevent bioterrorist attacks. Learners will learn the importance of communication and collaboration during an incident, including communicating with the public and those with special needs. An overview of the importance of mapping in pandemics/epidemics and free resources are taught.

    • PRST 6760 - Funding in Public Safety (3)
      This course will provide an overview of fiscal requirements for public safety organizations. This will include budget concerns, payroll, and liability issues, as well as grant acquisition.

    • PRST 6780 - Intelligence Gathering (3)
      This course examines the theoretical and analytical concepts for gathering intelligence. A brief history of gathering and current concerns/trends will also be examined. The course will cover approaches used in public safety agencies.

    • PRST 6781 - The Science and Application of Contact Tracing (3)
      During the COID-19/SARS-CoV-2, many members of the public learned about contact tracing for the first time. During the pandemic response, we saw the media speak about the many hours of work were undertaken by these contact tracers. Relatively few individuals know much about the science of contact tracing. In this course, students will learn the principals of contact tracing, the management of identified cases, and best practices for managing teams of contact tracers. Students will learn the necessary investigative skills needed for contact tracing and various strategies that can be used to jog the memory of an infected patient. Principles are also taught dealing with secretive patients, and even more importantly, the principles of case management for infected patients. Students will also learn the principles of leading a contact tracing team. This course is taught using a seven-week accelerated class curriculum.

    • PRST 6780 - Intelligence Gathering (3)
      This course examines the theoretical and analytical concepts for gathering intelligence. A brief history of gathering and current concerns/trends will also be examined. The course will cover approaches used in public safety agencies.

    • PRST 6911 - Constitution and Society (3)
      In this course we will use critical thinking skills to study how the Constitution impacts society from an historical, legal and political perspective.  We will review the entire Constitution including the Amendments but we will emphasize the first three Articles of the Constitution and the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments.  We will also consider pertinent Supreme Court decisions and other primary and secondary sources. Prior study of the Constitution is not a prerequisite.

      Elective (3):

      Choose any PRST 6000 course or course approved by advisor.  

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About Public Safety
The Master of Professional Studies with the concentration in Public Safety is an interdisciplinary program of study designed to provide the public safety professional with leadership and strategic management tools to lead and serve in one of the nation’s growing professions. The focus of the program is to provide these professionals with the opportunity to develop important skills in risk assessment and disaster preparations, crisis response, public safety leadership, research and administration in the various components of law enforcement, homeland security, emergency management, and other public service systems that include local, state, and federal agencies. This degree also has an embedded certificate in Public Safety.


Fall 2018 Newsletter

Summer 2018 Newsletter

Spring 2018 Newsletter

Fall 2017 Newsletter

Summer 2017 Newsletter

Spring 2017 Newsletter

Fall 2016 Newsletter


For more information on the Public Safety M.P.S. program, contact Kandy B. Smith at 931-372-6267 or



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