Public Safety Administration

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Graduate work leading to a Master of Science in Public Safety Administration is offered by the School of Justice and Public Safety. The program prepares its graduates with the analytic capabilities and problem solving skills that will enable them to succeed and progress in their professional careers. The 30-credit hour curriculum develops advanced administrative, managerial, and leadership skills critical to career advancement and promotion within these industries. The academic setting of this program will foster creative thinking and communication skills in our pursuit of excellence. The program culminates in an applied practicum as opposed to a thesis.

Criteria for Unconditional Admission

In order to be admitted to the M.S. in PSA degree program, an applicant must meet Graduate School and program admission requirements.

General requirements for domestic student admission to SIUC Graduate School include: a 2.7 grade point average (on a 4.0 grading scale) in the last two years of Bachelor’s degree coursework or a 3.0 grade point average on all previous graduate work. Specific requirements or equivalences for international student admissions and early admission consideration may be found on the SIUC Graduate School website at

Applicants to the M.S. in PSA program may begin the admissions process when they need no more than 32 credit hours beyond the credit shown on their transcript at the time of application to complete all requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

Any applicant who has completed 12 or more credit hours of graded graduate work at an accredited U.S. educational institution, and who has a GPA of 3.00 or better on all graduate work, may be exempted from the 2.7 undergraduate grade point average requirement. Any student with fewer than 12 credit hours of graduate work may be admitted to the Graduate School on the basis of undergraduate GPA only.

To meet program requirements, candidates must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution or have completed all undergraduate degree requirements prior to the beginning of the classes for the term for which admission is sought. Preferred consideration is given to applicants with a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science, Fire Service, Emergency Management, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) or Homeland Security, or individuals with other baccalaureate degrees with direct experience in fire fighting, public safety, EMS or related experience. 

Master of Science (M.S.) in Public Safety Administration

Degree Requirements

Required Core Courses

All candidates for the M.S. in Public Safety Administration degree are required to complete five core courses (15 credit hours).

  • PSM 501: Legal/Administrative Law
  • PSM 503: Public Policy/Ethics
  • PSM 504: Fiscal/Financial Management
  • PSM 509: Strategic Planning
  • PSM 512: Practicum Exercise

Elective Courses

Students must complete an additional 15 credit hours of graduate (500-level or above) Public Safety Administration courses. With the consent of the program coordinator, students may be permitted to satisfy the elective course requirements with graduate courses outside of Public Safety Administration and/or with up to six credit hours of 400-level Public Safety Administration courses taken for graduate credit in accordance with graduate school regulations.


All students must complete a practicum capstone during their final semester in the program where they undertake a major simulation or drill to demonstrate their leadership, planning, and evaluation.