Public Safety and Homeland Security Administration

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Graduate work leading to a Master of Science in Public Safety and Homeland Security Administration (PSHSA) 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 career. The 30-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 a degree program, an applicant must meet Graduate School and program admission requirements.

General requirements for domestic student admission to SIU Graduate School include: a 2.7 grade point average (on a 4.0 grading scale) on 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 foreign student admissions and early admission consideration may be found on the SIU Graduate School website at

Applicants to master’s degree level study may begin the admissions process when they need no more than 32 semester 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 semester 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 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) and Homeland Security, or individuals with other baccalaureate degrees with direct experience in fire fighting, public safety, EMS or related experience. All applicants will submit an essay outlining the individual’s background in the field and future career goals as part of the application process. 

Degree Requirements

Required Core Courses

All candidates for the Master of Science in Public Safety and Homeland Security Administration degree are required to complete five core courses (15 credits).
  • 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 Management 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 Management and/or with up to six credits of 400-level Public Safety Management credits 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.