Master in Public Service and Safety Leadership

Available Fall 2020 

The Master of Public Service and Safety Leadership focuses on developing the leadership skills necessary for you to successfully integrate all aspects of public safety, operations, personnel management and strategic practices and policies. Our goal is to enable you to be the most effective leader possible when your community and team need you most. 

Scholarship Opportunity

A $500 scholarship is available for up to 15 new students who are admitted to the program by July 15, and who are degree seeking (not applicable for certificate-only admissions). The student must be registered for at least six semester hours at the time the scholarship is applied, and it is renewable for a second academic year if the student maintains 3.0 or higher GPA and completes a minimum of 12 credit hours the first year.

Who should earn this degree? 

This degree is designed to support mid- and senior-level leaders in emergency management and related fields like public health, emergency medical services and public administration. It also is useful for military service members and those planning to transition into civilian service.

This degree requires 30 credit hours (10 courses) and is available entirely online:

PSSL 600: Integrated Approaches to Public Safety
3 credit hours

This course establishes the integrative and collaborative perspective needed by individuals working in all-hazards public safety and service organizations. This seminar course features case studies, theories, and frameworks that exemplify best practices at the organizational, community, regional, and national levels.

PSSL 610: Strategic Planning and Evaluation
3 credit hours

This course provides the framework for effective goal setting and planning that moves a team, administrative unit, and/or organization toward the fulfillment of its overall mission. Topics include establishing goals and priorities, assessing stakeholder perspectives and building a shared vision, designing decision-making processes that align resources with goals, identifying and adapting to situational dynamics, and identifying measurable and relevant metrics.

PSSL 620: Human Resource Management and Employee Wellness
3 credit hours

This course provides the knowledge needed to develop and sustain a capable, productive, diverse, inclusive, and healthy staff. Material will cover best practices for recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining employees.

PSSL 630: Effective Project Management
3 credit hours

This course prepares leaders to oversee a variety of projects that emerge in public safety and service organizations (i.e., develop new training standards, design and implement a dispatch system, develop an innovative community preparedness program, or secure new facilities). Students will learn how to manage a project from conception to implementation including the identification of project goals, mapping out a feasible timeline and budget, communicating with stakeholders, managing teams, negotiating responsibilities, troubleshooting issues, and delivering the end product.

PSSL 640: Financial Management and Sustainability
3 credit hours

This course prepares leaders for budgeting, reporting, and oversight responsibilities. Content addresses best practices in developing financial sustainability including granting writing and management, and securing collaborative partnerships.

PSSL 650: Ethics, Conflict, and Decision Making
3 credit hours

This course provides leaders with the frameworks and approaches for conflict resolution (interpersonal and group levels), transparency, and sound decision-making. Case studies emphasize the ethical dimensions underlying communication choices and resolution strategies.

PSSL 660: Community Engagement, Partnerships, and Program Promotion
3 credit hours

This course provides leaders with the information and tools to develop and execute initiatives that benefit the communities in which their organization’s operate. Students will learn how to create, promote, evaluate, and sustain robust safety and educational initiatives.

PSSL 670: Leading Teams and Organizations
3 credit hours

This course provides an overview of various theoretical perspectives on leadership. Students will use self-assessment tools to deepen their understanding of their own leadership style and learn strategies for adapting style to team, organizational, and external dynamics.

PSSL 680: Emerging Issues in Public Safety and Administration
3 credit hours

This seminar course presents topics that impact successful integration and collaboration among all-hazards public safety organizations. Topics may include policy and regulatory issues, social dimensions of disasters, culture and communication, and barriers to diversity and inclusion in staffing and community relations.

PSSL 695: Capstone Project
3 credit hours

This course is the culminating experience in the program. Students will develop and present an applied project that addresses two or more of the program’s subject areas. The project should demonstrate analytical, communication, and problem-solving skills. Examples of projects include proposals for new initiatives, analysis of a system or process, or a research paper on an emerging issue.

A 12 credit hour Public Safety Leadership Certificate is also available. 


Drury Leadership Collaborative
Dr. Lori Slater, Director