Master in Public Service and Safety Leadership
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.
Program curriculum was designed by public service and safety experts. Our faculty have been carefully selected to reflect extensive experience in diverse fields of public safety as well as having academic credentials from accredited institutions. Coursework features practical learning experiences and projects that can be immediately implemented in the work place.
Who should earn this degree?
This program is designed for public safety and service leaders in fields such as law enforcement, emergency management, fire service, public health service, emergency medical services, environmental health and safety services, nonprofit organizations engaged in public safety and service, homeland security, and public administration. Military service members, particularly those planning to transition into civilian service, are encouraged to apply.
- Online classes taught by experienced authorities in the field.
- 8-week sessions (enroll in one course per session)
- Credit may be requested for qualifying professional development hours (up to six credit hours). Contact us for a review of your professional credentials or Joint Services Transcript.
- No GRE required to apply and no thesis required to graduate.
- Drury University, established in 1873, is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- Students in Drury's B.S. Emergency Management program may complete graduate courses (up to six credit hours) toward their undergraduate degree, shortening time toward degree completion.
- No time for a full degree? Complete the Public Safety Leadership Certificate (12 credit hours).
- Tuition and fees for the Master's approximately $14,000. The graduate certificate is less than $6,000.
This degree requires 30 credit hours (10 courses) and is available entirely online:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For information on Drury's other leadership related certificates and programs, visit the Drury Leadership Collaborative.
Policies & Admission
Up to six hours of transfer credit from an accredited institution may be applied toward the master’s degree.
Students may request of a review of professional development programs that result in career-focused credentials or training programs documented on a Joint Services Transcript.
We may approve up to six hours of credit for professional development activities toward the master’s degree (approved certification in an area of law enforcement, 911 services, emergency management, or fire services; and/or credit for military education - approved academies).
Concurrent credit allows motivated students to complete graduate-level courses that count toward undergraduate B.S. in Emergency Management or B.S. in Law Enforcement with a Leadership Concentration program, while giving you a head start on your Master’s in Public Service and Safety Leadership.
Students can complete a bachelor’s (typically four years) and fast-track the completion of a master’s degree in approximately one year. This allows students to save money and time in the pursuit of a Master’s in Public Service and Safety Leadership.
In order to earn the master’s in one year, students will take the remaining hours of graduate coursework during the three or four semesters following graduation with your undergraduate degree.
Eligible undergraduate students who meet program requirements (see Academic Catalog) can enroll in a maximum of six hours (two courses) of 600 level graduate courses while still pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Students earn graduate and undergraduate credit simultaneously in each of these courses.
Working in conjunction with the Master in Public Services and Safety Leadership program director, students will complete and file a program of study with the Registrar’s Office. The plan of study must be approved by the student’s advisor, the graduate program director, and the Associate Provost of Adult, Online, and Graduate Education.
- No GRE required.
- A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 is required for admission.
- Two recommendations from academic and/or professional contacts who can speak to intellectual abilities and character.
- A personal statement indicating professional goals and the desire to earn a master’s from Drury University.
- Official transcript designating completion of a bachelor’s degree.
- Official Joint Services Transcript and other official paperwork designating military training or professional credentials, if applicable.
Jarett Metheny, Program Coordinator
Jarett Metheny serves as the Program Coordinator for the Public Safety and Service Leadership Master’s Degree Program. He began his fire service career in 1995 and has served in a variety of leadership capacities. In addition to his public safety experience, he has served as an Assistant Professor and Adjunct Professor in multiple public safety programs.
Jarett obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology in 1995 and a Master’s Degree in Fire and Emergency Management Administration in 1999, both from Oklahoma State University, where he is also pursuing a PhD.
He is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy and is credentialed as a Chief Fire Officer from the Center for Public Safety Excellence. He has served on multiple boards and committees for the National Fire Protection Association, International Fire Service Training Association, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.