M.A. in Public Safety Administration

The Master of Arts in Public Safety Administration program is no longer accepting applications. The program has been cancelled and is in a teach-out phase.

For Previously Enrolled Students

Below is a listing of degree requirements for the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota M.A. in Public Safety Administration program. We will continue to honor these requirements listing until the last previously enrolled student has completed the program.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

Required Public Safety Administration Courses 18 cr.
Required Management Courses 12 cr.
Required Capstone Course 3 cr.
Elective Courses 3 cr.
Total 36 cr.

Required Public Safety Administration Courses: 18 cr.

PSA600 Public Safety Systems (3 cr.)

This course examines public safety systems including the political, legal, social, and policy environments that impact public safety. It addresses current technology, training assessment, ethical issues, application of current research, strategies for creating partnerships, and working relationships among public safety organizations.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Formulate significant, researchable issues within public safety.
  2. Critically evaluate competing public safety system priorities.
  3. Analyze issues through political, legal, social, and policy environments.
  4. Provide objective and critical analysis of competing public safety issues within both a personal and professional ethical framework.
  5. Develop strategies to manage change and lead competing system priorities.
  6. Evaluate how global issues impact local public safety.

PSA605 Community Relations (3 cr.)

This course examines various strategies for community building and developing partnerships in the community. It addresses problem solving and team building that encourages community involvement. The course covers building media relationships that foster communication and trust within the community. Conflict prevention/resolution and negotiation are addressed.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Locate, evaluate, and use relevant information reflecting all sides of a question or issue.
  2. Distinguish types and uses of professional and research literature.
  3. Analyze the effective use and limitations of various media and social media formats.
  4. Compare and contrast various law enforcement brands.
  5. Evaluate the reasonability of emerging ideas and beliefs without reference to their popularity or consistency with existing organizational practices.
  6. Develop effective strategies to mediate and resolve differences in the community.
  7. Write an executive summary related to a community collaboration event.

PSA610 Risk Management in Public Safety (3 cr.)

This course examines risk and risk-management principles. It focuses on liability issues in public safety and strategies to reduce associated risk. A key focus of the course is training as a risk management technique.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze public safety risk issues.
  2. Apply risk management principles.
  3. Organize information using criteria that apply across different viewpoints and allow for qualitative comparisons.
  4. Evaluate the ability to influence others through internal marketing strategies, emotional intelligence, and critical thinking.
  5. Design a comprehensive risk management plan.
  6. Create an executive summary of a risk management plan.
  7. Develop effective visual materials to complement written or oral presentations.

PSA615 Homeland Security and Emergency Management Principles (3 cr.)

This course focuses on emergency management principles, planning for natural and man-made disasters, recovery procedures, and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) procedures. It provides strategies for building partnerships with other agencies. Homeland security, threat awareness, and training issues are discussed.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Apply emergency management principles.
  2. Apply incident command principles.
  3. Develop partnerships with FEMA and working relationships with other public safety professionals.
  4. Plan and train for disasters and recovery.
  5. Develop threat awareness at the community level.
  6. Use APA style correctly.

PSA620 Public Sector Finance (3 cr.)

This course covers budgeting, grant writing, grant management, reporting, and revenue sources used by the public sector manager. It includes financial statement analysis and asset management. It provides an ethical financial perspective to be used in the public sector.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Apply basic accounting principles.
  2. Prepare and manage budgets.
  3. Identify alternative funding sources.
  4. Establish reporting requirements and procedures.
  5. Analyze financial statements.
  6. Evaluate global financial trends and their impact on public sector finance.
  7. Utilize asset management techniques.
  8. Evaluate the ethical practices of financial resource allocation.
  9. Analyze data for decision making and planning.

PSA625 Managing Public Safety Resources (3 cr.)


This course focuses on the role of the public safety leader as an innovator and change agent.  Areas covered include creating competitive human resource strategies, internal marketing practices, innovative technology approaches, and sharing/consolidating resources between agencies.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Research and forecast future organizational staffing and technology needs.
  2. Evaluate strategies for hiring, evaluating, and developing employees.
  3. Implement successful labor management procedures.
  4. Design an internal marketing strategy.
  5. Examine the ethical impact of technology on human resources.
  6. Analyze public safety consolidation models.

Required Management Courses: 12 cr.

GM623 Academic Research and Writing (3 cr.)

This course focuses on graduate academic writing skills, including voice and style, writing that incorporates source material, ethical use of source material, APA writing guidelines, and revising writing.  Students learn to locate and evaluate resources relevant to the research and writing process.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Develop a research question, delineating the complexity in an issue.
  2. Use information from a variety of sources relevant to a question.
  3. Evaluate information for relevance and credibility.
  4. Analyze and synthesize scholarly articles.
  5. Integrate source material into academic writing, including correct use of summary, paraphrase, and quotation, along with proper citation.
  6. Incorporate different points of view on an issue.
  7. Write clearly and concisely.
  8. Demonstrate skills in rewriting, editing, and proofreading.

GM643 Multicultural Perspectives (3 cr.)

This course focuses on how diversity of all kinds influences both organizational behavior and client outcomes. The place of culture in society, the marketplace, and the workplace is examined. The importance of cultural competence is explored along with the knowledge and skills needed to work with, manage, and serve diverse groups of workers and clients.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify the wide spectrum of differences included in the definitions of diversity and multiculturalism.
  2. Demonstrate an awareness of their own cultural identity, background and biases, and forces that shape(d) them.
  3. Analyze how these shaping forces and biases may influence their interactions with people from diverse backgrounds and organizational behavior and productivity.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to articulate, in supportive ways, the needs and concerns of diverse groups of people with marginalized identities in the workplace.
  5. Analyze opportunities for applying cultural competencies to create greater inclusion in the workplace.
  6. Plan for the evaluation of cultural competence initiatives and the resulting effect on organizational behavior, work productivity, and products.

GM675 Managerial Ethics and Issues (3 cr.)

This course examines philosophical theories and ethical practices that can be used to resolve organizational dilemmas.  The course emphasizes the role of managers to strengthen the ethical culture of the organization.  Application of ethical principles and models to deal with complex ethical issues facing domestic and global organizations is studied.  Students develop skills in values-based decision making built upon integrity and accountability.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify and assess the extent of ethical issues that face organizations, communities, and stakeholder groups.
  2. Recognize how ethical theories, principles, and models provide options for examining complex ethical issues.
  3. Analyze how organizational and cultural norms affect the ability of people within it to act ethically.
  4. Consider value-based decision making to select options that are congruent with business.
  5. Develop a framework for resolving complex ethical dilemmas.
  6. Apply ethical theories, models, and principles.


GM680 Leadership and Strategic Management (3 cr.)

This course introduces selected models and practices in the exploration of what effective leadership is, including understanding one's own leadership style.  The course also examines both the theory and application of strategic management tasks of leaders, including conducting a strategic analysis, developing a strategic plan, and implementing strategic change.

Upon completion of this course students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze their own leadership style in order to adapt and develop effective leadership behaviors. 
  2. Apply the foundations of leadership and decision-making required when dealing with situations marked by change and transition.
  3. Apply one or more processes for developing a strategic plan.
  4. Identify the distinct challenges of strategic planning and strategic management.
  5. Evaluate an organization's business model and develop of a set of action steps for improving its strategy and effectiveness.
  6. Identify and apply the steps required to lead change effectively.

Required Capstone Course: 3 cr.

PSA689 Public Safety Capstone (3 cr.)

This course integrates knowledge and leadership skills developed in previous courses providing an opportunity to apply them to a selected topic. Each student also selects a leadership issue currently confronting their field of study or profession, clearly defines the issue using appropriate references and resources, and creates a paper and presentation which addresses the issue from a leadership perspective.

Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to do the following:

  1. Critically evaluate an issue through research.
  2. Develop and recommend solutions.
  3. Analyze the ethical implications of recommended solutions.
  4. Identify management and leadership principles relevant to their selected issue.
  5. Address the laws, rules, regulations, and policies relevant to the issue.
  6. Present the problem and solutions through executive summary, research synthesis, and oral presentation.
  7. Provide peer critique and support.


Elective Courses: 3 cr.

 Or select from recommended management courses or choose any other master’s level course with the approval of the program director.

PSA630 Public Safety in Schools (3 cr.)

This course examines public safety issues affecting schools. It stresses the importance of public safety personnel and school personnel working together to provide a safe learning environment for students. Topics include public safety and school partnerships, the role of the school resource officer, best practices for before and after school events, safety planning models, current juvenile issues, and security checks.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze and describe school violence.
  2. Identify and explain safe school strategies and model programs.
  3. Identify and assess threats in schools.
  4. Develop a safe school plan/program
  5. Identify and apply key court rulings related to schools.
  6. Evaluate the importance of police, community and school partnerships as they relate to school safety.

PSA640 Public Safety Psychology (3 cr.)

This course is designed to help public safety leaders understand the role of the psychologist within law enforcement, fire service, emergency management, emergency medical, private security, and military organizations. The role of the psychologist in crisis management is emphasized. As psychological consumers, managers learn what to expect from the psychologist and how to hire.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Explain the impact of a psychologist on a public safety organization.
  2. Identify strategies and traits to look for in hiring a psychologist.
  3. Differentiate the roles of a psychologist within a public safety agency.
  4. Articulate ways in which to maximize the role of a psychologist within a public safety agency.
  5. Analyze how HIPPA can impact internal policy.
  6. Construct departmental policies which will formalize the role of the psychologist within the organization.
  7. Articulate the differences between an internal department psychologist and a consultant role for the psychologist.

PSA680 Public Safety Administration Field Experience (3 cr.)

The Public Safety Administration Field Experience is an opportunity to interact with public safety officials in other local, state, federal, or international arenas regarding common issues and practices.  The areas of criminal investigations, immigration, homeland security, and delivering public safety services to diverse populations especially involve cooperative work across governing borders.  The field experience provides a short-term immersion in another community, providing opportunity for comparative analysis and reflection.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Develop intercultural awareness.
  2. Identify and analyze local and common public safety issues.
  3. Evaluate the impact of the political, ethical, social, and policy environments that impact public safety.
  4. Reflect on the applications of diverse frames of reference in regards to one’s leadership approach.