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Bachelor of Science in Public Safety | Undergraduate Degree Program

Bachelor of Science in Public Safety

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Public Safety 

Are you interested in a public safety degree or pursuing a law enforcement degree? Perhaps you have been dreaming about moving into a career in leadership and management? The courses in our accelerated, online public safety program help you enhance your leadership skills and increase your knowledge of policing procedures and court systems.

This major promotes the canopy topic of public safety and focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain social order, protect individual rights, meet public needs, and uphold the laws and institutions of democracy. You will also learn how to combat and respond to terrorism, forensics and victim services. 

Public Safety Classes

This accelerated, online program was specifically designed in partnership with public safety administration professionals and law enforcement professionals. Our public safety degree is perfect for those who are interested in pursuing a career in public safety administration or law enforcement. Ottawa University's online bachelor of science in public safety degree stimulates the aptitudes necessary to become a new member or a continuing professional within the public safety fields of emergency management, fire protection, emergency medical response, public safety, or environmental health and safety. Our students may choose from two concentrations-law enforcement and public safety leadership.

Law Enforcement Concentration 

  • Examination of Criminal Justice
  • Mental Illness Responses and Strategies
  • Policing in Today's Communities

​Public Safety Leadership Concentration 

  • Public Safety Administration
  • Leadership Issues and the Firstline Supervisor
  • Human Resources for Public Safety

For curriculum and course descriptions, please download a Public Safety program overview.

Why Earn a Degree in Public Safety?

Every day, citizens need the aid and protection from public safety administrators. Whether dealing with natural disasters or those of a man-made kind, public safety professionals are called upon to foster local, regional, and national collaboration through their knowledge of emergency management systems.

If you’re interested in earning a degree in public safety, contact us today!

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Public Safety is offered at the following locations.

  • Overland Park, Kansas
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Brookfield, Wisconsin
  • Online

Public Safety Education and Qualifications

Full knowledge and understanding of the cultural paramilitary structure of the public safety profession is essential for functioning within this structural system or guiding others towards a long and satisfying career path. Management positions in law enforcement and public safety organizations typically require a bachelor’s degree. Graduates of our accelerated, online public safety program often continue their education with a Master of Arts in Leadership.

Public Safety Careers 

You may be closer to that promotion for your career in public safety than you think! Upon graduation, you will be prepared to take on a law enforcement leadership or management role within your organization. Also, we make it easy for you to apply your coursework taken at a police academy toward your degree. A keen understanding of law, justice, governance, and working within an ever-changing society enables our students to work in a variety of community, legislative, judicial, political, and social economic systems.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career outlook for police and detectives is expected to grow 7% from 2020 to 2030, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. The average wage for police and detectives was $67,290 in May of 2020. About 67,100 openings for police and detectives are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Careers in Public Safety

  • Metropolitan or state police officer
  • Sheriff's officer
  • Private security officer
  • Detective
  • Forensic Science Technician
  • Military
  • Secret Service

Public Safety Courses

Foundation Courses

Servant Leadership in Public Safety | PSA 30100 (4 credits)

Provides public safety leaders with the knowledge, skills, and tools for effective leadership within their chosen fields, with a focus on the Servant Leadership model and demonstrating how serving first and leading second, evolves seamlessly.

Ethics, Liabilities, and Rights in Public Safety | PSA 30200 (4 credits)

Examines ethics from a public safety profession perspective, including the application of ethical theories to those professions.  Academic themes include public safety prudence, recuperative and restorative justice, legal applications and procedures, sentencing, research, community crime control policies.

Individual Rights: Practices and Systems in Public Safety | PSA 30300 (4 credits)

Examines legal theory behind individual rights and their practices and systems application as connected to the public safety profession.  Examines the U.S. constitution as it relates to the public safety function, including statutory law and judicial decisions governing the areas of arrest, search and seizure, interrogations and confessions, self-incrimination, and other constitutional guarantees.

Race, Crime, and Social Policy | PSA 40000 (4 credits)

Examines prejudice, discrimination, systems and structures of oppression and effects on public safety in a changing society. Analyzes significance of race, class, and ethnicity to crime perpetration and criminal justice processing, role of racism in treatment of minorities by various components of criminal justice system, evolving public policy resulting from increases in immigration and impact on public safety professions.  Examines hate crimes, laws enacted to combat, and multi-disciplinary approaches to community relations.

Communication Skills for Public Safety Professions | PSA 40100 (4 credits)

Examines the importance of acquiring proficient knowledge of and utilization of effective communication skills while working within the public safety profession.  Includes a combination of instructional and interactive learning techniques designed to enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of the importance of communication.  Students will learn active listening methods as well as diverse measures of effective communication.

Understanding Victimology for Public Safety | PSA 40300 (4 credits)

Examines the concept of Victimology and provides information on the fears, emotional distress, physical suffering, and financial loss suffered by victims and witnesses of crime.  Explores victimization, including relations between victims and offenders, interactions between victims and the criminal justice system, that is, the Public Safety profession, courts, and corrections officials, and the connections between victims and other social groups and institutions, such as the media, businesses, and social movements.

Seminar in Applied Public Safety | PSA 49000 (4 credits)

Capstone course that guides student in the integration of functional content areas in the field of public safety.  Addresses public safety issues and applying public safety theories and techniques to problems and cases through a process of decision-making that demonstrates achievement of the learning outcomes.  Prerequisite: Completion of all required courses in the major or permission of advisor.

Law Enforcement Track

Examination of Criminal Justice | PSA 30000 (4 credits)

Designed to reinforce officer’s knowledge and understanding of all facets of criminal justice system, sub-systems and how they interrelate (police, defense and prosecuting attorneys, courts, institutional corrections, community-based corrections, and the juvenile justice system.)  Emphasis on criminal justice system as a whole and necessity that its elements be integrated.  Roles and interrelationships of local, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies also examined.

Mental Illness Responses and Strategies | PSA 30500 (4 credits)

Develops an understanding of the observable symptoms in common types of mental illness and associated criminal behavior.  Explores proper techniques for handling and transporting people who are mentally disturbed and the legal procedures for both emergency and routine mental illness related cases.  Examines the risk factors and warning signs to effectively respond to individuals experiencing mental illness trauma events.

Policing in Today's Communities | PSA 40200 (4 credits)

Focuses particularly on police response to the community, recognizing that delivery of police services is much more than law enforcement.  Stresses the skills of communication, intervention, negotiation and mediation.  Ties directly to the expectation that police maintain order and engage in conflict resolution.  Includes dynamics of human relationships and understanding various cultural differences that affect policing. Provides overview of origins, meaning and development of community policing programs. Used role-playing and case studies to enhance learning experience.

Public Safety Leadership Track

Public Safety Administration and Leadership | PSA 30600 (4 credits)

Examines public safety administration and organizational problem solving, including the concept that leaders must become skilled in navigating the “change process” which drives organizational vision and assists in its ability to be implemented within the culture of an organization.  Explores topics of employee engagement, resistance to change, and strategies for effective leadership.

Leadership Issues and the First-line Supervision | PSA 30700 (4 credits)

Examines first-line supervision, with a progression to mid-level and executive-level leadership, focusing on leadership principles and theories.  Applies popular governance and leadership theories to current issues in the public safety field, such as homeland security, crisis leadership, implementing technology innovations, police ethics, and integrity.

Human Resources for Public Safety | PSA 40600 (4 credits)

Examines the larger human resources functions of recruitment, hiring, retention, and training for the public safety agency sector, including the intersection of planning, budgeting, personnel, external and internal pressures, and performance expectations of a public safety agency.  Focuses on larger human relations planning processes within the context of the general movement to “reform” public safety agencies and improve performance in an effort to serve communities more effectively and enhance the public good.

For curriculum and course descriptions, please download a Public Safety program overview.

Full Degree Catalog

University Accreditation

Ottawa University, as a whole, is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Specific degree programs within our institution have also been accredited by relevant bodies within the field:

We are proudly recognized for our commitment to student excellence by the following designations:

Why Choose Ottawa
Almost all courses in Ottawa University’s programs are available online and accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. We make it easy for you to transfer credits in order to help keep tuition costs down. We also offer courses in accelerated 8-week terms in order to reduce your time to completion. These are just a few of the reasons why we are proud to be the best, fastest, and most affordable option locally in the Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Phoenix areas, as well as serving students nationally through our online degrees.

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