The Master of Science in Public Safety Administration is an innovative and practitioner-oriented degree program. It complements and expands the institution’s historic commitment to addressing the educational need of individuals engaged in law enforcement and related fields. Structured as an accelerated, adult-learning initiative, the degree program removes the time and space barriers that often prevent working professionals from completing graduate level education
- No GMAT required
- ONE night a week, 22 month accelerated program
- Exceptional student support services
- Qualified faculty with experience in their fields
- Multiple financial aid options
Graduates with advanced degrees in business enjoy careers in the following areas according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Market Research Analysts, Human Resource Managers, Management Analysts, Medical and Health Services Managers, Strategic Consultant, and Supply Chain Managers.
- Admission Requirements
- Graduate Assistantship
To be admitted into The PSA program, a student must:
- Have graduated from an accredited post-secondary institution with a baccalaureate degree;
- Present evidence of a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate course work;
- Submit a one-page typed statement of purpose indicating interest in the graduate program; and two letters of recommendation; and
- Complete the application process.
To begin the application process:
- Secure an application packet from the Coordinator of Graduate Student Services at (219) 473-4215.
- Complete the application form and submit it with the $25.00 application fee and appropriate accompanying documents at least two months prior to the cohort start date.
- Accompanying documents include a written statement of purpose indicating interest in the program and official transcripts reflecting all undergraduate and/or graduate coursework completed.
Michelle McCartney. Ed.D.
Department Chair Criminal Justice and Public Safety Programs
Michael McCafferty, J.D
Department Co Chair Criminal Justice and Public Safety Programs
Brian Barlow, M.B.A.
Terri Ferrari, M.B.A.
Michael Genova, J.D.
Michael McCafferty, J.D.
Michelle McCartney, Ed.D.
Daniel McDevitt, M.S.
Joseph J. Moseley II, M.B.A.
Alyssa Rodriguez, M.S.
Steven Reginer, Ed.D.
Scot Plebanski, D.B.A.
David J. Plebanski, Ph.D.
Richard Wedgbury, M.S.
Program Advisory Committee
Michael Genova, J.D.
Michael McCafferty, J.D.
Michelle McCartney, Ed.D.
David Plebanski, Ph.D.
Alyssa Rodriguez, M.S.
Purpose and Rationale
The rationale of a Graduate Assistantship is to further the professional academic development of the graduate student. The assistantship is expected to serve as a meaningful learning experience and a way for the graduate student to work for an institution in his or her chosen field. It is expected that the student will contribute on a professional level to enhance the learning environment of undergraduate and other graduate students.
The responsibility of a Graduate Assistant
The Graduate Assistant (GA) is responsible for working with various Faculty members across different Graduate Programs. Activities may include the following:
- Support of teaching, which can include work as a Teaching Assistant (TA). This task may involve grading assignments and working directly with students under the tutelage of Graduate Faculty.
- The Graduate Assistant may also conduct academically significant research related to his or her academic program under the guidance of a faculty member.
- The student could also be involved in administrative duties and other professional activities, ideally related to his or her field.
To be eligible for the Assistantship, the student must first gain admission to graduate study. He/she must register and maintain at least 6 semester credits of graduate coursework. Full time Assistantships are awarded for each academic year but can be awarded for up to (2) years. Students must apply each academic year.
- There is a limit of 2 GA’s per a Graduate Program (Certain conditions apply).
- GA’s receive a full tuition waiver for up to 12 credits per semester (Fees not included).
- GA’s work approximately 15 hours a week while school is in session during the academic year.
- Only students in good academic standing with a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0 are eligible for selection as GA’s.
- The GPA of 3.0 must be maintained during the assistantship process.
Student must apply directly to Academic Affairs Office for each position of interest.
- Student must submit a general application to the Academic Affairs Office.
- A resume must accompany the application.
- Two letters of recommendation.
- Applications are due at least two months before the start of the fall or spring semester.
- Interview with the Graduate Program Director of the program in which the student is applying.
Download Graduate Assistantship Application
How are positions allocated and assigned?
Application forms are submitted to Graduate Program Directors for initial review. If the Graduate Program Director approves the application, he or she then forwards it for approval to the Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Following all three approvals both the Financial Aid Office and the Academic Affairs Office will issue a letter of appointment for the GA to sign. Each Graduate Assistant reports to the Supervising Faculty Member identified in the letter of appointment. Although most Graduate Assistants apply for work in their own department, other Graduate Program Directors may require the skills of a student from another department. This can be a great way for a Graduate Assistant to get varying types of experiences.
The supervisor will review the job description with the Graduate Assistant and determine a mutually agreeable schedule for the year. Graduate Assistants should have some significant responsibility/project assigned which may be included on their resumes for the future. A collaborative evaluation will be conducted at the end of each academic year to examine how the original job description matches the reality of day to day activities. In a rare instance where a Graduate Assistant is not performing his/her duties, at the written request of the Graduate Supervisor, the person may be removed by the Vice/President of Academic Affairs.
How Fellowship Award is Applied
The Graduate Assistant Grant is to be applied to the student’s financial aid package for the current semester that he or she is serving. This grant will be applied for graduate coursework only and cannot be used in conjunction with any other form of outside scholarships, tuition reimbursement, or veteran’s benefits. Students must comply with the following:
- Must file a FAFSA for the award year
- Must be registered for at least 6 graduate credit hours
- Must work 10-15 hours per week during the semester for which the grant is to be applied
- Must maintain a 3.0 GPA while receiving the grant
PSA 500 Communication Leadership Skills and Managing Crisis Decisions
Examines the theories and practices of strategic and operational planning for crisis and emergency management. Operationalizes the principles associated with evaluation of risk and the formulation of prevention programs, including: organizing the response; managing the response organization; managing in a turbulent, high stress environment; and utilizing crisis decision-making and crisis communication. Identifies the issues and policy responses necessary to achieve coordination of agencies and collaboration with private resources. Group leadership skills will be learned and performed, including task leadership in both the designated leader and emergent leader perspectives. Process skills performed by crisis managers, such as practicing standard operating procedures, exercising intuition and practicing mental stimulations will be learned and exhibited in group presentations. Cases and group scenarios will be examined to apply these concepts in practice.
PSA 510 Diversity and Social Justice in Public Enforcement Administration
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop an understanding of four critical components of implementing a commitment to social justice as a public safety administrator: 1) the challenge to respond effectively to multi-cultural communities; 2) insight into the relationship between social justice and criminal justice; 3) criminology research in light of the threat of terrorism and its implications upon society; 4) understanding and discerning the larger implications of terrorism and public safety.
PSA 520 Research Methods/Data Analysis for Public Safety Administrators
This course introduces the student to research design as applied to the field of public safety. Students will master the following research methodologies: participant observation, interviewing, constructing and implementing surveys, content analysis, coding and analysis of qualitative data, coordinating qualitative and quantitative methods. The student will develop mastery of simple and multiple regression, chi-square analysis, interpretation of crime trends and correlation, the analysis of "hot spot" crime and selected additional analytical techniques. Students will also become familiar with basic ethical principles that guide research (Taken concurrently with PSA 521).
PSA 521 Research Lab
This course support PSA 520. Students will have an opportunity to focus on specific issues in data analysis in an applied technology setting.
PSA 525 Terrorism: Ideologies, Tactics and Counter-Measures
The central concern of this course is the systematic study of political, religious and ideological violence in its different forms. This course is the study of terrorism; using a criminological or criminal justice framework, focusing on terrorist origins, goals, tactics, ideologies, media implications, counterterrorism methods, and the ramifications on public safety. The course also examines the full continuum of terrorist violence, ranging from small scale violence to mass violence assassinations, terrorism by sub-national and transnational organizations, state terror and international implications.
PSA 534 Risk Management and Public Safety
This course deals in risk management theory and practice relative to strategic and operational planning in both the private and public sectors. The risk management process is developed in great detail throughout this course by generating an on-site risk assessment evaluation, utilizing the implementation of safety-orientated programs and countermeasures designed to assist in the reduction of risk levels. Students will examine the management of risk associated with a range of conditions and events, which include, but not limited to fire and fire safety, crime and terrorism, public safety deficiencies, hazardous and toxic materials, and natural disasters. Site assessment case studies are intended to familiarize and better prepare students for the Public Safety Administration capstone project by developing a greater sense of the practical application of these concepts.
PSA 537 Public Safety Laws and Operational Implications
This course examines important legal and operational considerations for public safety professionals. Students will understand how tort, contract, criminal, constitutional, and discrimination laws affect the liability and operations of public safety entities, from both a private security and public policing perspective. In addition, students study security methods, policing models and relevant legislative initiatives in light of the threat of terrorism. Underlying this understanding is the ethical, financial, legal and public policy issues which affect liability exposure and operational implications. Cases and scenarios are examined to apply these concepts in practice.
PSA 540 Ethical and Political Issues in Public Safety
This course examines crime as a political concern and delves into the conflicting political philosophies and ethical issues that guide our judgments relative to criminal justice issues and policy.
PSA 547 Information Security and Technology
This course focuses on the personnel, legal, regulatory , and privacy issues that constitute many of the basic management areas that must be considered in developing and implementing an effective information security program. The course examines the legal basis for privacy and security of information and related technologies. Students study the USA PATRIOT ACT, GASSP, security best practices and appropriate organizational responses to risk associated with the integrity of information. It presents methods and procedures for the assessment of risk, and examines strategies for mitigation of risk involving operational procedures, political issues in the organization and the implementation of an enterprise wide security strategy.
PSA 550 Public Safety Personnel Administration
The course is designed to assist public safety administrators in personnel administration. The course will focus on employee recruitment, hiring, retention, discipline, development and assessment of public safety employees. The rights of the employees and obligations imposed upon administrators by applicable federal and state statutes, and/or local ordinances and collective bargaining agreements will be discussed. Students will be required to complete assignments applying the principles learned in class to make recommendations for improving the personnel administration for their agency.
PSA 560 Fiscal Planning and Management
This course will teach students how to conduct fiscal planning that accurately reflects policies and priorities, create capital budgets to provide necessary organizational infrastructures, design expense budgets to support ongoing daily operations and manage overall departmental expenses by conducting fiscal analyses of proposed programs and personnel needs.
PSA 580 Capstone Course
This course functions as a cumulative assessment process as students complete the requirements for the degree. In this course students will demonstrate the ability to integrate the theory and skills developed in the graduate program through a security audit, which will then be presented and evaluated by a panel of Public Safety Administrators.
PSA 598 Topics in Public Safety Administration
This course covers specific topics and/or issues related to a variety of public safety concerns. It provides an in-depth study of a specific topic.
PSA 599 Master's Thesis Research
Under the direction of a thesis committee, the student will plan, research and write the Master's thesis. The thesis option is designed to meet the needs of students who plan to complete doctoral study.
Frequently Asked Questions
With over 60 years of experience in serving the needs of working adult students in Northwest Indiana and Chicago, we recognize the challenges that often face the returning adult student: hectic professional lives, family commitments, social activities, and a host of other obligations. To overcome these barriers, the PSA program is designed with the needs of the mid-career law enforcement official in mind.
For the current tuition and fees, see the Tuition and fees schedule.
Applicants deficient in one of more of these areas may petition the Director of the Public Safety Administration Graduate program.