Doctor of Science in Public Safety (DSPS)


The Doctor of Science in Public Safety (DSPS) is a graduate program that prepares individuals to serve as managers in the executive arm of local, state, and federal government and that focuses on the systematic study of executive organization and management. The program includes instruction in the roles, development, and principles of public administration; the management of public policy; executive-legislative relations; public budgetary processes and financial management; administrative law; public personnel management; professional ethics; and research methods.

The Public Safety Doctoral Program is designed to serve current professionals within the field who have interest in advancing into leadership roles within their respective area. The proposed program fits well within both the vision and mission of MGA by offering a doctoral level practitioner focused program that enhances partnerships between research and practice in the public safety workforce.

The program aims to merge the practice of public safety with the research capabilities of higher education to provide a holistic approach to in-service training (i.e., to working public safety professionals), with concentration being on those who are currently in, or plan to seek, administrative positions within their respective agency or area of experience and linking them with researchers who can guide program evaluation with the intent of improving public safety for all Georgians.

Program Of Study

The Doctor of Science in Public Safety (DSPS) curriculum emphasizes the core concepts, theories, and practices of public safety management to provide a holistic approach to administrative education. The program includes coursework in management and leadership theories, human resource practices, cultural competency, and program evaluation with an emphasis on application of this knowledge within a public safety context.

The DSPS program requires students to complete 54 hours of graduate coursework. All courses are offered online and students may complete the program on a full-time or part-time basis. Students choose from among two concentration tracks: Those who select the security and analytics track will learn the foundations of security systems theories and practices and will then apply those to specific analyses (i.e., geographical information systems or financial and fraud analysis). Alternately, students who select the emergency and disaster management track will focus on the application of resilience to public emergencies and disaster science within a public safety context. 

In the capstone course for the program, students will complete a field-based research project using the skills acquired through their previous coursework, including Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods courses. Projects will be focused on a real-world challenge faced in the student’s public safety agency and will include implementation and evaluation of a programmatic solution to that challenge.

Course of Study:

Core Courses- 33 hours

  • SFTY 7000 – Public Safety Administration (3 Credit Hours)
  • SFTY 7010 – Correctional Management & Law (3 Credit Hours)
  • SFTY 7020 – Police Management & Law (3 Credit Hours)
  • SFTY 7030 – Legal Issues in Criminal Justice Organizations (3 Credit Hours)
  • SFTY 7040 – Public Administration (3 Credit Hours)
  • SFTY 7050 – Organizational Theory (3 Credit Hours)
  • SFTY 7060 – State and Local Government (3 Credit Hours)
  • SFTY 7070 – Public Agency Financial Management (3 Credit Hours)
  • SFTY 7100 – Qualitative Methods and Analysis (3 Credit Hours)
  • SFTY 7110 – Quantitative Methods and Analysis (3 Credit Hours)
  • SFTY 8120 – Policy & Program Evaluation (3 Credit Hours)

Global Diversity Elective – 3 hours

Choose One:

  • SFTY 7200 – Cultural Crime and Justice (3 Credit Hours)
  • SFTY 7210 – International Affairs (3 Credit Hours)

Concentration Track - 9 hours

Choose One Track:

  • Security and Analytics Track
    • SFTY 8000 – Security Systems (3 Credit Hours)
    • SFTY 8010 – Geographic Information Systems (3 Credit Hours)
    • Choose ONE:
      • SFTY 8130 – Financial Investigation & Fraud Prevention (3 Credit Hours)
      • SFTY 8140 – Cybercrime (3 Credit Hours)
  • Emergency and Disaster Management Track
    • SFTY 8400 – Infrastructure and Resilience (3 Credit Hours)
    • SFTY 8410 – Emergency Management (3 Credit Hours)
    • Choose ONE:
      • SFTY 8430 – Disaster Science (3 Credit Hours)
      • SFTY 8420 – Conflict Management (3 Credit Hours)

Practicum - 9 hours

  • SFTY 8980 – Evaluation Design and Planning (3 Credit Hours)
  • SFTY 8990 – Evaluation Implementation (6 Credit Hours)

Total: 54 hours.

Admission Requirements

To apply for the Doctor of Science in Public Safety (DSPS) program and view the admission requirements, go to: