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Executive Education for Public Safety Leaders

The Master of Public Safety (MPS) degree prepares law enforcement professionals for leadership in their communities by broadening their understanding of relational policing, emerging public safety threats, and appropriate responses.

This part-time interdisciplinary program places law enforcement in the broader social context, focusing on six curricular themes: constitutional literacy, relational policing, evidence-based strategies, diversity awareness and sensitivity, public health, and safety and wellness.

Start DatesComing soon
Estimated CostTBA
Duration20 months / 5 semesters
FormatPart-time: Online instruction with face-to-face, cohort sessions in Charlottesville
Next Application DeadlineTBA

The part-time Master of Public Safety (MPS) requires the completion of 30 credits of required and elective courses, including a capstone presentation. A thesis or comprehensive exam are not required.
The graduate program integrates six key, crosscutting themes that are woven throughout the curriculum:

  • Constitutional literacy
  • Relational policing (also known as community policing)
  • Evidence-based strategies
  • Diversity awareness & sensitivity
  • Public health
  • Safety & wellness

Required Courses (6)

PSPS 6010 Constitutional Framework of Policing
Emphasizes the Constitution as the ethical compass that guides the work of law enforcement and other public safety professionals. Focuses on various provisions of the Bill of Rights and the numerous cases that have interpreted the meaning of those Amendments. Particular emphasis will be placed on the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 14th Amendments and their applicability to law enforcement policy and operational strategy.

PSPS 6020 Local Impact of Global Issues
Examines the global issues that are facing our nation and specifically those that impact localities such as population growth, environmental factors, national security, human trafficking, the opioid crisis, poverty, fractured police and community relations, and terrorism. Develops the competencies of public safety leaders in meeting the emerging challenges and threats faced by their communities.

PSPS 6030 Developing & Implementing Systems of Emergency Preparedness
Examines joint operations and incident command for complex events, both planned and unplanned. Emphasizes command structure, continuity of operations, public safety response to public health emergencies, occupational health and safety, local systems and resources, inter-agency cooperation, communications and technology support, and law and policy issues in public safety.

PSPS 6040 Creating & Sustaining Community Dialogue
Familiarizes students with the concepts of community dialogue and deliberation and the goals, limitations, and challenges of this community engagement. Explores issues such as inequality and power, interactions with communities in the aftermath of tragedy, acknowledging and addressing police fear and anger and its impact on community interactions, implicit biases, and the importance of building coalitions across boundaries.

PSPS 6050 Stewardship of Public Assets & Managing Human Capital
Examines public sector budget planning, analysis, execution, and management. Looks at the legal aspects of public employment law, short and long term impacts of recruiting and retaining talented employees, and the means by which evidence based strategies are applied to determine the appropriate number of resources to deploy to normal and complex operations.

PSPS 6991 Capstone
Provides a team of 3 or 4 students with the opportunity to work on a project that addresses an important public safety challenge. Teams develop a proposal and written report outlining the resources required to accomplish the project objectives.  Students will be guided, mentored, and evaluated by faculty from a broad array of disciplines. 

Elective Courses (Select 4)

PSPS 6000 Transformational Leadership in Changing Times
Examines the areas of leadership, ethics, and decision-making in the context of policing and includes a focus on organizational culture and history, future trends, and the impact those topics have on decision making and police management. Class discussion, small group dynamics, and case studies will be utilized for practical application and understanding.

PSPS 6001 Balancing Public Safety & Public Health
Surveys collaborations for prevention and response on current issues at the intersection of public safety and public health. Students will gain an understanding on the use of various data metrics and indicators to define problems, information sharing and analysis strategies, public engagement, intervention planning and implementation, impact evaluation, and opportunities for law and policy development.

PSPS 6002 Balancing Policing Strategies & Individual Rights
Examines the essential principles of democracy that influence the trust between police agencies and those whom they protect and serve. Challenging a variety of police strategies, their constitutional relationship, and the influence those strategies have on police and community relationships. Exploration of topics such as investigative detentions, consensual encounters, and independent citizen review of police conduct and policies.

PSPS 6003 Social Capital & Relational Policing
Explores the import of relational policing as a guiding philosophy for police agencies and the diverse communities they serve. Examines how constituents co-produce an environment that is safe and healthy and results in social capital amongst stakeholders ensuring healthy dialogue, creative problem solving, and mutual respect. Examines how the development of policies and practices affects relationships between an agency, its members, and citizens. 

PSPS 6004 Managing Data in Public Safety
Introduces students to statistical concepts, analysis, and interpretation of public safety practical use. Instructs students on various types of analysis using quantitative methods to include descriptive statistics, data presentation, probability, hypothesis testing statistical inference, linear and multiple regression and predictive analysis by utilizing case studies and criminal data sets for practical application and understanding.

PSPS 6005 Cyber Technologies
Examines the ever changing and fast pace of technology in relation to cybercrimes and cyber terrorism. Students will explore the threats of cybercrime, bullying, and terrorism and the mitigating countermeasures used against such threats. The course will also include the review and analysis of current cyber policy issues in both the public and private sectors.

The information contained on this web site is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements.

Online instruction with face-to-face cohort sessions in Charlottesville
Students move through the program in an executive cohort structure and take 20 months/ 5 semesters to complete the program.
admission requirements
  • Undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
Admission Details
TBA (same in-state and out-of-state)
  • Students have access to financial aid, scholarships, and payment plans
  • Fees cover lodging and some meals while on-ground in Charlottesville
Tuition and Financial Aid Details
* Additional fees may apply, including course materials. Tuition rates adjusted annually.
our value
  • Career advancement for public safety professionals from local, state, and federal agencies

* The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements.

Faculty Spotlight

MPS graduates will gain the data-driven knowledge, best practices, and practical skills required for law enforcement leadership.
A photograph of Tim Longo

Tim Longo


As a retired Charlottesville Police Chief, Tim is an expert on the complex challenges faced by today’s law enforcement officers. Now serving as program director and faculty for the Master of Public Safety (MPS) program, he emphasizes foundational elements of policing while encouraging forward-thinking problem-solving for contemporary issues. Drawing from the wide-ranging expertise of UVA’s students and faculty, his curriculum incorporates multiple disciplines including law, medicine, psychology, public policy, engineering, and business.

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University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies
104 Midmont Lane PO Box 400764, Charlottesville, VA 22904