UVA SCPS School Logo

FAQ - MPS

What is a MPS Degree?
The Master of Public Safety (MPS) degree prepares today’s public safety leaders and professionals to navigate the complex and shifting landscape of modern law, policy, resource management, data and technology. The program aims to increase the competencies of America’s public safety leaders, promote Constitutional literacy, reinforce the application of democratic principles, and inspire critical thinking.

The MPS integrates six key crosscutting themes woven throughout the curriculum:

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

How long will it take to complete the program?
Students will enroll in 6 – 9 credits (2-3 courses) per semester and complete their degree requirements of 30 credits in 5 semesters/terms. The MPS program is a cohort-based program with the required Capstone course being provided in the fifth and final semester, so it is not possible to graduate earlier.

Can I enroll in fewer than 2 courses per term? 
Yes, students can enroll in one course a semester. In fact, those students who transfer in credits, applied to an elective(s), would only need to enroll in one course in certain semesters. 

I may not be able to complete the program in 5 semesters/terms. Is this allowed?
Yes. Students have a maximum of 7 years to complete the graduate program.  

Do I need to attend classes on Grounds in Charlottesville to complete this program?
The MPS program’s six core courses are taught in a hybrid format that will combine online course instruction with three-day, face-to-face sessions in Charlottesville, Virginia. Students and faculty will have opportunities to leverage on-Grounds and community resources in the course content. A weeklong summer course is also held in Charlottesville.  

The program’s six elective courses, of which students are required to take four elective courses, are fully online. The classes will utilize both synchronous (set day/time) and asynchronous modes of course delivery. The asynchronous approach allows students the flexibility to work on their courses independently at their convenience, while the synchronous elements will enhance engagement and strengthen the cohort.

How will the three-day, in-person sessions be structured?
The residential, in-person sessions are required. The schedule for the three-day sessions includes:

  • Thursday: Class starts on Thursday afternoon and continues into the evening with dinner provided by the program.
  • Friday: Class resumes on Friday morning with lunch provided by the program.  The class continues through the afternoon. Students will be responsible for their own dinner.
  • Saturday: Class resumes on Saturday morning and ends around noon.  

What happens if I need to miss one of the residential, in-person sessions?
The residential, in-person sessions are required. However, we understand that sometimes life gets in the way for adult students who are also working professionals. Students are able to miss one residential session a semester without their grade being impacted. Students that miss the session are required to contact the professor of that course(s) and determine how the course work can be made up. Missing more than one residential session a semester is strongly discouraged, as it may diminish a student's ability to successfully complete the course. 

What are the admission requirements for the MPS program?
Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.  A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required in undergraduate coursework.  

Is it possible to transfer credits from the University of Virginia National Criminal Justice Command College and FBI National Academy?
The program will consider the transfer of six applicable credits to be applied against an elective from either the National Criminal Justice Command College and/or the FBI National Academy if the following criteria are met:

  • Courses are listed on the transcript as “graduate level”
  • The student earns a final grade of B- or higher
  • The course is deemed aligned with the rigor and content of the MPS program
  • The course credits are no older than five years at the time of matriculation

Is it possible to transfer credits into the MPS program?
The program will consider the transfer of six applicable credits to be applied against an elective from an accredited academic institution if the following criteria are met:

  • Courses are listed on the transcript as “graduate level”
  • The student earns a final grade of B- or higher
  • The course is deemed aligned with the rigor and content of the MPS program
  • The course credits are no older than five years at the time of matriculation

Still have questions?  We're here to help!

Answers to those questions asked most frequently about our school by our prospective students can be found here.  If you don't find what you're looking for, please don't hesitate to contact us.  

* 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

quote-icon
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

MASTER OF PUBLIC SAFETY

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.

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