B.S. Public Safety Management & Leadership

Enhance your academy training with a public safety management degree

Sept. 11 brought increased respect and hightened awareness of the important role strong public safety leaders play in our communities. More than managing a team, a crew and a plan, Franklin's B.S. Public Safety Management & Leadership builds on your know-how and experience with investigation, prevention, enforcement, monitoring, communication and response. Transfer in 24 hours of technical credit to quickly advance your skills and your rank.

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Highly Versatile Major

Learn to adminster public safety initiatives in various environments.

Customized Program

Design a pathway based on your interests.

Real-World Practitioners

Learn theory, application and best practices from public safety professionals.

100% Online Classes

Earn your degree around your schedule.

Finish Faster

Get 24 hours of technical credit.

Accredited Online University

Nearly 80% of our students take online courses.

Program Overview

Stand out for a promotion and join the leadership ranks

If you're a first responder working in the public safety field, a bachelor's degree can help you earn a promotion. And if you choose Franklin University's transfer-friendly Public Safety Management & Leadership degree completion program, you may be closer to earning your degree than you think!

Whether you're looking to move into a leadership role or you see a teaching position at some point in your career - a bachelor's degree enhances your on-the-job-experience and sets your apart from the competition.

Transfer 24 technical credits toward Franklin's Public Safety Management & Leadership degree-completion major

At Franklin University, we value your previous public safety experience. That's why we allow you to transfer 24 hours of technical credit from an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice, Fire Safety, Emergency Medical Services, Corrections, or other Public Safety-related field – giving you college credit for work you've already done.

You'll study advanced topics in emergency management, risk management, security planning, and threat assessment in our relevant and applicable public safety curriculum. No matter your area of expertise, you will benefit your agency and gain career mobility with a bachelor's degree in Public Safety Management & Leadership from Franklin.

Don't have 24 hours of technical credits? Check out Franklin's other majors in Emergency Management & Homeland Security major and Criminal Justice Administration

Earn your degree from a university built for busy adults

Earn your degree on your terms by taking classes 100% online or pursue available coursework at our Main Campus. Regionally accredited and nonprofit, Franklin was built from the ground-up to satisfy the needs of adult learners. Our seamless transfer process and team of academic advisors will help ease your transition to becoming a student, while our flexible course schedules help to balance your education with work, family, and life. Get started on your future today.

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B.S. Public Safety Management Graduate

"While I was at Franklin, my interaction with the faculty provided more than just the course work description. They provided real-life examples, real-life scenarios that would be applicable in my life educationally, as well as professionally. So, more than just reading a book and understanding something on my own. They put real context to the examples."

Curriculum & Course Descriptions

120 Semester Hours
Fundamental General Education Core (24 hours)
English Composition

Choose a minimum of 3 semester hours from:

ENG 120 - College Writing (4)
In this course, students acquire the writing competence necessary for conducting and presenting research. A variety of assignments, beginning with personal reflections, build upon one another, as students develop ideas that respond to, critique, and synthesize the positions of others. Students systematize and organize knowledge in ways that will help them in all of their courses. The course also emphasizes the elements of good writing style, appropriate grammar and mechanics, clarity of language, and logical and cohesive development. It culminates in submission of a documented research paper.

*If the course does not have a research paper component, ENG 130 Research Paper, two semester credits, is also required.


Choose a minimum of three semester hours from:

MATH 215 - Statistical Concepts (4)
This course introduces the student to statistics with business applications. The course covers both descriptive and inferential statistics. Topics included are: measures of central tendency; measures of dispersion; graphical displays of data; linear regression; basic probability concepts; binomial and normal probability distributions; confidence intervals; and hypothesis testing. These topics will be covered using a basic knowledge of algebra and Microsoft Excel.

Choose either MATH 140 Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning or MATH 150 Fundamental Algebra as the prerequisite. Course can count as University elective.

*At least one mathematics or statistics course beyond the level of intermediate algebra.


Choose a minimum of 6 semester hours from:

SCIE 210 - Understanding Science: Principles, Practice, & Theory (2)
Understanding Science: Principles, Practice & Theory is a two credit hour course that introduces students to the major themes, processes, and methods common to all scientific disciplines. Students will develop critical thinking skills necessary to analyze and evaluate all kinds of phenomena, scientific, pseudoscientific, and other. The focus is on the nature of science so students will develop an understanding of how science works and develop an appreciation for the process by which we gain scientific knowledge.
SCIE 211 - Introduction to Scientific Analysis & Reasoning (4)
Introduction to Scientific Analysis and Reasoning is a four credit hour course consisting of three credit hours of lecture and one credit hour of laboratory. This course is an introduction to critical thinking on statistical and scientific claims. The student will develop the critical thinking skills necessary to analyze and evaluate popular sources of (mis)information and to better understand and evaluate all sorts of scientific claims and arguments. The focus of the course is on students developing thoughtful and critical use of scientific information and research to be able to separate truth from deception and make decisions that affect their personal lives and roles as informed and engaged citizens.

*Two science courses, with one having a laboratory component.

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Choose a minimum of 6 semester hours from:

POSC 204 - American Government (3)
An overview of the structure and function of the American governmental system, including the roles of the President, Congress, the Supreme Court, the news media, public opinion, and public interest groups in the political system.
  • Choose an additional course from the Anthropology, Psychology, or Sociology discipline.

*The six semester hours must come from at least two different disciplines

Arts and Humanities

Choose a minimum of 6 semester hours from:

HUMN 210 - Intro to Logic & Critical Thinking Skill (2)
The goal of this course is to help you improve as a critical, logical thinker. You will be introduced to the art of formulating and assessing arguments according to the standards of logical thinking and critical analysis. You will discover how to apply these valuable skills to your studies and everyday life, learning how to overcome obstacles to critical thinking, and how to avoid being deceived by means of misleading reasoning.
HUMN 211 - Intro to Ethical Analysis & Reasoning (2)
The goal of this course is to help you improve your ethical analysis and reasoning skills. You will be introduced to the art of formulating and assessing ethical arguments according to the standards of logical thinking and critical analysis. In this course, you will discover how to apply the following questions to your job and everyday life. Why do we need ethics if we have laws to govern our behavior' Does the majority view determine what is ethical and what is not' Are feelings, desires, and preferences reliable ethical guides' Is it ever appropriate to criticize another individual's (or culture's) ethical judgment' Are people always responsible for their actions' Do human beings have a natural tendency to good, a natural tendency to evil' both' neither' Is there a single moral code that is binding on all people, at all times, and in all places'
HUMN 218 - World Religions (4)
A comparative study of the founders, sacred writings, beliefs and practices of some of the major world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity. This course enables the student to study and compare the leading religions of the world in light of their historical and cultural backgrounds. Students will be encouraged to explore faith traditions other than their own. Common themes across religions, spiritual practice, and current related cultural and political issues will also be considered.
HUMN 232 - Introduction to Literature (4)
In this course, students will analyze works from the three major literary genres: poetry, drama, and fiction. Students will become familiar with standard vocabulary and approaches specific to the field of literary criticism and consider the importance of literature in contemporary society. The goal of this course is to encourage students to read for pleasure (engage with the text on an emotional level) while also moving towards a more objective consideration of literature by introducing the fundamentals of close reading and literary analysis.
HUMN 240 - Popular Culture (4)
An introductory course that examines basic concepts in popular culture studies and the role popular arts and artifacts play in shaping cultural values. The course covers basic theories and approaches to topics like best sellers, popular music, popular art forms, cultural heroes from the sports and entertainment worlds and other popular phenomena.
HUMN 246 - Film Appreciation (4)
This course is an introduction to the art of film intended to enable students to become more knowledgeable, appreciative and critical viewers. The course covers the major areas of film: narrative, documentary, animated and experimental. While some film history is covered, this course emphasizes understanding key elements in the filmmaking process: scripting, filming, editing, acting, directing, promoting and distributing. Students will be required to view and write critical reviews of films screened both in and out of class.
Additional General Education Requirements (12 hours)
PF 106 - Introduction to Spreadsheets (1)
This course focuses on using spreadsheets to solve business applications.
PF 321 - Learning Strategies (2)
This course prepares students to be successful lifelong learners both academically and in their chosen careers. Franklin courses require a high level of self-directed learning and focus on skills required in the workplace and the classroom that are easily transferable between the two environments. The course includes strategies for advancing communication skills, including the use of electronic tools to participate in virtual environments. The assignments and activities in the course are created to closely simulate teamwork found in the workplace.
COMM 107 - Intro to Web Presentation & Publishing (1)
This course is an introduction to the use of Open Source Content Management Systems (CMS) for creating Web sites. It will provide students with the basic knowledge required to design, build, and maintain an informational Web site.
OR COMM 205 - Communication Design (1)
Students learn about effective communication through intelligent visual design by creating a tri-fold brochure, a Video-CV, and a professional portfolio using a free webpage builder. All products are customized based on the student's major and professional interests. This hands-on approach to learning message development and communication product design for a range of platforms helps students develop in-demand skills.
COMM 150 - Interpersonal Communication (4)
By using applied critical and creative thinking, students in this course will develop a set of communication skills that will enhance their personal and professional relationships and endeavors. This course will focus on skill development in key areas such as self, perception, listening, verbal messages, conversations, relationships, conflict management, persuasion, and public speaking.
OR SPCH 100 - Speech Communication (4)
This public-speaking course emphasizes the fundamentals of extemporaneous speaking. Skill-building activities and assignments focus on research, organization, reasoning, style and delivery of presentations as well as listening and audience engagement.
ENG 220 - Research Writing: Exploring Professional (4)
This is an intermediate course focusing on the composition of research papers. Students in this course prepare to be active participants in professional discourse communities by examining and practicing the writing conventions associated with their own fields of study and work. By calling attention to the conventions of disciplinary writing, the course also prepares students for upper-division college writing and the special conventions of advanced academic discourse. Course activities include three extended research papers, semi-formal writing addressing interdisciplinary communication, and readings fostering critical engagement with disciplinary conversations.
University Electives (24 hours)

Any undergraduate courses offered by the University except developmental education courses.

Technical Credit (24 hours)

24 credit hours in a public safety related discipline from transfer credit.

Major Area (16 hours)
PUAD 305 - Introduction to Public Administration (4)
Students are introduced to the field and profession of public administration. Students learn to think and act as ethical public administration professionals by developing a broad understanding of the political and organizational environment in which public administrators work and by applying fundamental analytical, decision- making, and communication skills. The professional knowledge and skills explored in the course provide a foundation for subsequent public administration courses.
PUAD 420 - Government & Nonprofit Budgeting (4)
Students learn fundamental budgeting, accounting, and financial management concepts and techniques necessary for planning, analysis, and decision making in government and nonprofit organizations. Students also examine the competing values and politics that underlie and impact the budget process and financial decisions. Finally, students apply skills for effectively communicating financial analysis methods and conclusions with colleagues, elected officials, the media, and the public.
PUAD 495 - Public Administration Capstone (4)
The capstone course is a practicum in which students analyze an important administrative problem relevant for a government or nonprofit organization. Students create an administrative action plan for addressing their chosen administrative problem by integrating concepts and skills learned in the public administration program and the student's specialization area.
SEMT 322 - Ethics & Leadership in Public Safety Agencies (4)
This course will study ethics and leadership theories in the context of public safety agencies. Consideration of leadership skills and traits in both the strategic and tactical settings will be considered. Ethics will be considered in terms of creating a culture of ethics within a public safety agency.
Major Focus Area (20 hours)

Choose one:

Fire & Emergency Medical Services
FIES 310 - Fire & Emergency Services Administration (4)
This course is designed to be a progressive primer for students who want more knowledge about fire and emergency services administration. The course demonstrates the importance of the following skills, necessary to manage and lead a fire and emergency services department through the challenges and changes of the 21st century: persuasion and influence, accountable budgeting, anticipation of challenges and the need for change, and using specific management tools for analyzing and solving problems. A central part of the course focuses on how the leadership of a fire and emergency services department develops internal and external cooperation to create a coordinated approach to achieving the department's mission.
FIES 330 - HR Management for the Fire & Emergency Services (4)
This course examines relationships and issues in personnel administration and human resource development within the context of fire-related organizations, including personnel management, organizational development, productivity, recruitment and selection, performance management systems, discipline, and collective bargaining.
FIES 430 - Political & Legal Foundations for Fire Protection (4)
This course examines the legal aspects of the fire services and the political and social impacts of legal issues. This course includes a review of the American legal system and in-depth coverage of legal and political issues involving employment and personnel matters, administrative and operational matters, planning and code enforcement, and legislative and political processes with regard to the fire services.
SEMT 240 - Disaster Planning & Response (4)
Students will explore the nuances of planning for and responding to catastrophic disasters. The course will involve discussion of domestic and international approaches to planning and responding to such disasters. Students will view issues from the perspective of an Emergency Manager who spends most of their time in the field planning for critical incidents and disasters and who understands the key components to a good plan that involves many agencies at all levels of government and at different stages of the event. Students will explore the logistics of mass care, mass evacuation, and critical infrastructure damage.
SEMT 450 - Critical Incident Management (4)
The course will explore the NIMS, ICS, and other federally mandated systems in place for the management of critical incidents such as major fire scenes, major disasters, terrorist attacks, and other events that require a multi-agency response and recovery effort. The course discusses and evaluates the roles of high-level leadership in setting policy direction and planning as well as real-time management of the scene.
Law Enforcement
CJAD 315 - Policing in America (4)
This course will provide the student with an overview of the philosophy and history of policing in America. Students will learn about personnel and management issues related to policing. Students will also be exposed to topics including police discretion, police use of force, civil liability, police culture, and the impact of the war on terrorism on police operations and practices.
CJAD 340 - Evidence Based Practice & Research (4)
This innovative approach to research describes best practices and data driven solutions in criminal justice research including quantitative, qualitative, and program evaluation research. Students will be good consumers of research and will have the fundamental knowledge necessary to evaluate research studies, evaluate their value toward their field of interest, and evaluate their usefulness for making sound decisions in the field.
CJAD 360 - Intro: Terrorism & Intelligence Analysis (4)
This course examines intelligence analysis and its indispensable relationship to the management of terrorist attacks, man-made disasters and natural disasters. It also explores vulnerabilities of our national defense and private sectors, as well as the threats posed to these institutions by terrorists. Students will discuss substantive issues regarding intelligence support of homeland security measures implemented by the United States and explore how the intelligence community operates.
CJAD 415 - Contemporary Policing Strategies & Issue (4)
Students will review contemporary policing strategies to include: Community policing, Problem Oriented Policing and other strategies related to crime prevention and crime reduction. Students will also be exposed to current issues related to both the internal and external environments of police agencies. Issues related to police deviance and ethical issues will also be addressed.
CJAD 450 - Criminal Justice Management & Admin (4)
This course will examine the basic concepts of management and administration as applied to agencies in the criminal justice system. Emphasis will be placed on issues related to the effective management and administration of criminal justice agencies. Topics covered will include environmental influence; conflict, power, and ethical issues; motivation, leadership, and communication. The concept of the service quality approach will also be considered.
Individualized Specialization

Students may also design an individualized discipline area using any courses from Franklin’s catalog. Students must obtain approval from the Program Chair of the Public Safety Leadership & Management Program for an individualized program focus.

Additional Requirements

All students are required to pass College Writing (ENG 120), and either Basic Learning Strategies (PF 121) or Learning Strategies (PF 321) prior to enrolling in any course at the 200 level or above. Students who enroll at Franklin with 30 or fewer hours of transfer credit are required to pass PF 121 Basic Learning Strategies in place of PF 321 Learning Strategies. Interpersonal Communication (COMM 150) or Speech Communication (SPCH 100) must be taken prior to enrolling in any course at the 300 level or above. Students must also meet the University algebra competency requirement.

Program Specific Requirements

Public Safety Management & Leadership is a completion major designed to complement the existing technical skills of an individual to include general knowledge, communication skills and application of business and leadership practices. The major will accept students who have the equivalent of an associate's degree, including 24 semester credit hours (36 quarter credit hours) of courses in a defined technical discipline that has a public safety mission, from an accredited institution or professional certification from an approved public safety training academy. The 24 semester hours of instruction must be approved by the Public Safety Management & Leadership Program Chair.

Students seeking a bachelor's degree must earn at least 30 credit hours in residence at Franklin University to be eligible for a degree. Students entering the major with an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) or technical training and other college credit must satisfy General Education requirements listed below for a total of 36 hours in General Education.

Technical Credit
Students with Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees in Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice, Fire Safety, Emergency Medical Services, Corrections or other Public Safety related fields will satisfy the Technical and some of the General Education requirements of the B.S. degree in Public Safety Management & Leadership at Franklin University. Students without an A.A.S. degree must satisfy the Technical and all of the General Education requirements listed below.

Program Details

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Career Opportunities

ATF Agent

ATF Agents perform investigations which involve surveillance, interviewing suspects and witnesses, making arrests, obtaining and executing search warrants, and searching for physical evidence.

Corporate and Private Security Managers

Corporate and Private Security Managers oversee security operations, from risk management to staff training to policy development in order to ensure workplace safety

Emergency Medical Services Operations Manager

Emergency Medical Services Operations Managers develop short- and long-term emergency response models, training staff to meet defined goals and reduce response tim

EMS Education and Training Instructor

EMS Education and Training Instructors teach leadership and EMS continuing education courses to support the skills development and advancement opportunities of personnel.

FBI Agent

FBI Agents examine interstate and national criminal activity, including bribery, cyber crime, drug trafficking and terrorist threats, investigating and solving cases involving violations of federal statutes.

Fire Education and Training Instructor

Fire Education and Training Instructors teach leadership and fire courses to support the skills development and advancement opportunities of personnel.

Law Enforcement Training Instructor

Law Enforcement Training Instructors teach leadership and criminal justice courses to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners.


Paramedics provide emergency medial services to sick and wounded people, delivering on the scene care and transporting the patient to nearby medical facility.

Police officer

Police officers ensure public safety by preventing and detecting criminal activity that can adversely affect  both people and property.

Safety Director

Safety Directors develop and administer training programs to ensure occupational, industrial, and environmental safety.

Sheriff's Deputy

Sheriff's Deputies enforce laws within a county, often in unincorporated areas outside of the major cities.

Surveillance Director

Surveillance Directors oversee the electronic and physical monitoring of an environment in an effort to prevent theft, vandalism, and forgery.

U.S. Marshal

U.S. Marshals enforce federal laws, apprehend federal fugitives, operate the Witness Security Program, protect the federal judiciary, and enforce court orders.

Employment Outlook


From 2021-2031, jobs in Public Safety Management & Leadership are expected to increase by 8%.

All Occupations

3,509,504 jobs
3,797,062 jobs
Show Details >

Emergency Management Directors

14,653 jobs
15,505 jobs

Compliance Officers

347,056 jobs
370,528 jobs

Detectives and Criminal Investigators

116,546 jobs
120,914 jobs

First-Line Supervisors of Firefighting and Prevention Workers

69,399 jobs
74,466 jobs

Source information provided by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI).

Knowledge & Skillsets

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