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Public Safety & Law Enforcement Leadership

As the first higher education institution in Minnesota to offer public safety supervisory and executive education, this program educates professionals who aspire to be leaders in their organizations. Both the cohort-based in-person program and the online program encourage collegial learning and networking. You will join an unsurpassed network of more than 20 alumni currently working as police chiefs in Minnesota. You will learn from core faculty and experienced police educators who bring diverse perspectives and provide personal attention. Learn more in our online information session.

  • The cohort-based, in-person, program meets on Monday evenings September through June for two years, with a special opportunity to earn three credits during the summer during a week in Washington, DC, studying federal and national policy making. Beginning September 2014, as a cohort you will take one 8-week class at a time together for two school years.
  • The 100 percent online program has six terms of eight weeks each and offers students the opportunity to study with others from throughout the United States and around the world. You have the freedom to choose your own times to participate.

What you can earn

  • Master of Arts (M.A.)


Where you'll learn

  • Cohort-based classes (Minneapolis/St. Paul area)
  • Online




When you can start

  • Cohort-based classes begin Fall 2014
  • Online classes begin every eight weeks



Questions about the cohort-based program

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Ea Porter

Enrollment Advisor



Program Details

For the Master of Arts (M.A.)

Students study current laws, court decisions and other legal theories that affect policing and the community, including hiring, disciplining, collective bargaining, budgeting and training. Students will also examine the relationship of these laws with the ethical decision making of police officers and its relationship with the community.

This course focuses on the development of the police organization, structure, leadership and administration. It identifies the principles of police leadership within a contemporary police organization and the changing role of policing. It examines the current state of the police-community relationship, crime trends, the role of economics, race and gender in police issues, the changing nature of the work, and influences and directions of technology in policing. The class meets with state, local and community leaders in policing, visits their offices and studies their plans for change.

Using case studies, this class examines the processes and dynamics necessary for public safety agencies and their personnel to play an active, direct role in identifying and organizing the community and fiscal resources necessary to build effective partnerships which will result in the development of a cooperative problem-solving community. Students will identify a current public safety-community issue and research and develop recommendations on the issue based on the dynamics and community organization.

This is a capstone course for the M.A. in Educational Leadership. It is designed for students to critically reflect upon and articulate his/her learning. Students examine cases through various frames, read leadership literature and evaluate his/her experience.

This course examines how educational organizations develop and change and how leaders and followers interact within organizations from several theoretical and conceptual perspectives. Students observe the workings of educational institutions and programs, interview educational leaders, and analyze their own understanding and practice of leadership.

This course begins the required three-course M.A. or Ed.S. research sequence. After an introductory overview of social research, it emphasizes historical and ethnographic approaches to thinking about collecting and analyzing information. Course activities provide an opportunity to experience doing research using historical and qualitative methods.

This course examines strategies for analyzing and dealing with conflict between individuals and groups, effective communication processes and decision-making strategies. The theoretical foundations of particular strategies are emphasized. Students use case studies, simulations and exercises to practice problem analysis and resolution, negotiation, collaborative relationship and team building.

In this course, research procedures appropriate for assessing community wants, needs and resources and for evaluating program outcome and staff performance are covered. Other areas include research design; sources of data; methods of data collection, including the interview and questionnaire; sampling and evaluation of research studies.

EDLD 754 – Public Safety Studies (3 Credits)
EDLD 755 – Advanced Professional Public Safety Officer Education (3 Credits)
EDLD 813 – Leadership as Critical Reflection (3 Credits)
EDLD 822 – Policy Development (3 Credits)
EDLD 841 – Federal/National Policy Making (3 Credits)
EDLD 842 – State & Local Policy Making (3 Credits)
EDLD 750 – Contemporary Issues for Public Safety Leaders (3 Credits)

TOTAL 31 Credits

Saint Paul, MN; Fall 2014

Degree: Master's
Time: Mondays 5:00-9:30pm
Start Date: September 8, 2014 (Orientation)
Location: McNeely Hall | St. Paul UST Campus (map)

Starting Fall 2014. Application Deadline: August 1, 2014

DeMeester, Deb 80x72

Deb DeMeester, Ed.D.

Clinical Faculty Leadership, Policy and Administration (651) 962-4379
MOH 336 | Opus Hall

Dunanski, Mark 80x72

Mark Dunaski

Adjunct Professor
Hansen, Catherine 80x72

Catherine Hansen

Adjunct Professor
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Mirja Hanson

Adjunct Professor
Jensen, Pat 80x72

Pat Jensen

Program Director: Public Policy & Leadership Leadership, Policy and Administration (651) 962-4887
MOH 411 | Opus Hall

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Tim Leslie

Adjunct Professor
Madhav, Chucks 80x72

Chucks Madhav, MBA

Adjunct Professor
OHern, Cassandra 80x72

Cassandra O’Hern

Adjunct Professor
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Dr. Jessica Wiley

Adjunct Professor

Policy Trip to Washington D.C.

The cohort based Public Safety and Law Enforcement Leadership program includes a course in Washington D.C.  The trip offers unique opportunities to observe and interact with the policy process at a national level as well as meet and network with influential figures working and facilitating change in Washington D.C.


Ongoing Professional Development

Whether networking with leaders in the area of policy reform, being inspired by change agents working on locally, nationally and globally  or simply catching up on the latest qualitative research findings, annual events and conferences sponsored by the department of Leadership, Policy and Administration offer a variety of networking and professional development opportunities. Most events include continuing education units for a variety of professions.  


Real-world field experience

If your program includes a field experience element, the dedicated faculty and staff in your program will work with you to ensure that your experience will meet your interests and facilitate your growth, both personally and professionally. Throughout your time in your program, regularly scheduled meetings with faculty and peers offer the opportunity to form a strong professional network as you prepare to enter your field.


The Value of a St. Thomas Degree

We offer our students much more than just a degree. We offer the chance to be a part of a personal and professional network like no other, which means your graduate education will enrich your life and career long into the future.

Calculating the cost of your degree can be challenging, as every institution approaches it a bit differently. At St. Thomas, we list our tuition cost as cost per credit:

  • Each course can be 1-3 semester credits, but the standard course is 3 credits.  
  • A typical part-time student in our graduate programs takes 3-6 credits per term.
  • To view the total number of credits per program you can view the courses tab above.

It may be possible for you to receive some type of financial assistance. To learn more, please visit our Graduate Financial Aid page.


Education (M.A., Ed.S., Certificate, Licensure)

Online Tuition (per credit) $730
Off-site Cohort Tuition (per credit) $415
Books and materials
(estimate per course)
One-time application fee (Off-site Cohort only) $50

1 | Meet the Requirements:

  • A Bachelor's Degree from an accredited institution.
  • A cumulative minimum undergraduate G.P.A. of 2.5 (4.0 scale)
  • The completion of a standardized test, such as the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), GRE, GMAT or LSAT - if GPA is under 2.75 or upon recommendation of the admissions committee.

 2 | Submit the following application materials:

  • Application form and one-time $50 application fee.
  • Two positive letters of reference from non-related individuals.
  • Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work (unless that work was completed at the University of St. Thomas).
  • Personal statement.
  • Current resume.

3 |  Submit the supplementary materials:

  • International Applicants:  (1) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) required for any candidate whose primary language is not English. (2) Transcript Review: All international transcripts must be reviewed by an accredited evaluation service to determine U.S. equivalency of the degree awarded and the institution awarding the degree. Applications will not be reviewed for admissions until the official review is submitted.

Please note: The online program has different application requirements than those listed here. To inquire about admission to the online program, please visit www.stthomasonline.com.



Application Deadlines:


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1000 LaSalle Avenue · Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403 · USA
1-651-962-4550 · education@stthomas.edu