Here are 10 things you need to know about Saint Leo's graduate programs in criminal justice and critical incident management – plus a podcast with all the details.

If you've been working in public safety for a while, there are numerous reasons why you might be thinking about a master's degree:

  • You want to gain in-depth knowledge of specific issues such as corrections, emergency management or forensics.

  • You'd like to move up into a management-level position and an advanced degree will set you apart from your competition.
  • You're hoping it will lead to increased compensation.

  • You'd like to prepare to teach at a college or university.

But if you think that just any graduate degree program will help you reach those goals, then you need to listen to the latest Saint Leo podcast, "Moving Up in Public Safety Administration." It features the director and assistant director of the university's Public Safety Administration Department, Dr. Robert Diemer and Dr. Ernest Vendrell, discussing why Saint Leo's graduate criminal justice and critical incident management degree programs stand out.

Here are a few highlights from the podcast.

1. Two master's degree programs are available.

Saint Leo's Public Safety Administration Department offers a master's degree program in criminal justice and a master's program in critical incident management.

2. All instructors are highly experienced practitioners.

Saint Leo's graduate criminal justice program has always been a program for working professionals taught by seasoned professionals. Faculty all have years of experience working in the fields in which they teach, in addition to the highest academic degrees in their disciplines.

3. You can tailor the programs to meet your career objectives.

By taking four courses in the same concentration – critical incident management, forensic science, corrections or legal studies – you can add a specialization to your degree. You may also add a 'focus' to your program by selecting two elective courses in a different concentration. That means, for example, that you could potentially complete a master's degree in criminal justice with a specialization in corrections and a focus in legal studies.

4. You will learn from other students who are also working professionals.

Since Saint Leo's programs attract students from a wide variety of public safety fields as well as the military. The diverse perspectives of other students -- many high-ranking individuals in their respective agencies – create an engaging classroom environment that will broaden your horizons.

5. An undergraduate degree in criminal justice is not required.

Your bachelor's degree does not need to be in criminal justice nor do you need to have professional experience in criminal justice, law enforcement or emergency management to apply to either program.

6. You can earn your degree in two years while you work.

Saint Leo's programs are 100 percent online, which not only eliminates driving to campus, but gives you flexibility to create a study schedule that fits your life. Taking one class every eight weeks, you can complete your degree in two years.

7. All courses have real-world relevance.

Saint Leo courses teach skills and knowledge that adult learners can apply directly and immediately to their careers. An overarching simulation that runs throughout the curriculum – the planning and staging of a political convention – connects all courses and teaches practical, real-life lessons.

8. You can make an impact on the field.

While many universities require a dissertation or thesis as the culminating project for graduate studies, at Saint Leo, you'll work on a project that will improve an aspect of criminal justice or critical incident management that you choose. Similar to a consultant, you'll identify an issue or problem that is important to you, and then create a solution.

9. Unique courses focus on today's most important issues.

With national and international environments constantly changing, Saint Leo's innovative curriculum has always been ahead of the curve on issues such as homeland security, workplace violence and human trafficking.

10. Your degree can be used for teaching.

Students earn sufficient credits to meet the requisite hours to be able to teach in a criminal justice or critical incident management degree program at an accredited college or university.

To hear even more about what Saint Leo's graduate programs in criminal justice and critical incident management have to offer you, listen to the podcast.

Contact a Saint Leo graduate enrollment counselor at 800-707-8846 anytime to learn more!

Image Courtesy Saint Leo University Communications

Other posts you may be interested in reading:

Starting A Career In Critical Incident Management

Preparing For The Unpredicatable

Do Graduate Degrees Pay Off [Infographic]

Move Up In Your Career: Graduate Degrees That Pay Off