Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership

  • College

    College of Professional Advancement

  • Department

    Leadership Studies

  • Degree


  • Location



Lead the way to protect your community

Leadership in criminal justice and public safety is essential to provide timely responses to natural disasters, ensure property protection, and address criminal activities. Mercer University’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership emphasizes excellence in leadership, cooperation, ethical behavior, critical thinking, and consolidated public service. This program is ideal for individuals seeking to enter or advance within the field. Students benefit from:

  • Highly-credentialed faculty experienced in the public safety field
  • A tailored program experience with electives in public safety-related subject areas such as deviant behavior, forensic psychology, and disaster response
  • Enhanced ethical decision-making, negotiation, and critical thinking skills
  • A flexible, fully online program to minimize disruptions to busy schedules

Designed for busy and working adults

Mercer understands that you have many demands on your time, and so we offer flexible classes that work with your schedule. The M.S. in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership is a fully online degree program, so you can learn at your own pace. The same access to faculty and campus resources is available to students taking courses online as it is for on-campus students.

Aspire to a leadership role in criminal justice

Individuals who complete Mercer’s M.S. in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership are qualified to succeed at the highest level in the field. Graduates may pursue a variety of positions and leadership roles, including:

  • Chief Deputy Sheriff
  • Commissioner
  • Correctional Administrator
  • Disaster Relief and Emergency Response Director
  • Federal Agent
  • Parole Administrator
  • Police Chief
  • Private Security Firm Manager
  • Probation Administrator

Learn more about our Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership program

Ready to take the next step?

Schedule your personalized admissions counseling appointment, or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at 678.547.6417 or for more information.

Meet Our Professors

Our faculty bring a host of relevant experience in the public safety field to the classroom. Students receive instruction that challenges and equip them to become leaders in the profession.

The most meaningful aspect of this program were the amazing, talented, and engaging professors. Dr. Ruegger and Dr. Tankersly have been incredible mentors, engaging in thought-provoking conversations while encouraging and empowering me to keep reaching for greatness. I am proud to consider them academic and professional mentors, and even happier that I can call on either of them to assist me long after the program has ended.

Melissa Alterio, M.S. in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership ’20

This program tested my abilities to think outside the box, to break barriers, and continuously push past the obstacles and my comfort zone. It equipped me and enhanced valuable skills that are essential for success, skills such as critical thinking, deductive reasoning, leadership, communication, adaptability, and problem solving. This program and the Mercer faculty made a lasting impression and helped shape me into a better leader, a better employee, and more importantly, a better person.

Danielle C., M.S. in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership ’15

With the demands of my current assignment, as well as family commitments, the flexibility offered by the fully online program is the only thing that allows me to work toward my graduate degree. With the online program I am able to complete my work when it is convenient for me, and I'm able to be proactive and get my assignments completed in case I am called in to work.

Donald Kraus, M.S. in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership ’20