Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership, M.S.


2017-18 Top Online Rankings MS CJ BadgeMercer University’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership is a fully online degree program that equips and positions you to meet and exceed rising professional expectations through coursework that covers a broad spectrum of converging challenges. Courses are taught by well-credentialed faculty who are experienced and accomplished in the area of public safety. Courses are offered in eight-week sessions, allowing students to complete the program in as little as 16 months.SR Education 2019 Most Affordable Online College Criminal Justice Students are admitted to the program five times per year in August, October, January, March, and May.

Designed to meet the academic requirements of those who are new to this field of study as well as professionals already employed with public safety-related agencies, this graduate program focuses on developing advanced professional competencies.

The program places emphasis on excellence in leadership practices, effective cooperation, SR Education 2019 Best Online Colleges Georgia ethical behavior, critical thinking and consolidated public service. Additionally, the degree provides students with a thorough understanding of associated areas of interest in public safety operating environments.


Mercer's M.S. in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership program equips graduates with the knowledge and skills to succeed at the highest level in their professional field. Individuals who successfully complete the program can go on to work as professionals in positions including: anti-terrorism task force director, assistant chief, chief deputy sheriff, commissioner, correctional administrator, disaster relief and emergency response director, federal agent, fire chief, homeland security director, parole administrator, police chief, private security firm manager, and probation administrator.

Through the M.S. in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership program, you will develop professional knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • Conflict Resolution and Negotiation
  • Ethical Decision Making
  • Global Perspectives of Public Safety
  • Leadership
  • Organizational Communication
  • Organizational Theory and Behavior
  • Research, Analysis, and Problem Solving

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership requires a total of 30 semester hours to complete.

View the Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership Program Plan >

Applicants seeking graduate admission must have a bachelor's (undergraduate) degree with an acceptable grade point average from an accredited college or university. The degree may be in any discipline.

Application Checklist

Submit all of the following items to complete your application to the program:

  • Application for Admission. Begin application now >
  • $35 Non-refundable Application Fee ($100 for International Applicants)
    Submit the required application fee in the form of a check or money order made payable to Mercer University. Do not send cash. The application fee is nonrefundable and cannot apply toward tuition. Former or current students of Mercer University need not submit another application fee. 
  • MAT or GRE Test Score*
    All applicants must take the Millers Analogy Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and achieve a qualifying score. Scores must be no more than five years old at the time of application. Testing information can be provided through the official MAT or GRE Website. The target score for the MAT is 397, and the target score for the GRE is 151 verbal and 143 quantitative. This is but one tool used in the decision making process.

    *MAT/GRE not required for applicants who meet one of the following exceptions:  

    (a) Have at least five years of professional experience in the field of criminal justice or public safety. Candidates must also meet the 
    2.75 GPA requirement to be admitted to the program, and must submit two letters of recommendation (one from an executive level public service representative and one from an academic reference).
    (b) Achieved a 3.0 GPA in the last 30 hours of academic work.

  • Unofficial MAT or GRE Test Score
    If you have already taken the MAT or GRE and have the score results, we request that you include this information with the application. For example, you may submit a copy of the unofficial score report given at the time the test was taken (sometimes referred to as the "walk-out score report") or a copy of your examinees score report received through the mail. This will allow the admissions department to begin the file evaluation process. This does not replace the requirement of an official score report for those applicants who are offered admission.
  • Transcripts from All Previously Attended Institutions
    Submit an official transcript from each college and university previously attended. Transcripts are required for both undergraduate (including summer school and studies abroad) and graduate course work, regardless of length of stay or if the grades are listed on another school's transcript. Official electronic transcripts should be submitted to Former and current Mercer University students need not request a Mercer University transcript.
  • Letter of Recommendation
    Submit one letter of recommendation/support from a person in current or past leadership structure.
  • Autobiography and Career Goals
    Briefly discuss your background, your current occupation and future goals. Essay should be one to two pages, typed and double-spaced.
  • Résumé
Applicants must submit a current résumé.


Submit all application supporting materials to:
Mercer University
Office of Graduate Admissions
College of Professional Advancement
3001 Mercer University Drive
Atlanta, GA 30341
Admission decisions cannot be made until all application materials have been received.


Additional Requirements for International Applicants
A. Evaluation of Foreign Credentials Applicants who completed all or part of their education abroad are required to have their foreign educational credentials evaluated by an independent evaluation service. A Course-by-Course and Grade Point Average Equivalent Evaluation is required for graduate admission. Contact the Office of Admissions for information about evaluation services if your foreign credentials have not been evaluated. If an evaluation has been done, you must submit an official sealed copy with your application.
B. Official Translations Documents submitted in a language other than English must be accompanied by official translations.
C. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) The TOEFL or IELTS is required for international applicants whose primary language is not English. The scores may not be more than two years old. Official score reports must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions by the Educational Testing Service. The Educational Testing Service institution code for submission of official score reports is 5025. Unofficial copies of the score report may be included with the application for initial review and evaluation. This does not replace the requirement of an official score report for those applicants who are offered admission.
Exception: The TOEFL is not required of international applicants who have attended another U.S. institution and completed freshman English Composition I and II with grades of "C" or higher.
D. Financial Guarantee: International applicants who wish to obtain an I-20 for F-1 visa must include financial documentation showing ability to finance tuition and living expenses for one year. Financial documents must have a current date and indicate available funds of US$25,000.
E. Visa Status: International Applicants Who are Currently in the United States - Documentation of your current visa status must be submitted with the self-managed application. (Copy of I-20 and I-94 if on an F-1 visa; copy of visa stamp and I-94 if on another type of visa; or copy of Resident Alien card [front and back] if classified as a Resident Alien.)

Applicants seeking graduate admission into the Masters of Science in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership program are required to attend an interview. Interviews will be scheduled upon review of candidate's completed admissions file. 

The Enterprise Learning Partnership program (formerly known as the Preferred Provider Partnership program) provides affordable opportunities for employees of partner companies to attend an approved degree program of study at Mercer University. This unique program allows Mercer to establish relationships with corporations, government agencies, and organizations that are committed to supporting their employees' educational goals and ongoing professional development. Incentives include tuition benefits, military benefits, waived application fees, convenient credit transfer policy, and a streamlined process to learn more about an employee’s program of interest.

Employees of the following Mercer partners are able to use these benefits when enrolled in the M.S. Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership program:


City of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Gwinnett County Police Department
Georgia Department of Corrections  WellStar Health System


Learn more about Mercer’s Enterprise Learning Partnership program > 

We understand that you may have questions about your educational journey with Mercer University. Browse our FAQs and get answers to some of our commonly asked questions.












Facilities/Tech Fees

Graduate & Professional Students:

1-8 Hours - $17.00/hour
9-99 Hours - $150/semester
Miscellaneous Fees (subject to change based on individual course requirements)
Internship - $100 - $375
Practicum - $75 - $250
Fieldwork - $75 - $155
Lab Fee - $100 - $300/per course
Transcript Fee - $25
Transcript Fax Fee - $5