Next in our series of cheap online degrees is our listing of top online public safety administration degree programs. As a degree program, Public Safety Administration offers graduates myriad options. It attracts students interested in various areas of law enforcement, criminal justice, corrections, nonprofit and NGO work, federal government work, and other positions of leadership. Someone wielding a bachelor's degree in PSA might end up working as a law enforcement officer, spearheading volunteer efforts with the Red Cross, or organizing disaster relief strategies with FEMA. With a degree in this field, your potential is truly unlimited!
There are a lot of reasons that people don't finish their bachelor's degree. In fact, as of 2009 only a little more than 60% of people over 25 in the United States held a bachelor's degree, and the numbers drop off sharply from there (only 4% of Americans hold a doctorate). In a period where economic times are tough, many choose to forgo an education in favor of a steady paycheck or time to raise children. However, thanks to the burgeoning popularity of online college, many more people can now attain their educational goals.
If you're interested in going to college online to obtain a Bachelor's degree in Public Safety Administration, consider the following 10 schools. They all offer great programs – many have been recognized by such reputable names as U.S. News & World Report and College Prowler – but are also incredibly affordable online college options. For the purposes of placing the schools on this online public safety administration degree list, we took an average of public institutions' in-state and out-of-state tuition rates as reported by the U.S. Department of Education's College Navigator database, and selected the least expensive. But look carefully at the numbers; you might be able to save even more if you live in the same state as one of these online colleges!
Cheap Online Public Safety Administration Degree Program Ranking
10. Florida Atlantic University
Online Bachelor of Public Safety Administration (BPSA)
Florida Atlantic University's B.S. in Public Safety Administration is grounded in a keen understanding of history; students learn about significant threats to public safety, such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Boston Marathon bombing. Online college students at FAU also discuss how to respond to natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina and "Super Storm" Sandy. Furthermore, the Public Safety Administration degree covers issues relevant to "Information Warfare," and allows students to specialize in Cyber Security. Other specialization options that are a part of this accredited online public safety administration degree include Law Enforcement/Corrections, Disaster Management, and Fire Safety. This top online college was named a "Military Friendly School" in 2015 and has also been ranked among the top 100 institutions for awarding degrees to minorities.
Tuition: $4,790/yr (In-state) $17,234/yr (Out-of-state)
9. Franklin University
Public Safety Management Degree Program Online
Franklin University is one of the best online colleges available for working adults. In particular, the Public Safety Management degree is a completion program designed for those who already have an A.A.S. and/or relevant work experience in criminal justice, law enforcement, fire safety, corrections, or a related field. Students who want to attend college online at Franklin can enroll in the PSM program and study everything from safety planning to legal and policy compliance, all while experiencing hands-on learning through "continuously evolving" classes. In addition, most online public safety administration degree professors have industry experience, an indication that they are familiar with the skills you'll need for a successful career. College Prowler gives Franklin an "A" grade for its use of technology, and also dubs it "one of the most affordable tuition rates in the country."
8. University of Maryland University College
Online Major in Public Safety Administration
The University of Maryland University College, or "UMUC" as this accredited online college is known, offers both a major and minor in Public Safety Administration. Students enrolled in this cheap online public safety administration degree program take very career-focused classes such as "Contemporary Public Safety Practices" and "Public Safety Issues and Challenges," but are also required to complete a broad range of math, humanities, and research classes. These foundational requirements help students gain the interpersonal communication skills, leadership acumen, planning abilities, and global awareness to succeed in public service work. Interested students might also earn a complementary minor through the top online college, such as Corporate Security, Fire Services Administration, or Emergency Management. College Prowler has awarded UMUC a solid "A-" in the technology category, and nearly 90% of students on the site say professors are knowledgeable about their subject matter.
Tuition: $6,552/yr (In-state) $12,336/yr (Out-of-state)
7. Baker College
Online Public Safety Programs: Criminal Justice or Information Technology and Security
Baker College has made a name for itself as a top online college by creating courses that focus on real-world experiences, keeping class sizes small, and offering flexible formats for online classes. The school offers two main bachelor's degrees within the Public Safety field: Criminal Justice and Information Technology and Security. Students can further customize their degree by choosing between an Adult Instructor and Trainer, Early Childhood Education, or American Sign Language minor (Criminal Justice), or a Cisco Network Professional, Information Assurance, Internetworking Administration, or Microsoft System Administration concentration (IT and Security). Not only is Baker an accredited online college, it is also a participant in the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP).
6. Polk State College
Online BAS in Supervision and Management: Public Safety Management Concentration Track
Polk State College has designed a unique Supervision and Management degree program that is meant to be responsive to the community's needs and input. This BAS program is targeted toward people who have already obtained an Associate's degree, and those needing only upper-level coursework can concentrate in one of five tracks: Business Administration, Business Information Technology, Healthcare Administration, Public Administration, or Public Safety Management. The latter concentration builds on foundational coursework by providing supplementary information about public safety practices, law enforcement, emergency services, and organizational management. Students on College Prowler overwhelmingly report that PSC is "worth the money" and hires "knowledgeable professors."
Tuition: $3,366/yr (In-state) $12,272/yr (Out-of-state)
5. Miami Dade College
Public Safety Management Degree Online
Miami Dade's nationally recognized School of Justice houses a Public Safety Management online bachelor's degree that is simultaneously comprehensive and focused. Students can choose from a long list of applied tracks to make their primary emphasis, including Law Enforcement, Corrections, Probation and Parole, Emergency Management, Crime Scene Investigation, and Security and Loss Prevention. This top online college even offers two "academy" tracks that prepare graduates to sit for certification exams and become law enforcement or corrections officers. Additionally, students can choose an affordable online public safety administration degree track that places them in a field internship for a greater level of real world involvement. Not only is MDC one of the most affordable online colleges out there, in 2013 it was named a finalist for the National Excellence Award, which recognizes "innovation and promising practices among two year institutions."
Tuition: $3,426/yr (In-state) $11,955/yr (Out-of-state)
4. St. Petersburg College
Public Safety Administration Bachelor's Degree Online
St. Petersburg College is a top online college option for working professionals looking to finish their degree or augment their current knowledge. The school offers courses in eight-week segments that distance learners can complete entirely online, and it also offers substantial transfer credits for past academic and working experience. PSA majors can also choose a particular area of specialty from four topics: Criminal Justice, Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Fire Science, or Cross Discipline (a custom combination of sub-plans). This online college has been recognized for a range of accomplishments; in 2010, the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council named SPC "Outstanding Business of the Year," and the Fire Science program is currently ranked one of the "Top 15 Most Affordable" by Firescience.org.
Tuition: $3,232/yr (In-state) $11,477/yr (Out-of-state)
3. Charter Oak State College
Online Public Safety Administration Degree Completion
Charter Oak State College is another online institution that offers a degree completion program in Public Safety Administration. The school designed the program to specifically meet the needs of current safety professionals and associate's degree graduates. Students can complete the convenient, flexible online college classes in as little as five weeks each, leading to a faster graduation time. Once online public safety administration degree students have fulfilled all the general education courses, they can concentration classes such as "Ethics in Public Safety," Strategic Planning," and "Global Perspectives on Emergency Management." PSA majors also complete a Capstone course that synthesizes their knowledge into a single research project and gives them the opportunity to display leadership skills. Charter Oak is self-described as "adult friendly" and has the distinction of ranking #48 on U.S. News & World Report's list of Best Online Bachelor's Programs.
Tuition: $6,192/yr (In-state) $8,136/yr (Out-of-state)
2. Florida State College
Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) in Public Safety Management Online
Florida State College's Public Safety Management program revolves around three central issues: national incident management, law enforcement administration, and emergency planning. The online public safety administration degree places a strong emphasis on leadership and is meant to train students who to collaborate, coordinate, and communicate in disasters and national crises. Professors also push students to develop dependable critical thinking skills, to become creative problem solvers, and to make sound judgments quickly. Applicants must have an A.S. or an A.A. degree to be eligible for the program. More than anything, student survey respondents on College Prowler report that this affordable online college (especially for in-state students!) is "worth the money" and provides a "valuable education."
Tuition: $2,830/yr (In-state) $9,944/yr (Out-of-state)
1. Bellevue University
Public Safety Degrees Online
One of Bellevue University's main attractions is that it is such an incredibly cheap online college. However, it also offers an entire department of Public Safety degree programs that will appeal to students interested in emergency management, law enforcement, and security. In particular, the Emergency Management and Security Management degree programs incorporate the study of administration and develop strong leadership skills through courses such as "Principles and Practices of Effective Emergency Planning," "Physical and Technological Components of Security Management," and "The National Incident Management System." Widely regarded as one of the best online college programs, Bellevue boasts two accolades from U.S. News & World Report: placement on the Top 20 Online Bachelor's Degrees list and the Top 10 Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans list.
Related Resources: In addition to this list of online public safety administration degree programs, you may also be interested in Top 20 Cheap Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs (Bachelor's) 2014 and Public Safety Administration Scholarships.
About the Author:
Iris Stone began her writing career when she started working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates' careers. Her interests actually span far beyond writing, and she is currently studying to be a physicist! Check out her Google+ Profile.