Online Associate of Applied Science Degree in Public Safety and Security

Additional academy training and education not provided by Purdue Global may be required for law enforcement positions.

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Ready to learn more about the Associate of Applied Science in Public Safety and Security?

Program at a Glance
  • Gain knowledge of public safety and security leadership practices through a curriculum that blends disciplines including emergency management, corporate security, loss prevention, and private investigation.
  • An internship option allows you to gain real-world public safety experience while you earn your degree.
  • If you have prior experience in the public safety and security field, you may qualify for the practitioner concentration, which recognizes prior experience as degree credit.
COURSE EFFORT 15 Hours per Week
How Do I Get Started?

We offer multiple start dates to give you flexibility in your education, life, and work schedules.

Associate of Applied Science in Public Safety and Security Overview

Secure the safety of your community and protect public and corporate assets by building your knowledge with Purdue Global’s online public safety and security degree. Coursework is designed to help you develop foundational knowledge of public safety and security, including practical and technical skills and competencies required by many public safety and private security firms. You’ll also focus on how to properly prepare, plan, and execute relevant plans of action.

Developed by Industry Leaders

This online public safety degree was developed with the help of industry leaders active in national and private security companies and emergency response organizations. You will also learn from professors who are experienced professionals, bringing real-world knowledge to the courses they teach.

See the University Catalog for policy and degree plan information specific to this program.

Note: At this time, residents of Minnesota may not enroll in this program.

Military Transfer Credit

Servicemembers and veterans can earn a degree faster with our PME2Degree® program. Use our Military Credit Calculator to see how much of your training counts as credit.

How Many Credits Have You Earned?

Purdue University Global Is Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission

This accreditation covers all academic programs, all regional locations, and all programs provided via distance education. For more information, please visit or call 800-621-7440.

Career Opportunities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of private detectives, investigators, and security professionals is expected to increase in the U.S. through 2029.* A public safety associate's degree can help you pursue a number of different career choices in public and private sector security fields.

Top 5 Skills Employers Are Looking for:

  1. Active Listening
  2. Critical Thinking
  3. Speaking
  4. Monitoring
  5. Social Perceptiveness

Top Jobs With This Degree

Labor market, salary, and projected growth information are supplied by Emsi. Average salary range is based on national data. Projected growth represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2018–2030) at the state level and is based on your geographic location. Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience, and opportunities for employment. Purdue Global cannot guarantee employment placement, salary level, or career advancement.

Local, state, and federal law enforcement jobs may require additional training or education beyond the associate’s level. Some positions require a 4-year bachelor's degree and/or additional state-approved higher education beyond the Purdue Global degree. This program was not designed to meet any specific state’s requirements, and Purdue Global makes no representations or warranties as to whether the degree or any individual courses meet such requirements. Refer to the University Catalog for additional information. Graduates of Purdue Global criminal justice programs are not eligible to attend police academies in Minnesota.

Get a Head Start on Your Bachelor's Degree

By completing your associate’s degree, you’ll not only earn a valuable credential to make an immediate impact on your career, but you’ll also lay the groundwork for your next degree.

Transfer your associate’s degree into a Purdue Global criminal justice or corrections bachelor’s degree, covering at least half of the program’s requirements.

Use Your Law Enforcement Certification to Earn Credit

If you are a certified law enforcement officer who has completed the national Peace Officer Standard Training (POST), your accomplishments may qualify you to receive 25 credits toward your bachelor’s degree.

This program provides an introduction to criminal justice and public safety as well as the technology required to prevent and minimize criminal risk.

In your first course, you’ll have the opportunity to develop your degree plan with a faculty member to align your degree path with your career outcomes. Your program will culminate with a capstone course that builds upon all the courses taken in the program.

Sample Courses
  • Criminal Investigation
  • Introduction to Emergency Management
  • Introduction to Corporate Security
  • Computers, Technology, and Criminal Justice Information Systems
See All Public Safety Courses

If you have prior experience in the public safety and security field, you may be eligible to enroll in the practitioner concentration, a flexible option that recognizes your past experience and learning for degree credit. Your prior knowledge could cover up to 20 credits in your degree plan—that’s a savings of 4 courses.

Note: to enroll in this option, you must be a certified law enforcement officer, have qualified through an articulation or partnership, or receive permission from the Dean.

Credit Breakdown
  • Core Credits15
  • Major Credits50
  • Elective Credits25
  • Total Credits90

Ways to Save

Program Cost Estimator

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Tuition does not include University fees and associated program fees. View tuition and fee information or contact an Admissions Advisor for more information.

Get to Know Our Faculty

Purdue Global faculty members are real-world practitioners who bring knowledge gained through the powerful combination of higher learning and industry experience.

View Criminal Justice and Fire Science Faculty Directory
grad hat icon 98% Faculty members who have advanced degrees
diploma icon 48% Faculty members who hold a doctorate
tablet icon 264 Faculty publications in 2019–2020
student at desk icon More Than 45,000 Professional development hours logged by faculty in 2019–2020

Statistics include all Purdue Global faculty members and are not school or program-specific calculations. Source: Purdue Global Office of Reporting and Analysis, July 2020. 2019–2020 academic year.

Program Brochure

Download our brochure to learn more about our Associate of Applied Science in Public Safety and Security and the benefits of earning your degree at Purdue Global.

View Brochure

*Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Protective Service Occupations, National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

The University cannot guarantee that students will be granted admission to any future programs. Speak to an Advisor about transfer credit opportunities and see the University Catalog for the Prior Learning Assessment policy.

Students must currently be a certified law enforcement officer or a federal agent (FBI, DEA, ATF, etc.), or must have been certified in either of these roles within 24 months of their enrollment date. Purdue Global does not guarantee transferability of credit. See the University Catalog for the Prior Learning Assessment policy.