Lead Public Safety in Canada with a Master of Public Safety Degree

Wilfrid Laurier University offers 100% online post-graduate public safety degree programs: a Master of Public Safety (MPS) degree and five graduate diplomas.

Public safety is an expansive field that focuses on keeping citizens safe from threats including crime, natural disasters, and terrorism. The Canadian government has made Public Safety Canada responsible for overseeing citizen protection and maintaining a safe and peaceful society.

Laurier’s public safety master’s degree and graduate diplomas are Canada’s first and only programs of their kind, created in alignment with the pillars of Public Safety Canada.

With a flexible online format, working professionals can advance in their current role or redefine their career in public safety. The online MPS program can be completed in as few as 30 months of part-time study, while the graduate diplomas can be completed in 18 months.

If you don't qualify for the MPS degree, Laurier offers five focused graduate diplomas. These diplomas also advance your career in public safety, and credits can be transferred into the MPS degree.

Online Master of Public Safety Program Summary

Why Choose Laurier’s Online Master of Public Safety?
  • First program of its kind in Canada
  • The only public safety management training online aligned with the four pillars of public safety in the Canadian context
  • Top faculty: Laurier ranked #1 for course instructors by Maclean’s University Rankings, 2020
  • 100% online and designed to be flexible for working professionals
  • Customize your degree to align with your professional goals and choose from four pathways
  • Receive support from a dedicated Student Success Advisor, every step of the way
  • 3 intakes per year, limited seats
Program Features
  • First program of its kind in Canada: The only public safety management training online aligned with the four pillars of public safety in the Canadian context.
  • 100% online and designed to be flexible for working professionals.
  • Customize your degree to align with your professional goals and choose from four pathways: Border Strategies, Countering Crime, Emergency Management, and National Security.
  • Receive support from a dedicated Student Success Advisor, every step of the way
  • Three intakes per year, limited seats.
  • Four-credit program, consisting of eight courses. Six courses focus on developing the critical leadership skills required for a career in Public Safety and two courses focused on a chosen pathway.
  • Each course is 13 weeks, and individuals can complete their degree in approximately two years and eight months of part-time study.
Admissions Requirements

To apply for admission to the online MPS degree, applicants must meet the following requirements and submit the outlined paperwork:

  • Have a B average (75%) in their last 5 full credits/10 half credits of a 4-year undergraduate degree
  • Submit all transcripts from all universities or colleges attended
  • Prepare a statement of intent
  • Submit a resume
  • Submit two reference letters

The MPS degree is currently not eligible for Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), but all students can be considered for Laurier’s scholarships, awards and bursaries, which could provide financial support towards the cost of this degree.

For more information about the admissions process, paying for your degree, or your eligibility, schedule an appointment to speak with an enrolment advisor.

If you don’t meet the minimum requirements above, then we encourage you to take a look at one of our Public Safety Graduate Diplomas. The diplomas have a different set of admissions requirements. Successful completion of one of the diplomas may be used as an entry point into the MPS and would include transfer credits. This pathway does not increase the number of courses you have to take; it simply demonstrates to the admissions committee your ability to successfully manage graduate-level work.

Learn more about each of the diplomas here:

If you have any questions about the MPS degree or any of the graduate diplomas, our enrolment advisors are here to help on your schedule.

Schedule an appointment to speak with an enrolment advisor


Learn more about our enrolment advisors and how they can support you:


Online Master of Public Safety Program Curriculum

Laurier’s online MPS program is designed to facilitate a deeper understanding of contemporary issues, social aspects, and technologies that affect public safety practice. The program is taught by faculty who have worked in and are highly respected in the public safety field.

Below is a sample list of courses you will be required to complete for the online Master of Public Safety program:

Next application deadline:

  • June 15, 2023

Next start date:

  •  September 7, 2023

Get your program guide

SAFE601: Issues In Contemporary Public Safety (0.5 Credit)

This course focuses on issues in contemporary Canadian and global public safety, including the internal and external forces that are shaping current practices. Topics can include: professionalization; refugees and immigration; migration; intercultural competencies; racism; technology; fiscal restraints; the impact of social media; and training. A key component of this course is the opportunity to critically examine current/emerging issues facing public safety professionals.

SAFE603: Intelligence And Analytics In Public Safety (0.5 Credit)

his strategic-level course analyzes and evaluates the intelligence function within the Canadian public safety context, with a focus on federal and provincial levels. It examines established intelligence doctrine and practices within the four mandated areas of Public Safety Canada: national security, border strategies, countering crime and emergency management. This course examines the fundamental and foundational intelligence concepts and analyzes how intelligence is directed within public safety sectors. Modern data and information collection techniques, including traditional and modern technological means are explored. Contemporary intelligence analysis and assessment practices are analyzed, highlighting the growing impact of modern predictive analytics. Various challenges and methods of intelligence dissemination among government departments and agencies, as well as with private sector entities, are also evaluated. Of particular importance to our modern liberal democratic society, this course also analyzes issues of intelligence responsibility, accountability, oversight and review, highlighting lessons learned and corrective measures established.

SAFE604: Leadership And Ethics In Public Safety (0.5 Credit)

This course provides an intermediate treatment of major theories of leadership and their application. Topics to be covered may include: leading effective and culturally diverse teams; organizational decision-making; change management; ethics and leadership; and succession planning. Students will be required to discuss case studies with other students and the instructor, and to practice their own leadership skills through exercises, such as responses to scenarios, reflections on previous experiences and/or presentations.

SAFE605: Research Methods And Statistical Analysis In Public Safety (0.5 Credit)

This course offers advanced qualitative and quantitative research methods for public safety research. An examination of topics such as ethics; research design; operationalization and measurement of variables; sampling; surveying; interviewing; content analysis; qualitative analytical software use; and interpreting data are reviewed. This course also focuses on the common tools utilized to analyze quantitative outputs, charts and statistical comparisons, as well as critical reviews of methodology in policy, program analysis and data found within the sphere of public safety. In addition, this course examines the advantages and shortcomings of each method and the appropriateness of each process for research in the public safety realm, including careful description, overview and application of the varied options, in order to place the learner on the path to self and guided-research within the social-scientific paradigm of real-world threats to public safety, national security, and the potential impact on individual rights and freedoms.

What Can I Do With an Online Master of Public Safety Degree?

An online Master of Public Safety (MPS) degree prepares you for career advancement. It can broaden your horizons in your current field and equip you for new opportunities and leadership positions.

Emergency Manager

Average base annual salary: $95,000

Source: Payscale

In demand skills:

  • Emergency response
  • Operations management
  • Delegation and Supervision


Fire Fighter

Average base annual salary: $70,934

Source: Payscale

In demand skills:

  • Emergency 
  • Fire prevention
  • Fire Suppression 
  • CPR
  • Fire drill
Law Enforcement officer

Average base annual salary: $56,131

Source: Talent.com

In demand skills:

  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Community awareness
Border Service Officer

Average base annual salary: $75,100 to $89,068

Source: Canada Border Services Agency

In demand skills:

  • Analytical thinking
  • Judgement and decisiveness
  • Managing difficult and stressful situations
  • Client service orientation and effective communications skills
Parole Officer

Average base annual salary: $78,660

Source: Payscale

In demand skills:

  • Security Risk management
  • Case management
  • Criminal investigative experience
Intelligence Analyst

Average base annual salary: $65,005

Source: Payscale

In demand skills:

  • Intelligence Analysis
  • Research Analysis
  • Data Analysis

Hear From Our Students

Laurier Online students come from all around the country, with different backgrounds, but they share the same goal: getting a high-quality education with an established curriculum, taught by faculty who have worked in the field. Learn more from some of the students who have invested in their future.


"My current role relates to risk management in the fire services, and I discovered that all my courses completed to date, are integrated in my professional role. I have utilized parts of all of the courses in my day to day role, including statistics and research. The broader view this program has provided has allowed me to appreciate the roles and responsibilities of a senior officer."

- Karen Bourne

"WLU online program advisors are amazing! Even though I was a ‘virtual’ student I felt connected to WLU through their calls and emails. During the program, they would check-in to see how each course was going and asked if there were any additional support required."

- Nathaniel Smith

View more testimonials from our students


Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to frequently asked questions about Wilfrid Laurier University Masters in Public Safety online programs. To speak with an enrolment advisor who can help answer questions by email, email us at publicsafety@wlu.ca

How long does it take to complete the Master of Public Safety program?

The public safety master’s program consists of a total of eight 0.5 credits courses - six required courses and two courses related to the specific area of specialization being undertaken. Most students will finish their master’s in 2 years and 8 months.

Can a Public Safety Graduate Diploma count toward the Master of Public Safety online degree?

Yes, the credits from the two required safety courses as well as the specialized courses in Border Strategies, Countering Crime, Emergency Management, Public Safety GIS and National Security may be transferred to count for half of the courses required for the MPS degree.

Are transfer credits accepted?

Graduates of the Executive Development in Policing program with the Canadian Police College (CPC) are eligible to transfer credits towards two core courses in the Master of Public Safety Program. To find out all transfer credit opportunities, call us at 888.368.0345 to speak with an advisor.

Is the MPS a good option for police officers?

Policing is one of many important Public Safety Canada jobs, and an MPS can be helpful in learning to cooperate effectively with the other public safety arms. This makes the MPS a valuable master’s degree in law enforcement.