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Integrated Studies, Public Safety | Middle Tennessee State University

Integrated Studies, Public Safety | Middle Tennessee State University


The Public Safety Concentration will allow public safety professionals to advance
in their careers. In the program, public safety officials will have the opportunity
to develop important knowledge and skills in crisis response, diversity, communication,
and leadership. MTSU standard admission requirements apply. The B.S. Integrated Studies, Public Safety concentration will be an interdisciplinary program utilizing courses from five academic departments
within the concentration. The program officially begins in the 2022 Fall Semester.

Those recommended for the program include those currently in law enforcement, homeland security, emergency management, fire safety, and other public
service professionals at the local, state, and federal level 
with some college credit but no baccalaureate degree. The concentration also serves
a variety of safety and other related service professionals in both the private and
non-profit sectors. The degree is available online, allowing students complete their
degree while continuing to work full-time. The opportunity for Prior Learning Assessment
will also be available.

Elective course requirements for adult learners are often fulfilled through the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program, which evaluates college-level learning you may have gained through work,
training, certifications. licensure, military. and other programs.

On average, a student in the PLA course yields 24 credit hours for a student. That
saves the student from taking eight elective courses and more than $9,000. (Total
based off 2021-2022 in-state tuition rates.) Details about the program should be discussed
with your advisor.



Integrated Studies, Public Safety | Middle Tennessee State University


LEAD 3010 (Leadership Skills and Development)

LEAD 3010 is a core class in the Public Safety concentration. It provides an examination
of prominent theories, approaches, and a research-based understanding of the theoretical
construct of leadership.  Emphasis will be placed on the evolution of leadership theory
and contribution of research to the synthesis of historical leadership perspectives
into contemporary leadership models. 

“Students will explore and reflect on their personal leadership philosophy, as influenced
by theory and personal experience,” says Jim Bast, Jim Bast, a faculty member in the
Department of Management and instructor for LEAD 3010. “The leadership skills covered
in this course are applicable in both public and private organizations.”

This course is asynchronous (content available for a week at a time) over 7 weeks.
This allows working adults to complete the coursework at their convenience, dealing
with busy work and home schedules. Also accommodates those students who travel.


Dianna Rust and President McPhee


Dianna Rust and President McPhee


“We are excited to announce a new concentration in Public Safety which begins in Summer
2022,” said Dianna Rust, professor in MTSU’s Department of University Studies. “Our
college has always been focused on serving the adult learner and this degree was built
with adult learners in mind. It will be helpful to adults who work in public safety
and related fields who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree but need to still work full-time.”
The degree can be completed entirely online and some of the courses will be offered
in seven-week sessions so that you can concentrate on one class at a time. The program
also provides adults an opportunity to gain credit for their prior learning, which
can expedite reaching their goal of graduation. “Another feature is that the program
includes courses from several departments so that students can receive a well-rounded
foundation,” she said.  Courses in the core range from leadership to communication
to sociology. We want to recognize our partner departments whose faculty will be teaching
in the concentration: Communication Studies, Health and Human Performance, Management,
Sociology and Anthropology, and University Studies.


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A college degree in public safety can lead you into a variety of fields. From disaster
relief to working for local fire or police departments, these careers are important
and rewarding. Potential careers include:

  • Homeland Security Planner Emergency Management
  • Law Enforcement
  • Child protective services investigator
  • Correctional Officer
  • Military
  • Disaster Preparedness
  • Emergency Services Manager
  • Fire Service Manager
  • Chief Security Officer
  • Emergency Medical Technician Occupational Health and Safety Specialist Social and
    Community Service Manager Dispatcher
  • Social services worker
  • Crisis manager
  • Community Service Officer


The Bachelor of Science in Integrated Studies (B.S.) is an interdisciplinary degree
offered through MTSU’s University College. Students may choose from several pre-planned
Areas of Emphasis through partnership with other university departments or design
their own in consultation with an advisor.


This program is set to be active for the 2022-2023 school year. You can view the tentative
academic map by clicking the button below.

View Academic Map

Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.


Prior Learning Assessment

Finish Your Degree Faster by Getting Credit For What You Already Know

  • Students may earn up to 60 hours­­—which equals two years of college credit—for what
    they already know
  • Credit hours earned depends upon the individual student’s background and experience

 There are numerous ways to earn college credit outside the traditional classrooms,
and we will work with you to take advantage of all the methods that are right for
you. Many adult students spend years in the workforce or military developing valuable
skills, earning certifications, taking continuing education programs, and obtaining
licenses for specific functions. At MTSU we have developed a means to turn this prior
knowledge into college credit to complete a degree. View our PLA brochure here for more information.