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One academic quarter is 3 months. You will have a 3-week break between each quarter.

Core Courses

40 course quarter credits.

Collaboration, Communication, and Case Analysis for Doctoral Learners (4 quarter credits)
Contemporary Public Safety Leadership (4 quarter credits)
Management and Leadership Theory (4 quarter credits)
Diversity Issues in Public Safety (4 quarter credits)
Interagency Collaboration on Significant Events (4 quarter credits)
Epistemology of Practice Knowledge (4 quarter credits)
Fundamentals of Social Science Research* (4 quarter credits)
Quantitative Research Methods in Public Service* (4 quarter credits)
Advanced Qualitative Research Methods in Public Service* (4 quarter credits)
Advanced Study in Research Methods in Public Service* (4 quarter credits)

Specialization Courses

28 course quarter credits.

Principles of Organization Theory and Practice
Theories of Executive Human Resource Management
Legal Systems, Labor Relations, and Regulatory Practices
Grant Writing
Stress Management in Public Safety Organizations
Needs Assessment Foundations
Needs Assessment Design and Implementation

Seven Elective Courses

28 course quarter credits. Choose any graduate course(s).

Comprehensive Examination and Dissertation Coursework

24 course quarter credits.

Upon completion of all required coursework:

Doctoral Comprehensive Examination* (4 quarter credits)

Learners must register for PSF9960 a minimum of four times to fulfill their Specialization requirements.

Dissertation Courseroom* (5 quarter credits each)

*This course has a prerequisite. Contact an enrollment counselor or refer to the course descriptions for more information.

What Can I Expect?

Most students take 1 to 2 courses at a time. One course typically requires 10 to 12 hours of study per week.

Courses are divided into 10 weekly units. Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

Learn more about online learning at Capella.

Transfer Credits

There are many ways to reduce tuition costs, including transferring credits which can help save time and money. You can transfer up to 48 credits into this specialization.

Sign Up for a Free One-Week Mini Course

Learn more about our online learning experience with a free one-week mini course.

Take an Individual Course

Whether you're completing continuing education credits, want to see if online learning is right for you, or are simply interested in a specific topic, you can enroll in many of Capella's online courses without committing to a degree program. We recommend speaking first with an enrollment counselor to discuss your goals and ensure the credits you earn now can be applied to a degree program later.

Learn more about individual courses


If you have elective courses in your specialization, you may be able to use them to fulfill both your degree and concentration requirements at the same time. However, completing a concentration may extend your total credits beyond the requirements of your degree. Concentrations available for this specialization include:

  • Forensics
  • Health Policy and Management
  • Homeland Security
  • Public Administration
  • Public Health
  • Public Policy Management and Collaborative Governance
  • Public Safety Leadership
  • Nonprofit Management and Leadership