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FSU Panama City to offer new master’s law enforcement degree

Erica Martin

FSU Panama City announced a new master’s degree program in law enforcement intelligence during a press conference Tuesday. The program, which will include online coursework and a semester-long research-based project, will welcome its first cohort of students in fall 2018.

“This program will be an asset to students locally and throughout the nation,” said Randy Hanna, dean of FSU Panama City. “Our bachelor’s program in public safety and security has grown recently to add new specialties and draw students from around the country. Expanding to the master’s degree level, we can provide students with the research and management skills necessary to excel in their fields.”

“The significance of this program is founded upon providing well-educated and trained intelligence data analysts to public safety agencies at all levels from local to federal and to domestic and international corporations that depend on the acquisition and evaluation of information to protect their integrity,” said Tom Kelley, public safety and security faculty member. “The curriculum is designed to enhance the investigative skills of our students ultimately reducing the amount of preparation our graduates will need once they enter the work force.”

The new master’s program will provide students with advanced skills in evaluating intelligence functions through online coursework in criminal justice, economics, political science and military science. A semester-long project with a law enforcement agency will provide hands-on management experience. 

“We’re preparing students to be the leaders in this discipline,” said faculty member Banyon Pelham. “While the main foundation of this program is integrative and flexible, it will also provide applied experience for students who will learn from faculty who have direct professional experience in the law enforcement intelligence arena.”

“Competent instructors have always known you only really learn by doing,” said John Andrews, who has taught public safety and security courses. “Our instructors have worked in the intelligence community and are familiar with core competencies deemed essential for intelligence analysts. We know by our experience what students need to know to succeed as a professional practitioner and we see our job as ensuring they get what they need to succeed.”

Officials have been working about two years to develop the program, which will draw students from any academic or professional background. For more about admission requirements and coursework, visit