Online Public
Services Degrees

High-quality online education to give you an industry edge

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100% Online Coursework

NECHE Accredited

Affordable Tuition


Make a Positive Impact in Your Community and Advance Your Career

Public servants play an essential role in every community as leaders and change agents. Anna Maria College offers a range of flexible, affordable online programs designed to help professionals in the public sector enhance their skills and prepare for long-term professional success. With undergraduate and graduate options available in fields like criminal justice, fire science and public administration, you can choose the degree that’s right for your background and goals.

Our undergraduate fire science and criminal justice programs feature an accelerated 5th Year Option that allows you to upgrade three bachelor’s level classes to the master’s level so that you can complete your master’s degree in as little as one year. As an Anna Maria online student, you can learn from anywhere and complete courses aligned with the latest industry standards and practices.

No matter which program you choose, you’ll learn from expert faculty in a supportive environment grounded in innovation and service – and graduate ready to take the next step in your career.

Making the decision to continue your education with an online degree from Anna Maria College is one of the best career moves you’ll ever make. In addition to career advancement and higher pay, you’ll enhance your critical thinking and research abilities, two vital skills that will help you succeed throughout your career.

  • Bachelor’s degree graduates earn 67% more than high school graduates without a higher education degree or trade certification and 39% more than associate degree holders. Master’s degree graduates earn 18% more than bachelor’s degree holders.1
  • Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts, was the first school in the United States to receive Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) recognition.
  • Anna Maria College is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.

Flexible, Career-Focused Program Options

Anna Maria College offers a range of online programs focused on public service. Choose from bachelor’s or master’s degree options and prepare to take the next step in your career. Many of our programs are customizable, offering specializations and certificates to align your studies with your specific academic and professional goals. Explore your options below.

Protect and serve your community with the online BS in Criminal Justice from Anna Maria College. This Quinn-Bill certified program provides a deep understanding of current social and criminal justice issues and trains you to address them ethically and effectively as a leader in the field. You can also engage in immersive, real-world experiences through an optional internship at an approved agency of your choice.

If you’re currently employed full-time in the criminal justice field, you may be eligible for a 15% tuition discount on your program! If this applies to you, choose the “Law Enforcement/Corrections” option.

In this flexible online program, you will study essential criminal justice and law enforcement topics and learn to:

  • Identify and analyze a broad range of criminal justice concepts including the structure and operation of the criminal justice system.
  • Demonstrate oral, written and technological communication skills consistent with standards in the field.
  • Apply theoretical knowledge to practical problems and situations and assess their ethical and moral implications.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills that embody a commitment to diversity, social justice and civic responsibility.
  • Analyze the larger context of our criminal justice system and the implications of social, practical, global and economic forces.

This degree completion program requires an associate degree or at least 60 hours of college credit and completion of Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 training for admission. It’s designed to help prepare you for prominent fire safety and protection roles, including fire chief, fire investigator and fire service trainer.

You will earn FESHE certificates for the qualifying fire science classes that you complete. Through this program, you will learn to:

  • Comprehend, analyze and discuss a broad range of fire science concepts.
  • Demonstrate the leadership skills expected of fire service professionals.
  • Conduct a thorough and legally defensible fire investigation.
  • Address the impact of fires and emergencies upon the community.

A Master of Public Administration degree will provide you with the tools, training and knowledge required to advance your firefighting career or assume a leadership position with state or federal emergency services providers.

This program includes your choice of five tracks:

  • General
  • Criminal Justice
  • Emergency Management
  • Fire and Emergency Services
  • Homeland Security

Students who have graduated from a qualified police or fire academy and work in a relevant field may be eligible to enroll in the Mid-Career Track, where this experience can count for up to six credits toward their master’s degree. General Track MPA applicants may qualify for the Mid-Career Track if they have 4+ years of applicable field experience.

Become a leader in the criminal justice field by continuing your education. Anna Maria College’s online MS in Criminal Justice is Quinn Bill certified and designed for experienced criminal justice professionals. This program allows you to customize your studies by pursuing a specialization in an area relevant to the criminal justice field. Students who have previously earned a master’s degree in another discipline can pursue a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies.

Students who have graduated from a qualified police academy and work in a relevant field may be eligible to enroll in the Mid-Career Track, where this experience can count for up to six credits toward their master’s degree. These students complete a streamlined curriculum and can finish the degree in 10 months.

Specialization and certificate options include:

  • Leadership and Administration
  • Homeland Security
  • Emergency Management
  • Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies

A Mission of Excellence

The mission of Anna Maria College is to foster our students’ intellectual involvement, career preparation, social awareness, dedication to justice and peace, religious and moral sensitivity, and to facilitate a lifestyle capable of sustaining these within balance.

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Online Flexibility to Suit Your Schedule

With the flexibility and convenience of an online program, you’ll be able to better balance your studies with your work and family commitments. Each course is offered in an asynchronous, eight-week format, allowing you to complete your schoolwork on the schedule that’s right for you.

Industry-Informed Courses to Enhance Your Skills

Our 100% online courses deliver a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical skill development you can apply in your public service career. By integrating liberal education and professional preparation, we ensure you’re ready to excel in the workplace. Depending on your chosen program, you may take courses such as:

CRJ 250 Policing in America

Explore the history, development, environment, organization and sociology of law enforcement in America. This course emphasizes the evolution of state and local agencies, the use of police as an agency of social control, the police as a division of government, and the role of police within the larger criminal justice system.

FRS 404 Fire Investigation and Analysis

Explore the technical, investigative, legal and social aspects of arson, including principles of incendiary fire analysis and detection, environmental and psychological factors of arson, legal considerations, and intervention and mitigation strategies.

CRJ 816 Criminological Thought

Study major theories of crime and criminality. Conduct analysis through common sense, logic, evidence, policy utility and compatibility. Examine leading theory through a discussion of measures, correlates and popular beliefs regarding the prevalence, causes and continuance of criminal offending.

MPA 603 Public Policy

Use case studies and other materials to develop excellence in oral and written skills in the formation of public policy at the senior management level. Develop models for solving significant problems in the public arena coupled with planning and strategy for implementing these policies.

Open Doors to New Professional Opportunities

The online public service degrees from Anna Maria College provide in-demand credentials for a variety of rewarding career paths. Through 2030:

  • 51,700 new police and detective jobs are projected to be added to the market2
  • Employment for urban and regional planners is projected to increase 7%3
  • Job outlook for fire inspectors and investigators is projected to grow 11%4
  • Border patrol agent
  • Conservation officer
  • Detective
  • Law enforcement officer (local, federal, state)
  • Probation officer
  • Special agent
  • Fire chief
  • Fire captain
  • Fire marshal
  • Fire prevention educator
  • Fire officer
  • Fire service trainer
  • Fire/arson investigator
  • Insurance investigator
  • Police chief
  • Prison warden
  • Emergency management director
  • Fraud investigator
  • Security manager
  • Special agent
  • Chief Development Officer
  • Emergency services director
  • Emergency management specialist
  • Public works director
  • Fire chief
  • Police chief
  • City planner/manager
  • Nonprofit director

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Sources and Disclaimer

  1. Education Pays, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from
  2. Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Police and Detectives. Retrieved from
  3. Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Urban and Regional Planners. Retrieved from
  4. Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fire Inspectors. Retrieved from

Anna Maria College was approved by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to participate in SARA, and became a SARA institution in 2021. At this time, only California is not a member state. If you reside in California and are interested in taking an online class at Anna Maria College, please fill out the request form to get in contact with a program manager.