New Partnership Provides Polk State Students Path to FSU Master’s Program

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

A new agreement between the Florida College System and Florida State University is making it easier for Polk State students earning certain bachelor’s degrees to attain even higher levels of education.

The FCS encompasses 28 institutions including Polk State. Under the agreement, students who earn bachelor’s degrees in Criminal Justice or Public Administration through the FCS will be guaranteed admission to FSU’s online Master in Criminal Justice Studies Program.

Polk State College offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, and its Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management degree includes a Public Safety Management concentration. Both degrees are available online.

In addition to guaranteeing admission to the online master’s program, the agreement allows FCS students to take two courses from FSU while still enrolled in their baccalaureate programs. Those courses will count toward the master’s degree once students are formally admitted to the program; students must meet FSU’s admission requirements.

Polk State officials lauded the  FCS-FSU agreement.

“There is no such thing as too much education,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs Kenneth Ross. “Our BAS, and all of its concentrations, addresses specific workforce needs and prepares students for career advancement. However, a master’s degree will carry them even farther, and we’re very pleased that the FCS and FSU have teamed up to offer our Public Safety Management students this opportunity.”

Polk State Criminal Justice Director Sgt. Christen Shea echoed those sentiments:

“This opens wonderful opportunities for our students to continue their education at a state university,” said Shea, who works for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Polk State’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice is a completely online program, and Shea expects that students who want to continue on to the master’s level will transition easily to the FSU program.

“Plus, because it’s a state institution, many of our area agencies will reimburse students for their tuition. It’s a cost-effective way for our students to advance their education.

“The competition for promotions in law enforcement is very high. Having a master’s degree will help our students reach the highest ranks, and they’ll be able to do so affordably. This is a wonderful opportunity.”

Noted Thomas Blomberg, dean of the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at FSU:

“This is a life-changing opportunity for undergraduate students. This partnership not only allows students to fast-track their graduate coursework, but also gives them access to one of the top-ranked criminology programs in the nation, analytical and critical thinking skills, and an entire toolbox of resources they can use to find employment at top criminal justice agencies.”


In addition to the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Polk State Public Safety includes the Kenneth C. Thompson Institute of Public Safety, an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice, and training and degrees in Emergency Medical Services and Fire Science. In addition to the Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management and Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Polk State offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Sciences.