Frequently Asked Questions

Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Safety Administration

Frequently Asked Questions for the Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Safety Administration (BASPSA) program at Valencia College 


The School of Public Safety offers training and education at seven convenient locations.


1 - What is the difference between a B.A.S. and a B.A./B.S.?

The main advantage of a B.A.S. is the application of the principles of public safety administration to the real world. In contrast, B.A./B.S. degrees tend to focus more on theoretical frameworks. The B.A.S. degree prepares students to enter management and leadership positions as well as many graduate school programs.

2 - Which is better to get to go into BASPSA if I am just beginning, an A.A. or an A.S.?

Each degree offers its own advantages. With an A.S. degree, a student will gain a job-ready skill, where a student who earns an A.A. degree will not. However, if you are considering a transfer to an institution that offers a bachelor’s degree other than Valencia College, we suggest the A.A. to meet the general education requirements for transfer. If you plan to pursue the BAS in Public Safety Administration at Valencia College, then it does not matter if you earn an A.S. or an A.A. degree. Students with an A.S. degree will use the 21 credit hours of elective space in the BAS program to complete their general education requirements. A.A. students will use those elective credits to take technical courses in a variety of public service related A.S. programs. Either associate degree is fine, but if you obtain an A.S. degree prior to entering the BAS in Public Safety Administration (BASPSA), that degree would better prepare you for a job in public safety while you continue to work on your BAS degree. Here are a few pathway options:

  • Option 1: A student can get an A.S. in Criminal Justice or Fire Science and enter BASPSA.
  • Option 2: A student can get an A.A. General and enter BASPSA.
  • Option 3: An A.S. student in any A.S. program can enter the BASPSA program but will need to complete their general education requirements. In this case, the student would use the elective requirements in the BASPSA program to meet this requirement.

3 - Can I declare BASPSA right out of high school?
No, Applicants must complete an A.A. or A.S. degree in any field of study, or at least 60 college credit hours (including 15 hours of general education requirements for an A.A. or A.S. degree) from a regionally accredited institution. To identify general education requirements, please see Valencia College Catalog.

4 - I am a transfer student, can I go right into the B.A.S.?
See admissions requirements. While we accept all students with an A.A./A.S. or bachelor from other institutions, students will need to meet the state of Florida requirements for Gordon Rule English and Math. Students may need to submit a non-equivalent coursework (NEC) form or take the Post-Secondary Education Readiness Test (PERT) before being able to register for any courses in the BASPSA program.

5 - When I have the requirements, what are the steps to apply to BASPSA?


1. Students who are graduating with an A.S., A.A. degree or 60 college level credits and have applied to graduate OR students who are graduating with an A.S., A.A. degree or 60 college-level credits and have NOT applied to graduate:

Complete the BASPSA application
Students will be sent the BASPSA articulation agreement which they need to read and decide if they want to participate.

Apply to graduate.

Students will be sent the BASPSA graduation letter which they need to read and decide if they want to participate.

2. Students who have an A.A., A.S., A.A.S. or bachelor’s degree from any accredited institution.

Complete the BASPSA application.

Provide requested documents, if any.
Once approved, they will be sent an approval letter, and an approval email instructing them to complete the online bachelor orientation.

3. Students who are not graduating and do not have 60 college-level credits from an accredited institution with 15 credits of general education courses.

Student are advised to complete the degree or credits. NO PRE-REQUISITES REQUIRED


6 - When will I hear back on my BASPSA application?

3-5 business days.

7 - If I am denied admissions, what are my next steps?

Work with our advising office to determine what would be the best course of action. Typically, this would be to work on either an A.A. or A.S. to earn the credits necessary to meet the admission requirements, then reapply.

This may involve submitting a new application to work on an A.A. or A.S. Please work with our Answer Center to identify if an application is needed.

8 - I am a Valencia College student, can I just change my major to start the program?

No, every student must apply to the program. Apply Now

9 - I added BASPSA as a secondary major and nothing happened. Why is this?

BASPSA cannot be a secondary program. If you submit a Change of Major and try to move BASPSA to the secondary program, it will be deleted and another change of major must be submitted to place it back as the primary program.

10 - What is the application fee for BASPSA?

There is no application fee for this program.

11 - If I have attended Valencia College, do I need to submit all my transcripts?

You would need to verify that your transcripts are on file.

12 - Can a student complete orientation any time after they have been approved?

No. Orientation is term-specific and closes after two terms. Thus, if you take a year off, you will not need to reapply but, someone will need to manually assist you with the orientation. If this occurs, please reach out to your bachelor’s advisor.

13 - What if some of my credits did not come over as General Education Requirements?

Submit our non-equivalent coursework (NEC) form in Atlas, under your students tab. We recommend gathering as much information as possible- syllabi, course description, materials used, etc., to give yourself the best possible outcome. Decisions are communicated to your ATLAS email only (not to your advisor).

If you hold an Associate in Arts or bachelor’s degree or have completed the entire general education program at a regionally accredited institution, then you do NOT need to satisfy Valencia College General Education requirements and Gordon Rule requirements.

14 - What if I have bachelor’s level courses in Public Safety that are not transferring?

Once admitted into the BASPSA program, please work directly with your program advisor. This statement is a suggestion, however, is not a guarantee that courses will equate or transfer.

15 - I took a bachelor’s business course (3000 or 4000 level) at another institution, can I submit a Non-Equivalent Coursework form through Atlas?

No, we do not accept NECS for any level 3000 or 4000 courses. All must be submitted through the advisor to a review committee. The submission needs to have the course description and often needs a syllabus to determine if learning outcomes have been met. As stated in the previous question, please work with your advisor once accepted into the program.

16 - My B.A.S. will allow me to transfer into a master’s program. Is this true?

True. Valencia College is a regionally accredited institution, and, as such, the BASPSA degree should transfer into many graduate programs. It should be noted though that admission into some graduate programs, particularly those with a STEM focus, may require prerequisite courses not included in the BASPSA degree. Students are strongly encouraged to research graduate program requirements prior to beginning or very early on in BASPSA to ensure transfer graduate readiness. There are also multiple tests that graduate programs require. (Do your research, this is a student responsibility).

17 - Am I required to have a foreign language to graduate with BASPSA? What about to get into the program?

Graduation requirements as it relates to Foreign Language are stated below:

Successfully complete the Florida foreign language requirement: two years of high school or one year of college (at least eight credits) in a single foreign language. American Sign Language is acceptable.;

You do not need foreign language to be accepted into the program.

18 - I heard I must take College Algebra and other high-level math. Is this true?

No. Students can meet the general education math requirements in a variety of ways.

19. Is there any advantage to taking College Algebra / Statistics?

College Algebra is not required for the degree, but it might be of value if you decide to pursue a master’s degree that requires higher level math courses as either an admissions requirement or because the program’s course content requires a higher-level understanding of math or algebraic concepts.

20 - I am taking continuing education credits and a workplace training through my job. Does the program let me use life experience? 

Contact Program Advisor/Chair for additional details about how prior training may earn you credit.

22 - Can I receive elective credit for public safety certifications and licensures? 
Contact Program Advisor/Chair for additional details regarding elective credit for certifications and licensures. 

23 - Is job placement provided upon graduation?

No, however, we do have a tremendous career center which provides instruction on resume building, mock interviews, career research and so much more. For more information visit, Career Center.

24 - What elective options can I take for BASPSA, or can an advisor recommend?

Depending on your pathway, this answer can differ. Please speak to your advisor.

28 - Does BASPSA have an honors program?

Not at this time.

29 - What accreditation does BASPSA have?

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)

30 - If I am using Florida Prepaid for payment, will my courses be paid for automatically? 

No. Please contact our business office each semester to ensure the manual intervention is completed. Florida Prepaid does not cover course additional fees, so ensure this balance is paid.
For more information visit, My Florida Prepaid Tuition and Fees.

31 - What are the graduation requirements for this program?

  • Earn a minimum of 2.0 Valencia College and Overall GPA. Complete all Core course work with a minimum grade of C (2.0).
  • Satisfy the 36 credit hours General Education requirements of Valencia College and Gordon Rule requirements. Complete at least 25% of the 120-hour degree program (30 credits) at Valencia College, based on the Florida College System’s requirements of 2+2 admission into the baccalaureate program. Fifteen of those hours must be 3000 or 4000-level courses from the program core course list.
  • Fulfill all financial obligations to Valencia College.
  • Successfully complete the Florida foreign language requirement as outlined in the online BASPSA.
  • Complete 120 total semester credits in addition to the foreign language credits above.  The credit courses required may vary depending on the credits the student brings to the BAS program.
  • Submit an application to graduate through ATLAS by the deadline date listed in the Academic Calendar in the online BASPSA.

32 - Do I need to apply to graduate to receive my BASPSA degree?

Yes, you will want to apply to graduate by the given deadline IN the term you are taking your last courses. How to Apply for Graduation.

33 - Does the V.A. pay for this degree?

The program is eligible for VA benefits. Each student will need to determine his/her VA benefit eligibility. For more information, visit Veterans Affairs.

34 - Does financial aid pay for this degree?

The program is financial aid eligible. Each student will need to determine his/her financial aid eligibility.

35 - What are Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for Financial Aid for the Bachelor’s?

  • Complete 67% of all classes attempted, and
  • Maintain a Valencia College Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher, and
  • Maintain an overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher, and
  • Complete your degree within the 150% timeframe (i.e., BASPSA degree of 120 credit hours must be completed within 180 credit hours)

Hint: Remember to always complete your FAFSA. If you are suspended for having 100 credits previously in your A.A./A.S. this does not mean you are automatically suspended in your BAS.

36 - What percentage of credits must be completed at Valencia College o earn the BASPSA? How many credits is that?

25% of courses must be taken with Valencia College (in any modality), 30 credits total. Out of these 30 credits at least 15 credit hours must be 3000 or 4000 level courses from the program core course list.

37 - What are the main differences between UCF and BASPSA?

  • The cost of the degree
  • Admissions requirement
  • UCF programs are more traditional programs, whereas the BASPSA program includes public safety topics, but it has more of an organizational “management and leadership” focus. That focus is intended to develop students for future management and leadership roles within an organization.
  • Valencia College awards credit for experiential learning or prior learning, whereas UCF does not.  
  • Lastly, UCF requires that transfer students applying for the program have an A.A. degree. This would exclude AS students from UCF’s program until they met the A.A. requirements.