Transportation Safety Administration


An Innovative, First-of-Its-Kind Experience

Launched in the fall of 2019, Clemson University’s Master of Transportation Safety and Administration (MTSA) is the first of its kind in the U.S. Offered all online, this unique graduate degree program is a two-year, non-thesis, 30-credit-hour interdisciplinary road safety curriculum. MTSA is designed to develop professionals skilled at managing and administering road safety programs to solve challenges related to complex interactions of the human-vehicle-road system.  

Developed with prominent national leaders in road safety, MTSA involves faculty from all eight Clemson colleges due to the highly interdisciplinary nature of the transportation safety administration field. These faculty represent disciplines that must work collaboratively to reduce traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities.

MTSA addresses the needs of employees of state highway safety offices; the private sector; advocacy groups; safety-related nonprofits and professional associations; and government agencies focused on road safety at local, state, regional, federal and international levels.

Through MTSA, Clemson University’s goal is to create a pipeline of leaders equipped with the knowledge and skills required to play critical roles in the creation and management of high-quality, innovative road safety programs. Graduates will be transformed into lifesavers and changemakers helping to save lives and build safer communities throughout the world.


Each applicant is required to submit the following materials as part of the online application 15 days before first class of term, but full consideration including fellowships needs 30 days:

  • Transcripts showing a bachelor’s degree from a nationally accredited college or university (initially, informal transcripts or Xerox copies of originals may be utilized).
  • Statement of Purpose
  • A current CV
  • Three professional references
  • GRE test scores are waived for applicants who can demonstrate two or more years of employment in a transportation safety setting

Application Fee Waiver Eligibility for 2019-2020 Year

Inaugural year applicants qualify for a waiver of the application fee when applying to the MTSA program. Request a fee waiver code by sending an email request to


Highway safety program administration and management is a highly interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary field. The curriculum incorporates the behavioral and infrastructure sides of road safety, including behavioral safety, infrastructure/traffic safety engineering, enforcement, emergency management, education, planning and design, health, injury prevention, communications, marketing, public policy, driver and vehicle services, and finance/grants management.

The MTSA courses include four 3-credit core courses and six additional 3-credit courses which are chosen to form a thematic cluster customized to fill the needs of individual students.  The 30-credit program takes approximately two years to complete.

Core Courses 

  • MTSA 8000 Introduction to Road Safety
    This course introduces the complex, interdisciplinary, and multimodal nature of the road safety profession. Specific topics include examining road safety from a science-based perspective and strategies to achieve cooperation among the disciplines in the profession. The course will include a group project pertinent to road safety management.
  • MTSA 8420 Road Safety Culture
    Methodology for conducting transportation collision studies, crash characteristics as related to operator, facility and mode; statistical applications for analyzing crash data; and current trends and problems in transportation safety will be addressed.
  • MTSA 8300 Road Safety Management
    This course explores the fundamental organizational leadership strategies and support needs for effective and efficient road safety management. Using complexity theory, students learn how to establish and sustain effective multidisciplinary collaborative relationships, develop opportunities to stimulate change and identify current research to support best practices in road safety management.
  • MTSA 8150 Transportation Safety Engineering
    Methodology for conducting transportation collision studies, crash characteristics as related to operator, facility and mode; statistical applications for analyzing crash data; and current trends and problems in transportation safety will be addressed.

Thematic Courses 

The remaining 6 courses (18 credit hours) needed to complete the MTSA degree are selected from an interdisciplinary mix of courses. Students work with their faculty advisor to select and register for their thematic courses. Areas of focus include:

  • Public Policy Process
  • Trends in Public Relations (Communications and Marketing, Campaign Development)
  • Fundamentals of Vehicle and Driver Safety (Addresses vehicle design, autonomous vehicles, operator training, occupant protection systems, and impaired driving and safety legislation, etc.)
  • Human Factors in Transportation
  • Digital Creativity (Includes use of social media for marketing messages)
  • Needs Assessment
  • Strategic Planning and Practice in the Public Sector
  • Judgment and Decision-Making
  • Fundamentals of Transportation Safety Planning
  • Transportation Analytic Methods
  • Introduction to Statistical Methods
  • Ethics and Public Policy
  • State Government Administration
  • Evaluation of Training and Development
  • Applied Research
  • Organization Theory and Public Management

Fellowship Award Opportunities

All applicants are automatically considered for a fellowship award. Awards range from $2,000 to $20,000 for use over a two-year period and are awarded through a competitive process based on the level of proven academic and professional credentials. A completed application for admission to the MTSA program submitted by the established deadline is required—no additional materials need to be provided for full consideration.

South Carolina is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and Clemson University (CU) is an approved SARA institution, which means we adhere to established standards for offering post-secondary e-learning programs in all member states. Please review our state authorizations to see if this program is offered in your state and our process for student complaints against the university.


For more information about this online program, please visit the MTSA website, or contact Dr. Kim Alexander at, 864.656.0664.

Apply Now

Tier 1
Graduate Program

The Clemson Masters in Transportation Safety Administration online program is assessed as a Tier 1 Online Graduate Program. Please check the Student Financial Services Page for the most accurate tuition rates.

Program Contact

Dr. Kim Alexander, Executive Director