Clemson University Launches First-in-the-Nation Master of Transportation Safety Administration


Clemson University is the first university in the nation to offer a Master of Transportation Safety Administration (MTSA) in the management and administration of highway safety programs. Developed by Clemson’s Institute for Global Road Safety and Security, this new degree program addresses the need for a road safety workforce capable of deploying evidence-based strategies and best practices supported by on-going research. Students graduating from the program will be able to make a significant difference in efforts to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries by utilizing enhanced skills and knowledge gained through participation in the program.

What is MTSA? As an online program, MTSA is accessible to participants around the world with an interest in improving road safety and that meet admissions criteria. This unique graduate degree program is a two-year, non-thesis, 30-credit hour interdisciplinary transportation (road) safety curriculum designed to develop professionals skilled at administering and managing road safety programs involving the complex interactions of the human-vehicle-road system. The program offers fellowships to qualified applicants ranging from $2,000 to $20,000. Application fees are currently being waived as part of the program launch. Interested applicants can contact to obtain a waiver code to enter when applying.

The MTSA program includes four (4) three-credit hour required core courses and six (6) three-credit hour courses which are selected to form a thematic cluster. The online courses will be offered asynchronously with periodic synchronous class meetings scheduled in advance in order to facilitate access by working professionals across the globe.

Highway safety program administration and management is an interdisciplinary field, including behavioral safety programs, infrastructure safety programs (engineering), enforcement, emergency management, education, planning and design, public health, injury prevention, communications and marketing, public policy, driver and vehicle services, research, etc. The curriculum utilizes Clemson University’s faculty expertise across multiple departments and colleges.

The MTSA curriculum is grounded in the belief that the future of transportation safety will require creative leadership capable of working in interdisciplinary teams and applying scientific and systems approaches to road safety management. MTSA’s online courses will create a powerful learning environment for graduate students to engage in team-based learning, class lectures, case study discussions, and experiential learning for solving the real-world problems of the human-vehicle-road system. The program engages students in activities related to current national and international issues and best practices in road safety and aligns with national and international standards for core competencies that all transportation safety professionals should possess.

MTSA Technical Advisory Committee. A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of prominent national leaders with tremendous expertise in the field of road safety reviewed and provided feedback on the overall MTSA program, including its goals and objectives, curriculum map, the competencies and knowledge domains to be addressed, and course descriptions. TAC members represent all areas of road safety and bring the latest industry perspectives to the program; they will be offering guest lectures and real-world case studies for students to consider.  The committee members will serve as mentors for MTSA students.

Who are prospective MTSA students?  The MTSA degree specifically targets the needs of current employees of state and local departments of transportation; state highway safety offices; injury prevention and public health specialists; both US and international corporations involved in road safety; road safety advocacy groups; safety-related non-profit organizations and professional associations; and government agencies with responsibilities for road safety at the local, regional, state, and federal levels, both in the US and internationally. The program is designed for professionals already involved in road safety who wish to obtain an advanced degree that will enhance their skills, as well as for those who want to pursue a career in road safety.

For more information about MTSA, contact Dr. Kim Alexander at or go to