Course Descriptions

Master's Courses

EM 505 Foundations of Emergency Management (3) 
History of the profession; contemporary emergency management concepts, functions, and practices for government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector. 

EM 511 Disasters and the Media (3)
Course examines the portrayal of disasters in electronic and print media.  Emphasis will be on the impact that newspapers, websites, television, social media, and film have on affecting individual and societal constructions of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and man-made disasters.  Each of the four phases of emergency management will be discussed from the perspective of social, political, and cultural implications of media coverage or lack of coverage.

EM 515 Legal Aspects of Emergency Management (3) 
Legal context and constraints for emergency management; administrative law, administrative discretion, and liability. 

EM 521 Exercise Design and Evaluation (3). Introduction to the fundamentals of exercise design, development and implementation.  Includes a review of the different types of exercises, how they are used, and how they are  conducted. Provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop and conduct disaster exercises that test a community’s emergency response plan and capabilities.

EM 525 Disaster Recovery (3) 
Processes for short- and long-term recovery for individuals, families, and communities; provision of recovery assistance by both public and voluntary sectors. Prerequisite: EM 505.

EM 530 Research Methods in Emergency Management (3) 
Comprehensive coverage of major analytical and statistical tools used in emergency management program administration.

EM 535 Terrorism and Homeland Security (3) 
Incident management approaches for domestic and international terrorism; anti- and counter-terrorism organizational roles, responsibilities, and coordination; homeland security initiatives. Prerequisite: EM 505. 

EM 540 Hazard Mitigation (3) 
Mitigation concepts, implementation approaches, and planning. Prerequisite: EM 505.

EM 545 Emergency Preparedness (3) 
Preparedness frameworks and strategies; techniques of emergency operations planning, exercise design and evaluation, and public education. Prerequisite: EM 505.

EM 548 Vulnerability and Capacity-Building (3) 
Individual, social, economic and policy dimensions of vulnerability and client needs for disaster; service delivery strategies, coordination models, resource management and capacity building for nonprofit disaster relief organizations. Prerequisite: EM 505.

EM 555 Disaster Response (3) 
Context of disaster response, response functions, assessment, resource mobilization and adjudication, and emergency operations center (EO C) operations. Prerequisite: EM 505.

EM 565 Management Systems in Disaster (3) 
Integration of emergency management functions, response structures, technology use, information management, and decision-making. Prerequisite: EM 505, EM 525, and EM 555.

EM 568 Crisis Management for Business and Industry (3) 
Contingency planning, business impact analysis, business resumption processes, risk/crisis communication and management, disaster recovery and organizational continuity. Prerequisite: EM 505.

EM 570 Biosecurity (3) 
Course description: A detailed review of global concerns for biosecurity including the history of biological warfare, bioterrorism, concerns for agroterrorism and current initiatives in biodefense. Included will be a thorough review of specific agents, the diseases they cause, detection methodologies, and consequence management considerations.

EM 575 Health and Medical Aspects of Emergency Management (3) 
Surveillance and rapid needs assessment, disaster epidemiology, disaster medical systems and approaches, and disaster mental health. Prerequisites: EM 505

EM 580 Current Issues in Homeland Security (3) 
The examination of current issues and concerns with Homeland Security including upcoming National Special Security Events that mandate comprehensive security planning and response capabilities. Innovations and reactions from politicians and citizens will serve to offer students insight into the challenges of implementing and maintaining homeland security.

EM 581 Disaster Analysis (3) 
The course will focus on modeling and simulation of high consequence events as a means of preparing emergency managers for future disasters. Several types of high consequence disasters will be examined from the perspectives of preparedness, prevention, decision-making, and effective response.

EM 585 Military Role in Disaster Relief (3) 
A historical review of the military role in disaster relief and humanitarian support missions. Primary emphasis will be on recent case studies of major disasters. The course will also discuss the possible expanding role of the military in future natural disasters and CBRN events. Students will conduct a small research project to explore a current issue surrounding the use of the US military in domestically-based incidents.  Prerequisite:  EM 505.

EM 590 Capstone in Emergency Management (3) 
Integration and synthesis of theory and practice for emergency management. Prerequisites: EM 505 and three of the following: EM 525, 540, 545, and 555. Should be taken in the last term of the program of study.

EM 595 Directed Studies (3) 
In-depth study of selected topic or special project. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor and approval of the program director.

*EM 596 Internship (3)
Supervised practice experience in a professional emergency management setting. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor and approval of the program director.

EM 598 Emergency Management Leadership and Organizational Behavior (3) 
Leadership and organizational theory for emergency management; conflict management, use of power, group dynamics, and team performance. Prerequisite: EM 505.


EM 802, 804, 806 Integrative Seminar (2) (2) (2). On-campus integrative seminar during the first three years of program of study. Specialized topics include how to review and critique scholarly literature and research findings, how to present scholarly work at conferences, and how to write for journal publication. Opportunities for students to exchange ideas, present their work, and interact with faculty. Includes special topics of current interest.

EM 812 Disaster Management Principles and Practice (3). In depth analysis of disaster management principles and practice, including historical and emergent trends and conditions relevant to the current state-of-the-practice and standards, plus future development. 

EM 814 Interdisciplinary Disaster Theory and Research (3). Examination of the major theoretical topics, questions, and literature that inform the discipline and practice of emergency management, with topics including the nature of disaster, human and organizational behavior under stress, and risk perception and communication. An interdisciplinary approach whereby students think critically about the epistemological assumptions of alternative theoretical perspectives and divergent policy approaches. 

EM 823 Institutional Context and Emergency Management Policy (3). Analysis of political, administrative, and fiscal relationships among governments in the provision of emergency management programs and disaster relief policy in the American political system. Exploration of the role of society in shaping institutions and how these institutions influence and structure public policy making and administration. 

EM 825 Systems Thinking and Applications in Emergency Management (3). Analysis and application of systems thinking concepts and methodologies to problems encountered in emergency management. 

EM 832 Hazards Risk Management and Community Resilience (3). Tools and methods used to manage risk associated with the hazards facing a community; role of emergency management programs in community resilience and sustainability. 

EM 834 Risk-Based Response and Recovery Strategy Development and Operations (3). Explores strategies public officials employ to cope with disasters and their impacts, risk-based operational considerations, and management structures. 

EM 843 Emergency Management Program Management (3). Examines emergency management functional demands and program delivery on a day-to-day basis; considers managerial practices such as communication with the public, the meaning of public service, making effective presentations to governing boards and legislatures, effective meetings and group facilitation, citizen engagement, media relations, and ethics. 

EM 853 Research Design (3).Social science research methods including research design and approaches to inquiry (quantitative, qualitative, experimental, evaluation), the role of theory in empirical research, causal inference, and reporting and reviewing research. 

EM 855 Advanced Data Analysis (3).An examination of statistical and research techniques appropriate to emergency management applied research, including descriptive statistics, probability theory, sampling and statistical inference, hypothesis testing, regression and correlation analysis,analysis of variance, modeling and techniques for data reduction (e.g., factor analysis). Prerequisite: EM 853 (may take concurrently). 

EM 862 Cost-Benefit Analysis (3).Research, measurement and methodological requirements for the assessment of benefits and costs of programs and projects. Prerequisites: EM 853 and EM 855. 

EM 864 Qualitative Research (3). Examination of qualitative methods that can be applied in the study of disasters; explores a range of activities necessary to perform disaster field research. Prerequisites: EM 853 and EM 855. 

EM 866 Evaluation Research (3).Practical application of appropriate social science research methodology to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of public sector and nonprofit policies and programs, with topics including how to develop an evaluation plan; evaluation types such as process, impact, cost-benefit, and cost-effectiveness evaluations; and management of evaluation projects. Prerequisites: EM 853 and EM 855 

EM 868 and EM 869 Directed Research (3). Directed reading and research in fields of special interest. Prerequisite: consent of program director. 

EM 871 Voluntary and Nonprofit Disaster Management (3). Unique considerations of nonprofit disaster management and service delivery, including volunteer administration, donations management, fundraising, and cross-sector collaboration. Prerequisite: EM 834. 

EM 873 Health Care Systems in Disaster (3). Overview of emergency management considerations for health and medical professionals and range of medical, public health, behavioral and psychological problems associated with disaster; incident management processes and organization that integrate health and medical assets into the response. Prerequisite: EM 834. 

EM 875 Risk Communication (3).Examines theories related to risk perception and behavior; principles of risk communication and special communication challenges with diverse audiences; and development of crisis and emergency risk communication plans. 

EM 877 Crisis Leadership and Management (3). Classic and contemporary theories and models of leadership, with emphasis on the role of leadership in crisis situations; principles of crisis management. 

EM 878 IT Applications for Emergency Management (3). Explores the importance of information in emergency management; information requirements and breakdowns; and information technologies applied to crisis and disaster situations. 

EM 879 Spatial Analysis and GIS for Emergency Management (3). Disaster-related applications of spatial analysis techniques; use of GIS software. 

EM 882, 884, and 886 Directed Study (3) (3) (3). Independent study under the direction of the instructor. Prerequisite: consent of program director. 

EM 899 Dissertation Research. At least 18 credit hours required; no credit assigned until dissertation has been completed and filed with the graduate dean. Continuous enrollment required subsequent to passing qualifying exams for admission to candidacy. Students may register for 3, 6, or 9 hours per semester. Prerequisite: consent of program director.