Over 12 months, our graduate students explore the complex world of emergency and disaster management issues and learn the critical-thinking and decision-making skills necessary to support and supervise comprehensive, integrated and effective management in the event of natural, system-wide, or human-induced crisis.
Through assessment of a broad range of modern disasters and complex emergency situations, the program provides students with a working knowledge of needs, preparedness, service delivery systems, impact on communities, decision-making and ethics.

Purpose 1 Purpose 2 Purpose 3
Identification of Organizational Disaster Needs Implementation of an Emergency Management Plan Evaluation & Improvement of an Emergency Management Plan
Values & Ethics for Administrative Decision Making Public Health Preparedness and Response Implementation Information Technologies & Cybersecurity in Disaster Planning
Research & Analysis Methods in Disaster Management Economic & Social Trends & Implementing Social Services The Impact of Global Crises on Communities and the Ethics of International Response
Foundation of Business Continuity Management Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) Advanced Business Continuity Practicum
Preparing & Planning for Disasters Enterprise Risk Management Homeland Security Policy & Procedures
Identification of Organizational Disaster Needs, Initiating an Emergency Management Plan MPA 710 PCA (3 credits)
This course is designed to introduce students to the six-step emergency planning process, the different tiers of planning (strategic, operational and tactical) and processes involved in conducting a gap analysis and needs assessment (Planning, Data Collection, and Reporting) to determine the products students design, implement, evaluate and improve for the client. Students will also be introduced to the different types of plans, policies, and/or programs developed in emergency management including: Emergency Operations Plans (EOP), Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP), Emergency Action Plans (EAP), Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), Emergency Preparedness Policies, and Training and Exercise Programs (TEP) and integrate principles of Project Management including: project approval and initiation. Students will begin to develop an emergency management portfolio to seek professional certification.
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Values and Ethics for Administrative Decision Making MPA 710 VAL (3 credits)
The primary focus of the class for the Values and Ethics Dimension is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the major traditions of ethical reflection and implications for the manager who is working with citizens in crisis to improve service delivery.
Through a series of lectures, discussions, and case studies, students will be challenged first by arguments for and against ethical relativism and pluralism. Students will be encouraged to examine how their values affect their decision making. They will learn the ethics of international disaster relief, the importance of cultural competence, and ethics of disaster spiritual care and inter-religious engagement. Additionally, students will be taught the most important classical and contemporary ethical theories: ethical egoism, utilitarianism, the ethics of duty and respect, and nature and value of management. Finally, they will become skilled at developing their own organization code of ethics.
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Research and Analysis Methods in Disaster Management MPA 710 SEL (3 credits)
The course will give students the tools to research emergency and disaster management problems as diverse as the social aspects of hurricane evacuation, behavior change in employee emergency preparedness programs, and applying a cost dimension to traditional risk assessment. Students will also learn to apply quantitative and qualitative research methods from a range of disciplines, such as sociology, psychology, political science, public administration, and criminal justice to contemporary and traditional emergency management problems.
Additionally, this course will help students to be able to think critically and creatively about solving the challenges faced in a dynamic emergency management environment. Students will acquire the ability to conduct comprehensive and in-depth analyses of complex scenarios, allowing them to adopt a more well-rounded view of the field.
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Foundations of Business Continuity Management MPA 710 SKI (3 credits)
This course is designed to provide an overview of national and international Business Continuity standards and frameworks including: Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRI) Professional Practices Body of Knowledge, ISO22301 Business Continuity Management, and NFPA1600: Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs. Students will explore the holistic approach to Business Continuity Management (BCM) and the integration of various disciplines such as: Emergency Response, Crisis Management, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity. Students will be introduced to the various professional certifications they can pursue.
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Preparing and Planning for Disasters MPA 710 SYS (3 credits)
This is a fully online course with the content and online lectures provided by a pioneering leader in the Field of Emergency Management.
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of how policy and politics affect the process of preparing for disasters. Students will be introduced to a number of significant disaster management case studies, their After Action Reports, and in many cases will study the governmental review process, with a focus on how and why various policies are created and existing policies modified. Analysis of how political counter-weighting affects outcomes, efficiencies, and the availability of resources will be discussed.

Building on that foundation, the second half of the semester begins with an introduction to the increasingly important role of public/private relationships in emergency management and moves to the heavily debated topic of price controls during emergency and disaster events. Students will then review the rights of property owners from the perspective of those either indirectly or directly affected, examine the roles of employees, employers and the government and conclude with an investigation into the impacts of natural disasters.
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Implementation of an Emergency Management Plan MPA 720 PCA (3 credits)
This course is designed to provide real-world experience in developing an emergency management plan, training and/or exercise for the client. Students will research, and produce the emergency management products identified as a result of the gap analysis and needs assessment. Students will be introduced to the fundamental principles and frameworks for instructional design, training and exercises including: ADDIE model, Exercise Program Management, and Exercise Methodology. Students will also learn how to apply the Project Performance and Control phases in the development and implementation of the Constructive Action. Students will continue compiling their respective emergency management portfolios.
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Public Health Systems Preparedness and Response Implementation MPA 720 VAL (3 credits)
This course deals with public health and mental health issues involved in crises and emergencies presented for the non-clinical emergency/disaster manager. The wide range of medical and mental health issues inherent to crises and emergencies are described and reviewed using past events in which public health and mental health issues were encountered. The course covers topics such as: differentiation between natural and man-mediated outbreaks in the community (H1N1, avian flu, SARS, pandemic influenza, smallpox, Ebola, etc.); There will be case studies of real events and review of public health and mental health consequences of those events. The following topics will be covered: methods for integrating medical, public health, and psychological processes into disaster management and review of health systems implications of nuclear, biological, and chemical disasters. This course is designed to meet the need for a recognized curriculum in the public health aspects of disaster care and organized emergency medical services systems while simultaneously considering the mental health needs of the affected communities and emergency responders.
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Economics and Social Trends and Implementing Social Services MPA 720 SEL (3 credits)
This course examines the history of both disaster preparedness research and planning, and culminates with a review of contemporary disaster planning processes and how they can be applied to real-world experiences via the examination of meaningful and purposeful case studies.

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the economic aspects of hazards and disasters through a review of the concepts, analytical tools and policies that exist to aid emergency managers before, during and after emergencies. The course offers a broad perspective on the various facets of emergency management, the value systems in different work environments, and how emergency managers get resources when competing against other demands. The class examines the major emergency management settings, including government presentation from federal, state, local, private sector and not-for-profit perspectives.
The course commences with an overview of present-day emergency management, and proceeds to the concepts of business continuity, vulnerability analysis, risk management and the development of a Business Area Impact Analysis (BAIA). From there, students will review the economic costs of disasters, and the underlying perceptions associated with the notion of risk and learn ways to communicate risks effectively with stakeholders and the public. The first half of the course concludes with an examination of business contingency planning, its vices and virtues.
Building on that foundation, the second half of the semester begins with an introduction to the increasingly important role of public-private relationships in emergency management and moves to the heavily debated topic of price controls during emergency and disaster events. Students will then review the rights of property owners from the perspective of those either indirectly or directly affected, examine the roles of employees, employers and the government and conclude with an investigation into the impacts of natural disasters.
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Foundations of Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) MPA 720 SKI (3 credits)
Learn how to design resilience into your management of people, places, infrastructure and work processes necessary to meet the challenges of a 21st century.

A resilient organization is one that is able to achieve its core objectives in the face of adversity. Business Continuity Management (BCM) is a holistic management process that identifies potential impacts that threaten an organization and provides a framework for building resilience and the capability for an effective response that safeguards the interests of its key stakeholders, reputation, brand, and value creating activities. Drones can be deployed during business continuity planning to great effects. Drones can significantly improve the effectiveness of business continuity plans in providing quicker high-quality data in hard to reach impacted sites. Drone deployment during disaster can support emergency response teams significantly in shrinking response period through rapid information gathering and in providing critical real time insight for faster assessments, response, and recovery.

Throughout this course, students will learn how to develop and manage a successful BCM program as defined in ISO 22301 and ISO 22313; apply guidelines to develop Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) standards-based BCM program integrating ISO 22301 concepts to understand Business Continuity; analyze an organization’s risks and business impacts; develop strategies to protect the organization; write plans to support response, continuity & recovery; train & exercise members of the organization on BCM components; and Evaluate a BCMS for continual improvement.

Included throughout the course are audit points and guidelines for the evaluation and measurement of BCM program essentials.
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Enterprise Risk Management MPA 720 SYS (3 credits)
This course aims to provide students with the fundamental principles of risk management. It will provide the relevant knowledge and skills required to manage risk systematically to improve performance within all areas of an organization to maximize all opportunities and minimize all threats. This course will therefore examine the management issues involved with uncertainties and in assessing risk environments in order to assure continuous system wide operations. The course studies the elements of risk assessment and operational continuity using the project management framework of planning, organizing and control.
Furthermore, students will learn how to address these risk elements in an integrated manner, ensuring that trade-offs are understood, acknowledged and accepted by the enterprise and its management.
Students will also be exposed to the role of the organization especially as it relates to crisis response and management and as it pertains to the field of disaster and emergency management.
Topics include: the role and need for comprehensive strategy and planning, an overview of the system wide structure, as well as the organizations within that structure, designed to plan for and respond to local or national crisis, the social and emotional impact on operations and productivity. Additionally, students learn gap analysis to identify gaps and areas in need of improvement with regards to compliance to the relevant standards identify, and correct gaps between desired levels and actual levels of performance.
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Evaluation and Improvement of an Emergency Management Plan MPA 730 PCA (3 credits)
This course is designed to provide students with hands-on experience in piloting and rolling out the emergency management plan, training program, or exercise developed in the previous semester and implement the 7-step process to planning for meaningful evaluation. Students will work together in the planning, conduct and evaluation of an exercise for the client. Students will also learn how to apply the Project Close phase to ensure proper hand-off to the client of the emergency management plan. Students will work on completing their respective emergency management portfolios.
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Information Technologies and Cybersecurity in Disaster Planning MPA 730 VAL (3 credits)
The nature and complexity of emergency management has grown significantly in the past two decades. Along with this growth has been an even greater growth in solutions based on information technologies (IT) and the need to protect them. Foremost has been the use of computers for emergency planning, regulatory compliance, response to disaster situations, and recovery. This course provides the student with an overview of the use of IT in emergency management. The course will discuss IT challenges in all emergency planning phases and the impact of the wide spread adoption of social media as well as mobile technologies on the way we approach emergency management. Geographical Information Systems and decision support systems will be explored as they play an important role in the decision making process during disasters. Emerging technologies and trends such as Internet of things will also be discussed.
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The Impact of Global Crises on Communities and the Ethics of International Response MPA 730 SEL (3 credits)
This online course provides an overview of the different types of international disaster events, and their impact on individuals, groups, and vulnerable communities. The course seeks to support the students at developing a better understanding of the international emergency management field, and designing resilient strategies that reflect the cultural needs of the different vulnerable populations impacted by global disasters. Moreover, the course will shed light on prominent examples of global outbreaks such as the coronavirus, and equip the students to assess the degree of effectiveness of the current emergency management policies that are in place to respond to such global crisis. Throughout the semester, we will use a mix of theoretical and practical approaches, to study various arenas of the emergency management field, which range from analyzing mitigation and preparedness strategies, to researching scholarly and credible articles, deploying effective risk communication strategies, and developing tactics to empower vulnerable communities in different socio-political contexts. In this online course, students are expected to engage with the course materials by joining virtual lectures, participating in online discussions, and writing short papers.
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Advanced Business Continuity Practicum MPA 730 SKI (3 credits)
This course is designed to prepare students to pursue the ISO 22301 Lead Auditor certification. Students will be taught the principles of the operation of the Business Continuity Management System, understand the operation of the BCMS in accordance with the ISO22301 standard, and practice of becoming an independent auditor (i.e. how to plan, conduct, and report internal and certification audits). Students will analyze and interpret the content within the ISO22301 standard and discuss how the relationships and interdependencies between a Business Continuity Management System (e.g. risk management, compliance)
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Homeland Security Policy and Procedures MPA 730 SYS (3 credits)
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the Federal Government’s role in planning, mitigating, preparing for, and responding to all disasters. This course will focus on analysis of the social, psychological, and political ramifications of Man Made vs. Natural Disasters. Students in this course will get an overview of the function of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its programs, with a specific focus on the Federal Emergency Management Agency, students will get an overview of FEMA and its programs. This course will provide a comprehensive overview of counter-terrorism and homeland security while offering explanations to assist students understand the role of law enforcement agencies in emergency and disaster management.
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