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Courses MS in Emergency Management

Master of Science in Emergency Management

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Eight Required Courses


32 quarter credit

PSL7010, PSL7020, and PSL7030 taken in a prescribed sequence.

21st-Century Communication and Leadership

This course begins the three-course sequence designed to enhance professional communication, scholarly competencies, and leadership effectiveness. Learners apply theoretical models of leadership and interpersonal relations to practical situations in the workplace. Learners also use contemporary technology to communicate effectively as scholars and professionals in real-world situations.  Must be taken during the learner’s first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or prior learning assessment.

4 quarter credits
EMG7015 *
Application of Emergency Management Theory

This course introduces learners to the application of emergency management theories by scholars and professionals in research, policy, practice, and systems. Learners in the course identify and assess primary theoretical constructs and research methodologies commonly used in emergency management. Throughout the course, learners synthesize relevant theories and applicable methodologies in order to generate potential research topics, determine potential policy issues, and examine ways to inform emergency management administration. Prerequisite(s): PSL7020, completion of or concurrent registration in PSL7030. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
EMG7025 *
Emergency Management Policy and the Administration of Emergencies and Disasters

This course focuses on the organizational challenges that emergency management leadership typically encounters in contemporary society. Learners critically examine the intended and unintended effects of political, social, and legal policies and pressures impacting the ways emergency management organizations function. Learners assess organizational and administrative theories, and best practices for leadership and administration in emergency management. Learners also analyze innovative policies and change initiatives to achieve specific ethical and functional objectives. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in EMG7015; PSL7030.

4 quarter credits
EMG7035 *
Emergency Management Systems

Learners in this course identify best practices to coordinate and manage comprehensive emergency management systems. Learners examine technology and research-integrated applications, risk communication, risk-based decision making, application of theory, and monitoring and measurement of the programs analyzed. Prerequisite(s): EMG7015, PSL7030. 

4 quarter credits
EMG7045 *
Risk Management Application

In this course, learners determine best practices for risk assessment composed of hazard identification, vulnerability assessment, and impact analysis as an integrated process. Throughout the course, learners integrate the theoretical paradigm supporting the management of risk and risk-based decision making. Prerequisite(s): EMG7015, PSL7030.

4 quarter credits
PSL7020 *
Professional Practice and Collaboration in a Diverse and Dynamic World

Learners in this course examine a variety of social and professional situations to build their skills in effective and creative collaboration across an organization. Learners analyze and benchmark best practices from an organizational, team, and individual perspective to create an environment of inclusivity and collaborative results. In addition, learners examine conflict management, diversity management, group dynamics, cultural competence, ethical decision making, followership, and social responsibility. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in PSL7010.

4 quarter credits
PSL7030 *
Introduction to Critical Analysis and Research

This course reinforces the leadership knowledge and skills gained during previous coursework, and enables learners to be more effective consumers of data and to better utilize research in applied and academic endeavors. Learners develop and demonstrate skills to evaluate source quality, credibility, and relevance to practice; assess research concepts and strengthen their ability to critically analyze; and apply information literacy, research ethics, and methods of inquiry. Prerequisite(s): PSL7010, completion of or concurrent registration in PSL7020.

4 quarter credits
EMG7095 *
Integrative Project for Emergency Management

In this course, learners demonstrate proficiency in a specific area related to emergency management by applying learning from required and elective courses to develop an original project. Throughout the process, learners select an emergency management theoretical perspective and apply it to best practices and industry-specific approaches and methods. Using their project, learners write a paper to demonstrate knowledge they have gained throughout the program. For MS in Emergency Management learners only. Prerequisite(s): Completion of all required and elective coursework. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or prior learning assessment. 

4 quarter credits


Four Elective Courses


16 quarter credits

Recommended elective courses:

Higher Education Landscape

In this course, learners analyze the current state of higher education and the roles and structures of higher education divisions within colleges and universities. Learners examine the inner workings of higher education including how finance, politics, governance, and the law affect the operation of higher education institutions. Learners also evaluate how current trends and issues influence higher education practice.

4 quarter credits
The Science of Adult Learning

This course presents the theory, principles, and effective practices of adult education. Learners build and demonstrate knowledge of the developmental characteristics of adult learners and interpret how culture, community, and society affect adult learning in a diverse society.

4 quarter credits
Teaching Strategies and Methods for Adult Learners

This course covers land-based teaching and digital environments with their various methods of delivery. Learners examine and apply teaching strategies and methods to enhance diverse adult learning styles.

4 quarter credits
Curriculum and Assessment

Learners in this course apply learning principles and effective practices to the design of curricula and assessment. Learners evaluate curricula and assessment of student learning outcomes for continuous improvement of the educational process.

4 quarter credits
Critical Infrastructure National Strategies and Policies

In this course, learners assess the current critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR) national strategies, National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP), authorities, and policies. Learners also identify the requirements and responsibilities for management of the national system and analyze various theories and policies that would protect sustainable, resilient critical infrastructure systems.

4 quarter credits
Foundations of Continuity Management Programs

In this course, learners investigate the components of business continuity management within the private and nonprofit sectors as well as the components of operations continuity within the public sector. Learners analyze the integrative requirements of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1600, Federal Continuity Directive (FCD) 1, and Continuity Guidance (CG) 1 and the theories that support continuity management. Learners examine theories of risk, risk perception, theories of systems, and systems thinking. Learners also strengthen their understanding of the need for continuity of operations and demonstrate their knowledge by developing an outline for a continuity management plan.

4 quarter credits
Critical Components and Management of Complex Infrastructure Networks

Learners in this course analyze protection strategies for effective complex critical infrastructures within diverse nonprofit, private, or government sectors. Learners evaluate current critical components and manage the complex infrastructure networks to provide necessary resources to the nation’s daily operations for its citizens’ well-being. Learners examine the enterprise network management of critical infrastructure with its complex interconnectivity across the Internet. Learners also identify cyber vulnerabilities in the management of the complex critical infrastructure systems and recommend appropriate safeguards.

4 quarter credits
Risk Assessment for Continuity Programs

This course is an introduction to risk assessment and risk management. Learners examine the relationship of risk assessment to an integrated emergency management and continuity program. Learners assess the meaning of business in the context of continuity planning and programming and identify the management need for an integrated plan, based on National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1600. In addition, learners gain and apply knowledge of Federal Continuity Directives (FCD) 1 and 2 and Continuity Guidance Circulars (CGC) 1 and 2.

4 quarter credits
Critical Infrastructure in an All-Hazards Environment

In this course, learners measure security risks associated with the national critical infrastructure systems and caused by intentional and unintentional threats from various threat agents. Learners identify the current cyber vulnerabilities that could induce threats to our environments and investigate natural and manmade threats, including cyberterrorism against our critical infrastructure, and the devastating consequences caused by these threats. Learners also evaluate the incident response lifecycle—monitor, detect, contain, mitigate, and validate—when a security incident occurs.

4 quarter credits
Business Continuity Sustainment and Project Management

This course introduces the elements of project management and the relationship to building a sustainable continuity management program. Learners analyze research on continuity and recovery procedures, identify the relationship between continuity of critical functions and organizational resilience, and apply project management best practices to a continuity plan outline.

4 quarter credits
Designing Resilient Systems

Learners in this course assess the effectiveness of the current resilient systems of critical infrastructure against all potential threats, emergency management amid disaster, and recovery procedures after a disaster. Learners demonstrate their understanding by writing a critical infrastructure protection plan for all-hazards environment. In addition, learners analyze the methods of sharing resilient information interagency as well as best practices and standards in protecting critical infrastructure and propose ways to improve strategies and policies.

4 quarter credits
Business Continuity Planning

Learners in this course apply advanced knowledge and skills in continuity management and use risk assessment and impact strategies in the development of an annotated outline for a business continuity plan. Learners demonstrate knowledge of the metrics needed to assess performance. Learners also investigate the critical importance of effective continuity on organizational resilience.

4 quarter credits

Choose any graduate course(s).




48 quarter credits 

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details. 


If you have elective courses yet to satisfy in your program, you may be able to add a concentration and satisfy those degree requirements at the same time, with no additional program cost or time commitment. Concentrations available for this program include:

  • Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR)
  • Human Resource Management
  • Project Management

What can I expect?

Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

Learn more about online learning at Capella.

Transfer Credits

There are many ways to reduce tuition costs, including transferring credits which may help save time and money. You can transfer up to 12 credits into this specialization.

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Take an individual course

Whether you're completing additional credits for your own education, want to see if online learning is right for you, or are simply interested in a specific topic, you can enroll in many of Capella's online courses without committing to a degree program. We recommend speaking with an enrollment counselor to discuss your goals and ensure that the credits you earn now may be applicable to a Capella degree program.

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