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Earn Your Master of Professional Studies in Emergency Management

Grow your skills in the field of emergency management with an advanced degree available entirely online through the Tulane School of Professional Advancement. The Master of Professional Studies in Emergency Management consists of nine core courses in a range of academic disciplines such as homeland security and approaches to counter-terrorism, emergency management administration, and disaster communications.

Depending on their specific interests and professional goals, students will also have the choice of taking one elective course in sport/event security and response or leadership, influence, and decision making in disasters. Upon completion, the program finishes with a career-focused capstone course that will allow you to integrate and apply key concepts through a business-based project conducted at a public or non-profit sector entity.

Flexibility to Earn Your Master’s From Anywhere

Tulane SoPA can help connect you with the resources to make going back to school your reality. As an entirely online program, the MPS in Emergency Management includes asynchronous learning that allows you to complete assignments at your own pace. Additionally, you can study with students from across the country, enhancing your professional network and connecting you with diverse perspectives. If you’re considering an MPS in Emergency Management, explore the program’s YouTube playlist. Watch interviews with industry leaders, get a breakdown of SoPA’s admissions process, and discover the different career pathways you can pursue.

Start Your Application



A Master of Professional Studies in Emergency Management degree from the Tulane School of Professional Advancement will give you the skills and knowledge to play a leading role in protecting your community from both natural and human-made hazards and disasters. This program is ideal for individuals with front-line experience, including first responders, community volunteers, and veterans or active-duty military members. You’ll build on your real-world experience to develop the strategic and analytical skills to plan for and prevent emergencies within complex organizations such as corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

As an emergency studies graduate, you’ll be ready to pursue a career as:

  • Emergency Management Director
  • Operations Specialist
  • Business Continuity Planner
  • Safety Manager
  • Training Coordinator
  • Federal Coordinating Officer
  • Emergency Management Site Inspector
  • Hospital Emergency Manager
  • Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager


Learn From Industry Experts & Build Your Professional Network

The Emergency & Security Studies Faculty at Tulane SoPA consists of industry experts, with extensive experience and knowledge in threat assessment, law enforcement intelligence, and emergency preparedness and management. In addition to building your professional network through your capstone project, you’ll also build career-ready skills in business continuity, leadership, and safety preparation tactics for large-scale public spaces and events.

Students from Tulane School of Professional Advancement speaking with their homeland security degree professor in New Orleans, LA


Graduate Certificates

Further develop your emergency management skills by completing a graduate certificate. By taking just four courses, you can add to your resume and earn credits that you can put toward a master's degree. Certificates can also be earned concurrently with the MPS.

MPS Admission Requirements

Students applying to the MPS in Emergency Management program must hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Applications to the program must include the following:

  • A statement of 250-500 words discussing their background beyond academic coursework, and how the program will assist them to achieve professional objectives.
  • Official college transcripts from each college attended. Typically, successful applicants will have at least a “B” (3.00) average in all coursework taken.

Applicants may be conditionally admitted and allowed to take one class in their first semester, in which a B or better must be earned to be fully admitted to the program. Students who do not meet the 3.00-grade point average in their undergraduate coursework but who possess sufficient professional experience in the security studies field may be admitted provisionally into the program.

Completed applications are reviewed by the MPS in Emergency Management Director, Dr. Michael Wallace and Admissions Committee throughout the year.

To begin the admissions process, complete the online application.

MPS Degree Requirements

The School of Professional Advancement awards the MPS in Emergency Management degree following the successful completion of 11 graduate courses comprised of nine core courses, one elective, and one capstone course. No thesis is required. Graduate students seeking to enroll in more than 9 credit hours per semester require approval from the Program Director. In order to earn the MPS, a student must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00. Students must also apply for a degree at the beginning of the semester in which the student plans to complete all required coursework. Applications for degree conferral are now online and will appear in a student's Gibson account when available.

Eligibility for Transfer Credits

Students in good standing may petition to transfer a maximum of nine credit hours (three courses) of graduate coursework from other colleges or universities to the MPS degree. However, only courses with grades of B or better, completed within five years of enrolling in the MPS program, may be considered for transfer credit.

Listing of Required Courses

Click here for listing of MPS in Emergency Management required courses and course descriptions.

The MPS in Emergency Management consists of nine core courses, one elective, and one capstone course.

Course Descriptions

ESSC 6001  Introduction to Emergency Management
This course will be an advanced examination of modern emergency management concepts, trends nationally and internationally, practical and political issues and policies, technological applications to emergency management, and the development and practical implementation of sound emergency management practices designed to protect people, communities, critical infrastructure and key assets. Included will be a brief review of emergency management policy and procedures in the United States and other countries, legal issues, social science perspectives, planning concepts and techniques, disaster modeling, operational problems, analytical methods, special populations, and management styles. Additionally, case studies will be examined to determine the extent of effective or ineffective planning, responding, and recovering from natural and technological disasters.

ESSC 6002  Critical Infrastructure Protection
This course closely examines the Critical Infrastructure Protection process to secure the effective protection of people, physical entities, and critical information and support systems in the event of natural disasters, and accidental or intentional man-made incidents of major destruction. The course will provide an analysis of a time-efficient and resource-restrained practice that ensures the protection of those critical infrastructures upon which survivability, continuity of operations, and mission success depend. The course will guide students in the theories of physical protection and conducting vulnerability assessments of critical infrastructure elements. We will examine the critical sectors identified by the United States Department of Homeland Security and how disruption of these sectors could effect the civil population and the national economy.

ESSC 6003  Geospatial Information Systems
Applied Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in both GIS concepts and the use of GIS. Applied Geographic Information Systems strikes a careful balance between GIS concepts and hands-on applications. GIS is an emergent technological domain utilized by all U.S. Federal Departments and Agencies and many private sector organizations for defense and national security (including intelligence), transportation and logistics, and telecommunications practical application and analysis. GIS allows you to use satellite imagery to conduct geospatial analysis by using data to build maps and graphs. This course is an introductory geospatial intelligence analysis course that will provide the learner with basic technological and industry-relevant skills (no technical background required). The learner will utilize industry software to develop maps and map layers to address multiple real-world practical case studies.

ESSC 6004  Military/Civilian Interface During Response
This course is designed to give the students a broad overview of the National Preparedness Guidelines, National Planning Scenarios, and the National Incident Management System as it relates to Defense Support of Civil Authorities in the instances of key risks such as; Natural Hazards, Pandemics, Technological and Accidental Hazards, Terrorist acts, and Cyber Attacks. This course will further educate students on what kind of support the Department of Defense (DoD) can provide civilian authorities, the legality of such support, as well as explain the authorities, appropriateness and extent of DoD support.

ESSC 6005  Border Security
This course is designed to enhance the student’s ability to think critically about border security and our nation’s approach to securing its borders. It will equip the student with the necessary knowledge to effectively evaluate current border security strategies as well as propose policy changes related to border security in order to enhance the nation’s homeland security posture.

ESSC 6006  Intel Analysis and Critical Thinking
This course is designed to give students an advanced understanding of intelligence-gathering and analysis as it relates to critical thinking; linkages to money laundering, risk management, risk assessment factors, operational concepts and strategic implications. It is a logical follow-on study that further examines the collaborative process of intelligence analysis and will provide homeland security professionals tools, framework and concepts to further develop their leadership skills by understanding how the synthesis and utilization of intelligence impacts decision making in tactical, operational and strategic settings while emphasizing the principles of holistic, all-hazards approach to preparedness.

ESSC 6007  Health and Medical Issues in Emergency Management
An advanced study of the important health and medical management issues involved in crises and emergencies presented for the non-medical emergency manager. The wide range of medical and health issues inherent to a crisis including biological, radiological, nuclear events and emergencies are described. Students will focus on innovative response and recovery including long term public health recovery issues methods for integrating medical, public health, and psychological processes into emergency management.
Prerequisite(s): ESSC 6001.

ESSC 6008  Risk Management and Threat Assessment
This course examines the concepts, methods, and practices associated with risk management and threat assessment from an all-hazard perspective. Students will learn how to conduct hazard and risk analysis for both the public and private sectors. This course will include identifying and profiling hazards, analyzing and assessing hazard risk developing tactics to manage risk, examining multiple risk assessment tools, and communicating risk to the public. Participants will examine critical infrastructure sectors and associated interdependencies, cascading consequences, and shared vulnerabilities. Students will perform their own risk analysis and develop recommendations for policy makers as part of this curriculum.

ESSC 6009  Emergency Planning
Through a whole-community approach, this course provides an in-depth analysis of the processes and methods used throughout the entire federally-designated preparedness cycle. Planning is the backbone of the emergency management process. Steps required to develop a comprehensive emergency plan from the strategic, tactical, and operational approach will be discussed. Students will learn the skills to complete plans, develop training programs, and write after action reports and improvement plans. This course prepares students to develop plans that address vulnerabilities and promote community resiliency. Students will complete a draft plan for a local community organization as part of this curriculum.

ESSC 6010  Disaster Communications
This is an advanced examination of modern emergency management concepts, national and international trends, practical and political issues and policies, technological applications to emergency management, and the development and practical implementation of sound emergency management practices designed to protect people, communities, critical infrastructure and key assets. Course content includes reviews of emergency management policy and procedures in the U.S. and other countries, legal issues, social science perspectives, planning concepts and techniques, disaster modeling, operational problems, analytical methods, special populations, and management styles. Case studies are used to examine examples of effective and ineffective plans, responses, and recoveries from natural and technological disasters.

ESSC 6011  Emergency Management Administration
Modern emergency managers are required to perform an ever-increasing number of administrative tasks. Their workload exceeds activities associated with operational emergency management. This course provides students the skills required for those tasks, including grant management and principles of managing an effective staff. Students will develop the capabilities necessary to successfully complete these administrative requirements.

ESSC 6012  Physical Protection Systems
An introductory course to the systematic discipline of Physical Protection System design, implementation, and testing. The methodology presented is scalable for small, medium, and large security applications ranging from home security systems to safeguarding and securing sensitive nuclear facilities.

ESSC 6013  Business Continuity
With global business stretched across extended supply chains, productivity has increased, but it has come at a cost of increased vulnerability. Businesses cannot afford to be unprepared for traditional and emerging threats. Business continuity is a fast-growing area of emergency and security management focused on the private sector. This specialty works to ensure continuous business operations before, during, and after disasters or other normal disruptions. It is designed to provide strategies tied to national and international standards for the development of detailed business continuity plans. Students will discuss managing disruptions, maintaining continuity of critical operations, and mitigating losses that occur when interrupted. Based on the all-hazard framework, students will learn about the current threats, including political instability and cyber attacks. Regardless of the impetus for such disruptive events, students will be prepared to train employees to both mitigate and recover from such events. Students will also discuss best practices in the ongoing recovery efforts after an event.

ESSC 6014  Corporate Security
The intent of this course is to give students an overview of the varied objectives and duties associated with Corporate Security. The goal is to present the multiple levels, tasks and duties associated with Corporate Security as it applies to a U.S. based corporation, relative to employee safety and security as well as what is known as Executive Protection, and offering insight into the different career opportunities associated with this line of work.

ESSC 6015  Financial Institution Security
This course introduces the theory of providing security for financial institutions. Financial institution security refers to the various security measures for the purpose of protecting life and property, protecting the confidentiality of critical data and information and other financial assets. The course also reviews laws and regulations that guide security practices such as those promulgated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and its Safeguards Rule amongst many other designs. This class will analyze the basics of this industry and review practical approaches to protecting them against threats such as theft, both internal and external, vandalism, data center security, cyber-crimes and fraud. Topics include the value of conducting security audits, conducting a business impact analysis, implementing security systems and interfacing with the public.

ESSC 6016  Leadership in Emergency and Security Management
Emergency and Security management practitioners must use leadership and influence effectively to lead organizations and their community in planning for, preventing, and responding to emergencies. This type of leadership encompasses vision, direction, coordination, and motivation toward achieving emergency management goals. Leadership skills are necessary whether dealing with senior agency officials, emergency management partners, or the public. A lack of leadership during an emergency can result in the loss of life, property, and the public trust. This course will expose students to the major factors, theories, and strategies for leadership, influence, and decision making. The traits, skills, and behaviors of effective leaders will also be discussed.

ESSC 6017  Sport/Event Security and Response
This course provides an overview of security planning, risk assessment methodologies, and emergency response considerations for sport and special events. Students will learn how to identify threats and vulnerabilities, analyze and mitigate risk, and harden events and venues through security countermeasure proposals and emergency response/recovery initiatives.

ESSC 6018  Approaches to Counter Terrorism
Students will employ critical analysis to examine key policy issues and balances that must be addressed in strategic counterterrorism planning, particularly in the use of applied technology within the context of civil jurisdiction and rule of law. The course will examine terrorist threats to the homeland and how these threats can be met by the application of science and technology. Policy issues that address the balance between security and civil liberties that must be resolved to effectively counter terrorism will be discussed. These issues will be addressed from the governance perspective of a liberal democracy. Strategic planning principles that integrate capabilities of current and future applied technology and the key legal and policy issues that must be resolved in order to make effective use of information as balanced against civil liberties will be explored as well.

ESSC 7001  Cyber Threats and Homeland Security
This course takes an in-depth look at cyber threats in relation to personal, organizational, economic and national security. Students will apply their understanding of the variety and nature of cyber threats from the perspective of a cybersecurity manager by gaining an understanding of the commercial and national security cross-threats posed by hackers. This includes studying the impact and relationship of digital espionage, cyber war, cyber terrorism, computer hacking, viruses, communications eavesdropping, forgery, and disruption to information flow to the enterprise. The course also covers legal challenges to national policies for securing cyberspace and their relationship to, and impact on, privacy and civil liberties.

ESSC 7002  Intelligence Research, Methods & Analysis
This course presents students with an analysis of how intelligence is collected and processed and how the resulting estimates contribute to the formation of national policy and homeland security. This course examines the collaborative process of intelligence analysis and is designed to provide students the tools, framework and concepts required to develop leadership skills through understanding how the synthesis and utilization of intelligence impacts decision making in tactical, operational and strategic settings within the framework of the principles of all hazards preparedness. Students will gain an understanding of the history and fundamental concepts of intelligence-gathering and analysis. In addition to tracing the development of intelligence organizations, it examines both the disciplines of intelligence (signals intelligence and espionage, for example) and its products. Case studies will be employed to illustrate enduring issues or problems in the study of intelligence.

ESSC 7003  Human Intelligence & Counter Intelligence
A course that explores the world of espionage, its importance in world history, the psychology behind the recruitment of human sources, the nature of clandestine operations, and the principals involved in counterintelligence. The course includes a wide range of historical case studies and an examination of the potential future role of espionage in an increasingly unstable and dangerous world.
Prerequisite(s): ESSC 7002.

ESSC 7004  Narco-Terrorism
This course will expose the narcotics nexus to terrorist organizations and how they affect the United States and foreign terrorist organizations threatening within our borders. A recommended proactive approach to terrorism investigations in all communities will be illustrated with an emphasis on drug-related issues. These tactics can be carried out by any law enforcement officer and will be successful in the fight against terrorism affecting the United States on the mainland. Foreign terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, ARC, domestic terrorist organizations, and localized (U.S) narco-terrorists will be discussed. Identifying and investigating terrorist cells in the United States is the main focus of this course. Every type of U.S. law enforcement officer will be shown how to use these methods to fight against terrorism within our borders.

ESSC 7005  Domestic and International Terrorism
The course will provide insight and analysis into the ideology, structure, financing, and driving forces behind terrorist individuals and groups inside the United States (homegrown) and international (foreign) groups. The course will offer a critical analysis of the governmental response to the war on terrorism, including contemporary models of counterterrorism. Students will also explore the published works of leading thinkers regarding the concept of terrorism and will discuss and analyze the goals, motivational factors, targets, and tactics of terrorist organizations regardless of ideology. Additionally, students will learn techniques for evaluating vulnerability to all forms of attack, as well as the threat terrorism poses to modern society, while staying abreast of the current roles, and responsibilities of all levels of government agencies in countering terrorism.

ESSC 7006  Maritime and Border Security
This course will examine key policy issues and balances that must be addressed in all aspects of Maritime Homeland Security. The current paradigm of security on the world’s waterways and in the ports of the United States is one of overlapping layers of security. Each layer is specific to a particular port, commodity, state government, governmental agency, maritime classification society, and other maritime agencies, shipping routes, intermodal transportation nodes and shipping methods and end user requirements. It is this intricate and overlapping series of security measures that provides protection and security within the maritime transportation infrastructure against a wide variety of threats.

ESSC 7008  Public-Private PartnershipsAs communities prepare and respond to events that are more extreme, complex and frequent, it is clear that all resources have to be utilized to ensure resilience. The development of public and private partnerships provides resources in many forms to address these needs. In this course, students gain knowledge of the importance of these partnerships in the planning process. They will learn approaches to team and partnership building utilizing gap analysis to bring these partnerships together. They will incorporate and apply the elements of communication and information sharing, leadership and social responsibility through case studies. Finally, they will describe employment of systems analysis to evaluate partnerships.

ESSC 7009  Transportation and Border Security
This course closely examines the complexities of protecting the borders of the United States and ensuring the safety and security of the U.S. transportation system, including intermodal connections. Fundamentally, the course considers the relationship between security and the need to maintain supply chain flow and how certain strategic approaches can buy down risk. The course also analyzes the changes in security arrangements from pre- to post-9/11 policies, relative to border and transportation security, with a synthesis of the organization of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and national policy processes. In so doing, the course assesses the inadequacies of extant national strategies and implementing plans that address the spectrum of policies involving protection, detection, deterrence, defense, recovery and reconstitution of border and transportation systems. Issues concerning border and transportation security are inextricably linked with global security policies affecting the international supply chain and the cross-border transportation of goods and passengers. Therefore, class discussions and readings will examine the international framework and context of border and transportation security policies.

ESSC 7010  Homeland Security: The National Challenge
The goal of this course is to explore the published works of leading thinkers regarding the evolving nature of Homeland Security and assist students with the tools and resources necessary to gain an understanding of the principles prescribed. Students will learn techniques oriented toward understanding the threats posed to modern society, while staying abreast of the current and future roles and responsibilities of all levels of government agencies in countering threats from the prospective of all hazards preparedness. The political, economic, and practical issues of implementation are thoroughly examined. The course will examine responses to the terrorist threat as well as natural and manmade disasters to include public policy legislation and documents, such as national security strategies, homeland security decision directives, the National Response Framework and National Incident Management System. An overview of the history of The Department of Homeland Security model of planning, protecting, responding, and recovering from a natural disaster and terrorist attack is analyzed. This course provides an overview of Terrorism, Homeland Security, and risk assessment methodologies. Students will learn how to identify vulnerabilities, analyze and mitigate risk, and harden critical infrastructure sites through countermeasure proposals. This course also includes an examination of the basic legislation and operations of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its role in protecting the United States by detecting, deterring, preventing, and responding to potential threats, current and future.

ESSC 7011  Law and National Security
This course will survey and explore domestic laws (constitutional, statutory, and regulatory), executive branch decisions and many of their corresponding judicial interpretations that authorize, expand or constrain the U.S. government’s pursuit of its national security policy objectives. This course is organized into four categories: (I) the foundations of U.S. national security powers, (II) the use of force abroad, (III)intelligence gathering and (IV)detaining, interrogating and prosecuting terrorist suspects. This graduate-level course is conducted as a lecture class and in seminar fashion with an emphasis on encouraging and incorporating robust dialogue, engagement and sharing of insights and ideas, integrating and correlating assigned course readings and selected media resources with real world events. Students should expect to acquire a substantive understanding of the balance of liberty and security struck by the executive, legislative and judicial branches to combat threats to the homeland. Course may be repeated unlimited times for credit.

ESSC 7012  Defense Support to Civilian Authority
It is vital for emergency managers at every jurisdictional level to possess a rudimentary understanding (at a minimum) of military resources; their capabilities and limitations; and, how to access and integrate them in their respective jurisdiction’s disaster response and recovery operations. Without this understanding, there are significant risks of missed opportunities to save lives mitigate human suffering, and mitigate significant property and/or environmental damage.

ESSC 7013  Information Operations and Open Source Intelligence
This course explores Information Operations and the increasing role it plays in military, political, and international affairs. It provides a detailed understanding of the history, tools, and methods employed by U.S. and its adversaries to influence the thinking of target audiences, including the role cyber plays in enabling its transmission and feedback. The course examines these operations from the military, civilian, business, and internet paradigms, as well as the continuous information collection of individuals by governments and corporations. Additionally, this course will provide an understanding of Information Operations at all levels of implementation, including strategic communication and public diplomacy. The course also provides students an understanding of the importance of and how to analyze Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT). Students will apply their knowledge of Information Operations to the analysis of open-source materials to better prepare them to develop assessments of the validity, perspective, and accuracy of such reports.
Prerequisite(s): ESSC 6006.

ESSC 7014  Ethics in OSINT
This course will provide an intellectual framework for students to discuss the moral implications and understand the foundations of the use of ethics in Open Source Intelligence during its collection, analysis, intelligence use, and practices.

ESSC 7015  Open Source Collection and Techniques
This course will provide students with an overview of the fundamentals and most effective methodologies used by Open Source Intelligence analysts to collect data from various publicly available information.

ESSC 7016  Open Source Information Analysis
This course will provide students with the most effective methodologies used by Open Source Intelligence professionals to analyze publicaly available information in developing highly detailed intelligence products.

ESSC 7900  Capstone
This course synthesizes the full range of knowledge, skills, and abilities students developed over the entirety of their homeland security studies. Students will integrate and apply key concepts through a community based project, developing a proposal and conducting this project at a public or non-profit sector entity. At the end of the semester, the project will be presented both to the chosen organization and their class colleagues. Students will integrate critical decision making skills with a unique and local hands-on learning experience. A written report documenting all aspects of the project will be presented for faculty approval.

Tuition and Fees

Information about SoPA tuition and fees may be found here.

Some courses have fees to support the technology needed for high-quality virtual and on-ground experiences.  These fees are always listed on the schedule of classes.


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