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Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Lead Faculty: Dr. Jilliane Olen

The terrorist events of 9/11 highlighted the national and international need for highly educated and experienced professionals in the area of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Naturally occurring events such as Hurricane Katrina, Southern California Wildfires, Joplin tornados, and Japanese tsunami are further evidence of the ongoing requirement for specialized knowledge in this area. Businesses, governments, and private industry must be able to prepare for, respond to, and recover from potentially debilitating natural and man-made catastrophes. The Master of Science degree program in Homeland Security and Emergency Management represents an interdisciplinary area of research and application that brings together fields of engineering, science, and management from the most traditional to the most technologically advanced and novel. A well-developed curriculum, with emphasis on fundamentals and practices that define the theory and effective practice of asset and people protection, provides the focus for the Homeland Security and Emergency Management degree.

There are three well-known external certifications related to security, safety, and emergency management professionals. The Certified Protection Professional (CPP) program is the product of the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS), an international organization for professionals responsible for security. This includes managers and directors of security departments or organizations, as well as full-time security practitioners. With more than 32,000 members worldwide, ASIS draws from corporate and organizational executive and management ranks, plus security consultants and architects, attorneys, and law enforcement professionals. The CPP program was officially launched in 1977, making it the longest running security certification program. Today, more than 9,500 individuals are CPP-certified, representing one of the largest certified groups of security professionals in existence.

The Certified Safety Professional (CSP) designation has become the mark of the professional within the safety field. This certification is administered by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP). The importance of this designation as a measure of professional standing and competence is accepted not only by the profession but is also gaining acceptance by federal, state, and local governments; by employers; and by the public.

Becoming a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) provides international recognition of qualifications. Administered by the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), CEM credentialing validates the experience, knowledge, and understanding of the CEM professional.

The Homeland Security and Emergency Management program is designed in such a way that anyone successfully completing this program would be academically trained to apply for CPP, CSP, and/or CEM credentialing.

MSHSSE Transition Program

National University students who completed a transition program as part of their undergraduate degree and who satisfy MSHSSE transition program requirements described in the catalog description of various undergraduate programs must complete a minimum of 45 quarter units for their MSHSSE degree. The number of units required for the MSHSSE program is dependent on the coursework completed in the Bachelors transition program and the grades earned.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Employ risk analysis to assess the safety and security of assets, as well as processes
  2. Illustrate the issues related to safety and security of both natural and man-made hazards
  3. Integrate tools and techniques, resources, organizational systems, and decision making processes for the successful implementation of safety and security plans.
  4. Demonstrate global mindset to safety/security issues, planning, and strategy.
  5. Assess the impact of safety/security issues for the operation of corporations, governments, and private industry and develop appropriate action plans.
  6. Integrate tools and techniques, resources, organizational systems, and decision making processes for the successful implementation of safety and security plans.
  7. Develop oral, written and technological communication skills appropriate with this profession.
  8. Appraise legal, ethical and professional responsibility.


To receive a Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management, students must complete at least 54 quarter units of graduate work. A total of 13.5 quarter units of graduate credit may be granted for equivalent graduate work completed at another institution, as it applies to this degree, and provided the units were not used in earning another advanced degree. Students should refer to the section in the graduate admission requirements for specific information regarding application and matriculation.

Program Prerequisites (1 course; 4.5 quarter units)

Candidates for the program must possess a Bachelor's degree in engineering, engineering technology, physical sciences, or a closely related area from an accredited university. Interested students from other disciplines may be admitted to the program but may be required to complete additional courses. Non-degree students will not be allowed to enter this program. For those who have a general non-science and non-engineering degree, admission is based on relevant experience and the following minimum program prerequisites:

  • CHE 101 Introductory Chemistry
  • This course may be waived if their equivalents have been completed at the undergraduate level with a grade of “C” or better.
Core Requirements (12 courses; 54 quarter units)
Core Requisite(s):