M.S. Emergency and Disaster Management

Prepare to manage the diverse challenges facing our nation as a result of recent disasters and complex global threats.

For individuals from the public and private sectors, non-governmental organization and the military, the School of Education & Social Services' online M.S. in critical incident management provides the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills to identify threats, minimize risk, and lead organizations in times of crisis.

The degree is available as both a two-year traditional program as well as an accelerated program, which requires special permission.

Emergency and Disaster Management specialization courses explore:

  • Legal and regulatory aspects of critical incident management
  • Financial management
  • Politics and policies
  • Organizational leadership theories and applications
  • Impact of terrorism on homeland security
  • How to handle hazardous materials
  • Management of critical incident operations and personnel
  • Risk identification and assessment
  • Psychological and sociological aspects of catastrophic events
  • Hazard mitigation

One of the leading military-friendly colleges in the United States, Saint Leo University has been educating criminal justice professionals for more than three decades. In the Catholic spirit, we base our criminal justice model on a steadfast moral consciousness that recognizes the dignity, value, and gifts of all people.

Traditional program: The M.S. in Emergency and Disaster Management is a two-year program of study. Take a maximum of two classes per semester or one online class per term. Earn full-time status for three credit hours per 8-week term, or six credit hours per 15-week semester.

Accelerated program: Complete your M.S. in Emergency and Disaster Management in less than two years. You must receive special permission each term or semester to take more courses than permitted in the traditional program. Accelerated students must send a letter to the Director of Graduate Studies in Criminal Justice petitioning this request to receive approval.

Degree Requirements

Emergency and Disaster Management Courses (36 credits)

  • Course
  • Course Name
  • Credits
  • CIM 575 Legal and Regulatory Aspects of Critical Incident Management 3

    This course examines various legal and regulatory issues impacting the critical incident management arena. Provides a historical analysis of emergency management law, including various homeland security and emergency management legal issues since September 11, 2001. Students will examine the role of federal, state, and local governments within this legal framework.

  • CIM 576 Financial Management 3

    This course will examine various financial management and performance measurement concepts and techniques applicable to critical incident management. Students will analyze how the strategic management process impacts budgeting, financial management, and performance measurement. Case studies will be used to illustrate how governmental agencies are impacted by strategic planning and financial management strategies and outcomes.

  • CIM 577 Politics and Policy in Critical Incident Management 3

    This course will explore the political and public policy environment applicable to critical incident management. The course considers the political dynamics of critical incident management and how politics plays a role in all phases of emergency and disaster management. Through the use of case studies, students will examine various public policy formulation and implementation issues, to include problem identification, stakeholder analysis, agenda setting, and interest groups.

  • CIM 578 Leadership Applications in Critical Incident Management 3

    This course is designed to provide students with an overview of contemporary organizational leadership theories and concepts. Special emphasis will be on effective leadership principles and practices applicable to the critical incident management arena. Students will analyze topics such as transformational leadership, motivation, effective organizational communication, group dynamics, how organizational culture impacts organizational climate, professional development, and individual and organizational ethics.

  • CIM 579 Applied Research and Evaluation 3

    This course will expose students to various techniques and concepts used in research and evaluation. Students will have the opportunity to practice the application of empirical findings to agency policies, procedures, practices, and programs applicable to critical incident management. This course will prepare students to identify a specific problem or program initiative for the Applied Project in Critical Incident Management (CIM 590).

  • CRJ/CIM 581 Impact of Terrorism on Homeland Security 3

    This course is an introduction to political terrorism, ranging from low-level acts of threats and acts of violence that may represent significant risk to human life and property to large-scale acts of violence using "weapons of mass destruction" that may have devastating, long-term effects.

  • CRJ/CIM 582 Management of Critical Incident Operations 3

    This course will explore the role of various public safety personnel in managing disaster response operations. The nature of disaster, the complexities of disaster response operations, and the roles and responsibilities of various emergency management personnel will be examined. Students will gain an understanding of common post-disaster problems and how the emergency management community may overcome these challenges.

  • CRJ/CIM 583 Risk Identification and Assessment 3

    The overall goal of this course is to contribute to the reduction of the growing toll (deaths and injuries, property loss, environmental degradation, etc.) of disasters in the United States by providing an understanding of a process (the hazards risk management process) that provides a framework that may be applied at all levels of communities and governments to identify, analyze, consider, implement, and monitor a wide range of measures that can contribute to their well-being.

  • CRJ/CIM 584 Psychological Aspects of Critical Incidents 3

    This course is an examination of the psychological trauma that one experiences when involved in a catastrophic event. The learner will examine terrorism and natural and man-made disasters. The learner will also examine how the aforementioned catastrophic events cause psychological trauma, related psychological and physiological disorders, sense of community trauma and loss, and the impact of such incidents on the first responder. In addition, the course will examine preparedness and the role of the mental health profession, community response teams, peer support groups, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The study of this phenomenon by first responders and emergency managers is essential in understanding the impact of trauma and allows for the development of treatment strategies that can effectively combat the debilitating effects of catastrophic events.

  • CIM 585 Social Dimensions of Disaster 3

    This course provides an overview of sociological research regarding disasters. Students will examine research findings relevant to individual, group, organization, and community responses to, and recovery from, disasters. Special focus will be on principles and concepts that govern the design and implementation of effective disaster warning systems, myths regarding disaster response and how people will behave, and theoretical principles and practices most applicable to the implementation of an effective local emergency management program.

  • CIM 586 Hazard Mitigation 3

    An examination of the principles and practice of hazard mitigation at the local, state, regional, and federal levels. Students will explore the tools, techniques, and resources applicable to planning for and implementing successful hazard mitigation programs. Emphasis will be on the intergovernmental relationships and strategies necessary for preventing future losses of life and damage to both public and private property.

  • CIM 590 Applied Project in Critical Incident Management 3

    This course is designed to be a capstone course in which the student will use various knowledge and skills acquired from the program curriculum to address an important problem or launch a program initiative related to critical incident management. The objective of this course is tied to outcomes assessment for the Graduate Program. For successful completion of this course and the Master of Science in Critical Incident Management degree requirements, students must demonstrate both a mastery of the curriculum content and an articulated ability to apply what has been learned to professional endeavors.

Total Credits 36