Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Department website: https://www.isu.edu/esd/hsem/

Chair and Associate Professor: Mikitish

Program Director and Associate Professor: Holien

M.S. Homeland Security and Emergency ManagementDegreeM.S.
B.S to M.S Homeland Security and Emergency ManagementDegreeB.S. to M.S.
Online Homeland Security and Emergency Management CertificateCertificateCertificate

Program Description


To educate and develop future homeland security and emergency management leaders and enhance the abilities of others to improve safety and security in our communities and nation.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will engage in intellectual discourse to grow an understanding of the homeland security enterprise that is responsible to the community and the world at large.
  2. Students will develop ethical leadership skills providing them with a competitive edge within their field, and opening doors into management and executive-level positions.
  3. Leaders prepared by this program will have the general knowledge and practical faculty to be active participants in critical reflection and analysis, professional collaboration, effective implementation of policies and procedures, and the development of excellent supportive networking skills.
  4. Graduates with this Master's degree will pursue careers that enhance the safety and security of our communities, and safeguard the lives of citizens.

Preparation and Expectations

A Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) prepares leaders to effectively prevent and deter intentional acts and build strong capabilities to respond and recover from all hazards and natural disasters that threaten lives and our economy in the US. This blended and multidisciplinary security and emergency management graduate program is designed to enhance participants' ability to address complex problems in a dynamic environment, assess risk, design impactful emergency protocols, and lead in a complex environment with partners from the whole community and all layers of society. While graduates with an undergraduate degree in HSEM have the technical capabilities to perform specific functions within the dynamic homeland security and emergency management workforce; graduates of the MS in HSEM will be program and project managers, strategic and policy advisors, directors, and executives responsible for decision-making, policy development, and strategy implementation to ensure resilient communities and to protect lives throughout the country. Resiliency requires leaders who recognize the threats, and who can lead private, public, and nonprofit organizations to withstand small and large stressors and shocks that could disrupt vital systems.

Students will explore topics such as systems thinking, cybersecurity, disaster management, critical infrastructure, intelligence, counterterrorism, and risk management leading to high-level management and leadership professions across multiple disciplines. Students must select one of two options (a thesis or a capstone project) to complete the final requirement in the MS degree program. Students who select a thesis will collaborate with their advisor(s) to identify a research question that will add value to both the University’s body of work on the topic and the homeland security enterprise. Students who select a capstone project must identify and secure an organizational sponsor to support the project proposal. This could be a current employer or an organization the student identifies through initiative and outreach.

Location/Curriculum Delivery

The program is delivered asynchronously in an online environment. All courses, except HSEM 6680 Capstone Project and HSEM 6690 Thesis, are taught in eight (8) week terms. HSEM 6680 Capstone Project is taught in three (3) stages, during the full term for three consecutive semesters. The HSEM 6690 Thesis is also taught in three (3) stages, during the full term for three consecutive semesters.