The MSDM degree provides the educational basis and required skills for students to be successful in strategic and supervisory roles within the homeland security and emergency management field and enables them to successfully make decisions based on that knowledge.


Students without a background in homeland security or emergency management will be required to take HSEM F301-Principles of Emergency Management & Homeland Security before beginning the required MSDM coursework. HSEM F301 will not count toward the MSDM program requirements.

Students without a Bachelor of Security and Emergency Management degree from UAF will be required to take HSEM F412-Emergency Planning and Preparedness prior to taking HSEM F605-Community Planning. In this case, HSEM F412 may be counted as an elective in the MSDM program.

View the full catalog MSDM degree requirements.

MSDM Curriculum

The MSDM degree provides professional education applicable to the various fields of security and disaster management. This degree prepares graduates to meet the complex problems of the strategic and leadership roles within emergency management and homeland security fields and enables them to make difficult decisions while supervising these fields.

Minimum Requirements for Degree: 30 credits

General University Requirements

Complete the general university requirements.

Master’s Degree Requirements

Complete the master’s degree requirements.

Program Requirements1





Legal Aspects of Homeland Security and Emergency Management



Disaster Management Policy



Vulnerability and Protection



Human Security



Security and Disaster Management


Complete one of the following concentrations (see below for details)


Arctic Security

Business Continuity

Climate Security


Disaster Management


Strategic Leadership

Complete two approved electives at the F400 or F600 level


1 Students with two Cs, one D or one F in courses that are part of the MSDM program will not be in good standing even if their cumulative GPA is at or above 3.0. MSDM students who are not in good standing will be subject to review and may be dismissed by the MSDM committee. Students may not use more than two F600-level courses with C grades on the advancement-to-candidacy application.

NOTE: Up to six 400- or graduate-level credits may be transferred from the National Fire Academy, FBI National Academy, Command and General Staff College, or similar programs approved by the American Council on Education, as substitutes.

NOTE: An A or B grade must be earned in F400-level courses.

MSDM Concentrations

The MSDM offers a number of different concentration options. Each student in this degree program must choose from one of the following concentrations:

Arctic Security
The arctic security concentration will help students to understand the Arctic’s unique economics and governance systems, making students better prepared to secure the arctic. Courses include topics in strategies and operations, diplomacy, and international relations.

Complete the following:

  • HSEM F621 - Circumpolar Competition-Arctic Diplomacy and Defense
  • HSEM F622 - Arctic Strategies and Operations
  • HSEM F692 - Security and Disaster Management Seminar
    OR ACNS F652 - International Relations of the North

Business Continuity
The business continuity concentration provides students with an in-depth look at what it takes to help a business mitigate for and survive after a major disaster or crisis. Courses include topics in crisis management, business continuity, and project management.

Complete three of the following:

Climate Security
The Climate Security concentration is intended to provide students with the tools to understand and connect climate related hazards with impacts to people and infrastructure, and the effects on human, community, regional, national, and international security. Courses include topics in climate driven catastrophes, case studies, the application of models and scenarios, and techniques to improve data driven decision-making efforts.

Complete the following:

  • HSEM F670 - Environmental Security
  • HSEM F672 - Climate Catastrophes: A Case Study Approach
  • HSEM F673 - Models and Scenarios for Disaster Risk Reduction

The cybersecurity concentration is designed for students who desire an in-depth knowledge in the cybersecurity field. This is not a technical concentration, but rather the focus is on the managerial components and decision making skills need in the cybersecurity field. Courses include topics in information assurance, cyber threats, and addressing critical infrastructure.

Complete the following:

  • HSEM F641 - Information Assurance and Risk Assessment
  • HSEM F648 - Perspectives in Addressing Cybersecurity & Critical Infrastructure
  • HSEM F649 - Cyber Threats and Vulnerabilities

Disaster Management
This concentration focuses on the overall components of disaster response and recovery knowledge an emergency management professional would need to make critical decisions and manage effectively. Courses include topics in community planning, international disaster management, project management, and strategic collaboration.

Complete three of the following:

This concentration is designed for students who have an undergraduate STEM degree and want to keep their technical skills current while building the critical thinking and analysis skills needed for leaders and managers in homeland security and emergency management.

NOTE: This concentration may require some courses to be taken in residence.

Complete three graduate-level courses in the student's approved STEM field. These courses must be approved by the MSDM advisor.

Strategic Leadership
This concentration develop a student’s strategic leadership skills and combine them with their professional experience so they are ready for leadership roles throughout every career field. Courses include topics in project management, strategic leadership, and strategic collaboration.

Complete the following:

Sample Study Plan

The MSDM Degree Map provides a roadmap of classes to take by semester.

Robert Ituarte

The online MSDM gives me the opportunity to expand my specialized knowledge and offer applicable expertise in the field, volunteering with my city’s Emergency Operations Center in regional training activities.

BEM 2017, MSDM 2017