Master of Science Degree

Emergency Management & Homeland Security (EMHS)

The Department of Emergency Management (EM) at Arkansas Tech University offers a solid background in emergency management skills such as preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery. There is a growing demand for professionals educated in emergency management for the private business sector, education, and various government agencies and organizations at all levels-local, state, regional, national, and international.

The entire program is completely online and also offered in the classroom. It is a fully accredited degree program for both classroom and online delivery.The program is accredited through Foundation for Higher Education Accreditation (FFHEA). The EMHS Program Director acts as faculty advisor to each student admitted to the EMHS degree program.

The community will benefit from increased economic stability that results from reduced financial losses in business and industry. Students completing this degree will be prepared to exercise critical judgment, independent thinking, creative initiative, and disciplined inquiry within competency areas related to emergency management. In addition, students completing the graduate degree have demonstrated requisite research skills.

The curriculum applies a multidisciplinary approach targeting the principles of emergency management along with state of the art technologies. Courses are flexible allowing a student to arrange a program of study that will serve as a basis for further study or preparation for positions in industry, business, or government.

This degree offers a specialized program both for existing career professionals in the discipline and for those seeking the diverse employment opportunities available in this evolving career field. The curriculum applies a multidisciplinary approach targeting the principles of emergency management along with state-of-the-art technologies.


You can begin the admissions process by visiting the Graduate College Website.

Graduate College Application Process
  • Applicants must pay a $25.00 nonrefundable application fee directly to the Graduate College.
  • Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college verified by an official transcript.
  • Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or a 3.00 on the last 30 hours of undergraduate work or hold a graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Applicants must request a complete undergraduate official transcript from their bachelor's awarding institution sent directly to the Graduate College.

After students apply to the Graduate College, you will then apply to the Emergency Management and Homeland Security program for an admissions decision. In addition to the Graduate College requirements (listed above),

  • Applicants must submit a letter of intent, which is at least 500 words and addresses: career goals, interest in obtaining a graduate degree, interest in emergency management and/or homeland security, and research interests.
  • Applicants must submit a resume or vita.

All materials must be mailed to: ATU Graduate College, 1507 North Boulder Avenue, Tomlinson 113, Russellville, AR 72801.

Admission decisions are based on examination of transcripts, resume or vita, and statement of intent. All application packages are evaluated by the program director and committee as applicable. The priority date for Fall semester is March 1 and the priority date for Spring semester is October 1. Other applications will considered up to 30 days before the beginning of the semester.

Unconditional Admission

Students are eligible to apply for unconditional admission to the Master of Science degree program in Emergency Management and Homeland Security (EMHS) if they meet all of the following requirements. Additionally, all application credentials are examined by the Program Director in determining admission status.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements for the Graduate College.Minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.00. Statement of intent which addresses career goals, interests in Graduate College and emergency management, and research or practicum interests.Resume or vitae. Approval from the Program Director.

Conditional Admission

Conditional admission may be possible when the grade point average is between 2.5 and 3.0. In addition, all application credentials are examined by a faculty committee from the EM Department to determine admission status. If a student was admitted conditionally based on grade point average, the condition will be met if upon completion of twelve (12) semester hours a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or better is achieved.

Admission to Candidacy

Students who have been granted conditional admission are eligible for admission to candidacy for the degree upon the completion of twelve (12) graduate hours with a 3.00 grade point average or better and completion of any deficiencies. Those students admitted with unconditional admission are eligible for admission to candidacy upon completion of twelve (12) graduate hours with a 3.00 grade point average or higher. Students must have the candidacy form approved by their Program Director before submission to the Graduate College. All students who do not submit an "Application for Admission to Candidacy" prior to the end of the semester in which the student becomes eligible will not be allowed to register for subsequent graduate classes.


The Program Director will assist the student in designing a curriculum of study leading to the fulfillment of degree requirements. Additionally, the academic advisor and the Graduate College will monitor the student's progress. Ultimately, it remains the student's responsibility to understand and to satisfy all degree requirements. The Program Director will assist students in choosing the Thesis or Practicum Option and in choosing a thesis advisor and committee if applicable.

Degree Requirements

The student seeking the Master of Science degree in Emergency Management and Homeland Security must complete the following:

  1. A minimum of 36 semester hours at the graduate level (5000-6000) with at least 18 hours of 6000 level courses considered toward completion of the degree.
  2. Non-EMHS graduate courses that tailored to each student's interests and career objectives may count for up to six hours of elective credit.
  3. The successful completion of an oral defense of the completed thesis or comprehensive examination.
  4. A cumulative grade point average of a 3.00 or better must be achieved in all graduate work attempted at Arkansas Tech University, with a maximum of six (6) hours of "C" grades. A student receiving more than six (6) hours of "C" or grades lower than "C" should refer to the section of the catalog on "Academic Probation and Dismissal."
  5. The master's degree program must be completed within six (6) years from the time of admission to the graduate program.
Required Courses (9 hours)

EMHS 6043 Contemporary Issues in Emergency Management
EMHS 6063 Principles of Hazards and Emergency Management
EMHS 6103 Research Design and Methods

Thesis Option

EMHS 6933 Research I
EMHS 6123 Applied Data Analysis
EMHS 6943 Research II
Approved 5000 or 6000 level elective courses – 18 hours

Practicum Option

EMHS 6403 Action Research Practicum I
EMHS 6413 Capstone Research Practicum II
Approved 5000 or 6000 level elective courses – 21 hours

Elective Course Options - 

(Interdisciplinary and Independent Study hours may be used to strengthen any of the above focus areas or to design a degree path to a very specific job description or specialization)

EMHS 5003 Principles and Practice of Disaster Relief and Recovery
EMHS 5043 Disaster and Emergency Management Ethics
EMHS 5053 Community Management of Hazardous Materials
EMHS 5991, 5992, 5993 Special Problems and Topics
EMHS 6003 Design and Management of Preparedness and Mitigation Systems
EMHS 6023 Risk and Vulnerability Assessment for Business and Industry
EMHS 6033 Foundation of Leadership
EMHS 6053 Legal Issues in Emergency Management
EMHS 6073 Introduction to Terrorism
EMHS 6083 Business Continuity Project Management
EMHS 6193 Introduction to International Emergency Management
EMHS 6203 Crisis Communications
EMHS 6243 Intelligence in Emergency Management and Homeland Security
EMHS 6253 Information Security for Public Managers
EMHS 6423 Internship for Professional Practice
EMHS 6513 Technology for Comprehensive Emergency Management
EMHS 6543 Advanced Digital Technology Applications in EM
EMHS 6563 Situational Awareness of Environmental Threats
EMHS 6891, 6892, 6893 Independent Study

Special Conditions of Graduate Credit

Graduate Credit Taken Prior to Admission to Arkansas Tech University

A maximum of nine (9) semester hours of graduate credit with a grade point average of "B" or better may be transferred from an accredited graduate school if deemed appropriate to the graduate program by the head of the student's major department and the Dean of the Graduate College. Students must send a written request to the head of their major department to petition an acceptance of the transfer credit prior to requesting admission to candidacy to the graduate program. Graduate credit earned six (6) years prior to the completion date of all degree requirements may not be applied toward the degree without the approval of the appropriate program director and the Dean of the Graduate College. Credits earned by correspondence courses or for remedial purposes will not apply toward the graduate degree. No undergraduate course may be repeated for graduate credit. 

Contact Information

Persons interested in further details about the degree should contact the Department of Emergency Management by calling (479) 356- 2092 or by e-mail to,

Jamie Earls
Graduate Program Director
Dean Hall, 107c