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University of Colorado Denver

School of Public Affairs

Emergency Management and Homeland Security (EMHS)



There are three core seminars in the EMHS program.  Taken together, these three complementary seminars – one focusing principally on the policy and management aspects of EMHS, one on spatial analysis and planning, and the third on the law of all-hazards management – provide students with a comprehensive overview of the emergency management profession and the integrated array of knowledge and skills areas that comprise it.  Students in the EMHS program are strongly advised to take all three of these core seminars, but are required to take any two of the three.  Students choosing the spatial analysis and planning track (see § 2.3.2. below) are required to take GEOG 5230.  The core seminars are:

GEOG 4230/5230. Hazard Mitigation and Vulnerability Assessment. (3 credit hours). The primary objective of this course is to explore ways to reduce the impacts of hazards, focusing on human systems, rather than the physical environment. The emphasis will be on hazard mitigation and vulnerability reduction/building resilience. Topics will include examining different techniques for conducting hazard and vulnerability assessments, incorporating hazard planning into comprehensive and land use plans, and assessing how vulnerability assessments fit into this process. The class will actually conduct work to support hazard and vulnerability assessment in Colorado, utilizing GIS as a tool.

PUAD 5450. Law of All-Hazards Management (3 credit hours).  Examines the relationship between local, state, and federal statutes and regulations governing all-hazards management, and the role of the courts in overseeing the implementation of these laws.  Students learn and apply legal research and writing skills to the conduct of analytic research on a current issue in the law of all-hazards management; and also how to manage disasters in a way most likely to survive legal scrutiny.

PUAD 5650. Disasters and Emergency Management Policies (3 credit hours).  Examines public policies for the management of hazards, emergencies, and disasters.  Focuses on a series of case studies concerning major disasters, and on management principles drawn from those cases (including the all-hazards emergency management model).  Examines the role of institutional processes, government organizations, and nongovernmental organizations in emergency management. 


The EMHS program requires the completion of three additional electives chosen from a pre-approved, multidisciplinary list of courses relevant to emergency management. Electives are currently organized into a series of tracks. Students may select electives from a single track or from multiple tracks. Additional electives, not currently included in the list, may be approved by the student's advisor and the EMHS Coordinator. Any alterations to the program MUST be pre-approved.

Track 1:  Policy and Management.

Several courses already offered in the curricula of the School of Public Affairs, various departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and elsewhere at UCD either directly or tangentially address policy and management aspects of EMHS.  The EMHS Program Committee will decide which of the possible courses listed below will ultimately comprise this track’s options. Solely by way of example, some of these courses include:

PUAD 5271. Managing Conflict and Change.
PUAD 5410. Administrative Law.
PUAD 5420. Law and Public Policy.
PUAD 5440. Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.
PUAD 5631. Environmental Politics and Policy.
PUAD 5632. Environmental Program Management.
PUAD 5633. Natural Resource and Environmental Health Law.
PUAD 6600. The Law of All-Hazards Management.
PSCII 4365. Global Ecological Crises.

Track 2:  Spatial Analysis, Planning, and Quantitative Assessment

The Geography Department, other departments in CLAS, the College of Architecture and Planning, the College of Engineering, and other academic unit all offer relevant coursework.  A few examples include:

GEOG 4080/5080. Geographic Information Systems.
GEOG4090/5090. Environmental Modeling with GIS.
URPL 6653. Natural Resource Planning and Management.
URPL 6651. Environmental Impact Assessment.
URPL 6612. Geographic Information Systems for Planners 

​Track 3:  Public Safety, Homeland Security, and Justice

The listing below includes course offerings from the School of Public Affairs’ Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) Program; and from the Graduate Certificate Program in Homeland Defense, a multidisciplinary program based at the Colorado Springs campus of the University of Colorado. 

CRJU 5000. Law and Social Control.
CRJU 5100. Administration of Criminal Justice.
CRJU-5554-050. Criminal Justice Reform: Case Studies in Police Leadership.
CRJU-5576-050. Social Science in the Criminal Justice System: Managing Information & Technology Systems.
INFS 682. Protection of Critical Infrastructures (UCCS campus only).
PSCI 598: Understanding the Threat (UCCS campus only).
PUAD 5950. Introduction to Homeland Defense (UCCS campus only).
PUAD 5951. Interagency Relationships in Homeland Security and Homeland Defense (UCCS campus only). 

Track 4:  Public and Environmental Health

The courses listed in this track are drawn principally from the curricula of the Master of Science in Environmental Science Program and the Health and Behavioral Science program within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UCD; and the Master of Science in Public Health program within the School of Medicine, at the Anschutz Medical Campus.  Be sure to check with the course professor and academic advisor regarding conditions for course admission.

ENVS 5620. Health Risk Communication.
ENVS 6200. Risk Assessment.
ENVS 6210. Human Health and Environmental Pollution.
ENVS 6220. Toxicology.
ENVS 6230. Environmental Epidemiology.
HBSC 5001. Introduction to Epidemiology.
HBSC 5014 Global Health Studies I: Biocultural Basis of Health.
HBSC 5024 Global Health Studies II: Comparative Health Systems.
HBSC 5021 Community Health Assessment.
PUAD 5633. Natural Resource and Environmental Health Law.
PRMD 6600. Introduction to Public Health.
PRMD 6614. Occupational and Environmental Health.
PRMD 6630. Epidemiology.
PRMD 6635 Epidemiology of Communicable Disease.
PRMD 6637 Injury Epidemiology and Control.​ | Physical Address: 1380 Lawrence St., Ste. 500  Denver, CO  80204 | Mailing Address: University of Colorado Denver, SPA, Campus Box 142, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364 | ph: 303.315.2228 | fax: 303.315.2229 | SPA Website Feedback

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