Emergency Management and Homeland Security

Emergency Management and Homeland Security Fundamentals

Our Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management and Homeland Security degree prepares students to manage and understand risk so that societies can live with natural and/or technological hazards. Students learn specific and applicable skills to properly manage the system of disasters through a four-phase approach. This profession continues to grow as disasters and major emergencies become more frequent and costly, and as response continues to become more complex.

In addition, federal and state legislation has increased the demand at all levels of government and in hospitals, businesses and industries for well-educated individuals skilled in emergency planning and preparedness. Emergency management is managing disasters for both public and private institutions, and the education to meet that need is here at The University of Akron.

  • UA offers a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management and Homeland Security that is:

    • The only degree of this type in Ohio
    • The first accredited program in the country, and the third to be created in the country, and
    • The only Emergency Management and Homeland Security Bachelor of Science degree program accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress.

The University of Akron’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security program is offered in various modes to fit your busy schedule.

  • Totally online web classes with flexible schedules
  • Traditional face-to-face classes on Akron's campus

The program has two pathways for admission.

  • Students begin the degree as freshmen in the traditional pathway. Included in this pathway is 15 credits of specialty coursework where students can have an EMHS program specialty or concentration. (*If a student is attending The University of Akron Police Academy and enrolls in the EMHS program, the Police Academy will count for the 15-credit specialty area upon completion of the academy. This will also qualify the student for financial aid for the Police Academy.)
  • As a “step up” degree, students can transfer in as juniors building upon a strong technical program.

The Core Curriculum covers a wide range of subjects, including:

  • Disaster vulnerability
  • Disaster mitigation, planning and recovery
  • Terrorism
  • Hazard science and management
  • Crisis leadership
  • Cyber disaster management
  • Disaster research methods

Our Faculty

  • are nationally recognized in the fields of:
    • emergency management and homeland security
    • Cyber security and digital forensics
    • International disaster management
    • Weapons of mass destruction and hazardous materials management
    • Climatology and hazard science
    • Crisis and disaster leadership

Akron Advantage

Hands-on Experience

Service learning is incorporated into coursework and joint projects with emergency management agencies, businesses and schools. Students will have the opportunity to participate in hazard analysis projects, disaster research interviews, hazardous weather observations and other practical classroom exercises.

Real-world Experience 

Students are required to gain practical professional experience with a senior internship. Participation provides students with firsthand, on-the-job experience in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Students are placed in areas of interest to connect academic learning to job employment and career opportunity.

Emergency Management Student Organization

Interact with other emergency management students and professionals in the field through organizations such as: 

  • International Emergency Management Student Association 

Sample Curriculum


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Career Opportunities

Degrees and Preparation

A degree in emergency management opens the door to many career opportunities in such areas as:

  • local, state and federal levels of government
  • private sector companies, including insurance and consulting
  • nonprofit disaster relief organizations

Career Outlook 

With the growing number of natural and man-made disasters, emergency management has become a vital part of government and business. In addition, federal and state laws have increased the demand for individuals who are well-trained in emergency planning and preparedness.

Career Services

Career Services is located in Student Union 211, with another office in College of Arts and Sciences Building 126. Career Services provides career coaching and programming, and develops valuable relationships with employers and campus partners to provide students with many opportunities for experiential learning and career development.