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Master of Professional Studies in
Homeland Security - Public Health Preparedness Option


Courses in Penn State's 33-credit online Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security - Public Health Preparedness option prepares students to plan for and lead effective medical and public health responses to natural and man-made disasters. This option focuses on the medical and public health sectors in an all-hazards environment.

Use the Course List to find course information, including course descriptions and prerequisites.

Course List - Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security - Public Health Preparedness Option

All students are required to complete the HLS Orientation (non-credit) as part of the HLS core curriculum before the end of their first semester. This orientation provides an overview of the HLS program and the field of homeland security.

Required Curriculum (9 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Homeland Security Administration: Policies and Programs HLS 801 Foundation for understanding homeland security history, the development of homeland security policies and organizations, and current management approaches. 3 credits
Homeland Security: Social and Ethical Issues HLS 803 This course will examine the social, political, legal, and ethical issues that arise in the context of homeland security. 3 credits
Violence, Threats, Terror, and Insurgency HLS 805 Provides an overview of the domestic and global issues related to homeland security. 3 credits
Required Courses (12 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Public Health Preparedness for Disaster and Terrorist Emergencies I PHP 410 Analyzes the history of terrorism and explores the preparation and response to specific terrorist threats, natural disasters, and conventional catastrophes.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the homeland security degree, homeland security certificate, or permission from the instructor
3 credits
Public Health Preparedness for Disaster and Terrorist Emergencies II PHP 510 A public health perspective on the preparation necessary to develop a coordinated response to a disaster or terrorist emergency.

Prerequisite: PHP 410 or permission of the instructor
3 credits
Public Health Evaluation of Disasters and Bioterrorism PHP 527 Introduces students to the design of exposure assessment and health-effect studies applicable to disasters and terrorism.

Prerequisite: PHP 510 or permission of the instructor
3 credits
Critical Infrastructure Protection of Health Care Delivery Systems PHP 830 Examines the complexities involved in the protection of health care delivery systems affected during a natural disaster or terrorist attack, including the impact of disrupted transport systems, computer and Internet security, communications, energy supply, industry, and governmental institutions.

Prerequisite: PHP 510 or permission of the instructor
3 credits
Electives (9 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Agricultural Biosecurity: Protecting a Key Infrastructure AGBIO 520 Course will explore intentional and unintentional threats to the agriculture-food system, history and current approaches for safeguarding this key infrastructure. 3 credits
Veterinary Infectious Disease Diagnostic and Surveillance Systems AGBIO 801 This course will examine a wide range of animal health topics as they relate to infectious diseases, diagnostic systems, surveillance systems, epidemiology of those diseases, and effective responses in the case of an outbreak either naturally or intentionally caused. 3 credits
Disaster Communication CAS 553 This seminar provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted nature of disaster communication across phases of a disaster. 3 credits
Intelligence Analysis, Cultural Geography, and Homeland Security GEOG 571 The application of cultural geography in the intelligence analysis and synthesis process by identifying prominent threats to civil security. 3 credits
Natural Disasters GEOSC 402Y Case studies of the causes and consequences of natural disasters; analysis of disaster impact in different economic, cultural, and social conditions. 3 credits
Whole-Community Disaster Preparedness HLS 558 Explores psychological impact of disasters and terrorist attacks on victims, families, rescuers, and society and methods of reducing negative effects.

Prerequisite: permission of the program
3 credits
Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management IST 564 This course examines the fundamental elements of crisis, disaster, risk, and emergency management. 3 credits
Foundations of Information Security and Assurance IST 815 This course provides theoretical and applied foundations of information security and assurance.  3 credits
Topics in Visual Analytics for Security Intelligence IST 868 Introduce visual analytic techniques for security informatics and intelligence. Survey technical approaches for data analysis, threats and vulnerability, communicating risk.

Prerequisite: IST 516 or IST 552 or IST 554 or IST 562
3 credits
Project Management MANGT 510 A problem-based, interdisciplinary course in project management skills and techniques needed to manage projects in a modern business environment. 3 credits
Individual Studies PHP 596 Creative projects, including nonthesis research, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses. 3 credits
Non-Medical Obstacles to Public Health Responses PHP 810 This course will enable students to study obstacles outside of traditional pharmaceutical interventions that have major influences on the success or failure of public health responses. 3 credits
Public Health Preparedness and the Emergency Operations Plan PHP 831 Teaches fundamentals of emergency preparedness exercises (i.e., orientation, tabletop, drill, functional, and full-scale exercises. 3 credits
Fundamentals of Biorisk Management PHP 832 This course covers the principles, methods, and competencies for developing, improving, and evaluating a biorisk management system. 3 credits
Root Causes of Terrorism PL SC 836 Investigates the role economic, political, and social factors play in determining patterns of international and domestic terrorism and terrorist activity. 3 credits
Capstone Experience (3 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Research Project PHP 594 Culminating course; application of your homeland security studies in the form of a graduate-level project relating to public health preparedness.

Prerequisite: Completion of at least 15 credits in the program, including PHP 510 and PHP 527 or permission of the instructor.
3 credits

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

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