Program Description

This certificate is ideal for those interested in policy, planning, security, and organizational and management issues related to emergency preparedness and homeland security. Private sector consultants will gain critical expertise and credibility; local fire and police department staff will put their first response duties into a larger context; and Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies and U.S. Military employees will gain essential knowledge and tools to minimize damage from natural disasters and prevent external attacks.

What it costs

The total cost for this program is $893.25 per credit hour for VA state residents or $1,681.25 per credit hour for Non-VA residents. See the Cost tab below for a breakdown of tuition and fees. All of Mason’s tuition rates and fees can be found on our Student Accounts site.

Application Deadline

This program has an application deadline of May 1 for Fall and December 1 for Spring. International students must apply at least one month prior to deadline. For all application information and deadlines, see the Admissions site.


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Program Summary

100 Percent Online

Program: Emergency Management and Homeland Security

Degree: Graduate Certificate

College/School: Schar School of Policy and Government

Credits: 15 total

Who should apply?

This certificate is ideal for those interested in policy, planning, security, organizational, and management issues related to emergency preparedness and homeland security. Both recent graduates and experienced professionals will benefit from this program.

  • Private sector consultants who work with government agencies in emergency management and homeland security gain critical expertise and credibility.
  • Local fire and police department staff are enabled to put their first response duties into a larger context.
  • Employees of Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies, the U.S. Military, and many others gain essential knowledge and tools to minimize damage from natural disasters and prevent external attacks.

Why choose George Mason?

  • The carefully designed curriculum emphasizes how the public sector, private sector, and volunteer agencies work together to protect the American public from a broad range of threats.
  • The diversity of students’ professional backgrounds in this program leads to dynamic learning environments and unique networking opportunities.
  • You can easily transfer courses with a grade of B or better from the certificate program to complete a MPA in Public Administration at Mason (contingent upon admission to the MPA program).
  • You will have access to resources from nine university libraries through the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC).
  • Online coursework allows you to participate without having to travel to campus.
  • With Mason’s campus close to the nation’s capital, the program is able to form relationships with individuals from key agencies and host high-level guest speakers.
  • Several adjunct faculty maintain high-profile positions in public or private entities.

Program requirements may change; please refer to the Mason Course Catalog for the most up-to-date requirements.

Requirements: 15 credits total

  • 9 credits required courses
  • 6 credits elective courses

Sufficient courses are offered to complete the entire program online. Most online courses are delivered asynchronously and offerings vary by semester. Please contact your program advisor to discuss course options.

Required Courses

  • PUAD 502 Administration in Public and Nonprofit Organizations | 3 credits
  • PUAD 630 Emergency Planning and Preparedness | 3 credits
  • PUAD 637 Managing Homeland Security | 3 credits

Elective Courses (Choose Two)

  • BIOD 609 Biodefense Strategy and Policy | 3 credits
  • PUAD 631 Disaster Response Operations and Recovery | 3 credits
  • PUAD 635 Emergency Preparedness: Interagency Communication and Coordination | 3 credits
  • BIOD 725 Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction | 3 credits

Tuition (2021-2022)

Virginia Resident$743.00
Non-Virginia Resident$1,531.00
Mandatory Student fee$150.25
Total Cost per Credit for Virginia Residents $893.25
Total Cost per Credit for Non-Virginia Residents$1,681.25
Graduate New Student Fee$60 (non-refundable, one-time fee)

Please Note: In addition to the tuition and fees described above, various course and lab fees may be assessed depending on the course(s) in which the student is enrolled. Please refer to the Students Accounts Office website for more information on tuition and fees.

Financial Aid

For information on loans and scholarships, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid. For information regarding grants, tuition waivers and other merit aid, please inquire with your graduate department. Active duty personnel should contact Mason’s Office of Military Services for information on available resources.

Career Opportunities

This certificate will help improve your earning potential in a variety of government agencies and private sector organizations concerned with emergency management and homeland security. Graduates of this program hold management positions at organizations such as:

  • Local fire departments
  • Office of the United States Secretary of Homeland Security
  • Emergency Services of Fauquier County

As a Mason student, you may also contact Mason Career Services for more career information and counseling.

Further Studies

Students pursuing this certificate may take additional face-to-face courses at Mason to complete a MPA in Public Administration. Courses taken for the certificate may count toward requirements in the MPA program (contingent upon admission to the program).

School ContactSchar School of Policy and Government
Phone: (703) 993-8099
Program Website
Follow Schar on Twitter@ScharSchool
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All applicants should review Schar School of Policy and Government Application Requirements. Those with international credentials should follow Schar’s International Applicant Requirements.


Application Materials

  • Graduate application
  • Application fee
  • In-state tuition form (if applicable)
  • One unofficial transcript from all colleges and universities attended
  • Goals statement
  • Two letters of recommendation

If you have any questions during the application process, please contact or (703) 993-8099.