Graduate Homeland Security and Emergency Management Certificate Online

Graduate Certificate of Completion in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Offered By: Colangelo College of Business

Support Others Amid Crisis With a Homeland Security and Emergency Management Certificate

This online Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security and Emergency Management from Grand Canyon University can provide you with an opportunity to explore leadership in emergency organizations, create plans for areas impacted by large-scale disasters and build professional ethics into emergency management practice.

In this career field, professionals take a two-pronged approach that is both proactive and reactive. They develop response plans ahead of potential disasters, and then implement those plans once a crisis does occur.1 To prepare you for this field, the coursework for this certificate includes content areas such as leadership and organizations, emergency planning, economics and human issues, and law and legal issues related to emergency management.

Benefits of GCU’s Online Certificate in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

This online certificate in homeland security can prepare you to plan for and respond to homeland security situations and emergency management career experiences. In addition, GCU offers intentional integration of a Christian worldview perspective in its programs. Incorporation of Christian principles within the emergency management certificate can provide a greater opportunity to be a force of good in today’s world. For example, you will be challenged to address how you would handle an information technology ethical dilemma from a Christian worldview perspective.

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GCU is committed to providing a quality education based on the pillars of servant leadership, ethics and entrepreneurism. The online homeland security certificate allows you to put your desire for helping others to action by pursuing a career you may find meaningful. Online learning also offers you online learning resources and support as you complete your certificate program.

Work Through Homeland Security and Emergency Management Courses

The homeland security and emergency management courses are designed to instill a foundation of career-specific competencies, as well as transferrable skills. By the time you complete this certificate in emergency management, you will have been prompted to articulate a vision for your organization that serves the greater good of all stakeholders. You will also have had opportunities to develop leadership skills necessary to coach and mentor others.

You will complete various courses with topics that are relevant to homeland security and emergency management. Course topics will focus on:

  • Key concepts in leadership
  • The planning and management processes, and related issues
  • Strategic, political, economic and human issues pertaining to disaster management
  • Legal and ethical applications of disaster response implementation

Throughout your program, you will be taught important concepts and work to gain insight through completing coursework that is applicable to homeland security management, such as:

  • Determining the public sector’s roles in contingency planning and response
  • Evaluating the nature of natural and technological risks and emergencies
  • Knowing what issues to expect in a disaster and how to plan accordingly
  • Developing a resource management plan
  • Identifying the federal, state and local legislation related to emergency management in various types of disasters, and how that applies

In this emergency management graduate certificate program, you will be taught how to develop plans for areas impacted by disasters. This includes:

  • Considering resource management
  • Exploring public sector roles in contingency planning
  • Considering the economic and political issues that pertain to disasters

Emergency Management and Homeland Security Certificate Career Paths

This emergency management certificate focuses on essential business leadership skills, such as critical thinking, strategic reasoning, delegation and supervision, organized and methodical time management and problem-solving with team cooperation. The curriculum is designed to instill a solid foundation applicable to a range of disaster recovery planning and business continuity management careers. Some examples of careers that you might consider pursuing can include:

  • First-line supervisors of police and detectives2
  • Emergency management directors3
  • Training and development managers4
  • Project management specialists5

Take Homeland Security and Emergency Management Courses From an Accredited University

GCU is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and prides itself on the quality of our instruction. We strive to instill in our students a strong sense of servant leadership and ethical responsibility. To learn more, visit our accreditation page.

Online Homeland Security and Emergency Management Certificate FAQs

Before you move forward with your plans to further your education, you may want to do some background research on your options for your career path and emergency management graduate certificate. Browse the following FAQs and answers to get started.

You can begin pursuing a career in emergency management by earning an emergency management degree at the baccalaureate level.6 If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another area, consider pursuing a graduate certificate program in emergency management. You may choose to start out by pursuing a position as a local emergency management director. To position yourself to potentially pursue a supervisory role, you could earn your master's in emergency management degree.6 Graduates of this emergency management certificate only need to obtain five more classes (18 credits) to earn their master’s degree.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, emergency management directors have a median annual wage of $79,180 as of May 2022.7

When you are a current student studying homeland security and emergency management, you may qualify to sit for the Certified Homeland Protection Associate (CHPA) Level 1 certification from the National Sheriffs’ Association. This certification does not require prior experience, but it does have other requirements. The next level of certification is the Certified Homeland Protection Professional (CHPP) designation. This certification has additional requirements, such as the completion of relevant coursework and at least four years of relevant experience in the field.8

Homeland security and criminal justice are similar fields. Both of these fields focus on preparing for and responding to various threats that citizens might face. However, whereas criminal justice explores areas such as criminal law, criminology and law enforcement techniques, homeland security explores large-scale threats that may affect a large group of individuals — ranging from terrorism to natural disasters.9 At GCU, the graduate certificate in homeland security is offered through the Colangelo College of Business and emphasizes transferrable skills, such as communication and leadership.

The online homeland security and emergency management graduate certificate is designed for those who would like to become an emergency planner who can lead alongside multiple agencies using robust collaborative networks and build emergency management systems that work cohesively. Skilled leadership is important for managing disasters and emergencies.3 GCU’s certificate explores ways of proactively planning for potential threats and implementing response plans when crises do occur.

Be taught to help safeguard communities against threats and prepare to position yourself to potentially serve as a leader in the homeland security and emergency management field. Fill out the form on this page to learn more about GCU’s online emergency management certificate program.


1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2023, September 6). Emergency management directors. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved Sept. 28, 2023.

2 My Next Move. (n.d.). First-line supervisors of police & detectives. Retrieved Sept. 28, 2023.

3 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2023, September 6). How to become an emergency management director. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved Sept. 28, 2023.

4 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2023, September 6). How to become a training and development manager. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved Sept. 28, 2023.

5 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2023, September 6). How to become a project management specialist. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved Sept. 28, 2023.

6 Indeed. (2023, June 30). How to become an emergency planner in 7 steps. Indeed. Retrieved Sept. 28, 2023.

7 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Emergency Management Directors as of May 2022, retrieved on Sept. 28, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers nationwide with varying levels of education and experience. It does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as emergency management directors, nor does it reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country or a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries. Your employability will be determined by numerous factors over which GCU has no control, such as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, the graduate’s experience level, individual characteristics, skills, etc., against a pool of candidates.

8 National Sheriffs’ Association. (n.d.). Certified Homeland Protection Professional (CHPP). National Sheriffs’ Association. Retrieved Sept. 28, 2023. 

9 Indeed. (2022, June 24). Homeland security vs. criminal justice degree: what’s the difference? Indeed. Retrieved Sept. 28, 2023.

Total Credits: 16
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
The University will accept one course of the total certificate requirements in transfer.
Online: $655 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

16 credits
Degree Requirements:
16 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the College of Business, key concepts of leadership, and an overview of how the science of organizational behavior contributes to effective leaders and managers.

Course Description

This course is designed to teach students the planning and management processes and the issues involved in large-scale emergencies. The nature of natural and technological risk and emergency are explored via case studies. Public sector roles in contingency planning and response are also discussed and assessed.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of the strategic, political, economic, and human issues encountered in the management of disasters or major traumatic public events. This knowledge gives the emergency manager a realistic view of the issues to expect in a disaster, how to plan accordingly, and how to manage resources and people more effectively in emergency situations.

Course Description

This course analyzes the federal, state, and local legislation related to emergency management in various types of disasters. Guaranteed rights under the U.S. Constitution and the legal and ethical application of measures within the parameters of these rights in emergency situations are also discussed.

Program Locations

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.