Emergency Management

Program Details

The emergency management degree program is unique as it is the first and only university-level program of its type in the state of Illinois. The program offers an undergraduate interdisciplinary degree, which combines scholarship and practice. The program stresses response, recovery, mitigation and preparedness. An emphasis is placed on collaboration, coordination and communication to effectively manage all hazard and disaster events. Students earn a Bachelor of Science degree to become professional emergency managers in the public or private sector. All majors in emergency management complete a capstone internship during their final semester before graduation.

Special Opportunities in Emergency Management

The program provides for participation in activities outside the classroom. These activities are related to the program’s Illinois Emergency Services Management Association (IESMA) chartered student chapter. Students have participated in professional networking, field activities and community volunteer efforts.

The program offers special opportunities to work with alumni of the program who are leaders in emergency management in Illinois.

Department Minors

  • Emergency Management
  • Occupational Safety

Additional Resources

emergency management

Emergency exercise on the WIU campus hosted by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA).

Possible Emergency Management Career Paths

Students can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in emergency management leading to professional employment opportunities in the public sector, the private sector or at non-governmental organizations.

Emergency Management (EM) Courses

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for detailed program information and course requirements.

270 Disaster Management and Media. (3) The genre of disaster films and other mass media disaster coverage will be presented as case studies followed by in-class discussions which will allow for a critical analysis of the relationships between filmed images and disaster management.

276 Hazards and Disasters in Emergency Management. (3) Overview of the dynamic relationships between natural and technological hazards and disasters and associated requirements for mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery.

304 Principles of Emergency Management. (3) Presents the theories, principles, and approaches to emergency management. Philosophy of comprehensive emergency management will be discussed including mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Role, duties, and importance of the emergency manager will be discussed. Prerequisite: EM 276.

305 Dimensions of Disaster. (3) Overview of empirical vs. theoretical approaches to disasters; human behavior in disaster, disaster myths; group disaster behavior; community social systems and disaster; cultures, demographics and disaster behavior distinctions, and contemporary disaster research. Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) course. Prerequisites: EM 304 and ENG 280, or permission of instructor.

306 Individual and Community Disaster Education. (3) Provides an extensive study of the design, implementation, and evaluation of public disaster preparedness education programs. Model preparedness education programs, teaching materials, and educational methods and techniques will be examined. Prerequisites: EM 304 and 305, or permission of instructor.

323 Emergency Preparedness and Response. (3) Concepts, theories, principles, programs, and requirements of emergency preparedness; governmental planning, practice, exercises; hazard and risk assessment; team building; case studies. Overview of the relationship of preparedness to response; emergency operations; incident command systems. National Incident Management System (NIMS), interoperability. Prerequisite: EM 304.

324 Legal Aspects of Emergency Management. (3) Introduction to federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and policies governing emergency management; history of statute development; significant legislation; federal, state, and local authorities and responsibilities. Prerequisite: EM 304.

351 Emergency Medical Technician’s Training IA. (4) Includes experiences designed to prepare persons who are responsible for giving emergency care to the sick and injured. Prerequisite or Corequisite: HE 251, or proof of current CPR certification, or permission of instructor.

352 Emergency Medical Technician’s Training IB. (4) May include sessions with paramedics, directors of ambulance services, respiratory therapists, and physicians; ten hours of hospital observation in an approved emergency room; and extrication exercise. Satisfactory completion of EM 351 and 352 and recommendation of instructor results in student eligibility to take EMT state examination. Prerequisite: EM 351, proof of current CPR certification, and permission of instructor.

401 Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery. (3) Concepts, theories, principles, programs, and requirements of pre- and post-disaster hazard mitigation; governmental planning and practice; hazard and risk assessment; team building; case studies; project development. Overview of disaster recovery programs and requirements; public and individual assistance; hazard mitigation relationships. Prerequisite: EM 304.

425 (Cross-listed with HS 425) Public Health Emergency Preparedness. (3) This course introduces students to how public health agencies prepare for and respond to public health emergencies. Topics include biosurveillance, crisis and emergency risk communication, and the Strategic National Stockpile. Not open to students with credit in HS 425. Prerequisites: Junior standing; EM 304 or HS 211; or permission of instructor.

460 Weapons of Mass Destruction in Public Health. (3) Provides an overview of weapons of mass destruction from the public health and emergency management perspectives. Examination of various forms of weapons of mass destruction and discussion of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention practices facing future professionals is included. Prerequisites: CHEM 101 and EM 304, or permission of instructor.

461 Business and Industry Emergency Management. (3) Provides an analysis of governmental emergency management, legal requirements, employee and business disaster awareness and preparedness, public policy considerations, and coordination of community outreach. Prerequisite: EM 304 or permission of instructor.

470 Comparative Emergency Management Systems. (3) Examines concepts, theories, principles, and requirements of emergency management systems: local, state, regional, federal, and global. Case studies of best practice exemplars will be explored. Prerequisite: EM 304 or permission of instructor.

477 Disaster and Fire Defense Planning. (3) Covers disaster and fire defense planning, and the interrelationship between those two areas. The concepts and principles of community risk assessment and regional and cooperative procedures and plans, and the relationship of structural, climatic, and topographical variables to group fires, conflagrations, and natural disasters will be discussed. Prerequisites: permission of instructor/chairperson or acceptance into National Fire Academy Certificate Program.

478 Managerial Issues in Hazardous Materials. (3) The role of the fire service in planning for, responding to, and managing hazardous material incidents. Prerequisite: permission of instructor/chairperson or acceptance into National Fire Academy Certificate Program.

479 Emergency Management Pre-Internship. (1) Developing professional application materials required for internship, investigating potential internships, and emphasizing interviewing and job search skills. To be taken the semester preceding the internship. Prerequisites: EM 323 or 401, senior standing, and Emergency Management major.

490 Emergency Management Internship. (9–12) Provides field work experience and knowledge in appropriate emergency management programs, under supervision of a qualified preceptor. Prerequisites: EM 479. All coursework must be completed with the exception of 6 s.h. in the minor or General Education. Must have overall GPA 2.00 and major GPA 2.50. Graded S/U only.

499 Independent Study in Emergency Management. (1–4, repeatable to 4) Independent research study of an approved topic in emergency management. Prerequisite: senior with Emergency Management major or minor, and permission of instructor.

Contact Information

Department of Health Sciences and Social Work

Dr. Lorette S. Oden, Chair
Location: Stipes Hall 402
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1076

Health Sciences and Social Work Website

Health Sciences and Social Work Directory

College of Education & Human Services (COEHS)

Dr. Erskine Smith, Dean
COEHS Email:
Location: Horrabin Hall 117G
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1690

COEHS Website

Emergency Management Advising

Stacy Dorsett
Horrabin Hall 91
Phone: (309) 298-1438

Horrabin Hall