Our nation faces threats every day, from severe weather and natural disasters to crime- or terror-related emergencies. Medical professionals, law enforcement officers, and other necessary personnel must be equipped to respond swiftly.
Security professionals and first-responders are not the only ones that can benefit from national preparedness training. Businesses, educational institutions, and other facilities also must have plans in place for these situations. Increasingly, human resources, marketing, or information technology directors are charged with overseeing their organization’s emergency response and crisis communications plans.
This 18-credit interdisciplinary certificate in national preparedness and homeland security draws on the expertise of University of Pittsburgh’s Center for National Preparedness, an interdisciplinary research institute. Our certificate provides students with the theory and skills they will need to aid in decision-making, from boots-on-the-ground efforts to back-end data analysis.
The CGS Difference
Our flexible certificate can be completed as a standalone program or in preparation for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a national security-related field.
Who Should Participate
- Employees of local, state, and federal entities engaged in emergency preparedness, homeland security, and related fields
- Business people who are charged with risk management and are interested in applying industry tested analytics to developing emergency management and continuity of operations (COOP) plans
- Professionals in organizations with first-responders and first receivers, and those looking to step into such leadership positions
- Veterans interested in building on their expertise in decision-making and crisis leadership
- Career changers and current degree seekers looking to enter a growing and important field that uses a data-driven approach to preparedness activities involving both planning and implementation.
Graduates of this program will be able to:
- Develop and implement organizational risk profiles, continuity of operation plans (COOPs), business recovery plans, and other risk management activities
- Use knowledge of federal, state, and local agency responsibilities to effectively plan and execute emergency response plans
- Apply incident command protocols and consensus building approaches
- Communicate effectively in a crisis, verbally and in writing, and transfer information effectively to obtain positive outcomes
The certificate is composed of 12 credits of required core courses and six credits of elective courses for a total of 18 credits.
a. Core courses cover foundational content and procedures central to national preparedness and emergency response, in addition to analytical tools and approaches. They include a capstone experience in which students will plan, role-play, and report on a complete disaster scenario involving critical infrastructure sectors such as energy, government, transportation, health, and telecommunications.
b. Elective courses allow students to gain further knowledge or experience relevant to their current or intended career paths in such fields as health, information security, and business continuity.
- No course with a grade below C will be accepted for certificate credit.
- To earn the certificate, students must maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average.
- All four required core courses must be completed at the University of Pittsburgh to earn the certificate.
- A maximum of six credits may be accepted from other institutions for elective courses.
- Students should consult with their advisor and/or core course faculty early in their program to identify elective courses appropriate for their career and/or academic interests.
Required Courses: (12 credits)
Students must have successfully completed at least one other core course prior to registering for the capstone course. The capstone course may be taken concurrently with another core course.Format: HybridFormat: HybridFormat: Hybrid
Electives: (6 credits)
Complete two courses from the list of approved electives.Note: Course number and title change as of Fall 2020; formerly listed as INFSCI 1070 Intro to Telecom and Networks.Note: Course number and title change as of Fall 2020; formerly listed as INFSCI 1068 Geospatial Info System / GIS.Note: Course number and title change as of Fall 2020; formerly listed as INFSCI 1074 Computer Security.Note: replaces ADMJ 1234, effective Spring 2022Format: F2F and WebNote: replaces ADMJ 1238, effective Spring 2022Format: F2F and WebNote: replaces ADMJ 1245, effective Spring 2022Note: replaces ADMJ 1425, effective Spring 2022Note: Cross-listed with PUBSRV 1425Format: HybridFormat: HybridNote: Web, available as of Spring 2024
Students must meet all relevant course prerequisites. NPHS Internship and NPHS Independent Study courses may be repeated for credit with permission.
With the approval of the NPHS certificate advisor, students enrolled in the SHRS Emergency Medicine (EM) program may apply up to six (6) credits of EM courses toward the NPHS certificate electives.
Program Planning Checklist
Download our handy NPHS certificate checklist (PDF) to plan and track your progress in the program.
Important: Course Overlap Rules
As you plan your certificate coursework, please make sure to review the CGS Course Overlap policy for information on how many courses can be double-counted if a student elects to pursue a CGS certificate in combination with other CGS and non-CGS majors, minors, and certificates. If you have questions, please contact your CGS advisor or CGS Advising at CGSAdv@pitt.edu.
Note: Requirements are subject to change. For questions about the National Preparedness and Homeland Security certificate, please contact CGS Advising at CGSADV@pitt.edu.