VCU Ranks Among Top Homeland Security Degree Programs for 2020
By Briana Williams
The L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs of Virginia Commonwealth University was ranked “Best in the Southeast” among Intelligent.com’s Top 52 Homeland Security Degrees.
“The Wilder School’s HSEP program continues to be recognized nationally for being an outstanding online master’s program preparing our students to manage the complexities of disaster planning and response,” said Interim Dean Susan Gooden. "This is truly a timely example of the significant strides and incredible work of our faculty members and students.”
Each of the programs selected are offered online by schools with regional accreditation and meet high standards for quality education. In addition, each program was evaluated on their coursework, cost, reputation, flexibility, and faculty, and an Intelligent Score was calculated for each on a scale of 0 to 100. The VCU Wilder School scored 79.23.
“Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness faculty maximize student learning opportunities through interactive education,” stated William Pelfrey, Jr., professor and program chair of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness at the Wilder School. “We are honored to be recognized for these efforts and look forward to continuously improving our classes and preparing students to make a difference.”
Launched as the nation’s first homeland security and emergency preparedness program in 2005, the Wilder School prepares students to manage the complexities of disaster planning and response. The Wilder School offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and minor, Masters of Arts (M.A.), as well as a Post-baccalaureate graduate certificate in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
“At this moment, when we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, our students and graduates are applying their knowledge of public health emergency preparedness to their work in emergency management, urban planning, public safety, cyber security, clinical care, and elsewhere,” shared Sarah Raskin, Ph.D., an assistant professor.
The Master of Arts in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness educates professionals to address diverse threats to security at the global, national, state and local levels. The 36-credit degree program, delivered entirely online, focuses on manmade threats, such as the 9/11 attack, and natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina.
“The world continuously reminds us that preparedness is important. Pandemics, wildfires, hurricanes, domestic terrorism, cyberattacks--all have happened recently and preparedness is the difference between coordinated response and hopeless disaster,” stated Pelfrey. “Studying Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness at Virginia Commonwealth University can put students in a position to make a difference during a crisis. We’d like them to join us in being prepared.”
As noted by Intelligent.com, the Wilder School master’s online program is conveniently designed to meet the needs of law enforcement, military, fire, private sector and other public safety or security professionals seeking higher-level positions.
“Our M.A. program prepares graduates to be leaders in multi-sectoral fields by providing them unique interdisciplinary training in the convenient and flexible format of online education,” stated Raskin.
In addition, the Wilder School’s HSEP program has been ranked the 10th best online master’s in emergency management program in the nation by bestcolleges.com.