The University of Washington online master’s degree trains managers to anticipate, prepare for terrorism

June 19, 2003

The online Master’s in Strategic Planning for Critical Infrastructure is a 45-credit program that will prepare managers and other professionals to protect transportation systems, electrical grids, water systems and other essential infrastructure from terrorist attacks and other hazards.

“This program analyzes infrastructure to make it less susceptible to any kind of threat,” said Hilda Blanco, chair of the UW Department of Urban Design and Planning. “The emphasis is on ways that enable you to make those systems more resilient in the future. ”

The courses in the program have been designed by the UW’s College of Architecture and Urban Planning and the School of Public Health and Community Medicine. They focus on hazards such as biological and chemical attacks, with strong concentrations in geographic information systems, strategic planning and data analysis. Students will also get a solid grounding in legal and ethical issues regarding homeland security.

“We are hoping to educate leaders in the homeland security arena, so they may better protect citizens and property in our country,” said Dick O’Connor, a retired colonel with the Washington National Guard who helped secure funding for the program.

The program will be useful for military and civilian managers and planners, especially those working with public utilities, transportation systems and other key infrastructure. The online course format will make it possible for anyone with a computer and a phone line to complete the program. The program was developed with input from an advisory board representing local and federal utilities and emergency management agencies.

Applications will be accepted through Aug. 15, 2003, for Autumn 2003 admission. For more information about this program, visit; call 1-800-506-1317; or e-mail .

This degree is pending approval by the UW Board of Regents. Approval is expected in July 2003.

For media queries, contact Roberto Sánchez, UW Educational Outreach, 206-685-6344, or by email at .