The Professional Development Series includes seven Emergency Management Institute independent study courses that provide a well-rounded set of fundamentals for those in the emergency management profession. Many students build on this foundation to develop their careers. To enroll in any of the below courses, go to These courses are available to the public at no cost.

Students who complete all the courses will receive a PDS Certificate of Completion. The courses, in recommended order of completion, are:

IS-120.a An Introduction to Exercises
IS-230.b Fundamentals of Emergency Management
IS-235.b Emergency Planning
IS-240.a Leadership & Influence
IS-241.a Decision Making and Problem Solving
IS-242.a Effective Communication
IS-244.a Developing and Managing Volunteers

The courses are self-paced independent studies and each takes between 8 and 15 hours to complete. After working through the material, the student takes a final exam. Passing score is 75 or better. When a student has completed all courses, the Independent Study Program Office (ISPO) automatically sends a Certificate of Completion directly to the student.