Online Courses

Anthrax Spores

The Biohazardous Threat Agents & Emerging Infectious Diseases program offers two online courses during the Fall and three online courses during the Spring. Credit hours earned through the online program are fully recognized by the Georgetown University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. These online courses are offered to students who are in the M.S. Biohazardous Threat Agents & Emerging Infectious Diseases program and the Online Certificate Program in Biohazardous Threat Agents & Emerging Infectious Diseases. The curriculum below is required for students in the Online Certificate Program to complete. 

The Graduate Certificate requires a completion of 12 credit hours. All of the online courses are 3 credits each, with one core course (CBTA 515), while the remaining courses are electives. 

Students who attend full-time typically take two 3-credit courses in the Fall (including CBTA 515), and two 3-credit elective courses in the Spring. Part-time students may elect to take one course a semester.


  • CBTA 515: Microbiology of Biological Threat Agents & Emerging Infectious Diseases [3] (Fall)
    This course will cover the CDC biological threat agents (categories A-C), which can be utilized as biological weapons and will focus on their structure, pathogenicity, and treatment. This course will also cover the normal immune response both innate and acquired to infectious agents. Viral agents will include Variola (Smallpox), hemorrhagic fevers (Ebola and Lassa), as well as other emerging pathogens. Bacterial agents to be discussed include B.anthracis, Yersinia pestis (plague), Francisella tularensis (tularemia) and Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) as well as fungal agents. 3 Credits, M. Edwards & L. Rosenthal


  • CBTA 595: Community Resilience [3] (Fall)

    The impacts of disasters on a community are not necessarily determined by the scale of a disaster but are significantly influenced by the preparedness of the community. Community resilience is the capacity of groups to withstand, recover from, and respond positively to crisis or adversity. Community resilience is often described as having three properties: resistance, recovery and creativity.

    • Resistance – the degree of disruption that can be accommodated without the community undergoing long-­‐term change. A highly resilient community can withstand considerable disruption before undergoing long-­‐term change.
    • Recovery – the community’s ability to pull through or bounce back to its pre-­‐disaster state. A highly resilient community returns to its pre-­‐disaster state, or moves beyond that, quicker than a less resilient community.
    • Creativity – the community’s ability to build on lessons of a crisis or disaster, to gain an improved level of functioning and increased levels of resilience. A highly resilient community will adapt to its new circumstances and learn from the disaster experience.

    This online course is designed to assist graduate students working in the area of social work, community development, and public health to understand and apply concepts of resilience to building the capacity of communities to successfully weather disasters whether naturally occurring or manmade. How do planners measure, foster, organize, evaluate and implement the tools, processes and programs that seek to foster resiliency in urban communities? Particular attention will be paid to the role of community-­‐level initiatives aimed at educating graduate students to think critically at how a community can prepare for, cope with, and recover from the adverse social, health and community impacts of disasters through the interrelated domains of prevention, preparedness, response and recovery with the end goal of achieving resilience. Emphasis will also be on identifying federal, state, local, private sector and non-­‐governmental agency plans to enhance community resilience for health security threats and describe options for building community resilience.
    3 Credits. P. Scalingi & J. Stiefel

  • CBTA 517: Bioterrorism [3] (Spring)

    Bioterrorism examines the use of biological and other weapons by terrorists groups to promote their aims, and the response to these acts. The first section of the online course explains terrorism in its modern form, and why the use of these weapons is more likely today. The second part presents the major biological and other weapons thought most likely to be used. The third section discusses techniques to use these weapons, and the last part will discuss the techniques to prevent and reaction to these weapons. The specific objectives for this course are: 1. Explains terrorism in its modern form, and why the use of biological weapons is more likely today. 2. Presents the major biological weapons thought most likely to be used. 3. Discuss techniques to use these weapons 4. Discuss the techniques to prevent and control the effects of these weapons. 3 Credits, W Dadio.

  • CBTA 525: Homeland Security [3] (Spring)

    This course will examine threats to the US homeland, how they might evolve over the next ten years, and the consequent implications for science, technology and homeland security. The course will examine the motivations of non-­‐ state actors to threaten the US homeland, and how those actors might use technology and exploit vulnerabilities to attack the US. The course will also examine the role of science and technology in countering these threats and securing the homeland, and the competing policy interests that affect decision-­‐making for investments in science and technology. The course will give students insight into the nexus of science, technology, and policy, and the underlying competing interests that must be balanced to optimize the potential of science and technology to benefit and enrich the United States while protecting it.
    3 Credits. N. Pollard

  • CBTA 566: Preparedness, Response, and Capacity to CBRNE Threats [3] (Spring)

    This course explores on the medical effects and response to a nuclear/radiological, chemical, biological threat attacks. Additionally, the course will include a current analysis of the 2 capacity of the US system to withstand the effects of a major CBRNE attack. It will also evaluate the H1N1 Pandemic Influenza as a case study for preparedness. This course will move from addressing the threats presenting to individuals to threats presenting to communities (local, state, national) based on the potential medical and system outcomes for both. Specifically, it will address both individual medical outcomes and treatment strategies of disease, and larger community, state, and national outcomes and response strategies for an attack.
    3 Credits, S. Kappler