Case challenge faqs

Why should I participate in the Crisis Management Case Challenge?

  • The HSAC Crisis Management Case Challenge provides a unique opportunity for graduate students to present their policy ideas and demonstrate their skills in front of a distinguished panel of judges. Participants will be able to gain exposure to the field of crisis management, and provide subject matter experts with different perspectives on the topics at hand.

  • The top three teams will also receive cash prizes and be recognized on our Previous Events page. (See "Is there an award?")

Is there an award?

  • The top three teams announced the night of the event will receive cash prizes.

    • First: $2,000

    • Second: $700

    • Third: $300

  • Winners will also be recognized on our Previous Events page.

  • Please Note:* Receiving an individual award of $600 and above will require a 1099 form be submitted to HSAC.

Who can participate in the Case Challenge?

  • At this time, only graduate students can participate in the Crisis Management Case Challenge. Students from all accredited universities and graduate programs are welcome to register.

Do all team members need to attend the same university?

  • No. A team can be comprised of graduate students who are from different universities.

Where is the Case Challenge event hosted?

  • As of now, Crisis Management Case Challenges are hosted in Los Angeles, CA. All teams invited to present as finalists will need to be present for the event.

How many team members can I have?

  • Teams must be comprised of two to four (2-4) graduate students.

Who will my judges be?

  • The distinguished panel of judges varies for each Crisis Management Case Challenge, but is always comprised of subject matter experts related to the case topic. The judges are not revealed until the night of the event.

How will they judge our submission?

  • The judges will weigh the quality of each team's policy brief and oral presentation. Factors considered include the clarity, creativity, and feasibility of the team's policy recommendations, as well as the team's ability to follow instructions and demonstrate professionalism.

How long does the policy brief need to be?

  • Written submissions should be a maximum of four (4) pages, not including the cover page and bibliography. Other formatting restrictions include:

    • Times New Roman, 12-point font

    • Single-spaced

    • One-inch margins

How much time should I expect spend preparing for the Case Challenge?

  • Although the time dedicated toward the challenge is dependent on the individual, past participants reported an average of 12 hours of individual work.

I'm interested, but I don't have a team. What should I do?

  • HSAC requires that a participating team consists of at least two (2) members. We recommend the following:

    • Ask your classmates.

    • Post your interest in finding a partner in your program's Facebook group.

    • Ask one of your program administrators to forward your interest to your classmates.

  • We also recommend emailing HSAC at to express your interest in the program and need for a team. If we receive multiple interests from individuals, we can connect you to each other.