Emergency Management Degree

Find emergency management degree programs

Online Emergency & Crisis Management Degrees

Emergency Management demands a students to have excellent critical-thinking, analytical, communication, and organization skills. Careers often require you to think on your feet and move quickly. However, it cannot not be stated enough the important role emergency management plays in our society. We have gathered online emergency management and other public safety degrees below for your convenience.

Featured Emergency & Crisis Management Degrees

Walden University – The MS/CJ in Emergency Management is designed to impart vital issues in the field including ethics and public policy. The MPP program features a curriculum that explores the skills to lead, manage, and motivate others during emergencies. For those interested in the human element of disaster management, an MS and PhD is offered.
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Kaplan University – The BS in Fire & Emergency Management and MS in Fire & Emergency Services programs at Kaplan University are designed to teach the latest in technological advances in the emergency services field. The goals of the programs include connecting theory with real-life scenarios and earning proficiency in such subjects as strategic planning, leadership, and emergency services management.
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Grand Canyon University – The Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management from Grand Canyon University is designed for the working professional with at least two years of college experience. The Master of Science in Leadership with an Emphasis in Disaster Preparedness provides graduates of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program an opportunity to complete their graduate degree.
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Eastern Kentucky University – The MS in Fire & Emergency Services program at Eastern Kentucky University features a curriculum designed to offer students with the most up-to-date knowledge of the expanding field of emergency services. Topics include Business Continuity, Emergency Action Plan, Emergency Response, Crisis Management, Business Restoration, and Management Practices.
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What is a Degree in Emergency Management?

The term emergency management can refer to a municipality’s strategies for dealing with major emergencies or disasters, whether natural or man-made, but it also refers to a corporation or organizations plan for dealing with unexpected setbacks or major upsets . In a situation where any assets belong to the public or an organization are threatened, either with physical destruction, as in the case of a natural disaster, or with more ethereal perils, like unexpected financial loss, the principles of emergency management can help the organization protect their core assets and come out stronger. While most people think fires and earthquakes when they see the word emergency, there are a range of other events that can be considered emergencies, and emergency management skills apply to all of them, meaning that many industries have job offerings for people with degrees in this field.

The following four skills are the cornerstones of any emergency management effort, as laid out by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and learning to apply them in various situations is a big chunk of earning a degree in emergency management:

  • Mitigation: : Minimizing the damage caused by disasters that are likely to happen, but cannot be accurately predicted, is a big part of emergency management. There are some places that frequently have earthquakes, and emergency managers use that knowledge to prepare those areas and minimize the damage when they actually occur.
  • Preparedness: Having responses ready, and knowing exactly what to do in the event of a particular emergency, so there is no time lost between when an emergency happens and when the response is initiated.
  • Response: Carrying out emergency responses smoothly and efficiently is a discipline unto itself, and there are whole courses dedicated to perfecting this skill, designing responses, and executing them flawlessly.
  • Recovery: No matter how well the above steps go, damage will be done in the event of an emergency, and someone needs to be on deck to design a recovery plan and make it happen. Having these plans in place ahead of time is useful, but to get the full value of well-made plans, good leaders are needed, and people trained in emergency management should have the skills to make this happen.

The field of emergency management often requires a few people to mobilize many people and get them to respond in the safest and most efficient way to the emergency at hand. This often means using mass address tools, such as emergency warning systems, television and radio broadcasts. Two vital components of these emergency management systems are:

  • PAR- Protective Action Recommendations
  • PAD- Protective Action Decisions

Earning a degree in emergency management requires quick thinking, good leadership skills, and the ability to rapidly asses and respond to unexpected situations.

Life Preserver

What are the Different Types of Degrees in the Emergency Management Field?

Many of the skills involved in emergency management involve self-control and the ability to remain calm and influence those around you to take logical steps toward mitigating disaster. The ability to focus on the tasks at hand rather than self-preservation during a catastrophe is not an easy thing to learn. As a result, the education programs teach the skills and methods to handle such emergencies. The primary course contents include basic first aid and emergency finance management. Anticipating risks and contingency planning are also taught as coursework. In addition to the above, below are some of the skills learned.

  • Organization of people, information, and resources
  • Crisis management
  • Disaster communication
  • Risk analysis
  • Leadership ability
  • Strategic planning

Below are some of the most common degrees available in emergency management field:

  • Advanced Start BS (Bachelor of Science) in Fire and Emergency Management
  • BS (Bachelor of Science) in Emergency Management
  • BS (Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice) in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • BS (Bachelor of Science) in Fire and Emergency Management
  • BS (Bachelor of Science) in Emergency and Disaster Management
  • MS (Master of Science) in Emergency Management
  • MS (Master of Science) in Emergency Management and Business Continuity
  • MS (Master of Science) in Safety, Security and Emergency Management – Concentration in Fire & Emergency Services
  • MS (Master of Science) in Executive Fire Service Leadership
  • MS (Master of Science) in Leadership: Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Management
  • PhD in Emergency Management
  • Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration – Public Safety Management (Mixed-Model)

Financial Aid for Emergency Management Degrees

Government grants are available for nearly any kind of degree. Private financial assistance is also available for those who qualify, but may come with more stipulations. Using the government’s student aid website and talking to a representative from a college’s financial aid office are the two best ways to find out about financial aid options for any student. Some of the most easily accessible financial aid options that many students qualify for include:

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford and Perkins loans: Loans with low, fixed interest rates and repayment plans that can adapt based on income and other financial factors.
  • Pell Grants: Usually reserved for students with obvious financial need, these grants do not need to be repaid, but a high level of performance in school is required to maintain the grant from year to year.
  • Tax Credits: The IRS lets students write off money used to pay for education, thereby saving them money when tax time rolls around.

There are also merit based scholarships for students. Details about these scholarships can be obtained from the respective colleges/universities applied to. Students who still need help paying for a degree can also look into the option of a loan, which can be obtained from the government at a reasonable interest rate, or from a private bank, or even through friends and family.

What Colleges and Universities Offer Emergency Management Degrees?

There are several colleges across the globe where degrees are offered in the field of emergency management. There are a few colleges offering accredited degrees in emergency management online, and you can get in touch with them to find out more about specific program requirements, credit transferability, and how long it will take to graduate.

The list below shows some of the colleges and universities offering emergency management degrees. Click on the link provided next to each name to access information about the university and the courses they offer.

  • Capella University – Doctor of Philosophy in Public Safety with Emergency Management Specialization
  • George Washington University – Doctor of Science in Engineering Management with Research Focus in the Field of Crisis, Emergency and Risk Management
  • Georgia State University – Ph.D. Degree in Public Policy with Disaster Management Specialization
  • North Dakota State University – Ph.D. in Emergency Management
  • Oklahoma State University – Ph.D. in Fire and Emergency Management
  • Adelphi University – Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management
  • Arkansas Tech University – Master of Science Degree in Emergency Management and Homeland Security
  • American Public University – Masters Degree in Emergency and Disaster Management
  • American Public University System – Graduate Certificate in Emergency and Disaster Management
  • Andrews University – Graduate Programs with Emergency Management Track

What is the Salary of Someone With an Emergency Management Degree?

The salary of someone with an emergency management degree usually depends on the specialization, experience in the field, personal skill level, and location of the workplace. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the median annual salary for emergency management specialists is $70,500, and earnings in this career top out around $133,880.

Rescue Team

What are Common Emergency Management Careers?

The biggest employers of emergency management specialists and directors are local and state governments, although there are careers available in an array of private companies. The highest paying emergency management jobs are in the Federal Executive Branch though (Sources: BLS.gov).

Emergency management can include a broad range of careers from the private sector to national disaster agencies. They can be employed as instructors, emergency handling officials, educators, or even high level managers who develop and implement their own strategies.

Homeland Security

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has its own agency, called the Federal Emergency Management Agency, that specifically deals with preparing for and responding to national emergencies, such as national security threats or major disasters. This agency hires emergency managers and responders to do everything from answer emergency phone calls to search and rescue operations and other emergency response actions.

For People who Like to Help People

Emergency management careers are often characterized by long periods of planning and waiting and brief, intense bursts of response and activity. People who like to help others, and who have the patience to watch and wait while being able to kick into high gear at a moment’s notice, will likely excel in the field.