Emergency management specialists prepare for and respond to an assortment of natural and anthropogenic disasters, from earthquakes and hurricanes to terrorist threats and chemical spills. This emerging field offers a variety of career opportunities, and many jobs require at least a bachelor's degree.

This page offers an overview of online bachelor's in emergency management programs, including typical admission requirements, common courses, and potential career paths after graduation.

What Are the Best Emergency Management Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 10:

Rank School Location
1 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
2 Arizon State University - Skysong Scottsdale, AZ
3 National University La Jolla, CA
4 Bellevue University Bellevue, NE
5 Anderson University Anderson, SC
6 Everglades University Boca Raton, FL
7 University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI
8 Crown College Saint Bonifacius, MN
9 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach, FL
10 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC

Earning a bachelor's in emergency management can lead to strong job prospects for a variety of careers in the field, including leadership and management positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that emergency management directors — a position for which a bachelor's degree is typically the minimum educational requirement — earn an annual median salary of $74,400. Emergency management director positions are projected to grow by 5% from 2018-2028, keeping pace with the national average.

How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students. Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read more about our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Emergency Management Programs

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

Combining knowledge in fire science, emergency management, and emergency medical services, UF's 60-credit interdisciplinary bachelor of science in fire and emergency services trains emergency professionals for management and leadership roles. Applicants should note that the program does not lead to EMS or firefighter certification.

The bachelor's in emergency management curriculum comprises 21 credits of core courses, 21 credits of specialization courses, and 18 credits of major courses. Candidates choose from three specialization tracks: fire management, EMS management, or emergency management.

Applicants often complete their lower division courses at another Florida state college before transfering into the emergency management program as juniors. Applicants must possess either professional experience or elective credit in emergency services or a relevant field.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Services
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Fire management; EMS management; emergency management
Tuition: $129/credit in-state; $553/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT (waived for applicants 5+ years out of high school)

Contact

Phone: (855) 994-2867
Email: admissions@ufonline.ufl.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

Arizon State University - Skysong

Scottsdale, AZ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

Available fully online, ASU's bachelor of science in public service and public policy with a concentration in emergency management and homeland security provides scientific and technical knowledge along with specialized skills in emergency management. The program offers multiple start dates throughout the year.

Students complete a total of 45 upper division credits, including courses in public service ethics, cyberterrorism, contemporary policy challenges, and violence in America. The program concludes with a capstone course that requires candidates to complete a research project and professional report related to an area of emergency management.

Students can complete the bachelor's in emergency management as part of ASU's accelerated 4+1 program, which enables graduates to complete a master's in emergency management with just one additional year of study.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Public Service and Public Policy with a Concentration in Emergency Management and Homeland Security
School Status: Public
Tuition: $11,398/year in-state; $13,408/year out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (866) 277-6589
Email: asuonline@asu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

National University

La Jolla, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 36%

Based in San Diego, NU operates several additional campuses around California and Nevada, along with a sizable distance education program. The school's online bachelor's in emergency management offers monthly start dates and accelerated four-week courses, making it a popular choice for working students.

The program comprises 72 credits with a 49.5-credit core section covering topics in international and domestic terrorism, border/transportation security, and crisis management. Electives explore related topics of network defense, health literacy, and conflict and negotiation for leaders.

Degree candidates can also meet elective requirements by completing a six-credit emergency medical technician certificate. The EMT certification builds entry-level and essential skills for urgent medical treatment and emergency response techniques.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $370/credit
Credit Requirements: 180 quarter credits
Program Length: 3.5-4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (858) 642-8624
Email: kchristopher@nu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

Bellevue University

Bellevue, NE Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 0%

A private college located in Bellevue, Nebraska, BU offers a fully online bachelor's in emergency management that trains students to lead communities and organizations through disaster preparedness and recovery. This completion program requires applicants to possess an associate degree from an accredited college.

The degree comprises 127 credits with 40 credits allocated toward emergency management major requirements. The curriculum includes courses in natural disasters, the National Incident Management System, emergency communications, and legal issues in emergency management.

All degree candidates must complete a four-credit capstone project in which candidates design, develop, deploy, and evaluate a management plan for a fictional emergency scenario. Active duty military personnel and reservists are eligible for discounted tuition rates.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $425/credit
Credit Requirements: 127 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (800) 756-7920
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

Anderson University

Anderson, SC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Based in Anderson, South Carolina, AU offers one of the top bachelor's in emergency management programs in the state. The school's bachelor of arts in homeland security/emergency services trains students to critically analyze and decisively respond to natural disasters and homeland security emergencies of all types.

The program includes 39 credits of emergency management core courses and 15 credits of cognate requirements in management, government, psychology, or information processing systems. The core covers topics in strategic planning, safety management, crisis communication, and social dimensions of a disaster.

Graduates of the program can serve in a variety of emergency management positions at local, tribal, state, and federal levels. In a survey of recent emergency management graduates, 100% of respondents reported finding employment in their field.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security/Emergency Services: Emergency Services Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $450/credit
Credit Requirements: 121 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT (waived for applicants age 25+)

Contact

Phone: (864) 231-2000
Email: auonline@andersonuniversity.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

Everglades University

Boca Raton, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Home to one of the top emergency management programs in Florida, Boca Raton-based Everglades University offers an online bachelor of science in disaster and crisis management that emphasizes both business and disaster management skills.

Bachelor's in emergency management candidates complete 54 upper-division credits. Business courses include management information systems, critical thinking in business, and writing for managers. Emergency management courses include hazard analysis and risk management, emergency preparedness response, and crisis and disaster psychology.

All emergency management students also must complete 21 credits of interdisciplinary studies focused on business, finance, information technology, and economics. Experienced candidates with relevant professional experience in these areas may be able to earn credit for prior learning, skipping over some or all of the interdisciplinary studies requirements.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Crisis and Disaster Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $730/credit
Credit Requirements: 123 credits
Program Length: 41 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (855) 723-9087
Social Media Accounts: Facebook

7

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

Oshkosh, WI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 53%

UW Oshkosh offers a fully online bachelor's of applied studies in fire and emergency response management that integrates research, theory, and practical application of emergency management leadership principles. Learners can choose from two emphasis options in fire services leadership or emergency management.

UW-Oshkosh's bachelors in emergency management functions as a completion program, requiring applicants to possess an associate degree in fire science, emergency management, emergency medical services, or a related field. Alternatively, the program accepts experienced emergency services professionals who hold EMT basic or firefighter 1 and 2 certification.

In a five-year survey of emergency management alumni, 100% of program graduates report current employment, with more than 85% employed in emergency services, law enforcement, or a related field.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor's of Applied Studies in Fire and Emergency Response Management
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Fire services leadership; emergency management
Tuition: $360/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits (completion degree)
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (920) 424-0234
Email: oce@uwosh.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

Crown College

Saint Bonifacius, MN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 52%

A private Minnesota college associated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination, Crown hosts one of the top online bachelor's in emergency management degrees in the Midwest. The program offers a Christian approach to emergency management, addressing public policy, management principles, and disaster response from a faith-centered perspective.

The emergency management major curriculum comprises 36 credits covering crisis and risk communication, hazard mitigation, emergency preparedness and planning, and other topics. All Crown undergraduates also complete 15-21 required credits of Christian studies core courses.

Students can combine Crown's emergency management degree plan with several complementary majors, such as business, criminal justice, and psychology. Learners can also pursue accelerated master's degrees in fields like organizational leadership and global leadership, with emergency management credits also applied to the graduate program.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Disaster and Emergency Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $475/credit
Credit Requirements: 125-131 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: 952-446-4300
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Daytona Beach, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 19%

While specializing in aerospace and aviation education, ERAU also offers several professional programs, including a bachelor of science in emergency services. ERAU's bachelor's in emergency management is among a select few to receive a certificate of recognition from Fire Emergency Services Higher Education.

The 120-credit degree covers an assortment of relevant topics for emergency managers, including community risk reduction, disaster planning and control, occupational safety, and personnel management. Students can select from two concentration areas: aviation emergency management or fire and emergency services.

Using a curriculum model based around National Fire Academy (NFA) standards, the program also prepares graduates to receive NFA certification. Nearly 90% of recently surveyed ERAU graduates report being employed in a position related to their degree.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Emergency Services
School Status: Private
Available Concentrations: Aviation emergency management; fire and emergency services
Tuition: $429/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0-2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT (waived for applicants age 20+)

Contact

Phone: (800) 522-6787
Email: worldwide@erau.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

Based in Western North Carolina, WCU offers a fully online bachelor of science in emergency and disaster management focused specifically on leadership and management training. The program prepares learners for a variety of careers, such as disaster program director, bioterrorism coordinator, emergency logistics program planner, and many others.

The curriculum comprises 49 major credits, divided between 28 credits of core courses and 21 credits of major electives. The program core covers topics like risk assessment and vulnerability analysis, homeland security, and methods of disaster research.

Degree candidates can also complete a professional internship. Typically taking place in an emergency services agency near the student's home community, the internship builds professional experience and practical skills. Participants can earn up to 12 credits, gaining three credits per every 135 internship hours.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Emergency and Disaster Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $54/credit in-state; $189/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: 828-227-2180
Email: lbriggs@email.wcu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

Thomas Edison State University

Trenton, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

A professionally focused college located in Trenton, New Jersey, TESU offers a fully online bachelor of science in homeland security and emergency management. The program focuses primarily on strategies for combating homeland security threats, rather than natural disasters.

Students complete 33 major credits, divided between 18 required credits and 15 elective credits. Major courses cover topics in terrorism, counterterrorism, and homeland security protection. Electives explore specialized subjects, such as white-collar crime, border security, victimology, and organizational behavior.

The program emphasizes the five major areas of emergency management outlined by the National Preparedness System: prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. Candidates can also transition into the college's master of science in homeland security or master of science in management programs.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $3,963/semester in-state; $4,928/semester out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (609) 777-5680
Email: admissions@tesu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Natchitoches, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 45%

One of the top public colleges in Louisiana, NSU hosts an online bachelor of science in unified public safety administration with a concentration in emergency management administration. The program also offers a related concentration in fire and emergency medical service administration.

Candidates complete a total of 123 credits, including 21 credits of emergency management administration concentration courses. The concentration section covers topics in economics and social policy, managerial issues in hazardous materials, crisis intervention, and fire service administration and management.

NSU offers the same tuition rates to distance learners regardless of state residency status. A variety of tuition assistance programs are available for current and former military personnel. Courses often use a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous content, meaning students may need to participate in some live class sessions.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Unified Public Safety Administration
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Emergency management administration; fire and emergency medical service administration
Tuition: $375/credit
Credit Requirements: 123 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT (optional for applicants age 25+)

Contact

Phone: crim_justice@nsula.edu
Email: (318) 357-6967
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

Louisiana State University - Alexandria

Alexandria, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 30%

Equipping students with the skills and knowledge to make high-level decisions in crisis situations, LSUA's online bachelor's in emergency management also includes supplementary studies in business, criminal justice, and psychology. Most students complete the degree in about four years.

The emergency management major curriculum comprises up to 81 credits, including 27 credits of foundation courses, 24 credits of related enrichment courses in business and psychology, and 30 credits of electives. Foundation topics include American government, disasters in history, and public health and emergency preparedness.

LSUA's online courses use synchronous elements that enable students to interact with peers and faculty in real time through video conferencing. Other elements occur asynchronously, giving online learners the flexibility to complete assignments on their own schedule. All online students also receive personalized support from dedicated academic advisors.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of General Studies in Disaster Science & Emergency Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $291/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT

Contact

Phone: (833) 280-5634
Email: lsuonline@lsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

University of Nebraska at Omaha

Omaha, NE Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

An interdisciplinary program focused on the varied applications of emergency management principles, UNO's bachelor of science in emergency management explores topics in interagency cooperation, disaster communication, and continuity of operations.

The bachelor's in emergency management program distinguishes itself by offering 16 concentration options. Students must select two concentrations, specializing in areas as diverse as aviation administration, natural disasters, private sector management, public health, and tribal management and emergency services.

Each concentration track comprises 15 credits and focuses on emergency management in a specific context. For example, the aviation administration track focuses on assessing and mitigating threats to air travel, with courses in airport safety and security, airport administration and planning, aviation law, and transportation analysis.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: 16 different options (see Concentrations tab on program page)
Tuition: $280/credit in-state; $515/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (402) 554-6617
Email: OnlinePrograms@unomaha.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

George Washington University

Washington, DC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 82%

A prestigious private college based in Washington, D.C., GW offers a unique online bachelor of science in health science in emergency medical services management. Emphasizing the intersection of public safety, public health, emergency medical services (EMS), and healthcare, the program trains students for EMS leadership across varied settings.

The EMS management major comprises 60 credits, with 51 credits of core health science courses and nine credits of electives. The program core builds foundational knowledge in areas of health management, epidemiology, community risk management, and disaster management. Electives include humanitarian relief, disease prevention, and pathophysiology.

The EMS management program functions as a completion degree. Students must hold junior standing (at least 60 undergraduate credits) to apply. GW may offer some credit for prior learning, such as professional training or military experience.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Health Science in Emergency Medical Services Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $615/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits (completion program)
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT optional

Contact

Phone: (202) 994-0669
Email: ndorman@gwu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 42%

Preparing graduates for positions in the public and private sectors, JSU's online bachelor of science in emergency management applies theoretical perspectives to professional emergency management practice. The fully online program uses a mix of synchronous and asynchronous course elements.

The emergency management degree requires 120 credits total, including 30 in the major. Candidates with relevant professional experience in the emergency management field can apply to earn academic credit for their prior employment.

Emergency management students can choose from complementary minors in either homeland security or public safety telecommunications. The telecommunications minor covers topics like interpersonal communications, crisis intervention, and public safety communications. The homeland security minor includes courses in terrorism, critical infrastructure, and security exercise design and evaluation.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Homeland security; public safety telecommunications
Tuition: $324/credit in-state; $648/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (256) 782-8262
Email: ddasilva@jsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

West Texas A&M University

Canyon, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

Located about 13 miles south of Amarillo in the city of Canyon, WTAMU offers an online bachelor of applied art and science in emergency management that primarily serves working students in emergency medical and fire services.

WTAMU's online bachelor's in emergency management is a completion program. Applicants must possess a 60-credit (or greater) associate degree in any subject. Up to 36 state-recognized technical or vocational credits can transfer to the emergency management degree program along with general education credits.

The college also offers a unique state tuition waiver program for Texas firefighters who are employed by or volunteer with a political subdivision. Certified firefighters who apply by April 1 prior to the fall semester can receive a full tuition waiver, though these students are still responsible for paying university fees.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Applied Art and Science in Emergency Management Administration
School Status: Public
Tuition: $9,803/year
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (855) 982-6848
Email: admissions@wtamu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

Excelsior College

Albany, NY Graduation Rate: 44%

Focused on distance education for working adult students, Excelsior offers a highly flexible, fully online bachelor's in emergency management degree. The program emphasizes homeland security and emergency response practices, including strategic prevention, risk mitigation, and recovery planning.

Emergency management students complete a minimum of 33 major credits covering topics in homeland security, domestic terrorism, and research methods in criminal justice. Candidates complete 12 credits of related open emphasis and elective courses.

Excelsior maintains a generous credit transfer policy and may accept up to 113 credits from qualifying institutions. The college also offers several opportunities to earn credit for prior learning, including professional licenses and certifications, military training, and portfolio assessments of prior work.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $510/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (888) 647-2388
Email: admissions@excelsior.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

Arkansas State University

Jonesboro, AR Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

A major public college based in Jonesboro, A-State hosts one of the most affordable online bachelor's in emergency management programs in the country, with a flat tuition rate for distance learners regardless of state residence. Students can also pair the degree with a relevant minor in homeland security.

The program includes 60 credits of major requirements and 22 credits of emphasis area courses. The core curriculum features key topics in environmental health training, community response, pandemic preparedness, and risk identification. Candidates can choose from concentrations that include law enforcement, healthcare, and emergency administration.

A-State offers a prior learning assessment program for students with work training, community service, or military service. Candidates may be able to earn up to 30 undergraduate credits for previous employment or volunteer experience.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Law enforcement; healthcare; emergency administration
Tuition: $218/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum

Contact

Phone: (870) 972-2920
Email: AStateOnline@astate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20

Pennsylvania College of Technology

Williamsport, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

A technically focused affiliate of Penn State, Penn College hosts a flexible online bachelor of science in emergency management and homeland security. The school offers in-state tuition to all online students, regardless of location, making this online bachelor's in emergency management an ideal choice for applicants around the country.

Students complete 39 credits of emergency management specialization courses, including disaster recovery, incident command system operations, and spatial analysis in emergency management. The program ends with a capstone project in which students complete an extensive research paper or develop an emergency management field program.

All candidates must complete a 275-hour emergency management internship that takes place during the program's final semester. Students typically intern at a government agency, a nongovernmental provider, or a private sector organization dedicated to emergency preparedness and response.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management and Homeland Security
School Status: Public
Tuition: $572/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT optional

Contact

Phone: (570) 320-2400 ext. 7515
Email: llg6@pct.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21

Mercer University

Macon, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 66%

A private college based in Macon, Georgia, Mercer's online bachelor of science in homeland security and emergency management explores disaster response strategies and builds leadership and communication skills necessary for effective emergency management. The program offers start dates in January, March, May, August, and October.

The emergency management curriculum comprises 42 major credits, divided between 36 foundation and six elective credits. The foundation covers key emergency management subjects, while electives explore specialized topics in criminal justice, public safety, and digital forensics.

Mercer's Enterprise Learning Partnership program offers tuition discounts, application fee waivers, and generous credit transfers to employees of local partner organizations, including the City of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, and the Georgia Department of Corrections.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $475/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.25 minimum

Contact

Phone: (877) 840-8599
Email: enroll@mercer.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22

Immaculata University

Immaculata, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 69%

Recognized by FEMA for its strong professional preparation, Immaculata's bachelor of science in emergency planning and management emphasizes the role of government agencies in disaster planning and response.

The emergency management curriculum includes courses in risk analysis and threat assessment, public sector accounting and finance, and legal aspects of emergency management. The program concludes with a capstone course in which learners design a comprehensive emergency management plan in accordance with state and federal standards.

Candidates can also complete an emergency management internship worth up to three credits. Taking place in a supervised field environment, the internship offers practical perspectives on course content and develops professional skills. Students must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA to be eligible for the internship.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Emergency Planning and Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $540/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits (degree completion program)
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (484) 323-3524
Email: capsadmissions@immaculata.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Fairbanks, AK Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 32%

The only program of its type in Alaska, UAF's bachelor of security and emergency management degree features both fully online and hybrid enrollment options. UAF offers in-state tuition to all online learners, making the program a popular choice for degree-seekers around the country.

Students can choose from six concentration options, including fire administration, homeland security, cybersecurity, and public safety administration. Each concentration delves into specialized topics. For example, the cybercrime track includes courses like technology ethics and cybersecurity resilience.

The degree includes a total of 51 major credits, divided between 33 core, 12 elective, and six major credits. The emergency management core covers topics in management, leadership, risk analysis and disaster response. Elective options include communications, geological hazards, and international security.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Security and Emergency Management
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Fire administration; emergency management; homeland security; public safety administration; cybersecurity and information technology management; emergency medical and public health management.
Tuition: $246/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (907) 474-7461
Email: uaf-hsem@alaska.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24

Drury University

Springfield, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 64%

A private liberal arts college in Springfield, Missouri, DU hosts an online bachelor's in emergency management that builds fundamental knowledge in disaster preparedness and organizational management. Students gain the skills to enhance preparedness and resilience for communities and organizations in the public, private, and voluntary sectors.

DU's bachelor's degree includes a minimum of 39 major credits, including courses in hazard identification, social aspects of disaster, private sector crisis and emergency management, grant writing, and financial basics for leaders. The program emphasizes experiential learning and the application of theoretical perspectives to practical emergency management issues.

This focus on practical applications extends to DU's required internship program. Placing students in a professional emergency management environment, the three-credit internship requires participants to hold a minimum of 60 credits with a GPA of at least 2.5.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $320/credit
Credit Requirements: 124 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (417) 873-7205
Email: druryad@drury.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25

Kansas Wesleyan University

Salina, KS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 37%

Home to the only bachelor's in emergency management degree in Kansas, KWU offers both fully online and hybrid curriculum options. This top-ranked program distinguishes itself through experiential learning and uncommon specialization options.

For students based in Kansas, KWU offers unique educational opportunities through its proximity to the Kansas Division of Emergency Management's "Crisis City," a multidisciplinary training center for emergency responders. Students able to commute to Crisis City can benefit from field experiences, internships, and other service-learning opportunities.

Through a partnership with Kansas State Polytechnic, KWU also offers a unique minor in unmanned aircraft systems. Focusing on the application of drones and other unpiloted aircrafts for disaster management and mitigation practices, this forward-looking specialization emphasizes technology tools and the interpretation of data collected through drones.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Emergency Management
School Status: Private
Available Concentrations: Unmanned aircraft systems; criminal justice
Tuition: $29,500/year
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (785) 833-4360
Email: lonnie.booker@kwu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Online Bachelor's in Emergency Management Program Overview

Bachelor's in emergency management programs explore major strategies and practices related to disaster preparedness, prevention, management, and remediation. Many programs also emphasize the organizational and managerial aspects of the field, including public administration, interagency cooperation, emergency management law, economics, and finance.

Given the complexity of disaster preparation and management practices, some programs offer specialized concentration options that focus on key areas of the field or responses to specific types of disasters. Typical concentrations include fire services management, emergency medical services management, and natural disaster management.

A bachelor's in emergency management meets the educational requirements for many careers in the field, and students commonly enter the field immediately after graduation. A bachelor's paired with significant professional experience may also be adequate for many leadership and management positions. However, high-level positions with larger organizations may call for a master's in emergency management or another relevant field.

Common Bachelor's in Emergency Management Degree Courses

Emergency Planning and Risk Mitigation

Planning and preparedness serve as cornerstones of the emergency management field. This course explores methods of risk analysis and mitigation, introducing frameworks for understanding the complex interplay of legal, political, and sociological factors that affect risk potential and disaster response effectiveness.

Crisis Communication

Communication forms another key component of emergency management, and this course focuses on information channels and communication methods used in disaster response. Most courses explore topics like interagency communication, communication technology, the National Incident Management System, and the Incident Command System.

Social Dimensions of Disaster

Emphasizing the human element of disaster preparation and management, this course analyzes the social factors that accompany and affect disaster response, such as evacuations, relocations, loss of property, and civil unrest. Courses often highlight public information programs and strategies for effective community response.

Interagency Collaboration

Disaster response typically involves cooperation between local, state, and federal agencies, which creates opportunities for effective collaboration as well as miscommunication and conflict. This course examines the authority and roles of various emergency management organizations, as well as strategies for effective interagency coordination and communication.

Internship

Given the practical focus of much emergency management work, programs often require candidates to complete internships, working under close supervision in a professional emergency agency or related organization. Online students can often intern at organizations within their own community.

Online Bachelor's in Emergency Management Admission Requirements

  • High School Diploma or GED Certificate

    Like other undergraduate programs, a bachelor's in emergency management requires applicants to hold a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Some schools may distinguish between these credentials, but most programs accept either.

  • Standardized Test Scores

    Many schools require undergraduate applicants to submit standardized tests scores, such as the SAT or ACT. Colleges often waive this requirement for applicants who have been out of high school for five years or more.

  • Academic Transcripts

    Applicants typically need to submit their high school transcripts and/or transcripts from any previously attended postsecondary institutions, including community college. While many schools maintain specific GPA requirements, others evaluate applications as a whole, giving weight to factors such as test scores and professional experience.

  • Letters of Recommendation

    Some undergraduate programs require applicants to submit letters of recommendation from supervisors, teachers, and/or other professionals familiar with an applicant's work. Letters of recommendation typically speak to an applicant's work ethic, as well as their capacity for college-level study.

  • Professional Experience

    Given emergency management's professional focus, some programs may want applicants to hold relevant experience in the field. However, this is typically reserved for specialized degrees that cater to working professionals and focus on a specific aspect of emergency management, such as fire services administration or emergency medical services.


Online Bachelor's in Emergency Management Career Paths

Emergency management graduates can pursue career paths in public and private sectors, typically focusing on aspects of disaster management, security and emergency administration, homeland security, and public administration. Earning a bachelor's in emergency management typically prepares graduates for entry- and mid-level careers in the field, many of which have strong prospects for advancement. However, upper-level management and other specialized positions may require a master's degree.

While licensure is not typically required in the emergency management field, certain industry certifications, such as associate emergency manager or certified emergency manager credentials, can help professionals advance their careers.

Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a bachelor's degree in emergency management?

Earning an emergency management degree prepares you for careers in homeland security, public administration, and disaster response. Common positions include homeland security officer, hazard materials manager, hospital emergency preparedness administrator, and emergency management director.

How much do emergency managers make?

Emergency management salary levels vary according to a worker's position, experience, location, and industry. However, the BLS reports that emergency management directors earn an annual median salary of more than$74,000.

How do you become an emergency management director?

In many instances, a bachelor's degree can meet the educational requirements for a career as an emergency management director, though these positions typically require significant professional experience. However, some director positions may require a master's degree, particularly in larger organizations.

What kind of degree do you need to work for FEMA?

An emergency management degree should prepare you for many positions with FEMA, though other fields of study also relate to emergency management. Majors such as public health, business, and public administration may also prepare you for a career with FEMA.

How long does it take to become an emergency manager?

As with any degree, precise completion times for an emergency management program can vary depending on enrollment options and course requirements. However, you can generally expect to complete a bachelor's in emergency management in about four years of full-time study.

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