Why This Matters

  • ENTER A CAREER WITH STABLE PROJECTED GROWTH

    Demand for emergency management professionals is expected to grow by 4%. Emergency management directors are considered essential to businesses and governmental organizations because of their specialized knowledge.

  • ENJOY A YEARLY INCOME OF $74,590

    The median annual income for all occupations is $53,490. Emergency management directors make nearly $75,000. The highest-paid emergency management professionals earn six figures.

  • QUALIFY FOR GOVERNMENT OR PRIVATE SECTOR ROLES

    Emergency and disaster management professionals don’t exclusively work in government. Hospitals, schools, and private companies also rely on them to preserve resources and maintain safe operations before, during, and after a crisis.

Our Research

This list highlights emergency management programs that award a Certificate in Emergency Management or postsecondary degree, which ranges from associate degrees to master’s. Programs are available in both traditional, on-campus and online formats, offering maximum flexibility for working adults who may or may not have a degree in another discipline.

Emergency management degree programs with active accreditation are more marketable to potential employers and make it easier to transfer credits. Look for schools that are accredited by widely recognized entities. These include the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 63 hours to write this article
  • 200 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 399 education programs we compared

The Top 30 Emergency Management Degree Programs

Best Emergency Management Degree Programs
01
Western Carolina University

intelligent score 99.39

Award Intelligent Pick

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Intelligent Pick

Delivery Format On-campus, Online

Programs Bachelor of Sciences in Emergency and Disaster Management

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

Department College of Arts and Sciences

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $288 per credit; Out-of-State: $454.66 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 828-227-7317

Learn More

Delivery Format On-campus, Online

Programs Bachelor of Sciences in Emergency and Disaster Management

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

01
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

intelligent score 99.21

Award Best Faculty

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Faculty

Delivery Format On-campus, Online

Programs Bachelor's in Fire and Emergency Response Management

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

Department

Estimated Cost per Credit $360 per credit

accreditation International Fire Service Accreditation Congress

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 920-424-0234

Learn More

Delivery Format On-campus, Online

Programs Bachelor's in Fire and Emergency Response Management

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

01
Jacksonville State University

intelligent score 98.29

Award Best B.S. Program

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best B.S. Program

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

Department School of Human Services and Social Sciences

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $324 per credit; Out-of-State: $648 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 800-231-5291

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

01
Ohio Christian University

intelligent score 97.63

Award Best Christian Institution

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Christian Institution

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Bachelor of Arts in Emergency & Disaster Management

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

Department School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Estimated Cost per Credit $416 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 877-762-8669

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Bachelor of Arts in Emergency & Disaster Management

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

01
University of Central Missouri

intelligent score 97.58

Award Best Certificate Program

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Certificate Program

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Emergency Management Certificate

Required Credits to Graduate 12 credits

Department

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $235 per credit; Out-of-State: $475.20 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 877-729-8266

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Emergency Management Certificate

Required Credits to Graduate 12 credits

01
SUNY Canton

intelligent score 97.52

Award Best Liberal Arts Focus

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Liberal Arts Focus

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Bachelor of Technology in Emergency Management

Required Credits to Graduate 110 credits

Department

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $295 per credit; Out-of-State: $458 per credit

accreditation Middle States Commission on Higher Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 800-388-7123

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Bachelor of Technology in Emergency Management

Required Credits to Graduate 110 credits

01
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

intelligent score 97.11

Award Best in the South

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best in the South

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Bachelor of Sciences in Emergency Services

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

Department

Estimated Cost per Credit $1,519 per credit

accreditation International Fire Service Accreditation Congress

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 386-226-6100

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Bachelor of Sciences in Emergency Services

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

01
Utah Valley University

intelligent score 96.86

Award Best Public Institution

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Public Institution

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Bachelor of Science in Emergency Services Administration

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

Department

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $295.50; Out-of-state: $863.50 per credit

accreditation Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 801-863-7798

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Bachelor of Science in Emergency Services Administration

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

01
West Texas A&M University

intelligent score 95.75

Award Best for Emergency Responders

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best for Emergency Responders

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Emergency Management Administration

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

Department College of Education and Social Sciences

Estimated Cost per Credit $816.91 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 806-651-0000

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Emergency Management Administration

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

01
Arkansas Tech University

intelligent score 95.33

Award Best Online Program

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Online Program

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

Department College of Applied Sciences & Engineering

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $232 per credit; Out-of-State: $464 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 844-804-2628

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

01
Best Focus on Ethics
Bellevue University
01
Best Management Focus
Everglades University
01
Best Private Institution
Indiana Tech
01
Best Homeland Security Focus
Idaho State University
01
Best in the West
Arizona State University
01
Best A.A.S. Program
Barton Community College
01
Best Hybrid Program
Kansas Wesleyan University
01
Shortest Classes
National University
01
Best B.S.-to-M.P.A. Degree
Post University
01
Best In-State Tuition Rate
University of Florida
01
Best for International Students
Upper Iowa University
01
Best Cybersecurity Concentration
University of Alaska
01
Best Business Focus
Bucks County Community College
01
Best B.A.S. Program
Clayton State University
01
Best on the West Coast
Coastline College
01
Best for Veterans
Colorado Technical University
01
Best for Adult Learners
Bethel University
01
Best for Transfers
Thomas Jefferson University
01
Best Full-Time Program
Fayetteville Technical Community College
01
Best Research Focus
Georgia Military College

What You Should Know About This Degree

Though related to other subjects, an emergency management degree is distinct in its focus on research, policy, and regulations surrounding disaster mitigation. Similar degrees include security management, homeland security, and public safety. Individuals with a law enforcement, first responder, or military background have an edge due to their understanding of the socioeconomic nuances of emergency situations.

When looking for the best emergency management degree program, keep an eye out for an active accreditation from HLC, SACSCOC, or MSCHE. Additional reputable accreditations include those awarded by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC), and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Job growth for emergency management professionals is expected to remain stable. With more graduates training for a career in emergency management, the competition may be steep. Look for programs taught by professors with both academic and real-world knowledge of emergency management practice.

There are no certifications or licensing required for this degree or profession, but industry-specific certifications may help hone your skill set and stand out from the competition. These include the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) distinction awarded by the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) and the Professional Development Series (PDS) Certificate earned from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

What’s Next?

As you search for emergency management degree programs, ask the following questions:

  • Am I eligible for this program? An associate degree in emergency management requires a high school diploma or completion of a GED, while bachelor’s and master’s programs may require pre-admission testing, such as a passing score on the SAT or GRE and a minimum GPA.
  • Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? If you’re looking for greater flexibility and the option to work at your own pace, look for degree programs that offer asynchronous classes. Many online degree programs are structured so that students can customize their learning experience to their scheduling needs.

When you review degree programs, note the application requirements and important deadlines. Certificate programs in emergency management often don’t have transcript requirements but won’t accept new students without an application. If you’re searching for a bachelor’s or master’s program, you need official transcripts, an admissions essay, and letters of recommendation.

Many options are available to finance your education. Start exploring aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible. Then, check with prospective colleges to see if they have school-specific funding options, such as tuition waivers for law enforcement and first responders, undergraduate work-study programs, or graduate assistantships.