Why This Matters

  • 258 NATURAL DISASTERS STRUCK THE U.S. FROM 1980-2019

    With three major floods, eight severe storms, two tropical cyclones, and one wildfire, 2019 was a particularly active year. An increase in hydro-meteorological disasters is expected due to manmade factors and global warming.

  • EARNING POTENTIAL IS MORE THAN $100,000 PER YEAR

    The median annual salary for all emergency management directors is $75,490, or $35.86 per hour. Those working in the professional, scientific, and technical service industries earn a median annual wage of $106,420.

  • EMPLOYMENT IS PROJECTED TO GROW 10% OR MORE BY 2029

    Employment of emergency management directors is expected to grow much faster than average in the social assistance (10.3%), ambulatory health care (16.9%), and management, scientific, and technical consulting service sectors (23.3%).

Our Research

Because graduate students might need more flexibility with their daily schedules, we reviewed emergency management degrees offered on campus, online, and in hybrid formats. This list includes a variety of accredited programs, such as Master of Science in Emergency Management, Master of Arts in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, and Master of Security and Disaster Management.

Accreditation is one of the many tools you should use when evaluating your choice of programs. Our list includes master’s in emergency management degrees accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and other highly regarded agencies. Accreditation ensures these programs meet the highest standards for curriculum quality and professional preparedness.

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.

  • 77 hours to write this article
  • 154 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 343 education programs we compared

The Top 28 Master’s in Emergency Management Degree Programs

Best Master's in Emergency Management Degree Programs
01
Jacksonville State University

intelligent score 98.63

Award Intelligent Pick

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Intelligent Pick

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Masters in Emergency Management

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department School of Human Services and Social Sciences

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $400 per credit; Out-of-State: $800 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 256-782-5925

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Masters in Emergency Management

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
University of Alaska Fairbanks

intelligent score 97.7

Award Best Online Program

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Online Program

Delivery Format Online hyflex, On-Campus

Programs Master of Security and Disaster Management

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department School of Management

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $513 per credit; Out-of-State: $1,079 per credit

accreditation Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities,

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 907-474-7461

Learn More

Delivery Format Online hyflex, On-Campus

Programs Master of Security and Disaster Management

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
Arkansas State University

intelligent score 96.93

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

Programs Master of Science Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department College of Nursing and Health Professions

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $277 per credit; Out-of-State: $554 per credit

accreditation Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 870-680-8286

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Master of Science Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
Thomas Jefferson University

intelligent score 96.36

Award Best Hybrid Program

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Hybrid Program

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Master of Science Disaster Medicine & Management

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department

Estimated Cost per Credit $1,190 per credit

accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 215-951-2943

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Master of Science Disaster Medicine & Management

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
Massachusetts Maritime Academy

intelligent score 94.39

Award Best In-State Tuition Rate

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best In-State Tuition Rate

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Masters of Science in Emergency Management

Required Credits to Graduate 34 credits

Department Division of Graduate & Continuing Education

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $272.76 per credit; Out-of-State: $764.52 per credit

accreditation International Accreditation Council for Business Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 508-830-5000

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Masters of Science in Emergency Management

Required Credits to Graduate 34 credits

01
Emergency Health Services - UMBC

intelligent score 93.12

Award Best for Health Care Providers

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best for Health Care Providers

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Masters in Emergency Health Services

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $400.93 per credit; Out-of-State: $922.06 per credit

accreditation Middle States Commission on Higher Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 410-455-3223

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Masters in Emergency Health Services

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
Boston University

intelligent score 91.87

Award Best in New England

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best in New England

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Master of Science in Healthcare Emergency Management

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department School of Medicine

Estimated Cost per Credit $2,657.13 per credit

accreditation New England Commission of Higher Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 617-353-2230

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Master of Science in Healthcare Emergency Management

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
Arizona State University

intelligent score 87.32

Award Best in the Southwest

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best in the Southwest

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Master of Arts in Emergency Management & Homeland Security

Required Credits to Graduate 33 credits

Department Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $351.03 per credit; Out-of-State: $351.03 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 866-277-6589

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Master of Arts in Emergency Management & Homeland Security

Required Credits to Graduate 33 credits

01
Eastern Kentucky University

intelligent score 86.76

Award Best for ASHM Certification

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best for ASHM Certification

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Master of Science in Safety, Security & Emergency Management

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department College of Justice and Safety

Estimated Cost per Credit $611 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 859-622-3565

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Master of Science in Safety, Security & Emergency Management

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
Anna Maria College

intelligent score 86.03

Award Best Catholic Institution

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Catholic Institution

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Master of Public Administration

Required Credits to Graduate 33 credits

Department School of Professional Studies

Estimated Cost per Credit $685 per credit

accreditation New England Commission of Higher Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 877-265-3201

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Master of Public Administration

Required Credits to Graduate 33 credits

01
Best Practicum Experience
Arkansas Tech University
01
Best for Veterans
Lander University
01
Best Private Research Institution
Nova Southeastern University
01
Best Accelerated Program
Saint Leo University
01
Best in the West
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
01
Best for Ethics Focus
Georgetown University
01
Best for Homeland Security Focus
Grand Canyon University
01
Best Two-Year Program
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
01
Best for Fire Control Focus
University of Florida
01
Best Security Management Focus
Bellevue University
01
Best for Military Members
National University
01
Designed With Industry Input
University of Maryland Global Campus
01
Best One-Year Program
Florida International University
01
Best Mentoring Opportunities
Metropolitan College Of New York
01
Best Focus on Campus Safety
New England College
01
Best Faith-Based Institution
Regent University
01
Best Specialization Option
Clemson University
01
Best Organizational focus
Crown College

What You Should Know About This Degree

Emergency management positions typically require only a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree combined with relevant work experience can greatly help you advance and excel in the field. This competitive edge prepares you to serve in a variety of higher-level managerial and directorial positions in the public and private sectors.

Some students enter these programs with many years of work experience in emergency response, disaster planning, or public administration. Others might have little to no training in the field and are looking to change careers. Common foundational courses in the curriculum include emergency preparedness, hazard mitigation, terrorism and homeland security, business continuity planning, and emergency management law. Many programs culminate with a thesis or practicum requirement that offers supervised, real-world work experience at an emergency management job site.

Upon graduation, students with a master’s in emergency management degree enjoy a variety of career paths. Local governments employ more than half of the emergency management directors in the United States. However, the highest-paid directors work with hospitals, colleges, or the professional, scientific, and services industries. Applicants with the highest levels of education and work experience have the best job prospects.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching master’s in emergency management programs:

  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Most universities require between 30 and 36 credits to graduate. The majority of students complete the full curriculum in two years; however, programs are typically flexible if you need more time. If you want to graduate faster, look for programs that offer an accelerated track.
  • What licensing or certifications are required? Some states and agencies require that emergency management directors obtain a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM), Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP), or equivalent designation. These credentials may be earned through the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) and Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRI). While certifications must be renewed every few years, continuing education courses keep your skills and knowledge sharp to further your career.

As you research programs, keep track of application deadlines and requirements. Universities may request your Graduate Records Examination (GRE), Miller Analogies Test (MAT), or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score, as well as letters of recommendation.

Give yourself enough time to compile these materials, and remember to inquire about financial aid. Visit your prospective schools’ websites or contact them directly to learn more about the availability of loans, grants, and scholarships to help pay for your degree.