In this ranking of the best Emergency Management Master’s programs online, we will examine the following degrees:

  • Online MPH in Disaster Management, Humanitarian Relief, and Homeland Security
  • MS in Emergency and Disaster Management Online
  • Online Master’s Degree in Emergency Management and Homeland Security
  • Online MA in Emergency Management
  • Online Masters in Disaster and Medicine Management
  • Online MS in Emergency Services Administration

If we’ve learned anything the last few months during the global pandemic–it’s that we need to be ready at a moment’s notice for an emergency. And that means more than having a stockpile of canned beans and rice. It means we need trained professionals in the area of Emergency Management–ready to identify potential threats and lead people and organizations in times of crisis. If you want to serve and protect your local community, your country, or the world at large, consider a quick Master’s in Emergency Management degree online.

Read our methodology below.

Methodology:

In order to rank quick Emergency Management Master’s degree programs, we scored the schools based on 3 criteria: their Student/Faculty ratio, the school’s graduate/in-state graduate tuition, and the duration of the program. We used the school’s website for information, as well as the National Center for Education Statistics. If any information didn’t fit within the parameters of the scoring, zero points were awarded for that category. In the case of a tie, the school with the lower tuition pulled the higher ranking.

Student/Faculty ratio:

  • 13:1 or less – 3 points
  • 14:1 to 20:1 – 2 points
  • 21:1 and above – 1 point

Average Graduate Tuition Rate:

  • Less than $8,000 – 5 points
  • $8,000 to $18,000 – 3 points
  • Greater than $18,000 – 1 point

Minimum Time to Completion:

  • 12 months or less- 5 points
  • 13-18 months- 3 points
  • 19-24 months- 1 point

Now, let’s take a look at some of the universities offering Master’s in Disaster Management.

#20 Adler University 

Chicago, Illinois

Online MPA in Crisis Management

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Industrial/Organizational Psychology Online for 2018

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: N/A

Graduate Tuition: $35,888

The Emergency Management Master’s degree offering at Adler University is an online MPA in Crisis Management. Core courses in the degree include:

  • Public Financing
  • Ethics and Leadership
  • Economic Analysis and Policy Development
  • Historical and Theoretical Foundations of the Administrative State
  • Organizational Theory in Public Administration
  • Research and Evaluation Methods

Students will then take courses towards the area of specialization. The program will be a solid balance between theoretical study and practical leadership skills. This flexible online degree can be completed in as little as two years.

Points: 2

#19 Penn State World Campus

University Park, Pennsylvania

Online Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security – Public Health Preparedness

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Computer Forensics Online for 2019

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $21,960

The masters in emergency management and homeland security option at Penn State World Campus will result in an online MPS in Homeland Security with a concentration in Public Health Preparedness. This degree is offered through a partnership between two divisions, Penn State Hershey College of Medicine and the Department of Public Health Sciences. Graduates will be ready to take on senior-level jobs in public health, education, health care, emergency management, and the military. A graduate certificate in Hospital and Health System Preparedness is also available. A number of related degrees and areas of concentration are an option. The program ends with a capstone experience/research project.

Points: 4

#18 Nova Southeastern University 

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Online MS in Disaster and Emergency Management 

Top 10 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Negotiation and Conflict Management Online for 2019

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $19,665

Nova Southeastern University also offers emergency and disaster management degree programs for you to check out. Here, you can earn your online MS in Disaster and Emergency Management. You’ll learn theory, but also the skills necessary to become a leader in the field–at both the local or the international level. Sample classes include Weapons of Mass Threat and Communicable Diseases, Executive Leadership and Management, and Risk Assessment and Mitigation. The program offers 6 different areas of specialization. Students will choose from a community internship or research practicum.

Points: 4

#17 Tulane University

New Orleans, Louisiana

MPS in Emergency Management Online

Top 25 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Homeland Security Online for 2018

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 8 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $54,918

Students enrolled in Tulane University’s fast online Master’s in Emergency Management can choose from two different delivery methods: fully online or a blended format. Through the Tulane School of Professional Advancement, the program will result in an MPS degree in Emergency Management. The curriculum is structured in 9 core courses, 1 elective course, and 1 capstone course. For the elective course, students can choose between two courses: sport/event security and response or leadership, influence, and decision making in disasters. The best news? You won’t have to write a thesis. The program features an asynchronous course delivery and the coursework is self-paced.

Points: 5

#16 Adelphi University 

Garden City, New York

Online MS in Emergency Management 

Top 30 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Supply Chain Management Online for 2018

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $41,920

According to their program’s website, Adelphi University offers a fast online Master’s in Emergency Management that will feature “hands-on training and specialized knowledge backed by theory.” The online MS in EM degree is both flexible and customizable. The program is 39 credits in length and can be completed in 2.5 years. Graduates can work in government, business, hospitals, the military, nonprofits, and more. And for students who don’t want to take standardized testing, there is no GRE requirement for admission.

Points: 5

#15 Northeastern University

Boston, Massachusetts

Online Master of Arts in Homeland Security

northeastern-university

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $24,793

Offered through the College of Professional Studies, Northeastern University offers an Emergency Management Master’s online through their MA in Homeland Security with a concentration in Emergency Management. Classes in the specialization include:

  • Strategic Planning and Budgeting 
  • Emergency Management and Geographic Information Systems
  • Continuity of Operations and Planning 
  • Essentials of Emergency Management 
  • Critical Infrastructure, Security, and Emergency Management
  • Advanced Emergency Management 

The program is offered in both part-time and full-time paths, taking 2 or 3 years to complete. As a culminating element, students can choose between writing a thesis and completing a capstone project.

Points: 5

#14 Virginia Commonwealth University 

Richmond, Virginia

Online MA in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

Top 25 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Addiction Counseling Online for 2018

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $12,701

Virginia Commonwealth University offers a Master’s in Emergency Management and Homeland Security online degree. Note this is a blended format program that has both online and on-campus components, so it might be best suited for students living in or near Richmond, VA. With its 90 mile proximity to our nation’s capital, there are many opportunities and access to experts in the field. The interdisciplinary program will focus on international and domestic homeland security issues. Not only will you be groomed to become an informed decision-maker, but you’ll also touch on scholarly research. The 36-credit program can be taken full-time or part-time.

Points: 6

#13 Jacksonville State University 

Jacksonville, Alabama

MS in Emergency Management Online

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Emergency Management Online for 2018

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $9,600

The Master’s in Emergency Management online offering at Jacksonville State University is a Master of Science degree. And if you’re worried that your online degree will be any less engaging or rigorous, don’t be. JSU’s online disaster management Master’s is taught by the same knowledgeable faculty as the on-campus counterpart. Students in the program will become proficient in skills related to crisis management, hazard assessment, and management. Jacksonville State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Points: 6

#12 Millersville University of Pennsylvania

Millersville, Pennsylvania

Online MS in Emergency Management

Top 30 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Gifted and Talented Education Online for 2019

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $9,288

Millersville University of Pennsylvania accelerated Master’s in Emergency Management online can be completed in two years, though the time-frame is flexible. Some finish even sooner, but others take their time if necessary. The benefits of the program include rolling admission and both full-time and part-time options. Graduates will be ready for leadership roles in emergency management in the private or public sectors.

Points: 6

#11 Lander University

Greenwood, South Carolina

Online MS in Emergency Management

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Emergency Management Online for 2018

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $8,856

Lander University’s quick online emergency management Master’s degree will train students in both man-made and natural disasters. The online MS in Emergency Management is designed specifically for professionals in the field who are looking to up-level their knowledge and their careers. The interdisciplinary curriculum can be completed in 6 terms, or two years. Most students take 2 classes per semester but are allowed to speed up the process if it doesn’t interfere with other obligations.

Points: 6

#10 Trident University 

Cypress, California

Online Master’s in Homeland Security with a concentration in Emergency Management

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's Health Education Online for 2018

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $6,120

If the homeland security aspect of this field is important to you, then Trident University’s online Master’s in Emergency Management and Homeland Security should be a strong contender. The 40-credit program features classes like Crisis Management, Critical Infrastructure Protection, Security Technology, and Intelligence Analysis. Students can also choose to add-on a professional certificate in Cybersecurity or Homeland Security. Graduates will be ready to work in various levels of the field, including municipal, state, and/or federal. The program features core coursework, research elements, and a collaborative atmosphere.

Points: 6

#9 University of Nebraska Medical Center

Omaha, Nebraska

Online MS in Emergency Preparedness

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master of Health Sciences - Physician Assistant Online for 2018

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 2 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $8,964

Already known for its expertise in Biopreparedness and Biosecurity, the University of Nebraska Medical Center also offers an online MS in Emergency Preparedness. While you won’t be bound by attending online classes at a certain time, you will have specific due dates for your assignments. This delivery method might be best for the student who needs flexibility but also thrives in structure and accountability. Classes include Foundations in Public Health, Emergency Preparedness: Prevention, and Terrorism. A Master’s thesis is required. Note you must have a 3.0 GPA or higher to be admitted to this program.

Points: 7

#8 University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida

Online MPH in Disaster Management, Humanitarian Relief, and Homeland Security

university-of-south-florida

Website

Student/Faculty Ratio: 22 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $8,350

The emergency management degree online offering at the University of South Florida is an online Master of Public Health in Disaster Management, Humanitarian Relief, and Homeland Security. The program is divided into 3 different parts: the Public Health core, a field experience, and a culminating project. Among the 42 credits are classes like Disaster Forensics, Global Health Security, and Business Continuity for Global Health and Security. Graduates will be ready to take on supervisory roles in both global or local disasters. Students will be required to take a comprehensive exam. The degree is available as a graduate certificate for those interested.

Points: 7

#7 California State University-Long Beach

Long Beach, California

Online MS in Emergency Services Administration

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Public Safety Administration Online for 2019

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 23 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $7,176

If you know that a senior-level management job in the emergency/disaster relief field is in your future, then check out California State University Long Beach’s online MS in Emergency Services Administration. To complete the program even faster, courses are open year-round. The curriculum is presented in three parts: 23 units of core coursework, six units of electives in an area of specialization, and a culminating assessment. For this, students can choose from a culminating project or a Master’s thesis.

Points: 7

#6 American Military University

Charles Town, West Virginia

MA in Emergency and Disaster Management Online

Top 25 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Criminal Justice Online for 2018

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 21 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $6,615

If you’re looking for a flexible online Master’s in emergency and disaster management, definitely check out American Military University. Featuring monthly start dates and an 8-week course delivery method, this program is perfect for the busy, online student. The 36-credit program features courses like Weapons of Mass Destruction and the New Terrorism, Hazard Mitigation and Resilient Communities, Economics of Disaster, and Climate Change Adaptation. As an ending component, students will choose between a research paper or a thesis project. The program is accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress.

Points: 7

#5 Arkansas Tech University

Russellville, Arkansas

Online Master’s Degree in Emergency Management and Homeland Security

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Emergency Management Online for 2018

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $5,256

Arkansas Tech University’s emergency management master’s degree online can be completed entirely online. The program is 36 credits in length. The online Master’s in Emergency Management and Homeland Security is multi-disciplinary in nature and will focus on research. At its core, the curriculum will focus on the fundamental of emergency management, as well as the technologies necessary to be successful in this field. Beyond academics, students will strengthen necessary skills like critical thinking, creative ingenuity, independent thinking, and inquiry.

Points: 8

#4 Thomas Jefferson University 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Online Masters in Disaster and Medicine Management

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Occupational Therapy Online for 2018

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $21,420

Thomas Jefferson University’s offers a unique Master of emergency and disaster management offering: an online Master’s in Disaster and Medicine Management. The 36-credit program features 12 courses, 8 required and 4 elective. Sample courses include:

  • Foundations in Emergency Management
  • Organizational Management and Communications in Disasters
  • Psychological Aspects of Disasters
  • Principles of Disaster Exercises and Drills
  • Public Health Implications of Disasters
  • Logistic Management for Disasters

Though all of the coursework can be completed online, note that there is a one week long on-campus component offered in the summer. Students are required to complete 100 hours of experiential learning. The degree is also offered as a professional certificate, as well as an option in Business and Organizational Continuity. Depending on how many classes students take at a time, the degree can be completed in as little as 1 year.

Points: 9

#3 Anna Maria College

Paxton, Massachusetts

Online MPA

anna-maria-college

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $10,530

Anna Maria College’s fast online Master’s in Emergency Management is developed for the professional who desires to serve in supervisory roles in the public health sector. Students will pursue an online Master of Public Administration and specialize in Emergency Management. Two tracks are available: the direct track and the mid-career track. The direct track is for people who are looking to change careers and features 12 public health core classes and the emergency management concentration. The mid-career track is for professionals with 4+ years of experience and only requires 10 classes. Courses include Managerial Statistics for Public Managers, Emergency Management Operations Framework, and Management Policies in Government Finance. The program will end with either a capstone project or applied research.

Points: 9

#2 Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, Florida

MS in Emergency and Disaster Management Online

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $7,296

Through the College of Education & Social Services, Saint Leo University offers an emergency management graduate degree online. The program will combine theoretical knowledge with practical skills so graduates will gain a well-rounded education. Traditionally, this program can be completed in just two years. An accelerated option is available, but you must request special permission. Among the 36-credits include classes like Hazard Mitigation, Social Dimensions of Disaster, Psychological Aspects of Critical Incidents, and Legal & Regulatory Aspects in Critical Incident Management. A specialization in Fire Science is available.

Points: 10

#1 Arizona State University 

Scottsdale, Arizona

Online MA in Emergency Management

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Public Safety Administration Online for 2019

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 23 to 1

Graduate Tuition: $6,384

Arizona State University’s fast online Master’s in Emergency Management is worth a good look if you desire options. In fact, you can choose from 5 areas of specialization within the degree:

  • Biosecurity and threat management
  • Community resilience
  • Cybersecurity policy and management
  • Emergency management
  • Homeland security

Courses include Homeland Security, Hazards Governance, and IT in Emergency Management. Graduates will be able to pursue careers in government, planning, disaster recovery, hazard mitigation, or emergency training. The best news? This degree can be completed in as little as one year.

Points: 11

What is a fast online Master’s in Emergency Management?

According to the US News and World Report, a degree in disaster and emergency relief is “a field dedicated to creating frameworks that help communities reduce their vulnerability to different types of disasters and cope with their aftereffects.”

Therefore, a graduate emergency management degree will prepare students for managerial or supervisory roles in crisis relief careers.

Types of Degrees in the Easiest Master’s in Emergency Management Online Programs:

When deciding which degree to pursue, it might be wise to start with the basic framework. Here are a few degree types you can pursue while getting your emergency management master’s degree online:

  • Master of Science
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Arts
  • Master of Public Health

While your major in emergency management will be similar in all pursuits, the core curriculum could be different with each degree type. So it’s important to look at that core curriculum and see which one matches up with your skills and desires.

Coursework for the Emergency and Disaster Management Degree Programs:

In the field of Emergency Management, students will take coursework that drives them towards supervisory roles in crisis situations. This means that students will take advanced coursework in areas like Homeland Security, Cybersecurity, Emergency Management, Criminal Justice, and more.

Specific coursework we explored in this ranking include:

  • Hazard Mitigation
  • Social Dimensions of Disaster
  • Psychological Aspects of Critical Incidents
  • Legal & Regulatory Aspects in Critical Incident Management
  • Managerial Statistics for Public Managers
  • Emergency Management Operations Framework
  • Management Policies in Government Finance
  • Foundations in Emergency Management
  • Organizational Management and Communications in Disasters
  • Psychological Aspects of Disasters
  • Principles of Disaster Exercises and Drills
  • Public Health Implications of Disasters
  • Logistic Management for Disasters
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction and the New Terrorism
  • Hazard Mitigation and Resilient Communities
  • Economics of Disaster
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Public Financing
  • Ethics and Leadership
  • Economic Analysis and Policy Development
  • Historical and Theoretical Foundations of the Administrative State
  • Organizational Theory in Public Administration
  • Research and Evaluation Methods

Areas of concentration for emergency management gradate degrees:

In your specific program, you might have the chance to specialize in a particular sub-area of emergency management. Concentration options could include:

  • Biosecurity and threat management
  • Community resilience
  • Cybersecurity policy and management
  • Homeland security
  • Fire science
  • Information Systems
  • Public Health
  • Logistics

Your area of concentration could determine your career direction, so choose wisely! For example, a concentration in community resilience would be a good fit for the person who wants to work directly with the local community, its people, and its organizations in times of crisis. On the other hand, a concentration in logistics could lead to a career in creating systems and rules for people in times of crisis.

Related Master’s in Emergency Management degree options:

While you’re searching for programs that interest you, you could find some degrees that are similar programs that offer coursework in the same realm as emergency management degree online programs. Some options could include:

  • Master of Security and Disaster Management
  • Master’s in Nursing Emergency Management concentration
  • Master’s in Disaster Management

Prerequisites for an accelerated Master’s degree in Emergency Management:

Students pursuing an online emergency management Master’s will first need a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, which could include fields like Criminal Justice, Public Health, Homeland Security, Intelligence, IT, and more. If you don’t have a related degree, you might be required to take some prerequisite coursework. Make sure to check the details of your desired program before you apply.

Length of the quickest Online Master’s in Emergency Management programs:

Most fast online emergency management Master’s programs can be completed in two years. While that is the general length of the program, you can find ones that are shorter or even longer in length. Factors that can affect how long it takes to get your degree include whether you are a full-time or part-time student, if you’re also working, and what your family/extracurricular life looks like. Some schools do offer part-time programs but expect to extend the time it takes to get your degree by double or at least an extra year. Depending on the details of your program, your classes will vary in length. Some online courses are 8 weeks long, while others are 10 or even 15.

Internships and Fieldwork for the Easiest Online Master’s in Emergency Management:

Because the field of Emergency Management so highly relies on relationships with the community, many online graduate EM programs will have a community internship or practicum component.

Culminating Work:

Each program will have different requirements, but because this field is such a hands-on field, the culminating work will focus mostly on research projects or a similar culminating project. A thesis may be required.

Admission details for the fastest Master’s degrees in Emergency Management online: 

To get admitted to an online Master’s in Emergency Management degree program, you might need some or all of these requirements:

  • a Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management or EM-related field
  • required prerequisite coursework
  • a minimum GPA requirement
  • standardized test scores, if required
  • letters of recommendation 
  • entrance essay

Some graduate programs will require a standardized test for admission (like the GRE or GMAT), but some schools are test-optional or do not require them at all. Check your school’s admission requirements for details. 

*Remember, entrance to all programs will vary. Check your school’s program details to make sure you can meet the requirements before applying. 

FAQs for Getting a Graduate Emergency Management Degree:

When searching for the best management Master’s degree programs online, consider these questions!

Q: Do I need to take a standardized test like the GRE to be admitted?

A: This will depend on your school’s requirements, but some do not require scores, like Adelphi University.

Q: What kind of online services will can I expect?

A: You might be taking your classes online, but you certainly won’t be alone! Student services could include online advisors, libraries, tutoring, and more.

Q: How will the courses be delivered?

Classes will be presented either synchronously (at a specific day/time) or asynchronously (on your own time/schedule). You will need to decide what delivery method works best for your life obligations and personality. Check out your program’s details before you commit.

Q: What skills do I need to succeed in the emergency management field?

A: When entering emergency management careers, you’ll need good analytical skills, leadership skills, relational skills, and communication skills. You’ll have to make quick and logistical decisions–potentially with people’s lives on the line.

Q: Is a Master’s in Emergency Management worth it?

A: When thinking about whether a career path will be worth it to you, consider two parts:

-What is the growth potential of this path? In other words, make sure you aren’t entering a dying field

-Do the benefits match up with what I want? In this case, you’ll be putting disaster relief systems in place and/or working directly with bettering communities. You might witness some tough things, but you’ll also get to experience how your job changes or even saves lives.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the EM field has increased exponentially over the last 20 years, and is expected to continue to grow–especially in light of recent events in the world.

Q: Are there doctoral degree programs in Emergency Management?

A: Yes, there are! For students interested in continuing their education, a Doctorate in Emergency Management is an option.

Q: Does FEMA offer an emergency management degree?

A: If you’re on the search for a FEMA emergency management degree, check out their Emergency Management Institute. They offer many professional training programs, as well as Emergency Management Master’s degree FEMA options.

Fast Online Master’s in Emergency Management Career Information:

Master’s in Emergency Management Jobs:

When it comes to jobs in the EM field, think of the options in 4 different areas: preparedness, first response, recovery, and mitigation. You can also choose to work on a local, national, or global level.

Sample careers include:

  • Emergency Management Director
  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Social and Community Service Managers

Master’s in Emergency Management Salary:

  • Emergency Management Directors: $74,590 per year 
  • Mental Health Counselor: $37,270
  • Social and Community Service Managers: $59,510

Licensure, Certification, and Professional Organizations:

For more information, check out:

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