Courses and Emergency Management Degrees

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Emergency management degree and credentialing programs consist of everything from two-year associate’s degree programs to master’s and postgraduate certificates, and even doctorate degrees.  Among 50 institutions surveyed that offer degrees in emergency management, 58 offered master’s degrees; 50 offered a master’s certificate, specialty concentration or track; and 34 offered bachelor’s degree programs in emergency management. Nearly all offered associate’s degrees (46), and nine offered doctoral degrees in emergency management (9).

Capella University offers online Master's, PhD, and Professional Doctorate degrees in Emergency Management to help you develop in-demand skills that you can apply directly to a career as an emergency management professional. Learn new approaches to mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery, and prepare to lead and manage organizations and individuals in emergency preparedness activities. Request information on how you can find the most direct path to advance in your emergency management career.

Given the increase in state and federal budgets being allocated to emergency management and the dramatic growth in the number of professionals needed in the field, every year since 2001 has seen between 12 and 18 US colleges and universities add emergency management programs to their degree offerings.

Departments Housing Emergency Management Programs

Because emergency management is often considered an interdisciplinary field, and because it is still a relatively new and evolving discipline, programs in emergency management can be found in a wide array of college and university departments, including:

  • Social Sciences
  • School of Social Work
  • Public Administration
  • School of Management
  • Health Science
  • Public Safety
  • School of Public and Environmental Affairs
  • Center for Workforce Development
  • Human Services
  • Urban Planning
  • Business
  • Psychology
  • Lifelong Learning and Community Engagement
  • Engineering Management and Systems Engineering
  • Emergency Services
  • Criminal Justice
  • Information and Technology School of Management
  • School of Public Policy and Administration
  • Public Management and Policy

College and University Programs

Certificate Programs

There are currently 68 stand-alone diploma (certificates) programs in emergency management. Typical certificate programs include:

  • Certificate in Emergency Preparedness
  • Certificate in Emergency Management
  • Certificate in Public Safety and Emergency Management
  • Certificate in Emergency Management Response and Homeland Security

Associate Degree Programs

There are currently 53 schools offering associate degree programs in emergency management. Examples of associate degree programs include:

  • Associate of Science in Emergency Services Administration
  • Associate of Applied Sciences in Emergency Management
  • Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Management Technology
  • Emergency Management Associate Degree
  • Associate in Applied Science in Emergency Preparedness Technology
  • Associate of Applied Arts in Emergency Management

Bachelor Degree Programs

There are currently 53 schools offering bachelor degree programs in the United States. Common bachelor programs include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Emergency and Disaster Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Emergency Administration and Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
  • Bachelor Science in Public Safety Administration with an Emergency Management concentration
  • Bachelor of Science with a Major in Crisis and Disaster Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Emergency Readiness and Response Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Disaster Management and Relief Program

Master-Level Concentration/Specialization Programs

There are currently 88 schools with master-level concentrations/tracks/specializations or areas of emphasis. Programs are often organized as:

  • Masters in Emergency and Disaster Management
  • Master of Science in Emergency Management
  • Masters of Social Work with an emphasis in Emergency Preparedness
  • Master of Science with Emergency Management concentration
  • Master of Science in Emergency Management and Homeland Security
  • Master of Science in Public Safety with an Emergency Management specialization
  • Master of Science in Emergency Services Management
  • Master of Science in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management
  • Master of Liberal Studies in Technology with a concentration in Emergency Management
  • Master of Arts in Disaster and Emergency Management
  • Graduate Diploma in Disaster and Emergency Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management and Crisis Leadership

Doctoral-Level Programs

There are currently 9 schools in the United States offering doctoral-level programs. Some of the programs offered include:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Public Safety with an Emergency Management specialization
  • PhD in Engineering Management with a research focus in the field of Crisis, Emergency, and Risk Management
  • Doctor of Science in Emergency Management
  • PhD in Fire and Emergency Management Administration
  • PhD in Disaster Science and Management

There are an additional 35 emergency management programs currently in development.

Coursework Found in Emergency Management Programs

According to survey results from a 2012 report, the most common courses found within emergency management programs are:

  • Breaking the Disaster Cycle: Future Directions in Natural Hazard Mitigation
  • Building Disaster Resilient Communities
  • Business Crisis and Continuity Management
  • Disaster Response Operations and Management
  • Hazards Risk Management
  • Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • Individual and Community Disaster Education
  • National Incident Management Systems
  • Principles and Practice of Hazard Mitigation
  • Public Administration and Emergency Management
  • Social Dimensions of Disaster
  • Sociology of Disaster
  • Technology and Emergency Management
  • Terrorism and Emergency Management

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