Emergency and Disaster Management Degree Programs

Emergency and disaster management programs are available at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Major areas of study include emergency response planning, disaster recovery and public safety policy. Continue reading for information about course topics and potential places of employment. Schools offering Criminal Justice degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Undergraduate Degree Program in Emergency Management?

You can find a variety of programs at this level, such as the Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Management or Bachelor of Science in Emergency and Disaster Management. These programs can be found on traditional college campuses, as well as in online formats. Whether studying emergency management at the associate's or bachelor's degree level, you may be required to complete an internship.

Your studies may also incorporate disciplines like biology, medicine and public health. You can develop skills in crisis management, problem-solving and communication, as well as prepare for professional certification, such as the Certified Emergency Manager credential.

Undergraduate Degrees Associate's and bachelor's degree programs available online and on campus
Other Requirements Programs may require an internship; some may prepare you for certification
Graduate DegreesOnline and on-campus master's degrees usually take 2-3 years
CoursesDisaster response systems, terrorism, professional communication, public information policy, transportation security
Work Environments Disaster response departments, state or federal agencies, nonprofit organizations

What Are My Other Degree Options?

Master's degree programs, such as the Master of Science (M.S.) in Emergency Management or M.S. in Emergency-Disaster Preparedness Management, generally take 2-3 years to complete. You will be able to study online or on-campus in areas like emergency mental health, social consequences of disaster, emergency preparedness, terrorism and mass media.

You could also learn about applied management and leadership. Some programs offer opportunities for field experience and typically culminate in a thesis.

What Will I Study?

Coursework in associate's and bachelor's degree programs in emergency management commonly include general education classes in addition to training in disaster response systems, management and individual emergency response. In bachelor's degree programs you could learn about incident management, professional communication, emergency response planning or political science.

Other areas of study include disaster recovery, disaster mitigation and preparedness, technical writing and public safety policy. The following are examples of topics you may cover at any degree level:

  • Public information policy
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Transportation security
  • Emergency responses to WMD events
  • Crisis intervention
  • Homeland security theory
  • Terrorism
  • Information management
  • Legal issues in emergency management

Where Can I Work?

With an associate's degree, you can apply your training to first responder or emergency medical services careers, such as an EMT. A bachelor's or master's degree in emergency management could prepare you for management or specialist positions in disaster response departments.

You could be employed by state or federal agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Justice or Department of Health. You could also work in the nonprofit sector for organizations like the Salvation Army, American Red Cross or CARE.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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