Master's Degree Programs in Disaster Management

Learn about your master's degree options in the field of disaster management. See what classes are commonly offered, and get information about what kind of job you can get after graduation. Schools offering Criminal Justice degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Learn in a Master's Degree Program in Disaster Management?

A master's degree program in disaster management will educate you fully in the theories and techniques handling all types of emergencies, be them natural or man-made. Techniques include prevention, preparedness, rapid response and post-disaster relief. You'll learn how to develop contingency plans, such as evacuation procedures and transportation modes. You'll also explore the socio-cultural, physical and economic effects of emergencies upon those who experience them, and you'll learn how social programs and medical aid are used to handle such damage.

Program TypesStudents can earn MPH, MPA, and M.S. degrees in disaster management
Common CoursesLoss mitigation, medical aid, social disaster relief programs, community crisis leadership and recovery, municipal and federal response planning
Career Possibilities State and federal agencies, hospitals, electric companies, community aid organizations, law enforcement, and public affairs

What Programs are Available?

Graduate programs in disaster management award Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Science (M.S.) degrees. Required course curricula varies with degree format. MPH programs emphasize the health risks of various disasters and the types of medical aid commonly required for those afflicted by disasters. MPA programs focus on the methods and responsibilities of governmental, law enforcement or public health programs in emergency preparedness and response. M.S. programs are more varied in their focus, but they may emphasize certain scientific components of emergency management, such as engineering or environmental security. Programs are available online.

What Kinds of Classes Will I Take?

The classes of these programs will provide you with an applied and theoretical education in various disaster planning, prevention, response and aid techniques. Some programs require an internship or other hands-on practicum in a relevant area of emergency management, and others incorporate field experience at disaster relief sites. Programs may require a thesis, applied project or advanced written examination. Theory-based topics commonly found in emergency management master's degree curricula include the following:

  • Information technology in disaster management
  • Engineering emergency response systems
  • Social disaster relief programs
  • Terrorism preparedness and management
  • Medical aid
  • Loss mitigation
  • Community crisis leadership and recovery
  • Municipal and federal response planning
  • Behavioral and psychological health
  • Environmental hazards and repair programs

What Are My Career Options After Graduation?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), emergency management specialists often work for municipal, state, and federal government agencies, hospitals, electric companies and community aid organizations (www.bls.gov). Emergency management master's degrees may also be of interest to you if you're looking for career advancement in law enforcement, public affairs, public health, security or risk management. A master's degree may lead to a career as an emergency management director within any of these industries.

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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  • Walden University

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Saint Leo University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Colorado State University Global

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  • Regent University

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  • Colorado Christian University

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