Best Online Emergency Management Degrees

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Protect communities large and small with one of the nation’s Best Online Emergency Management Degrees.

Are you driven to help communities ruined by natural or manmade disasters? Do you wonder how you can prevent such crises in the future? Are you hoping there is a way to combine your passion for security, safety, and protection with a stable and lucrative career?

Then an online degree in emergency management may be just for you!

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Explore our featured online programs and find the right match for you today.

What kind of Emergency Management degree should you get?

All of these emergency management programs introduce students to the fundamentals of emergency management. They teach students how to develop effective prevention plans and how to respond publicly to crises and catastrophes.

Yet, each program varies in emphasis and structure. While some stress the importance of leadership management, others focus on issues of security and analysis. Find which fits best for you.

Each of these programs will not only provide one of the best educations in emergency management that you can get, they also offer a flexible, accessible way to earn your degree. All of these programs can be completed fully online.

Online education is a flexible and affordable way to advance your education and career. For that reason, be sure to check out College Choice’s Best Online Colleges and Universities.

How much money do people make with an Emergency Management degree?

A degree in emergency management will set you up for a range of career options. From risk analyst to information security manager, there are seemingly unlimited career opportunities.

This means the average salary for one with an emergency management degree varies widely. For example, while Emergency Management Directors make approximately $70,000 a year, Information Security Analysts make upwards of $92,000 a year.

The degree not only results in a lucrative career, but a stable one too. The demand for those with a BS in Emergency Management degree is projected to rise another 8 percent in the next few years. For Information Security Analysts, projected growth is nearly 30 percent!

What are the requirements for an online Emergency Management degree?

To earn a BS in Emergency Management online, you will need to complete four full years of school. All of these programs allow you to transfer up to two years of credits, if you’ve already completed them.

Once your general education courses are finished, you will jump into your emergency management core. You’ll take foundational classes such as Community Risk Reduction, Hazard Mitigation and Preparedness, Risk Assessment and Vulnerability Analysis, and more.

Then you will have the opportunity to specialize, through either a formal concentration or through electives. The programs below offer a range of focuses, from fire emergency to homeland security. We’ve been sure to note each.

Finally, at the end of your program you may be required to complete and internship or capstone project.

What are the best online Emergency Management degrees?

To find the nation’s best online bachelor’s in emergency management programs we looked at every college and university in the U.S. that offers the degree online.

From there we investigated crucial determining factors such as reputation. And student retention, a sign of student satisfaction. Finally, we compared tuition rates and graduate salaries to determine the best returns on investment.

After such exhaustive research we found the nation’s top 35 Best Emergency Management programs.

Our figures and information come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.


See our rankings methodology page.

  1. University of Florida

    Gainesville, FL




    The University of Florida is one of the premier research universities in Florida. It is the leading member of the wider State University system and a land, sea, and space grant institution. UF is located in Gainesville and is home to more than 55,000 students.


    UF offers an online Bachelor’s in Fire and Emergency Management degree that can be combined with a specialization in Emergency Management. As an online student you will take core courses such as Communications and IT, Strategic Planning, Disaster Planning and Control, and more. You will then take emergency management electives such as:

    • Community Risk Reduction
    • Disaster Policy
    • Introduction to Emergency Management of Terrorism
    • Personnel Management


    UF is listed among the top 100 best schools in the nation by Forbes. And U.S. News & World Report ranks it 42nd among all national universities. Additionally, dozens of its individual departments and schools are also well ranked, including many of the online programs.

  2. West Texas A & M University

    Canyon, TX




    West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) is located in Canyon, just outside Amarillo, Texas. It is a public university that was first founded as a teacher’s college. Today, however, WTAMU offers 100 bachelor and master’s degree programs to its 10,000 students.


    WTAMU offers an online degree in Emergency Management Administration that prepares students for work in governmental, nonprofit, and industrial settings. At WTAMU you will learn everything from the policy and legal dimensions of emergency management to the human influence on political, social, cultural, ecological, and economic issues. Core classes include:

    • Principles of Emergency Management
    • Organizational Theory in the Public Sector
    • Public Relations and Publicity
    • GIS Technology for Public and Emergency Management


    The WTAMU campus is pocked with renowned research institutes and faculties—among them, the Academic and Research Environmental Health and Safety Office. WTAMU is strongly ranked and known for its student-centric approach to education, offering dozens of extracurricular and leadership formation programs to its students.

  3. Western Carolina University

    Cullowhee, NC




    Western Carolina University (WCU) is one of the oldest schools in North Carolina. It is located in Cullowhee, has around 11,000 students, and is organized into five discrete colleges. WCU offers degrees in everything from health and human sciences to business, emergency management, and construction.


    WCU offers an online BS in Emergency and Disaster Management degree that is notably community-focused. Students learn how to effectively prepare for natural and large-scale emergencies that affect communities big and small. This interdisciplinary program combines hands-on practice with theory. You’ll take classes such as:

    • Social Dimensions of a Disaster
    • Emergency Planning
    • Risk Assessment and Vulnerability Analysis
    • Principles of Hazard Mitigation


    Though WCU’s online and traditional degree programs are well ranked, it is perhaps best known for its long history of preserving Appalachian and Cherokee cultures. WCU campus is home to the Mountain Heritage Center, the Cherokee Center, and the Cherokee Studies program.

  4. American Military University (American Public University System)

    Charles Town, WV




    The American Military University (AMU) is part of the larger American Public University System. AMU offers 200 degrees at all degree levels in a range of academic and professional subjects. More than half of AMU’s students are comprised of active-duty members or veterans.


    AMU’s online degree in Emergency and Disaster Management will train you on both preventive and responsive acts in the face of emergency. You will also learn the phases of disaster cycles and how to analyze the coping strategies involved in disasters. Therefore, some of the classes you can anticipate taking at AMU include:

    • Emergency and Disaster Incident Command
    • Hazard Mitigation and Preparedness
    • Natural Disaster Management
    • Social Media Application to Emergency Disaster Management


    AMU is known for its service to veterans and active-duty military students. In fact, the University is part of the Servicemembers Opportunity College program. It is also a Navy College Program Distance Learning partner.

  5. Bellevue University

    Bellevue, NE




    Bellevue University is primarily located in Bellevue, Nebraska, though it has one of the largest and most renowned online campuses in the nation. From its founding, Bellevue has sought to provide innovative, accessible, and affordable education to its students. Today, more than 80 percent of students are “non-traditional.”


    Bellevue offers not only one of the best online BS in Emergency Management degrees on our list, but also one of the most affordable. This program teaches students how to create, implement, and explain policies and procedures related to emergency management. You’ll graduate fully ready to respond to natural and manmade disasters. Classes include:

    • Terrorism
    • The National Incident Management System
    • Emergency Communications
    • Legal Issues in Emergency Management


    Bellevue’s online bachelor and graduate degrees are well ranked by U.S. News & World Report. This is not only because those programs offer a quality educational experience, but because they are cohort-based and accelerated. So students still benefit from the college experience while earning a degree from home.

  6. SUNY College of Technology at Canton

    Canton, NY




    The Canton branch in the wider State University of New York (SUNY) System is a public school. It works in close partnership with SUNY’s Polytechnic Institute and has around 4,000 students. The University is organized into three academic schools, in business, engineering technology, and health and criminal justice.


    At SUNY Canton you will participate in virtual disaster simulations and you’ll get to operate an emergency operations center and an incident command center. This BS in Emergency Management program provides one of the most hands-on degrees for students who seek internships and real-world experience. Students also take classes such as:

    • Communities: Preparedness and Defense
    • Disaster Management and Preparedness
    • Public Budgeting and Fiscal Management
    • Leadership and Change


    SUNY Canton provides an affordable yet academically rigorous way to earn a professional degree. Its unique programs reflect on the University’s greater commitment to career placement. For example, SUNY Canton offers programs in everything from forestry to HVAC, powersports repair, and nursing.

  7. University of Central Missouri

    Warrensburg, MO




    Located in Warrensburg, the University of Central Missouri is home to nearly 50,000 students. It is a public university offering 150 academic and professional programs plus certifications in an array of areas. UCM is organized into four schools, in health and technology, education, professional studies, and the arts.


    UCM offers a BS in Crisis and Disaster Management degree that can be paired with one of four areas of specialization, in business continuity, emergency management, emergency services, and environmental hazards. Whichever route you take, you will learn the ins and outs of emergency management through classes such as:

    • Community Mitigation and Recovery
    • Integrated Emergency Management
    • Disaster Management and Technology
    • Field Exercise Project


    UCM is a well-decorated university. It is ranked among the top 100 best universities for its region, by U.S. News & World Report. And it is ranked 21st among “Top Public Schools” (also U.S. News).

  8. Jacksonville State University

    Jacksonville, AL




    Jacksonville State University (JSU) is a public school located in Jacksonville, Alabama. Organized into five academic departments, JSU offers 40 degrees to its 8,500 students. There are also campuses in Little River Canyon, McClellan, and online.


    Jacksonville State’s Emergency Management program prepares students for any community problems, from minor issues to major disasters. At JSU you will get to partner with the Center for Disaster and Community Resilience as well as the Emergency Management Coalition of Eastern Alabama. Classes you’ll take while a JSU student include:

    • Populations at Risk
    • Disaster Response and Recovery
    • Research in Disasters and Emergency Management
    • Disaster Mitigation and Preparedness


    Many notable research facilities are housed on the JSU campus. For example, the Institute of Emergency Preparedness, In-Service, and the Northeast Alabama Police Academy are all part of JSU.

  9. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide

    Daytona Beach, FL




    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) has many campuses in and around both Daytona Beach, Florida and Prescott, Arizona. It also offers a variety of its programs online. ERAU specializes in aviation, business, engineering, computer science, and security and intelligence education.


    ERAU’s online BS in Emergency Management degree comes with two areas of specialization, in Aviation Emergency Management or Fire and Emergency Services. The former focuses on aircraft accident investigations and airport safety. The latter focuses on community risk reduction. Both require you complete core classes such as:

    • Analytical Approaches to Public Fire Protection
    • Disaster Planning and Control
    • Managerial Issues in Hazardous Materials
    • Personnel Management for Fire and Emergency Services


    ERAU is known for its elite online education program Embry-Riddle Worldwide. Comprised of more than 130 learning locations, including military bases, the online program utilizes cutting-edge technology to best prepare its students for diverse career options.

  10. Arkansas State University-Main Campus

    Jonesboro, AR




    Arkansas State University is the flagship campus within the wider ASU System. It is a public research-driven university and one of the largest schools in Arkansas. More than 20,000 students study at ASU today.


    Arkansas State University offers a BS in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management degree. This is an online, interdisciplinary program that covers everything from disaster preparedness to mitigation, planning, response, and recovery. Classes include:

    • Principles of Public Administration
    • Disaster Response Operation Management
    • Crisis Communications
    • And more


    U.S. News & World Report ranks Arkansas State University 61st among all universities in the South. Though ASU is strong in many areas, it is most known for its agriculture, engineering, health, and behavioral science programs.

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