Best Emergency Management Degrees

When natural disasters strike they force emergency services to respond quickly to the needs of people who have suddenly lost everything.

Best Bachelors in Emergency Management

Responding to these incidents requires expertise that not many people have. That’s why people with Emergency Management Degrees are needed!

Thinking about studying online? Check out our ranking of the Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Emergency Management.

What Jobs Can I Get With A Degree in Emergency Management?

Emergency Management degrees open up a wide array of job opportunities. Emergency Management Specialists help to train emergency personnel and plan disaster relief policies. Emergency dispatch center workers handle emergency calls for ambulance, fire, and police requests. The Department of Homeland Security focuses on prevention and preparedness for national emergencies.

How Much Money Can I Earn in Emergency Management?

Students who choose to pursue this degree set themselves up for a very lucrative career. Emergency Management Directors earn a median wage of $34/hour, which translates to an annual salary of more than $72,000 according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also expects a growth of 8% in this job market over the next decade.

What Do You Study in an Emergency Management Program?

Emergency Management Programs give students a foundational education in responding to emergencies. These programs train students in the latest developments in the field, both in terms of theory and technology.This shows potential employers that graduates will be coming into the job market with the most relevant and up-to-date information possible.

What Are the Best 10 Bachelors in Emergency Management?

College Choice considers several factors including institutional excellence, student satisfaction and return on investment to develop rankings. Institutional excellence looks at stats such as graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratios and endowment sizes to judge each school’s ability to follow through on providing an excellent education for each student.

Student satisfaction measures how satisfied current and former students felt with the services and programs offered at each school. And finally return on investment looks at the financial benefits students are likely to receive from the school’s education, weighed against the costs of attendance.

In the end, we believe these 10 schools represent the best Bachelors in Emergency Management.

2018 Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.


Western Carolina University

College Choice Score: 100

Average Net Price: $13,646

School Website


Western Carolina University is a public university in Cullowhee, NC. WCU is a constituent campus of the University of North Carolina public school system. The school was founded to educated students in the mountains of western North Carolina, and now serves a student population of just over 10,000 students.

Program Features

Western Carolina offers a Bachelors of Science degree in Emergency and Disaster Management. The program is made up of two key components:

  • Core Courses: including risk assessment and vulnerability analysis
  • Capstone Project: an opportunity to gain work experience with an emergency management organization

Students also have the option of minoring in this program, which requires completion of the core courses. The program is offered through the school of Arts & Sciences.


The Emergency Management Degree Program Guide rated this program the 2nd best in the country in 2014. Western Carolina has a number of well-known alumni, including the humorist author David Sedaris.


American Public University System

College Choice Score: 97.94

Average Net Price: $11,470

School Website


The American Public University System is a private, for-profit online learning institution. The system is composed of two parts: American Military University and American Public University. The school has academic offices in Charles Town, WV and Manassas, VA.

Program Features

APUS offers a 120-credit, fully-online Bachelor of Arts program in Emergency and Disaster Management. The program covers:

  • An all-hazards approach to risk assessment and hazard identification
  • Prevention of and recovery from man-made and natural disasters
  • The multiple phases of emergency and disaster management

Faculty members are board-certified emergency managers (CEM) or hold important positions in government agencies or national safety organizations.


It has no connection to the U.S. Military or the U.S. Government, nor is it a public institution. More than half of students who attend the school receive financial support, and most other students use GI Bill benefits to pay for their education.


Bellevue University

College Choice Score: 94.24

Average Net Price: $6,349

School Website


Bellevue University is a private, non-profit university in Bellevue, NE. Bellevue has more than 10,000 students, around 70% of which are undergraduates. The school was founded with the goal of providing adult education and educational outreach.

Program Features

Bellevue offers a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management, which serves to educate students looking to enter either the public or private sector. Students must complete a pair of 49 credits to obtain the major, composed of:

  • Major requirements (40 credits): Terrorism, Natural Disasters, and Exercise Design
  • Kirkpatrick Signature Series: American Vision and Values, Tradition and Change, and Freedom and Responsibility

The program tries to develop a detailed understanding of the “how” and the “why” disasters happen.


Around 80% of Bellevue’s undergraduates are 25 years or older. Successful students will be on a path to pursue Bellevue’s Masters of Science in Emergency Management. Before you can begin pursuing this major, you must either complete 60 semester hours or obtain an associate’s degree.


West Texas A & M University

College Choice Score: 93.90

Average Net Price: $12,022

School Website


West Texas A&M University is a public university located in Canyon, TX. West Texas started out as the West Texas State Normal College, which served to educate future teachers in Texas. The school has since expanded to offer a diverse range of majors and degrees, and now boasts a population of just over 10,000 students.

Program Features

West Texas offers a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (B.A.A.S.) in Emergency Management Administration. The degree requires 120 credit hours, including 42 hours in the major. Example courses include:

  • Risk Management
  • Administrative Law
  • Principles of Emergency Management

The program is fully online. Courses are not self-paced, but instead begin and end within a semester.


Most students attend the program part-time, as the classes match their personal and professional schedules. Students must hold in an associate’s degree in a relevant field, such as mathematics or behavioral sciences, before applying to the program.


Jacksonville State University

College Choice Score: 90.58

Average Net Price: $12,474

School Website


Jacksonville State University is a regional public school located in Jacksonville, AL. JSU was originally founded as the Jacksonville State Normal School, working to educate teachers and educators for the state of Alabama. The university became JSU in 1967, and now has more than 8,000 total students, most of whom are undergraduates.

Program Features

Jacksonville State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management program. This degree requires 120 credit hours overall, with 30 credit hours coming within the major. Sample courses include:

  • Disaster Response & Recovery
  • Populations at Risk
  • Emergency Management Capstone Course

Required courses will make up 18 credit hours of the required 30. The remainder are drawn from approved EM 300+ Electives courses. The major may also be supplemented by a Public Safety Telecommunications or Homeland Security minor.


In the Fall of 2011, Jacksonville State began offering its first ever doctoral degree, which was a Doctor of Science in Emergency Management. This program has been rated one of the top-10 Emergency Management doctoral programs in the country.


Colorado Technical University

College Choice Score: 89.87

Average Net Price: $11,960

School Website


Colorado Technical University Colorado Springs (CTU) is a university located in Colorado Springs, CO. The majority of their students take classes and complete degree programs fully online. They have around 23,000 undergraduate students and 3,000 postgraduates.

Program Features

Colorado Technical University offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice- Homeland Security and Emergency Management.  Completion of the degree requires 182 credits, broken into two parts:

  • General Education, e.g. Algebra for Business and Ethics in Criminal Justice
  • Core Courses, e.g. Understanding Critical Infrastructure and Career Planning and Management

U.S. World News and Report has consistently ranked CTU’s online Bachelor’s programs among the best in the country.


According to CTU, “The curriculum is designed to help provide students with an in-depth understanding of technology, communications, intelligence, critical infrastructure, terrorism, and other knowledge in a wide range of government and private organizations.


SUNY College of Technology at Canton

College Choice Score: 89.04

Average Net Price: $12,347

School Website


The State University of New York at Canton is a public college located in Canton, NY. SUNY Canton has an academic staff of around 200 and an undergraduate population of approximately 3,500 students. Its location in New York places the campus close to both the Adirondack Mountains and Canadian cities such as Ottawa and Montreal.

Program Features

SUNY Canton offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management degree. Classes tend to last an average of seven weeks, covering topics such as:

  • Professional Ethics
  • Communities: Preparedness & Defense
  • Management Communications

Students also take classes such as EADM 435 Disaster Simulation, where they will face simulated disasters help put what they’ve learned to the test.


The curriculum emphasizes the four phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Students will also learn the intricacies of the legal and liability issues in emergency management, and how they affect rule-making and policy development.


Utah Valley University

College Choice Score: 88.66

Average Net Price: $6,738

School Website


Utah Valley University is a public university located in Orem, UT. UVU is the largest public university in the state of Utah, with approximately 37,000 students as of Fall 2017. The school was formerly called Utah Valley State College, but gained full university status in July 2008.

Program Features

Utah Valley offers a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Service Administration. The degree program is offered fully online and covers courses including:

  • Humanitarian Relief
  • Disaster Response
  • Psychology of Emergency Services

Students can attend classes at times and locations that fit their own schedules. There are also summer class sessions offered.


This degree program can be completed in as few as two or three years. All administrative tasks, registration, and book-buying can be completed fully online, along with classes themselves. Students are eligible to receive academic credit for certain professional experience.


Thomas Edison State University

College Choice Score: 88.15

Average Net Price: $6,350

School Website


Thomas Edison State University is a public university located in Trenton, NJ. Originally founded as Thomas Edison State College in 1972, the school received university status in 2015. The Board of Trustees approved the name change later that year, and the school now has a student population of roughly 17,000 undergraduates and 1,100 postgraduates.

Program Features

Thomas Edison offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. The program was designed to provide students with a broad understanding of both subjects, with a specific focus on policy issues

The degree program requires the completion of 120 credits and is generally completed fully online. This program often leads into Thomas Edison State’s Master of Science in Homeland Security degree.


Along with core classes and general education courses, there are also area of study electives that students may pursue. These options include White Collar Crime, War and American Society, and Game Theory in Life, Business, and Beyond. Students complete a capstone project to complete their degree.


National University

College Choice Score: 86.70

Average Net Price: $22,377

School Website


National University is a private, non-profit institution of higher education located in La Jolla, CA. National maintains campuses throughout the state of California, as well as a campus in Nevada and a number of online offerings.  National offers concentrated courses lasting an average of around 4 weeks, and which are primarily intended for adult learners.

Program Features

National University offers a Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management (BS-HSEM) program. The program is broken up in to two components:

  • Eleven core courses, including Disaster Management and Leading Diverse Groups & Teams
  • Five electives offered in one-month onsite and online formats

Students also complete a Supervised Senior Project and put together a CAEL Portfolio (Council on Adult and Experiential Learning) to demonstrate that they have achieved the course outcomes for their undergraduate program.


Students with at least a 3.0 GPA and who are within six courses of graduation are eligible to enroll in the joint BS-HSEM/MPA transition program. This leads students directly into graduate study upon graduation, in pursuit of a Masters in Public Administration. Some courses taken to complete a student’s bachelors program will count towards the MPA residency.