Most Affordable Online Master’s in Emergency Management Degrees

When disaster strikes, where do you want to be? Fleeing the scene or flocking to the frontlines? Check out the Most Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in Emergency Management.

Most Affordable Online Masters in Emergency Management

Are you interested in coming together to work with the local, state, or federal government, as well as hospitals, community centers, and nonprofit organizations? 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?

If so, then a Master’s in Emergency Management may be the perfect fit for you!

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.

If you’re considering an online program, we’ve got you covered. In fact, College Choice has ranked the Most Affordable Online Master’s Programs – we know what quality online programs are made up of.

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

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Emergency Management Directors can make upwards of $70,000 per year. The field is also projected to grow 6 percent from now to 2024.

As natural disasters continue to pop up, emergency management directors will be needed to develop unique response plans to help protect people and property, and to limit the damage from these emergencies and disasters.

This is a field that requires not only critical thinking, but excellent communication and organizational skills as well. The degree not only results in a lucrative career, but a stable one too.

What are the requirements for an online Emergency Management degree?

To earn a Master’s degree in Emergency Management online, you will most likely have to have some kind of relative experience or Bachelor’s degree first. Your online graduate classes will include courses like Community Risk Reduction, Hazard Mitigation and Preparedness, Risk Assessment, Vulnerability Analysis, and more.

Most programs also allow students the opportunity to specialize, through either a formal concentration or through electives. The programs below offer a range of focuses, from Security Policy to Health Preparedness. Many of these programs also require a capstone project or completion of a thesis report.

What are the best online Emergency Management degrees?

While more and more colleges are offering degrees in this field, it can be difficult to narrow it down. To find the nation’s best online master’s in emergency management programs, College Choice has looked at every college and university in the U.S. that offers the degree online.

If you’re looking to begin a successful career, these 15 affordable online master’s degrees will serve you well so that you can go on to serve others.

From Angelo State University and Bellevue University, to the University of South Florida, the opportunities at these schools are endless. You’ll learn everything from Cyber-Security & Information Protection to Technology for Comprehensive Emergency Management – so, start your journey today!

2018 Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.


Bellevue University

Average Net Price: $6,349

School Website


Home to mascot Bruin Bear, Bellevue University is located in Bellevue, Nebraska. The university also boasts 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.” Now, students can pursue an online Master of Science in Security Management degree.

Program Features

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:

  • Cyber-Security & Information Protection
  • Homeland Security Principles & Practices
  • Terrorism and Homeland Defense Fundamentals

All students must complete a total of 36 credits to earn their degrees.


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. Students still benefit greatly from the college experience while earning a degree from the flexibility of their own home.


California State University-Long Beach

Average Net Price: $9,867

School Website


Home to mascot Prospector Pete, along with nearly 38,000 students, Cal State Long Beach is one of the largest universities in the state of California. The university is home to eight colleges, including the College of Education and the College of Continuing and Professional Education. Now, students can pursue a Master of Science in Emergency Services Administration degree completely online.

Program Features

This program is offered through the university’s College of Health and Human Services. Students must complete 32 credits along with a capstone project to earn their degree. Courses offered include:

  • Emergency Planning and Management
  • Risk, Crisis, and Inter-Agency Communications
  • Campus and Community Volunteer Emergency Response
  • Disaster Mental Health Issues in Emergency Management
  • Emergency Management Leadership Across the Megacommunity

Courses are scheduled to allow students to pursue the degree on a year-round basis. Most students complete this program and earn their degrees within two to three years.


U.S. News & World Report frequently includes Cal State Long Beach on their top ranking lists. In fact, the university ranked #9 for Top Public Schools in the nation, as well as #39 for Best Regional Schools (West).


Arkansas Tech University

Average Net Price: $10,887

School Website


Founded in 1909, Arkansas Tech University is located in Russellville, Arkansas where mascot Jerry the Bulldog resides. With an overall enrollment of just over 12,000 students, Arkansas Tech offers many degree options. Now, the university has a Master of Science program that combines Emergency Management with Homeland Security (EMHS). Both affordable and flexible, this online program may be perfect for you.

Program Features

The curriculum features four main areas of study: professional, methodology, applied research, and interdisciplinary components. Courses may include:

  • Fundamentals of Homeland Security
  • Principles of Emergency Management
  • Technology for Comprehensive Emergency Management
  • Ethical, Legal, and Political Considerations in Emergency Management and              Homeland Security  

Students may choose complete a non-thesis option or a thesis option to earn their degree. Online students may also choose to complete a relevant internship as well, should it fit within their schedules.


Multi-disciplinary in its approach, Arkansas Tech also differentiates itself in that the Director of the EMHS program acts as a personal advisor to each student. Dedicated to empowering students to become world-changers, Arkansas Tech equips them with the education, critical thinking, and experience needed in emergency management and homeland security.


Angelo State University

Average Net Price: $10,943

School Website


Located in San Angelo, Texas, Angelo State is a public university that was founded in 1928. With over 6,000 students and six colleges offering over 100 majors and concentrations, there is no shortage of academic excellence at Angelo State. Now, the school offers several degrees online– including an online Master of Science (M.S.) in Homeland Security.

Program Features

Open to all those with bachelor’s degrees, this program is especially designed for those with degrees in related subjects, such as criminal justice, emergency management, criminology, and more. Courses offered include:

  • Cryptology
  • Data Mining
  • Studies in Disaster Preparedness
  • Seminar in Terrorism and Counterterrorism
  • Emerging Technologies in Homeland Security
  • Studies in Weapons of Mass Destruction Hazards and Responses

All students must complete a capstone course, Seminar in Border Security,  as well. The program can be completed in as little as 18 months.


All our core graduate courses are taught by ASU faculty with doctoral degrees and students have the flexibility to really tailor the program to suit their needs. They can take courses that align with their specific career goals. Both online and on-campus students also get plenty of opportunities to work closely with faculty members on research.


University of South Florida

Average Net Price: $11,398

School Website


Home to mascot Rocky the Bull, the University of South Florida (USF) was founded in 1956 as a public university and is located in Tampa. Now home to nearly 50,000 students, USF offers plenty of degree options and opportunities. In fact, students can now pursue an Online Master of Public Health in Global Disaster Management, Humanitarian Relief & Homeland Security.

Program Features

Students in this program must complete 42 credit hours. Courses offered include:

  • History & Systems of Public Health
  • Foundations of Humanitarian Assistance
  • Disaster Preparedness & Planning Concepts
  • Overview of  US & International Disaster Management

Students must also complete a special project and participate in supervised field experience as well. The University’s College of Public Health has established a special tuition rate for non-Florida residents of $525 per credit hour.


USF consistently ranks among the nation’s top fifty schools in the U.S. News & World Report graduate school rankings. Their public health programs, especially the Master of Public Health in Global Disaster Management, Humanitarian Relief & Homeland Security degree, train students to supervise and manage local, national, and international programs that aim to reduce public health threats, from natural disasters to terrorism


American Public University System

Average Net Price: $11,470

School Website


Founded in 1991, American Public University is a private, for-profit institution that specializes in offering online programs. Though these were initially designed for military, national security, and public safety professionals, their flexible programs serve the needs of all adult learners. In fact, they are ranked as an institution providing one of the best online bachelor’s programs, according to U.S. News and World Report. Now, students can pursue an online Master of Arts in Emergency and Disaster Management.

Program Features

Online programs are relevant to the job marketplace and designed by industry experts. Students will work closely with professors who are still active in the field. They engage regularly in online forums and communities with students who share their interests. Core components of the curriculum include:

  • History
  • Theory
  • Planning
  • Management
  • Response
  • Recovery
  • Case-studies associated with public emergencies and catastrophes


American Public University offers extensive financial aid to students, and will work with each applicant individually to construct the best financial aid package possible. Tuition starts at just $270 per credit hour, and students have the option of engaging in the exclusive Momentum Program. This allows students to complete a sixteen-week term at a flat rate of $2,500 credit hour with no additional fees or expenses for course materials.


Eastern Kentucky University

Average Net Price: $12,255

School Website


Located in Richmond, KY, Eastern Kentucky University was founded in 1906 and is now home to over 14,000 students. It’s flexible programs and affordable degree options make this school a great choice for many. Now, Eastern Kentucky offers online degrees for those who can’t attend classes on-campus. Check out the university’s Online Master of Science in Safety, Security & Emergency Management degree.

Program Features

Offered completely online, students in this program can choose from a number of degree concentrations, including:

  • School Safety
  • Homeland Security
  • Occupational Safety
  • Emergency Management
  • Fire & Emergency Services

Students in the Safety, Security and Emergency Management Master’s program will have the option to either take a comprehensive examination or to write and defend a thesis on an approved research topic.


U.S. News & World Report has ranked Eastern Kentucky University #27 among the Top Public Schools in the country. The school was also highly ranked among other regional universities in the south.


Arkansas State University

Average Net Price: $12,310

School Website


This public research university was founded in 1909 and now has a total enrollment of over 21,000 students. Arkansas State University is the flagship campus within the wider ASU System. One of the largest schools in Arkansas, ASU offers plenty of exciting degree programs for students to pursue. In fact, students can now obtain a Master of Science (M.S.) in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management.

Program Features

This is an online, interdisciplinary program that covers everything from disaster preparedness to mitigation, planning, response, and recovery. The program is made up of six modules. Each module lasts 7 weeks duration. Modules include:

  • Theoretical Framework for Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
  • Communication in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
  • Research Topics in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
  • Humanitarian Perspectives in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
  • Collaboration in Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management
  • Internship, Research Project or Thesis

Students may enter this program in any module; each module will contain 2 courses.


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.


Jacksonville State University

Average Net Price: $12,474

School Website


Jacksonville State University (JSU) is a public school located in Jacksonville, Alabama. Organized into five academic departments, JSU offers 40 degrees to its 7,500 students. There are also campuses in Little River Canyon, McClellan, and online. In fact, more and more students are deciding to pursue programs online. One of their top degree offerings is an online Masters in Emergency Management.

Program Features

Jacksonville 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 may include:

  • Disaster Recovery
  • Research Methods in Emergency Management
  • Hazard Mitigation
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Advanced Radiological Incidents Operations

All online students must also complete a Capstone in Emergency Management to earn their degrees. A total of 30 hours is required for degree completion in this program.


Jacksonville State University has been ranked #89 in Regional Universities South by U.S. News & World Report. The school also tied for #34 in Top Public Schools. 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.


University of Maryland-University College

Average Net Price: $12,483

School Website


Founded in 1947, the University of Maryland – University College is one of the most affordable colleges for those looking for a flexible degree. Now, students can pursue a Master of Science in management with a specialization in homeland security management online. You’ll learn how to tackle the five mission areas in homeland security as defined by the Department of Homeland Security.

Program Features

This program requires students to complete a total of 36 credits. Courses may include:

  • Biosecurity and Bioterrorism
  • Organizational Theory and Behavior
  • Financial Decision Making for Managers
  • Statistics for Managerial Decision Making
  • Resilience Planning and Preparedness for Disaster Response and Recovery

All students are also required to complete a Strategic Management Capstone to earn their degrees.


The University of Maryland offers more than 100 scholarships, financial aid, and interest-free monthly payment plans for those who qualify. The Completion Scholarship is one of the university’s featured scholarships that serves to help Maryland community college graduates reduce the in-state rate by $100 per credit. The university also offers special discounts for military members.


Arizona State University

Average Net Price: $12,981

School Website


Located in Tempe, AZ, ASU is a public research university founded in 1885 that has been ranked #1 in the U.S. for innovation, dedicated to accessibility and excellence. If you’re an environmentalist, you’ll be happy to know the folks at ASU have an unrivaled commitment to sustainability; in fact, the campus is the most solar-powered of any in the U.S. Now, with a variety of online programs, students can pursue an Online Master of Arts in Emergency Management & Homeland Security.

Program Features

This program is offered through the university’s College of Public Service and Community Solutions. Students in this program must complete 11 classes for a total of 33 credit hours. Each class lasts 7.5 weeks. Students may choose one concentration from the following options:

  • Biosecurity And Threat Management
  • Emergency Management
  • Community Resilience
  • Homeland Security

The program includes a culminating experience, an applied project, which provides opportunities for students to make direct and positive impacts in their home communities.


U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 edition of Best Colleges ranked this university as one of the Best National Universities as well as a Best Value School and Best Colleges for Veterans. ASU offers over 600 degree programs at all levels across 15 schools and colleges. Undergrad students can choose from nearly 400 programs (major, minor, certificates).


Trident University International

Average Net Price: $13,175

School Website


Located in Cypress, California, Trident is private for-profit university that offers all of its degrees completely online. For those interested in Emergency Management, Trident offers a flexible and affordable degree option. The Master of Science in Homeland Security will teach you how to mitigate the potentially catastrophic consequences of natural disasters, terrorist acts, and much more.

Program Features

Students in this program can choose from a variety of concentrations. These may include:

  • Logistics
  • Leadership
  • Cybersecurity
  • Emergency and Disaster Management

No matter your area of concentration, you can expect to take classes including: Crisis Management, Critical Infrastructure Protection, Security Technology, and Intelligence Analysis. All students must complete 40 semester credits of core courses and electives to earn their degrees.


The standard fee per credit at Trident University is $510. However, retired military members, veterans, and their immediate families can pay as little as $375 per credit. Active duty members and Department of Defense Federal Civilian Employees can take credits for just $325. Not only that, Trident also offers plenty of financial aid options to help you earn the degree you need to jump-start your career!


Lander University

Average Net Price: $13,682

School Website


Located in Greenwood, South Carolina and home to Bearcat the mascot, Lander University has an enrollment of just over 3,000 students. Though it’s a small school, Lander has made a huge impact. In fact, with a growing online community, more and more students are taking part in the university’s affordable and flexible degree options. Check out Lander’s Master of Science in Emergency Management.

Program Features

Students in this program must complete ten 3-credit hour courses, as well as a one-credit hour capstone course. Core courses include:

  • Foundations in Emergency Management
  • Preparation and Mitigation
  • Response and Recovery
  • Business and Economic Continuity
  • Emergency Mental Health.
  • Continuity of Government

Courses are planned so that students can finish in six terms (two years), taking two courses per term (including summer).


Lander University was ranked #16 in Regional Colleges South by U.S. News & World Report. It’s also ranked #6 in Best Colleges for Veterans and #3 in Top Public Schools in the country. With rankings like that, it’s not surprising why so many are choosing Lander’s online programs.


Towson University

Average Net Price: $15,597

School Website


Towson University is located less than an hour’s drive from Washington D.C. in Towson, Maryland, and is the second largest public university in the state. Towson has over 22,000 students who learn in an environment that combines research-based learning with practical application. Now, Towson offers a variety of flexible and affordable online degree options. Check out the university’s Master of Science degree in Integrated Homeland Security Management.

Program Features

Students in this program can choose from one of the following specializations:

  • Security Policy
  • Health Preparedness
  • Information Assurance

All students in this program must also complete a capstone project. Students will identify a desired policy outcome (an end-state they seek to achieve or avoid), partner with a faculty member, and through research develop a causal argument about the most effective way to achieve that outcome.


Towson University is not authorized to conduct distance education programs in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Utah, the Virgin Islands, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges guide 2017 ranked Towson University 14th in the public Regional Universities (North) category.


Wilmington University

Average Net Price: $16,218

School Website


Wilmington University was founded in September of 1947 and has since grown into a campus of over 20,000 students. The university offers a variety of excellent programs for students to pursue. One of which is their Master of Science in Homeland Security that’s offered completely online through their College of Social & Behavioral Sciences.

Program Features

This program provides the theoretical, methodological, and practical knowledge students will need to pursue fulfilling careers in the industry. The Homeland Security program offers concentrations in the following areas:

  • Safety and Security
  • Military Leadership
  • Information Assurance
  • Organizational Leadership

All students must also complete a capstone project to earn their degree.


University of North Carolina Wilmington has been ranked #14 among Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report. The university has also been ranked #9 for Best Colleges for Veterans, #6 for Top Public Schools, and #59 in Best Value Schools. With rankings like that, it’s no wonder so many choose this university to pursue their passions.