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Emer­gency man­age­ment is an excel­lent career choice for indi­vid­u­als who like to work in a fast-paced envi­ron­ment that involves work­ing with many dif­fer­ent orga­ni­za­tions at one time. The best emer­gency man­age­ment degree pro­grams pre­pare stu­dents for mul­ti­ple roles with­in the emer­gency man­age­ment frame­work. Resource man­agers, logis­tics, shel­ter man­age­ment, and emer­gency med­ical teams are just a few of the roles that can be found with­in the emer­gency man­age­ment sys­tem. Every role with­in the chain of com­mand of an emer­gency man­age­ment team is impor­tant and offers valu­able rewards to any­one who choos­es to take on the respon­si­bil­i­ties asso­ci­at­ed with the job.

Stu­dents who are inter­est­ed in a career in emer­gency man­age­ment can find many accred­it­ed degree pro­grams in schools across the coun­try. Online pro­grams are avail­able, as well as tra­di­tion­al class­room cours­es. Stu­dents can find degree pro­grams that offer flex­i­ble sched­ules that allow them to begin to pur­sue their careers in emer­gency man­age­ment pri­or to grad­u­at­ing with their degree. This gives stu­dents an excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ty to get the expe­ri­ence they will need once they grad­u­ate and are look­ing to find work in a role they enjoy.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Emergency Management Degree Programs

Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter edi­tors are ded­i­cat­ed to the mis­sion of direct­ing prospec­tive stu­dents to pro­grams that will make a pos­i­tive impact on their career. That’s why we fea­ture only rep­utable, accred­it­ed insti­tu­tions, ranked accord­ing to real fac­tors: tuition cost, stu­dent sat­is­fac­tion, and poten­tial salary, using data from IPEDS and Niche.

1. University of Central Florida

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Cen­tral Flori­da pro­vides a BS in emer­gency man­age­ment through its Col­lege of Com­mu­ni­ty Inno­va­tion and Edu­ca­tion. The cur­ricu­lum for the emer­gency man­age­ment B.S. pro­gram devel­ops future lead­ers in the field. Top­ics cov­ered with­in the pro­gram include dis­as­ter response, fis­cal man­age­ment, emer­gency field oper­a­tions, dis­as­ter recov­ery strate­gies, and inter­gov­ern­men­tal admin­is­tra­tion. The pro­gram takes four years to com­plete, with a total of 120 cred­its need­ed for degree conferment.

Con­ve­nient­ly locat­ed in beau­ti­ful Orlan­do, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cen­tral Flori­da was found­ed in 1963 and had one of the state’s high­est enroll­ment num­bers with more than 68,000 cur­rent stu­dents. Along with a cen­tral cam­pus in Orlan­do, stu­dents can take cours­es in 10 region­al cam­pus­es through­out the state.

What We Like: The col­lege has a rep­u­ta­tion for hav­ing one of the most mas­sive num­bers of Greek orga­ni­za­tions on campus.

Degree: Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BS

Uni­ver­si­ty of Cen­tral Flori­da BS in Emer­gency Management

2. North Dakota State University

An emer­gency man­age­ment bach­e­lor’s degree from North Dako­ta State Uni­ver­si­ty pre­pares stu­dents to ful­fill lead­er­ship roles in first respon­der orga­ni­za­tions. Prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tions of the degree pro­gram include the capac­i­ty to han­dle nat­ur­al dis­as­ters and acts of ter­ror­ism. If stu­dents pre­fer to pur­sue a career in aca­d­e­mics, the degree track also has research on how soci­ety copes with emer­gen­cies. The four-year degree also includes stu­dents’ option to minor in home­land secu­ri­ty, risk and resilien­cy man­age­ment, and vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty and capac­i­ty building.

North Dako­ta State Uni­ver­si­ty has a city-like cam­pus in the east­ern part of the state. The pub­lic col­lege offers a vast num­ber of degree pro­grams with over 100 majors avail­able. Foot­ball is a big part of cam­pus life with the col­lege par­tic­i­pat­ing in the NCAA Divi­sion I. The col­lege is con­sid­ered a best val­ue school due to a low in-state and out-of-state tuition rate.

What We Like: Most under­grad­u­ates reside on the active cam­pus and enroll in one of the many club offerings.

Degree: Emer­gency Man­age­ment Bachelors

North Dako­ta State Uni­ver­si­ty Emer­gency Man­age­ment Bachelors

3. University of North Texas

The Uni­ver­si­ty of North Texas offers an emer­gency admin­is­tra­tion and plan­ning under­grad­u­ate degree pro­gram. While pur­su­ing a bach­e­lor’s degree in the field, enrollees will study well-coor­di­nat­ed dis­as­ter response, emer­gency prepa­ra­tion, and how to han­dle dis­as­ters such as epi­demics, haz­ardous mate­r­i­al spills, tor­na­does, and ter­ror­ist attacks. Grad­u­ates go on to secure posi­tions as flood­plain man­agers, haz­ardous mate­ri­als spe­cial­ists, non-prof­it dis­as­ter man­age­ment direc­tors, and busi­ness con­ti­nu­ity con­sul­tants. Stu­dents com­plete a total of 120 cred­its for grad­u­a­tion with hybrid sched­ul­ing options offered.

At the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Texas, stu­dents attend cours­es across the 899-acre cam­pus. The pub­lic offers high edu­ca­tion­al val­ue at a low price point with com­pet­i­tive tuition costs for in-state stu­dents. The col­lege spe­cial­izes in offer­ing unique majors that are hard to find at oth­er col­leges. Notable options include jazz stud­ies, avi­a­tion logis­tics, and dig­i­tal retailing.

What We Like: The col­lege’s sports teams are known as the Mean Green and par­tic­i­pate in NCAA Divi­sion I with title wins in sev­er­al top matches.

Degree: Emer­gency Admin­is­tra­tion and Planning

Uni­ver­si­ty of North Texas Emer­gency Admin­is­tra­tion and Planning

4. University of Nebraska Omaha

The emer­gency man­age­ment bach­e­lor’s pro­gram from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Nebras­ka Oma­ha is avail­able under a hybrid mod­el with a com­bi­na­tion of online and on-cam­pus course­work. To grad­u­ate, stu­dents need to fin­ish a total of 120 cred­its with 30 cred­its in core sub­jects. Top­ics cov­ered in the degree track include agency col­lab­o­ra­tion strate­gies, dis­as­ter response, and legal foun­da­tions in emer­gency man­age­ment. The col­lege has a suc­cess­ful track record for stu­dents’ post-grad­u­a­tion place­ment in the pub­lic and pri­vate sectors.

In 1908, the pub­lic Uni­ver­si­ty of Nebras­ka Oma­ha was found­ed by fac­ul­ty from a near­by the­o­log­i­cal sem­i­nary. The foun­da­tion of the col­lege was to offer a Chris­t­ian-based edu­ca­tion in a non-sec­tar­i­an set­ting. The col­lege recent­ly went through an expan­sion of sev­er­al depart­ments to pro­vide more pro­grams in engi­neer­ing, busi­ness, and infor­ma­tion technology.

What We Like: The col­lege has a his­to­ry of NCAA Divi­sion I plac­ing as final­ists in men’s hockey.

Degree: Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BS

Uni­ver­si­ty of Nebras­ka Oma­ha Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BS

5. Western Illinois University

Receive a BS in emer­gency man­age­ment from West­ern Illi­nois Uni­ver­si­ty. The pro­gram has ranked as the top emer­gency man­age­ment degree option in Illi­nois. The study body takes class­es at the col­lege’s Macomb cam­pus with some online cours­es per­mit­ted toward 120-cred­it degree require­ments. A perk of the emer­gency man­age­ment pro­gram is a com­pre­hen­sive study abroad option and intern­ships with place­ments domes­ti­cal­ly and inter­na­tion­al­ly. The pro­gram grad­u­ates have gone on to secure posi­tions for major cor­po­ra­tions, non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tions, and con­sul­tan­cy firms.

At the found­ing of West­ern Illi­nois Uni­ver­si­ty, the col­lege began as a Mid­west­ern teach­ing school. Today, the uni­ver­si­ty still has a high­ly ranked edu­ca­tion depart­ment. The diverse stu­dent body includes more than 6,700 under­grad­u­ate stu­dents with a high per­cent­age of state residents.

What We Like: West­ern Illi­nois Uni­ver­si­ty has both a high grad­u­a­tion rate and an accep­tance rate of close to 60 percent.

Degree: Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BS

BS in Emer­gency Man­age­ment — West­ern Illi­nois University

6. Northern Arizona University

Earn a BS in Emer­gency Man­age­ment from North­ern Ari­zona Uni­ver­si­ty, home to Ari­zon­a’s best emer­gency man­age­ment pro­gram. The pro­gram is part of the Applied Sci­ence Depart­ment of the col­lege and allows matric­u­lat­ed stu­dents to spe­cial­ize in emer­gency man­age­ment. The cours­es pre­pare stu­dents for jobs in non-prof­its, pub­lic com­pa­nies, and the pri­vate sec­tor. To grad­u­ate from the four-year cur­ricu­lum, stu­dents must fin­ish 30 cred­its in core class­es relat­ed to emer­gency man­age­ment. A sam­pling of top­ics cov­ered includes emer­gency man­age­ment ethics, pol­i­cy admin­is­tra­tion, pub­lic sec­tor com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and emer­gency mit­i­ga­tion best prac­tices. North­ern Ari­zona Uni­ver­si­ty pro­vides a high return on investment.

North­ern Ari­zona Uni­ver­si­ty is a pub­lic research col­lege in Flagstaff. The col­lege has a com­pre­hen­sive under­grad­u­ate pro­gram with more than 100 majors open for enrollment.

What We Like: A perk for in-state stu­dents is low tuition rates. Also, the uni­ver­si­ty has a high over­all accep­tance rate of 83 percent.

Degree: Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BAS

BAS in Emer­gency Man­age­ment — North­ern Ari­zona University

7. Rowan University

Choose New Jer­sey’s Rowan Uni­ver­si­ty for the best emer­gency man­age­ment pro­gram. Stu­dents earn a Bach­e­lor of Arts with a spe­cial­iza­tion in dis­as­ter pre­pared­ness and emer­gency man­age­ment. Although Rowan’s main cam­pus is in Glass­boro, under­grad­u­ates take their major cours­es at the Cam­den loca­tion. Although the pro­gram touch­es on the pri­vate sec­tor, much of the course­work cov­ers home­land secu­ri­ty agents’ job duties. Sub­jects includ­ed in the cur­ricu­lum are pro­tect­ing the crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture, dis­as­ter response, and intel­li­gence analy­sis. The degree track from Rowan Uni­ver­si­ty has a high grad­u­a­tion rate and post-grad job place­ment rate.

Rowan Uni­ver­si­ty is a pub­lic col­lege locat­ed in the south­ern part of New Jer­sey. The col­lege boasts one of the high­est state grad­u­a­tion rates of 70 percent.

What We Like: With mul­ti­ple cam­pus­es around New Jer­sey and a com­pre­hen­sive vir­tu­al cat­a­log, Rowan Uni­ver­si­ty pro­vides plen­ty of flex­i­bil­i­ty to learners.

Degree: Dis­as­ter Pre­pared­ness and Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BA

Rowan Uni­ver­si­ty Dis­as­ter Pre­pared­ness and Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BA

8. University of Alaska Fairbanks

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Alas­ka Fair­banks offers a fan­tas­tic oppor­tu­ni­ty to pur­sue a bach­e­lor’s in secu­ri­ty and emer­gency man­age­ment. The pro­gram focus­es on prac­ti­cal expe­ri­ence to help grad­u­ates secure posi­tions as home­land secu­ri­ty agents and emer­gency man­agers. Under­grad­u­ates choose a spe­cial­iza­tion at the time of enroll­ment with options such as fire admin­is­tra­tion, emer­gency man­age­ment, home­land secu­ri­ty, pub­lic safe­ty admin­is­tra­tion, and infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy man­age­ment. This best emer­gency man­age­ment pro­gram offers com­ple­tion in-per­son or entire­ly online to make sched­ules as flex­i­ble as possible.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Alas­ka Fair­banks is a pub­lic research col­lege and the flag­ship school for the Uni­ver­si­ty of Alas­ka. In-state tuition is extreme­ly low for the col­lege, mak­ing it a best val­ue school. The school is selec­tive, with a mod­er­ate accep­tance rate for undergraduates.

What We Like: Among the high­ly ranked depart­ments with­in the col­lege are engi­neer­ing and business.

Degree: Bach­e­lor of Secu­ri­ty and Emer­gency Management

Uni­ver­si­ty of Alas­ka Fair­banks Bach­e­lor of Secu­ri­ty and Emer­gency Management

9. Northwest Missouri State University

Receive the emer­gency and dis­as­ter man­age­ment bach­e­lor’s degree from North­west Mis­souri State Uni­ver­si­ty’s chal­leng­ing pro­gram. North­west Mis­souri State Uni­ver­si­ty is a top pro­gram pick due to its mul­ti-dis­ci­pli­nary approach to the study. Three core sub­jects delved into dur­ing major class­es include emer­gency man­age­ment, human­i­tar­i­an relief, and defense. Stu­dents also have the option to minor in emer­gency man­age­ment by com­plet­ing 27 cred­it hours. For grad­u­a­tion, a three-day domes­tic train­ing pro­gram must be fin­ished in the field.

Locat­ed in Maryville, North­west Mis­souri State Uni­ver­si­ty is a pub­lic col­lege with a small study body of just about 5,000 under­grads. The rur­al cam­pus is spread across 370 acres and a short dri­ve away to major area attrac­tions like St. Louis.

What We Like: The col­lege recent­ly expand­ed its vir­tu­al cam­pus to pro­vide most majors with online learn­ing options.

Degree: Emer­gency and Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment, BS

North­west Mis­souri State Uni­ver­si­ty’s Emer­gency and Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment, BS

10. Virginia Commonwealth University

The home­land secu­ri­ty and emer­gency pre­pared­ness degree from Vir­ginia Com­mon­wealth Uni­ver­si­ty pro­vide stu­dents with a strong foun­da­tion in emer­gency pre­pared­ness stud­ies. Stu­dents receive of Bach­e­lor of Arts after com­plet­ing the 120-cred­it pro­gram, includ­ing 36 core cred­its. The stu­dents study sub­jects that include home­land secu­ri­ty roles, emer­gency pre­pared­ness, coun­tert­er­ror­ism, cyber­se­cu­ri­ty, and intel­li­gence oper­a­tions in the class­es. Learn­ing out­comes for the pro­gram are com­pli­men­ta­ry, with most grad­u­ates con­tin­u­ing to a mas­ter’s degree track or find­ing place­ment in the field.

Vir­ginia Com­mon­wealth Uni­ver­si­ty was one of the old­est col­leges in the coun­try with a found­ing date almost 200 years ago. The main cam­pus locat­ed in Rich­mond has a city-like set­ting. The stu­dent body is expan­sive, with an under­grad­u­ate pop­u­la­tion over 24,000.

What We Like: Pop­u­lar stu­dent activ­i­ties include attend­ing NCAA Divi­sion I sport­ing events or join­ing one of the 40 on-cam­pus fra­ter­ni­ties and sororities.

Degree: Home­land Secu­ri­ty and Emer­gency Pre­pared­ness, BA

Vir­ginia Com­mon­wealth Uni­ver­si­ty Home­land Secu­ri­ty and Emer­gency Pre­pared­ness, BA

11. Madonna University

Madon­na Uni­ver­si­ty is known to have the best emer­gency man­age­ment pro­gram for under­grad­u­ate stu­dents. Many under­grad­u­ate cred­its focus on emer­gency man­age­ment sub­jects, with 44 core cred­its need­ed for grad­u­a­tion. An 18-cred­it cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram is also avail­able through the col­lege. Fac­ul­ty mem­bers have a back­ground in emer­gency man­age­ment and pro­vide men­tor­ship to enrollees. Post-grad­u­a­tion job place­ment has includ­ed careers in the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty, the Amer­i­can Red Cross, and FEMA.

Madon­na Uni­ver­si­ty is a pri­vate Catholic col­lege in Michi­gan. To expand its course offer­ings, the col­lege has opened exten­sion cam­pus­es through­out Michi­gan’s urban areas. The col­lege has more than 135 majors for under­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate stu­dents. Madon­na Uni­ver­si­ty has com­mit­ted to the best eco­log­i­cal practices.

What We Like: The col­lege’s cam­pus received the top sus­tain­abil­i­ty award from the U.S. Green Build­ing Council.

Degree: Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BS

Madon­na Uni­ver­si­ty Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BS

12. Arkansas Tech University

An emer­gency man­age­ment bach­e­lor’s degree from Arkansas Tech Uni­ver­si­ty posi­tions the grad­u­ate to assume lead­er­ship posi­tions as part of emer­gency response teams. Along with core and gen­er­al edu­ca­tion cours­es need­ed for degree con­fer­ment, under­grad­u­ates must com­plete a prac­ti­cal intern­ship worth 12 cred­its. The cur­ricu­lum includes class­es cov­er­ing the eco­nom­ics of haz­ards, anti-ter­ror­ism, com­mu­ni­ty dis­as­ter pre­pared­ness, and per­il analy­sis. Post-grad­u­a­tion place­ments include jobs at the local, coun­ty, state, and fed­er­al lev­els with­in emer­gency man­age­ment departments.

At Arkansas Tech Uni­ver­si­ty, the major­i­ty of stu­dents pur­sue degrees relat­ed to the STEM field. Ini­tial­ly, the pub­lic col­lege launched as a voca­tion­al school before expand­ing to pro­vide more degree options. In recent years, the col­lege has opened a satel­lite cam­pus in Ozark to offer more asso­ciate and cer­tifi­cate programs.

What We Like: The col­lege is part of the NCAA Divi­sion II and has both men’s and wom­en’s ath­let­ic teams.

Degree: Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BS

Arkansas Tech Uni­ver­si­ty Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BS

13. Eastern Kentucky University

Degree seek­ers can pur­sue a safe­ty, secu­ri­ty, and emer­gency man­age­ment bach­e­lor’s degree from East­ern Ken­tucky Uni­ver­si­ty. The bach­e­lor’s degree pro­gram is avail­able both on-cam­pus and online. Two spe­cial­iza­tions pro­vid­ed through the col­lege are home­land secu­ri­ty and occu­pa­tion­al safe­ty. Many grad­u­ates of the bach­e­lor degree pro­gram enroll in the uni­ver­si­ty’s 36-cred­it mas­ter-lev­el track. The cur­ricu­lum is mul­ti-dis­ci­pli­nary, with cer­ti­fi­ca­tions avail­able in secu­ri­ty oper­a­tions and intel­li­gence stud­ies. The pro­gram takes a total of four years of full-time study to complete.

The pub­lic col­lege, East­ern Ken­tucky Uni­ver­si­ty, is a mid-size col­lege with more than 40 under­grad­u­ate degree offer­ings. The vir­tu­al cam­pus has some of the top rank­ings in the region with awards for the nurs­ing, speech pathol­o­gy, and occu­pa­tion­al ther­a­py depart­ments. The col­lege has recent­ly under­gone a ren­o­va­tion to update cam­pus build­ings and revi­tal­ize the tech­nol­o­gy offered to students.

What We Like: The uni­ver­si­ty is also home to one of the most com­pet­i­tive hon­ors pro­grams in the state.

Degree: Safe­ty, Secu­ri­ty and Emer­gency Man­age­ment Bachelors

East­ern Ken­tucky Uni­ver­si­ty Safe­ty, Secu­ri­ty and Emer­gency Man­age­ment Bachelors

14. Concordia University Chicago

Choose Con­cor­dia Uni­ver­si­ty Chica­go for the best emer­gency man­age­ment pro­gram in the Chica­go area. Earn a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence through the col­lege’s part­ner­ship with Loy­ola Hos­pi­tal. Unlike many oth­er pro­grams, Con­cor­dia Uni­ver­si­ty’s degree is for those who want to spe­cial­ize in emer­gency med­i­cine. Post-grad­u­a­tion careers include emer­gency med­ical tech­ni­cian, dis­as­ter response coor­di­na­tor, and EMS man­ag­er. Along with degree con­fer­ment, grad­u­ates receive licen­sure as a para­medic in Illinois.

Con­cor­dia Uni­ver­si­ty Chica­go was for­mer­ly known as Con­cor­dia Col­lege before receiv­ing a name change in the 1990s. The pri­vate lib­er­al arts col­lege is locat­ed in Riv­er For­est with an estab­lish­ment by the Luther­an Church. Con­cor­dia Uni­ver­si­ty has a net­work of col­leges all over the coun­try affil­i­at­ed with the Luther­an Church. The Chica­go loca­tion has NCAA Divi­sion III stand­ing and has ath­let­ics for men and women.

The music depart­ment spon­sors a pres­ti­gious ensem­ble with con­certs per­formed inter­na­tion­al­ly and nationally.

Degree: Emer­gency Med­ical Ser­vices, BS

15. University of Akron

The BS in emer­gency man­age­ment and home­land secu­ri­ty degree from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Akron helps grad­u­ates know how to han­dle emer­gen­cies from a phased and delib­er­ate approach. Not only are stu­dents taught how to help com­mu­ni­ties recov­er from dis­as­ters, but also how to finan­cial­ly man­age resources for aid. Pro­gram high­lights include being the first emer­gency man­age­ment degree accred­it­ed in the nation and the only of its kind in Ohio. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Akron promis­es high flex­i­bil­i­ty with stu­dents able to take course in-per­son and online.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Akron is a pub­lic research insti­tute in the state’s cap­i­tal. The col­lege offers the high­est num­ber of degree pro­grams for under­grad­u­ates with over 200 options. The stu­dent body is sub­stan­tial, with more than 20,000 under­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate students.

What We Like: The col­lege has a com­pet­i­tive aca­d­e­m­ic pro­gram with unique majors not found at oth­er uni­ver­si­ties, like a bach­e­lor’s degree in cor­ro­sion engineering.

Degree: Emer­gency Man­age­ment and Home­land Secu­ri­ty, BS

Uni­ver­si­ty of Akron Degree: Emer­gency Man­age­ment and Home­land Secu­ri­ty, BS

16. University of New Haven

The Uni­ver­si­ty of New Haven pro­vides ful­ly-inte­grat­ed home­land secu­ri­ty and emer­gency man­age­ment bach­e­lor’s degree. Instead of forc­ing stu­dents to choose a spe­cial­iza­tion, enrollees learn about domes­tic safe­ty and strate­gies to recov­er from nat­ur­al and man­made dis­as­ters. Although many stu­dents will com­plete cours­es for both tracks, they can spe­cial­ize exclu­sive­ly in home­land secu­ri­ty or emer­gency man­age­ment. Pro­gram require­ments are very flex­i­ble, with 17 cred­its per­mit­ted in any elec­tives relat­ed to the field. The Uni­ver­si­ty of New Haven’s emer­gency man­age­ment pro­gram has a very high post-grad place­ment rate.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of New Haven is a pres­ti­gious pri­vate col­lege bor­der­ing Long Island Sound. The col­lege formed as an exten­sion of Yale Uni­ver­si­ty before becom­ing an accred­it­ed uni­ver­si­ty in the 1970s.

What We Like: The col­lege has a cat­a­log of 100 majors to choose from and has nation­al­ly ranked crim­i­nal jus­tice, engi­neer­ing, foren­sic sci­ence, and music departments.

Degree: Home­land Secu­ri­ty and Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BS

Uni­ver­si­ty of New Haven Home­land Secu­ri­ty and Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BS

17. Columbia International University

Colum­bia Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­si­ty is a sol­id choice for stu­dents search­ing for the best emer­gency man­age­ment pro­gram. Colum­bia Inter­na­tion­al’s dis­as­ter relief and emer­gency man­age­ment pro­gram helps stu­dents achieve a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence degree. The pro­gram spe­cial­izes in a Chris­t­ian foun­da­tion while learn­ing how to respond to emer­gen­cies ade­quate­ly. Prac­ti­cal expe­ri­ence is high­light­ed when learn­ing about dif­fer­ent types of per­ils, includ­ing man­made crises and nat­ur­al dis­as­ters. A total of 120 cred­its are com­plet­ed for grad­u­a­tion with 30 hours of gen­er­al edu­ca­tion stud­ies, 30 hours of bible stud­ies, and the rest core cours­es and electives.

Colum­bia Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­si­ty is a pri­vate Chris­t­ian col­lege locat­ed in the South­east­ern Unit­ed States. The col­lege began as a bible study school for local mill work­ers in the ear­ly 1920s. By the late 1920s, the school con­vert­ed to pro­vide col­lege cours­es in bible studies.

What We Like: In the 1990s, the col­lege’s mis­sion under­went a revi­sion with a sig­nif­i­cant expan­sion of degree offerings.

Degree: Dis­as­ter Relief and Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BS

Colum­bia Inter­na­tion­al Dis­as­ter Relief and Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BS

18. Pennsylvania College of Technology

Under­grad­u­ates are giv­en real-world oppor­tu­ni­ties as part of their cur­ricu­lum with the emer­gency man­age­ment and home­land secu­ri­ty degree from the Penn­syl­va­nia Col­lege of Tech­nol­o­gy. To receive the degree, most stu­dents com­plete an aver­age of 275 hours of field expe­ri­ence. Course­work delves into emer­gency man­age­ment oper­a­tions, dis­as­ter prepa­ra­tion, cri­sis com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and dis­as­ter recov­ery. After com­plet­ing the 120-cred­it pro­gram, 100 per­cent of grad­u­ates find place­ment in the emer­gency man­age­ment field.

The Penn­syl­va­nia Col­lege of Tech­nol­o­gy goes by the nick­name Penn Col­lege with a Penn­syl­va­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty affil­i­a­tion. The col­lege pro­vides more than 100 majors to choose from, includ­ing asso­ciate degrees, bach­e­lor degrees, and cer­ti­fi­ca­tions. The col­lege is a com­muter school, with approx­i­mate­ly 75 per­cent of the stu­dent body liv­ing off-campus.

What We Like: The high­ly-ranked aca­d­e­m­ic depart­ments have received nation­al awards going to STEM majors.

Degree: Emer­gency Man­age­ment and Home­land Security

Penn­syl­va­nia Col­lege of Tech­nol­o­gy Emer­gency Man­age­ment and Home­land Security

19. Keiser University

To receive a BA in home­land secu­ri­ty from Keis­er Uni­ver­si­ty, stu­dents attend cours­es at any of the col­lege’s Flori­da area satel­lite cam­pus­es. The pro­gram includes low­er and upper-divi­sion cours­es with gen­er­al edu­ca­tion require­ments com­plet­ed through the low­er divi­sion class­es. Core course­work includes 60 cred­it hours on dis­as­ter response issues, home­land secu­ri­ty law, crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture pro­tec­tion, tac­ti­cal com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and ter­ror­ism inves­ti­ga­tions. Keis­er Uni­ver­si­ty has a high rate of pos­i­tive out­comes for stu­dents in the home­land secu­ri­ty major.

The Fort Laud­erdale cam­pus is the flag­ship loca­tion for Keis­er Uni­ver­si­ty. The pri­vate col­lege has over a dozen satel­lite loca­tions through­out Flori­da. Cre­at­ed as a career col­lege in 1977, the uni­ver­si­ty has expand­ed to include bach­e­lor’s degree pro­grams start­ing in 2006.

What We Like: Mon­ey Mag­a­zine has ranked Keis­er Uni­ver­si­ty as a top ten choice for high-val­ue col­leges locat­ed in Florida.

Degree: Home­land Secu­ri­ty, BA

BA in Home­land Secu­ri­ty — Keis­er University

20. Ohio Christian University

The BA in emer­gency and dis­as­ter man­age­ment from Ohio Chris­t­ian Uni­ver­si­ty pre­pares grad­u­ates for work in non-prof­it, pub­lic, and pri­vate set­tings. Although a cam­pus option is pro­vid­ed, many stu­dents choose the 100 per­cent vir­tu­al degree track­’s flex­i­bil­i­ty. The online option allows the stu­dents to fin­ish require­ments at their own pace with short 5‑week semes­ter peri­ods. To grad­u­ate with an emer­gency man­age­ment degree from Ohio Chris­t­ian Uni­ver­si­ty, stu­dents must either com­plete an approved intern­ship or cap­stone project. The col­lege has a high reten­tion and grad­u­a­tion rate among emer­gency man­age­ment students.

The pri­vate col­lege, Ohio Chris­t­ian Uni­ver­si­ty, is affil­i­at­ed with the Church­es of Christ. Like many Chris­t­ian uni­ver­si­ties, the col­lege began as a bible study school before enhanc­ing pro­gram offer­ings. The cam­pus size is small, with only about 600 stu­dents attend­ing class­es in-per­son. The rest of the enrollees choose to com­plete cur­ricu­lum require­ments through the vir­tu­al campus.

What We Like: The online cam­pus pro­vides asso­ciate, bach­e­lor, and mas­ter-lev­el degree tracks.

Degree: Emer­gency and Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment, BA

Ohio Chris­t­ian Uni­ver­si­ty Emer­gency and Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment, BA

21. Voorhees College

Voorhees Col­lege pro­vides the best emer­gency man­age­ment pro­gram for under­grad­u­ates. Emer­gency man­age­ment careers have expe­ri­enced unsub­stan­ti­at­ed growth, and Voorhees Col­lege has respond­ed by improv­ing the pro­gram’s 125-cred­it cur­ricu­lum. Majors need to fin­ish 36 core course hours, 24 elec­tive hours, 15 hours in relat­ed emer­gency man­age­ment sub­jects, and 50 hours of gen­er­al edu­ca­tion class­es. The accred­it­ed pro­gram has achieved high nation­al rank­ing with excep­tion­al grad­u­a­tion rates.

The pri­vate Voorhees Col­lege is asso­ci­at­ed with the Epis­co­palian Church and is known as a his­tor­i­cal­ly black uni­ver­si­ty. When the col­lege launched in 1897, it pro­vid­ed high­er edu­ca­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties to African Amer­i­cans. The school was mod­eled after the famed Tuskegee Insti­tute. The col­lege’s cam­pus earned recog­ni­tion as a his­toric dis­trict in 1982.

What We Like: Stu­dent life is active with numer­ous fra­ter­ni­ties and soror­i­ties rec­og­nized on cam­pus and ath­let­ics man­aged through the inde­pen­dent orga­ni­za­tion NAIA.

Degree: Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BS

Voorhees Col­lege Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BS

22. State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota

Receive a pub­lic safe­ty and emer­gency man­age­ment degree from the State Col­lege of Flori­da. The Bach­e­lor of Applied Sci­ence pro­gram pre­pares stu­dents for home­land secu­ri­ty careers, emer­gency med­ical man­age­ment, and pub­lic safe­ty. Third-year stu­dents and asso­ciate degree hold­ers enroll to earn the 60-cred­it degree. The col­lege pro­vides two dis­tinct options: pub­lic safe­ty admin­is­tra­tion track and home­land secu­ri­ty track. The pub­lic safe­ty track pre­pares grad­u­ates for work in law enforce­ment, fire sci­ence, and emer­gency med­ical sci­ences. For the home­land secu­ri­ty track, the class­es pre­pare stu­dents for sim­i­lar fields but con­cen­trate on secu­ri­ty needs dur­ing dis­as­ters. Stu­dents like the flex­i­bil­i­ty of class­es pro­vid­ed through the State Col­lege of Flori­da’s emer­gency man­age­ment degree program.

The State Col­lege of Flori­da has cam­pus­es in both Man­a­tee and Sara­so­ta. The col­lege was found­ed in 1957 as a junior col­lege with asso­ciate degree pro­grams. In 2009, the col­lege offered its first four-year degree in nursing.

What We Like: Over the last decade, more bach­e­lor degree tracks have expand­ed to appeal to career-dri­ven students.

Degree: Pub­lic Safe­ty and Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BAS

State Col­lege of Flori­da Pub­lic Safe­ty and Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BAS

23. Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Choose the best emer­gency man­age­ment pro­gram in Mass­a­chu­setts by enrolling at the Mass­a­chu­setts Mar­itime Acad­e­my. The under­grad­u­ate pro­gram launched to help stu­dents reach career goals in the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors. The cur­ricu­lum includes a co-op require­ment, involv­ing stu­dents attend­ing dur­ing their win­ter and sum­mer breaks. An exper­i­men­tal learn­ing trip is also worked into the grad­u­a­tion guide­lines. Mass­a­chu­setts Mar­itime Acad­e­my, emer­gency man­age­ment grad­u­ates, have been recruit­ed to work for fed­er­al dis­as­ter relief orga­ni­za­tions, the mil­i­tary, police depart­ments, and pri­vate corporations.

The Mass­a­chu­setts Mar­itime Acad­e­my goes by the short­ened name of Mass Mar­itime. The pub­lic insti­tute was found­ed in 1891 and is the sec­ond old­est mar­itime acad­e­my in the Unit­ed States. All cam­pus stu­dents must be part of the school’s Reg­i­ment of Cadets. The pro­gram sets spe­cif­ic duties for each mem­ber, includ­ing ship­board tasks, dai­ly clean­ing chores, and room inspections.

What We Like: The music depart­ment fea­tures the MMA Band and Cho­rus, a tour­ing group that holds con­certs through­out New England.

Degree: Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BS

Mass­a­chu­setts Mar­itime Acad­e­my Emer­gency Man­age­ment, BS

24. Union Institute & University

The Union Insti­tute and Uni­ver­si­ty pro­vides a four-year degree in emer­gency ser­vices man­age­ment. The col­lege pro­gram focus­es on prac­ti­cal hands-on field expe­ri­ence to help grad­u­ates secure jobs as para­medics, bor­der agents, police offi­cers, fish and game war­dens, and home­land secu­ri­ty agents. A min­i­mum of 120 cred­its is need­ed for grad­u­a­tion, but the uni­ver­si­ty does per­mit 90 trans­fer cred­its. Con­cen­tra­tions avail­able for emer­gency man­age­ment majors are crim­i­nal jus­tice man­age­ment and orga­ni­za­tion­al lead­er­ship. The under­grad­u­ate pro­gram pro­vides a high return on invest­ment to graduates.

The Union Insti­tute & Uni­ver­si­ty is a pri­vate research col­lege that serves many non-tra­di­tion­al stu­dents. The col­lege’s stu­dent body encom­pass­es most­ly com­muters, vir­tu­al learn­ers, and inter­na­tion­al stu­dents. The col­lege has recent­ly gone through cur­ricu­lum review to update grad­u­ate pro­grams to remain on par with indus­try standards.

What We Like: The col­lege is known for its unique degree offer­ings such as eth­i­cal and cre­ative lead­er­ship and Dr. Mar­tin Luther King Jr studies.

Degree: Emer­gency Ser­vices Man­age­ment, BS

Union Insti­tute and Uni­ver­si­ty Emer­gency Ser­vices Man­age­ment, BS

25. Everglades University

The dis­as­ter and cri­sis man­age­ment under­grad­u­ate degree is avail­able both online and in-per­son at Ever­glades Uni­ver­si­ty. The pro­gram pri­mar­i­ly focus­es on hav­ing excep­tion­al man­age­ment skills and busi­ness exper­tise to han­dle all types of dis­as­ters. Stu­dents learn all steps in cri­sis man­age­ment from pre­ven­tion to recov­ery. Stu­dents must fin­ish 123 cred­its for grad­u­a­tion with the pro­gram designed for com­ple­tion with­in 41 months. Cap­stone projects required for grad­u­a­tion from the emer­gency man­age­ment depart­ment go through fac­ul­ty review. The ben­e­fits of the degree option are sched­ul­ing flex­i­bil­i­ty and an abbre­vi­at­ed com­ple­tion timeframe.

Ini­tial­ly called the Amer­i­can Fly­ers Col­lege, the founders of Keis­er Uni­ver­si­ty own Ever­glades Uni­ver­si­ty. Both uni­ver­si­ties pro­vide sim­i­lar major offer­ings through­out satel­lite cam­pus­es in Flori­da. Since 2010, the uni­ver­si­ty has added grad­u­ate-lev­el pro­grams to its catalog.

What We Like: Almost 95 per­cent of stu­dents attend the col­lege full-time, but the school accom­mo­dates work­ing sched­ules by hav­ing numer­ous week­end and evening classes.

Degree: Dis­as­ter and Cri­sis Man­age­ment, BS

Ever­glades Uni­ver­si­ty Dis­as­ter and Cri­sis Man­age­ment, BS

What Is Emergency Management?

Emer­gency Man­age­ment involves man­ag­ing all of the resources and man­pow­er that are need­ed to cope with nat­ur­al or man-made dis­as­ters. Dur­ing any type of dis­as­ter, com­mu­ni­ties need an effec­tive man­ag­er that can assess the sit­u­a­tion, deter­mine what resources are need­ed, and then estab­lish a team of pro­fes­sion­als and vol­un­teers who can work togeth­er to cre­ate a net­work that pro­vides res­i­dents of the area what they need to feel safe and secure. Emer­gency man­age­ment teams offer assis­tance at almost every lev­el from work­ing with the pub­lic to work­ing with resource providers to estab­lish­ing a net­work of pro­fes­sion­als that help com­mu­ni­ties start the rebuild­ing process.

Mem­bers of emer­gency man­age­ment teams work togeth­er to cre­ate a safe envi­ron­ment in which res­i­dents can get the sup­plies they need to work their way through a very dif­fi­cult time. After a dis­as­ter occurs, com­mu­ni­ties are extreme­ly vul­ner­a­ble. Many of the basic neces­si­ties are gone. This includes elec­tric­i­ty, food, fresh drink­ing water, and oth­er essen­tials. Emer­gency man­age­ment pro­fes­sion­als work with com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers in an attempt to restore these vital ser­vices and cre­ate points of con­tact where res­i­dents can get every­thing they need.

In nat­ur­al dis­as­ters like wild­fires, hur­ri­canes, and tor­na­does, emer­gency man­age­ment teams also help to evac­u­ate res­i­dents from areas that have been or may be impact­ed. When an evac­u­a­tion occurs, emer­gency man­age­ment pro­fes­sion­als also set up a net­work of secu­ri­ty pro­fes­sion­als to remain in the area to main­tain con­trol and pro­tect indi­vid­u­als who may have cho­sen to stay behind. Emer­gency man­age­ment pro­fes­sion­als also work to set up shel­ters for indi­vid­u­als who have no place to go if their homes have been destroyed.

Is Emergency Management a Good Career?

Careers in emer­gency man­age­ment are very reward­ing. Indi­vid­u­als who enter into emer­gency man­age­ment careers often have extra­or­di­nary orga­ni­za­tion­al skills. Being able to orga­nize recov­ery efforts on many dif­fer­ent lev­els is essen­tial when try­ing to man­age a very stress­ful sit­u­a­tion. Emer­gency man­age­ment careers can be found on city, state, and fed­er­al lev­els. There also posi­tions avail­able in non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tions like the Sal­va­tion Army. Each career oppor­tu­ni­ty offers excel­lent poten­tial for growth and, as expe­ri­ence is earned, the poten­tial for high­er earnings.

Anoth­er ben­e­fit of fol­low­ing an emer­gency man­age­ment career path is the fact that you will know that every aspect of your job involves help­ing indi­vid­u­als who have been impact­ed by some type of dis­as­ter. All of the respon­si­bil­i­ties asso­ci­at­ed with your job involve pro­vid­ing some type of assis­tance to indi­vid­u­als with­in the com­mu­ni­ty that are extreme­ly vul­ner­a­ble and with­out viable resources. Even dur­ing times where no dis­as­ter is tak­ing place, mem­bers of an emer­gency man­age­ment team are plan­ning ahead so they are ful­ly pre­pared for the future.

Emer­gency man­age­ment direc­tors are well-paid, accord­ing to the Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics, because emer­gency plan­ning nev­er stops. Most pro­fes­sion­als work for gov­ern­ment agen­cies of course, from the Fed­er­al Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (FEMA) to local and state-lev­el agen­cies. Lead­ers in emer­gency man­age­ment must coor­di­nate pub­lic health and health­care, pub­lic admin­is­tra­tion, pub­lic pol­i­cy, and more. Crit­i­cal think­ing and risk assess­ment are key skills. An online degree can get you there.

How Do I Know I Can Trust an Emergency Management Program?

The key to trust­ing your degree pro­gram is to choose one from an accred­it­ed emer­gency man­age­ment school. An emer­gency man­age­ment accred­i­ta­tion pro­gram will pro­vide you with all of the skills and resources you will need through­out your career. An accred­it­ed emer­gency man­age­ment degree pro­gram has been eval­u­at­ed and researched to ensure that stu­dents who grad­u­ate are able to meet or exceed the expec­ta­tions of emer­gency man­age­ment orga­ni­za­tions. Many of these degree pro­grams are endorsed by law enforce­ment and oth­er types of emer­gency response teams that work with the mil­i­tary or with fire depart­ments across the country.

In order for an emer­gency man­age­ment degree pro­gram to be accred­it­ed, it must meet and exceed the expec­ta­tions of the indus­try. Dur­ing a dis­as­ter of any kind, spe­cif­ic pro­to­cols and guide­lines must be fol­lowed across the board to ensure that the emer­gency response process goes smooth­ly. If your goal is to find an emer­gency man­age­ment pro­gram that allows you to work along­side oth­ers with­in the EMS field, look for col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties that offer accred­it­ed degree programs.

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