By EMDPG Staff
Welcome to our ranking of the top online emergency management master’s degrees.
If you’re a future graduate student looking for a career in emergency management, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re a busy adult who is considering the merits of an online degree, you’ve also come to the right place. If you fall under both categories, we hope this ranking of top, affordable online emergency management master’s degrees helps you make the very difficult decision of which college to attend.
According to College Navigator, a comprehensive online database of higher education institutions in the U.S., there are fewer than 20 emergency management graduate degrees in the entire country that offer distance learning. That short list even includes homeland security and critical incident management online programs. But at the end of the day, you don’t need a hundred options if the options you do have are good.
Because online emergency management master’s degrees are so scare, we wanted to keep our ranking methodology on the simple side. As such, we focused on just two metrics: affordability (i.e. annual tuition rate) and popularity. Now, “popularity” can have different definitions to different people, but it occurred to our researchers that with only a handful of programs across the country from which to choose, students will very quickly gravitate to the even smaller handful that provide a robust education and solid job opportunities. And the data supports that analysis; by looking the number of master’s degrees in emergency management that each school conferred last year, we were quickly able to identify the programs that maintain an important and noticeable presence in the department – as well as those that barely exist.
We continued to narrow the list down to the top 10, weighing affordability and popularity as equal components of the ideal program and ranking the finalists accordingly.
10. Adelphi University
Garden City, NY
Online M.S. in Emergency Management
In your search for an online emergency management master’s degree, you’re probably looking for a program that meets a few specific wish list items. For many students, the ideal program is available 100% online, employs highly qualified faculty, and perhaps offers a few industry-relevant concentrations. Adelphi University easily meets the demand for all of these features, from professors with M.D. degrees to curricular specializations in Health, the Environment, and Homeland Security. To be sure, Adelphi University is far from the most affordable emergency management graduate degree on this list, but the program offers plenty of perks to justify the cost.
Tuition & Fees: $26,167/yr
9. Philadelphia University
Online M.S. in Disaster Medicine and Management
Some students may worry that getting their education online will mean missing out on the perceived benefits of a traditional program. But at Philadelphia University, the online Disaster Medicine and Management degree actually brings two great resources – the university’s College of Science, Health, and the Liberal Arts plus the Albert Einstein Health Network’s Department of Emergency Medicine – together into one stellar distance learning initiative. With this take on a critical incident management online master’s degree, you’ll gain access to in-demand careers in public health, nursing, environmental health, and even national defense.
Tuition & Fees: $19,260/yr
8. Arizona State University
Online Emergency Management and Homeland Security (MA)
In many ways, emergency management programs are really a cross between a criminal justice and a public affairs degree. So it’s appropriate that Arizona State University has organized its accredited online emergency management master’s degree to draw heavily from both the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and the School of Public Affairs. In addition to relevant coursework, this translates to a well-established curriculum facilitated by highly experienced professors from both realms of the university. But the best part? This non-thesis, no-GRE program takes just one year to complete from start to finish.
Tuition & Fees: $17,289/yr
7. Angelo State University
San Angelo, TX
Online Security Studies Master’s Degree (M.S.S.)
Although emergency management, as a discipline, sounds like it’s already pretty tightly focused (especially compared to a broad-based degree program like business or health science), it’s actually an incredibly multifaceted field. And at Angelo State University, you can zero in on one specific aspect of the industry: national security. Perhaps the closest you’ll come to a true critical incident management online master’s degree, the Master’s of Security Studies at ASU brings a whole new meaning to damage control. With a curriculum grounded in comparative politics and culture, this program will take you on an academic journey through the dirty details of terrorism, rogue states, stability operations, and more.
Tuition & Fees: $9,774/yr
6. National University
San Diego, CA
Online Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Unlike many of the schools on this online emergency management master’s degree ranking, National University offers programs almost exclusively tailored to adult and nontraditional learners. This includes a sizable military population and one of the largest enrollments of graduate students in the country! But unlike most primarily-online institutions, National University is a nonprofit entity that makes your education its top priority. But the proof is in the pudding, as they say, and National’s M.S. in Homeland Security and Emergency Management offers plenty of it. A solid, 45-credit curriculum of lessons in natural and man-made disasters, information security, infrastructure protection, and even domestic terrorism ensure that no student graduates with less than an expert level of knowledge.
Tuition & Fees: $10,962/yr
5. Nova Southeastern University
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Online M.S. in Disaster and Emergency Mangement
While it may be popular to include “disaster management” in the degree title along with “emergency management,” the real goal is to mitigate disasters; that is, respond to emergency situations before they reap disastrous consequences. Fortunately, Nova Southeastern University has embraced this concept of preventative protection, and coursework that spans a wide berth of topics – from medicine and biomedical informatics to criminal justice and child protective services – will prepare you to be the vigilante that the industry demands. As an added bonus, you can specialize your knowledge through one of six carefully crafted concentrations: Maritime Safety, Fire Administration, Cybersecurity, Public Health, Environmental Hazards, or Criminal Justice.
Tuition & Fees: $17,454/yr
4. Arkansas State University
Online Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Master of Science (M.S.)
In a perfect world, we’d be able to prevent every national disaster long before it actually happens. But in the real world, our inability to see into the future makes this goal a pipe dream at best. So in the field of emergency management, the essential mission is to prepare for every possible outcome, then respond efficiently, mitigate damage, and recover quickly. That’s why the top online emergency management master’s degree at Arkansas State University makes a point to cover every step of this process, from early preventative measures to the last stages of recovery. And once you’re through the first 30 or so credits of actual classes, you’ll top off your education with a special seminar, conference presentation, practicum experience, and even a research assistantship!
Tuition & Fees: $8,096/yr
3. Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Online Master of Science in Emergency Management
For busy students who need the ultimately flexible graduate program, Millersville University of Pennsylvania may very well be host to the best MS in Emergency Management Leadership online. Students moving at the standard pace will take two years to earn their degree, year-round coursework makes it easy for students to move faster or slower as they see fit. The 100% online curriculum is also adaptable to both full- and part-time schedules, while a rolling admission policy makes furthering your education a truly accessible goal. And at the end of your journey, you’ll possess a uniquely versatile degree that could be your ticket into a career in health and human services, education, consulting, non-profit assistance, national defense…the list goes on!
Tuition & Fees: $12,983/yr
2. Wilmington University
Wilmington Manor, DE
Online Master of Science in Homeland Security and Security Preparedness
The only program on this critical incident management online master’s degree ranking to focus solely on homeland security, Wilmington University takes its charge as an academic institution very seriously. And this is undoubtedly a serious subject, so applicants should be prepared to buckle down and study hard. After completing core courses in subjects like Sociology of Terrorism, Risk Assessment and Management, and Crisis Leadership, you’ll begin the real work of preparing for your future career by tackling one of four challenging concentrations: Safety and Security, Military Leadership, Information Assurance, or Organizational Leadership.
Tuition & Fees: $8,042/yr
1. Arkansas Tech University
Online Master of Science Degree in Emergency Management & Homeland Security
The first quality you’re likely to notice about Arkansas Tech University’s graduate program is the price. It’s quite possibly the cheapest option you’ll find anywhere on the internet – which is saying something, considering there are four colleges on this online emergency management master’s degree ranking with tuition rates under $10k a year. But ATU aims to do a lot more than save you a few dollars and cents; it also intends to provide an emergency management education that makes sense. To that end, all courses are available both online and in the classroom, the program director personally advises each admitted student, and the curriculum offers separate thesis and practicum options to support diverse career goals.
Tuition & Fees: $8,037/yr
You’ve reached the end of our ranking of the best MA emergency management leadership online degrees.