30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees 2021

Best Degree Programs - Top Online Bachelors Degrees-01In this article, we profile the 30 best online bachelor’s in emergency management online programs.

The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (Occupational Outlook Handbook) reports that the jobs available for emergency management directors is projected to grow four percent through the year 2029. This growth rate is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Growth is anticipated as the importance of preparing and minimizing risks due to emergency situations increases. Educated personnel with experience in the field should see favorable job prospects over the next decade.

We considered 228 colleges and universities that offered online bachelor’s in emergency management degrees. To be considered for our list of the top online bachelor’s in emergency management programs, the institution and program must be accredited (regionally or nationally) and offer at least one emergency management online degree. The schools on our list offer either an online bachelor’s in emergency management or a derivative of the discipline, such as emergency services administration or homeland security and management. Also, as an additional indicator, we checked rankings for each school or bachelor’s degree program with major publications like U.S. News & World Report. The undergraduate tuition was gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics (College Navigator) and the schools were listed according to raw affordability.

Reviewing the 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Programs

#30 – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Services

Daytona Beach, Florida

Website

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
FESHE approved! Embry-Riddle offers an accredited online bachelor’s in emergency services program.

Undergraduate Tuition: $37,964

For those seeking an online bachelor’s in emergency management that emphasizes emergency services like fire and rescue, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers this program. As one of the few programs to carry the “Certificate of Recognition,” the B.S. in Emergency Services degree has received approval from the Fire Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) Conference. This means all that curricula address the critical areas in which fire departments must perform. In addition to the bachelor’s degree, students may earn a specialization in Aviation Emergency Management or Fire and Emergency Services. Embry-Riddle University is one of the few schools to offer such specializations. It also ranks with major publications like U.S. News & World Report as the 9th best regional university in the South.

#29 – Anderson University

Online Bachelor’s in Homeland Security and Emergency Services

Anderson, South Carolina

Website

Anderson University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
A 100% online degree in homeland security and emergency services is offered at Anderson University.

Undergraduate Tuition: $29,980

The bachelor’s in emergency management online degree from Anderson University leads to a homeland security degree with a specialization in emergency services management. This 100% online program is designed to equip future homeland security officials and emergency preparedness leaders. Coursework consists of 123 credit-hours with 42 credit-hours in general education, 54 credit-hours in core courses, and 27 credit-hours in general electives. Some of the required classes include incident management and planning for emergencies, strategic planning in homeland security and emergency preparedness, terrorism, and vulnerability and risk assessment. The most recent publication of Best Colleges with U.S. News & World Report ranks Anderson #42 in best regional universities in the South.

#28 – Crown College

Online Bachelor’s in Disaster and Emergency Management

Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota

Website

Crown College - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
Ranked and accredited! Crown College’s online bachelor’s in emergency management.

Undergraduate Tuition: $27,980

Crown College, a private institution located in a rural Midwest setting offers an online bachelor’s in emergency management with a Christ-centered focus. Small classes provide individualized attention and allow students to get to know their peers and professors even while learning online. Courses run eight weeks in length, offering rigor and an accelerated pace. These courses cover a wide range of emergency management topics, including disaster response, emergency preparedness, emergency relief, management principles, risk and crisis communication, and social science research methods. In addition to being fully accredited, Crown College ranks with U.S. News & World Report. Rankings include #119-#156 in their list of best regional universities in the Midwest.

#27 – Immaculata University

Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Planning and Management

Immaculata, Pennsylvania

Website

Immaculata University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
Recognized by FEMA – Immaculata University’s online emergency management programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $27,750

The online emergency management programs at Immaculata University are fully accredited and include a bachelor’s in emergency planning and management. As one of the few emergency management programs recognized by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), this bachelor’s degree serves as preparation for leaders in the field. Courses are delivered online and cover topics like emergency management systems, human dimension communications planning of disaster management, and risk analysis and threat assessment. The curriculum is designed to help teach practical skills useful to any emergency services organization. In addition to being accredited, Immaculata ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 241st best national university.

#26 – Waldorf University

Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management

Forest City, Iowa

Website

Waldorf University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
With concentrations in fire science and homeland security, Waldorf University is a flexible choice for bachelor’s in emergency management online programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $23,088

Waldorf University offers an online bachelor’s in emergency management program that can be completed entirely online. This undergraduate degree program provides a strong foundation of principles applicable to the emergency management and preparedness industry. Two available concentrations allow students to tailor their degree toward areas of interest. These concentrations are fire science and homeland security. Course topics explored in the program include community risk reduction for fire and emergency services, disaster mitigation and preparedness, disaster response and recovery, interagency disaster management, and terrorism in emergency management. Waldorf, a top-ranked institution, is recognized by major publications like U.S. News & World Report. In fact, the school is ranked #119-156 in best regional universities in the Midwest.

#25 – Columbia College

Online Bachelor’s in Disaster and Emergency Management

Columbia, South Carolina

Website

Columbia College - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
New cohorts begin every six weeks! Columbia College is a top choice for online bachelor’s in emergency management degrees.

Undergraduate Tuition: $20,690

Columbia College’s bachelor in emergency management online program establishes knowledge and understanding for work in the fields of disaster management, emergency management, and homeland security. The program is only available online, offering flexible classes to those working full-time or juggling outside obligations. With no specified login times, students may access their coursework anywhere and anytime. Adding to the flexible nature of the program, cohorts of 24 students begin every six weeks. When you’re ready to take the plunge, you won’t have to wait until a new semester begins. Columbia College is ranked among the top regional institutions in the country. The school is fully accredited and affordable.

#24 – Everglades University

Online Bachelor’s in Crisis and Disaster Management

Boca Raton, Florida

Website

Everglades University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
Study crisis management online at Everglades University!

Undergraduate Tuition: $18,320

Everglades University offers online emergency management programs for undergraduates, including the bachelor’s in crisis and disaster management. The online degree program is designed to prepare students for entry-level careers in crisis and disaster planning and preparedness. Online classes are conveniently delivered and taught by Everglades instructors. These classes cover topics like basic emergency planning, introduction to crisis and disaster management, financial management, organization and technology of information systems, OSHA standards, and principles of supervision. The fully accredited institution ranks with major publications like U.S. News & World Report. In fact, recent rankings include #103-133 in best regional universities in the South.

#23 – Grand Canyon University

Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management and Homeland Security

Phoenix, Arizona

Website

Grand Canyon University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
GCU offers an accredited online bachelor’s in emergency management degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $17,800

Grand Canyon University’s online bachelor’s in emergency management program is designed for individuals who want to work in the fields of emergency medical response, law enforcement, or emergency management. Classes are delivered entirely online and taught by GCU instructors. The program’s core courses cover topics like disaster response and recovery, emergency operations and techniques, history and development of emergency management, mitigation planning, and organizational behavior and management. Major publications like U.S. News & World Report rank Grand Canyon University as among the top 300 national universities. Also, GCU is a fully accredited, proprietary institution founded in 1949, and it has grown in recognition as a reputable school.

#22 – Pennsylvania College of Technology

Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management and Homeland Security

Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Website

Pennsylvania College of Technology - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
Partnerships with FEMA – the bachelor’s in emergency management online program at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Undergraduate Tuition: $17,610

The accredited bachelor’s in emergency management online program at Pennsylvania College of Technology is a flexible program designed to cultivate the practical, real-world skills that the industry needs. Graduates of the program are well-equipped to lead in the field of emergency management. Courses cover topics like crisis communication, disaster recovery, introduction to emergency management operations, principles of public administration, and state and local government. The school also offers career-placement opportunities following graduation. In fact, Penn College has partnerships with FEMA, PEMA, and various counties in Pennsylvania. Penn College also ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 15th best regional college in the North.

#21 – National University

Online Bachelor’s in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

La Jolla, California

Website

National University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
Accredited and affordable! National University is a top choice for online bachelor’s in emergency management degrees.

Undergraduate Tuition: $13,320

National University offers accredited and affordable online emergency management programs, including the bachelor’s in homeland security and emergency management. With four-week classes, the bachelor’s program moves at a rigorous pace. All classes are delivered online and taught by experienced National University faculty. The pacing allows students to focus on one subject at a time by taking a single course each month. One of the benefits of this structure and format is that you will graduate with your degree faster than a traditionally designed program would allow you to. Courses cover topics like crisis management, disaster management, legal issues of security, and production and operations management. In addition to being fully accredited, National University ranks with major publications like U.S. News & World Report.

#20 – The University of Arizona

Online Bachelor’s in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Tucson, Arizona

Website

University of Arizona - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
The University of Arizona’s online emergency management programs are fully accredited.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,716

Take one course at a time while enrolled in the University of Arizona’s online bachelor’s in emergency management program. Each course runs five weeks and allows students to focus their attention on one topic at a time. If you are interested in areas of specialization beyond homeland security and emergency management, the program offers a robust number of emphasis areas. An emphasis or specialization consists of 9-12 credits that must be completed while earning the bachelor’s degree. Areas of specialization include unique areas of study like criminal justice drone pilot, journalism, public relations, and web and mobile app technology. The University of Arizona ranks with major publications like U.S. News & World Report as the 97th best national university and 121st best value school.

#19 – Louisiana State University

Online Bachelor’s in Disaster Science and Emergency Management

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Website

Louisiana State University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
LSU is a ranked and accredited institution offering an online bachelor’s in emergency management.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,962

One of the most affordable bachelor’s in emergency management online programs available is the degree offered by Louisiana State University. The program provides a general understanding of disaster science and emphasizes the psychology and behavior important to many types of occupational roles in the field. Online courses have titles like disasters in history, introduction to disaster science and emergency management, public health emergency preparedness, senior seminar in disaster science and emergency management, and technology and emergency management. LSU is fully accredited and one of the most affordable institutions available. Also, major publications like U.S. News & World Report rank LSU #153 in best national universities.

#18 – Colorado State University

Online Bachelor’s in Fire and Emergency Services Administration

Fort Collins, Colorado

Website

Colorado State University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
CSU’s online bachelor’s in fire and emergency services administration is ranked and affordable!

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,814

Colorado State University’s online emergency management programs, such as the bachelor’s in fire and emergency services administration, are offered fully online and designed for working and busy students. The degree takes just two years through online courses that move at a rigorous pace. Courses are taught by CSU professors and cover topics like essentials of emergency management, fire and emergency human resources, fire service leadership, structure influence on tactics and strategy, and trends in fire science technologies. Choose from nine minors to enhance your major studies in areas like business administration, economics, and media studies. CSU is fully accredited and ranked with U.S. News & World Report as a top institution.

#17 – Arizona State University

Online Bachelor’s in Public Service and Public Policy (Emergency Management and Homeland Security)

Tempe, Arizona

Website

Arizona State University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
ASU offers a top-ranked online emergency management program.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,338

Arizona State University offers one of the most affordable online bachelor’s in emergency management programs available. Students who complete the requirements earn a bachelor’s in public service and public policy with a concentration in emergency management and homeland security. Classes are delivered online and run between seven and eight weeks in length. Required courses cover topics like contemporary policy challenges, emergency management, hazards and risk management, homeland security, leadership and change, and public service ethics. A total of 120 credit-hours are required, and students must graduate with a 2.00 major GPA and cumulative GPA. ASU is a fully accredited public institution. The school has received rankings from U.S. News & World Report, which include #103 in best national universities.

#16 – Jacksonville State University

Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management

Jacksonville, Alabama

Website

Jacksonville State University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
Study emergency preparedness at JSU!

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,120

Jacksonville State University offers affordable online emergency management programs designed to prepare students for emergency management careers in private, public, and voluntary sectors. The bachelor’s degree consists of a total of 120 credit-hours, with 30 hours required for the major. Some of the online courses seen in the program include disaster mitigation and preparedness, disaster response and recovery, emergency management capstone class, legal issues in public safety communication, populations at risk, and research in disasters and emergency management. Two optional minors are also offered in homeland security and public safety telecommunications (PST). JSU’s reputation includes rankings with U.S. News & World Report. The most recent rankings include #62 in best regional universities in the South.

#15 – Purdue University Global

Online Bachelor’s in Fire and Emergency Management

Indianapolis, Indiana

Website

Purdue University Global - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
Purdue Global offers online fire and emergency management programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,167

Earning a bachelor’s in emergency management online degree from Purdue Global is a great start on your career as an emergency management professional. The school is recognized by the U.S. Fire Administration as an official FESHE (Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education) institution. In addition to this prestigious recognition, Purdue Global is accredited and ranked with major publications like U.S. News & World Report. While enrolled in the bachelor’s program, students take rigorous 10-week courses designed to prepare students in career-focused topics. Courses include community risk reduction for fire and EMS, crisis management in terrorist attacks and disasters, emergency management response, and recovery practices in emergency management.

#14 – Southern New Hampshire University

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice – Homeland Security

Manchester, New Hampshire

Website

Southern New Hampshire University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
SNHU is a fully accredited school offering online bachelor’s in emergency management degrees.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,650

While not an online bachelor’s in emergency management, the SNHU online bachelor’s in criminal justice offers a concentration that covers various topics found in emergency management programs. The homeland security concentration focuses on emergencies surrounding domestic and international terrorism. Students explore a wide range of security efforts and work as teams to develop analytical and policy skills required in the field. Courses may cover topics like intelligence and counterintelligence, introduction to homeland security and counterterrorism, security management, and terrorism in the United States. SNHU is fully accredited and ranked with U.S. News & World Report. Current rankings include #75 in best regional universities in the North.

#13 – Franklin University

Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management and Homeland Security

Columbus, Ohio

Website

Franklin University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
The bachelor’s in emergency management online program at Franklin University costs less than 10k per year!

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,577

The online emergency management programs at Franklin University include this online bachelor’s in emergency management and homeland security. The degree is transfer-friendly and affordable, costing less than 10k per year. The degree is also flexible. Students may personalize their major by choosing a specialization that will allow them to focus on an area they are interested in. Specializations include both homeland security and emergency management and disaster response. Course topics seen in the major include ethics and leadership in public safety agencies, evidence-based practice and research, introduction to public administration, and training and development. Franklin University is accredited, and it is recognized by major publications like U.S. News & World Report.

#12 – Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Online Bachelor’s in Unified Public Safety Administration

Natchitoches, Louisiana

Website

Northwestern State University of Louisiana - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
Northwestern State University is one of the few schools offering a bachelor’s in public safety administration.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,672

One of the most affordable online bachelor’s in emergency management programs on our list is the public safety administration bachelor’s degree at Northwestern State University of Louisiana. This fully online degree is offered through the school’s global campus and is open to those with an interest in the public safety of the United States. The degree offers concentrations that allow students to tailor their public safety studies toward specific career interests like emergency management administration, fire and emergency medical services administration, law enforcement, and public facilities management. According to recent rankings from U.S. News & World Report, the school has received recognition as the 89th best regional university in the South.

#11 – West Texas A&M University

Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Administration

Canyon, Texas

Website

West Texas A & M University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
West Texas A&M offers an online bachelor’s in emergency management administration that is affordable and flexible!

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,456

One of the best bachelor’s in emergency management online degree programs on our list is the bachelor’s in emergency management administration at West Texas A&M University. This fully online, affordable degree program offers flexible courses and meets the needs of both full-time and part-time students. Applicants must have an overall GPA of 2.0 and provide transcripts from high school or college and tech/vocational institutions attended. Classes are taught by university professors and include administrative law, emergency management directed research, ethics and the justice and EMA systems, municipal government, public financial administration, and risk management. West Texas A&M ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 83rd best regional university in the West.

#10 – University of Wisconsin – Green Bay

Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management, Planning and Administration

Green Bay, Wisconsin

Website

University of Wisconsin - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
A uniquely designed bachelor’s in emergency management online degree is offered by the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,873

The University of Wisconsin offers online emergency management programs designed to prepare students to manage complex public health and safety organizations. This fully online degree program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and it is the first online degree program in the nation to receive accreditation from the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC). The degree takes approximately two years to complete with full-time enrollment and accepted transfer credits. There are two concentrations offered that allow students to tailor their degree even further. These emphases are emergency management and fire services leadership. Some of the courses you will see in the program include budgeting for program managers, economics and government, and fire and emergency services leadership. Recently, UWGB has received rankings from U.S. News & World Report, which include #103 in best regional universities in the Midwest and #31 in top public schools.

#9 – Bellevue University

Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management

Bellevue, Nebraska

Website

Bellevue University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
Less than 8k per year! Bellevue University is a top school for online bachelor’s in emergency management degrees.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,851

Bellevue University’s bachelor’s in emergency management online degree program costs less than $8,000 per year and is fully accredited. The affordable undergraduate degree operates as an accelerated cohort program that is ideally designed for busy and working students. Topics and issues covered in the classes include crisis readiness for natural and human-caused disasters, legal issues in emergency management, risk assessment, technology and communications, and terrorism and homeland security. A total of 127 credits are required for completion of the degree. According to U.S. News & World Report, Bellevue ranks #119-#156 in best regional universities in the Midwest.

#8 – American Military University

Online Bachelor’s in Emergency and Disaster Management

Charles Town, West Virginia

Website

American Military University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
American Military University offers accredited online emergency management programs for undergraduates.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,360

American Military University offers accredited online emergency management programs for undergraduates. The online program introduces students to an all-hazards approach of study. This means students focus on the wide range of disasters and emergencies that can occur. Topics covered include counterterrorism, crisis management, emergency and disaster management phases, emergency preparedness, and risk assessment. A total of 120 credits are required for the completion of the AMU degree, though up to 90 credits may be transferred. In addition to being fully accredited, AMU ranks with U.S. News & World Report as a top institution. It is also one of the most affordable schools on our list.

#7 – Arkansas State University

Online Bachelor’s in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management

Jonesboro, Arkansas

Website

Arkansas State University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
Study disaster preparedness and emergency management at Arkansas State.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,315

Arkansas State University’s online emergency management programs, including the bachelor’s in disaster preparedness, offers undergraduate level courses designed to prepare students for entry-level careers in disaster preparedness and emergency management. The online bachelor’s program requires applicants to provide a record of high school completion (transcripts and satisfactory GPA). All classes are delivered online and are taught by university professors. Courses cover topics like communication in disaster preparedness and emergency management, humanitarian perspectives in disaster preparedness and emergency management, research topics in disaster preparedness, and theoretical framework for disaster preparedness. Arkansas State is a highly ranked public institution. Recent rankings with U.S. News & World Report include #298-#389 in best national universities.

#6 – Thomas Edison State University

Online Bachelor’s in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Trenton, New Jersey

Website

Thomas Edison State University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
TESU, a fully accredited and affordable school, offers online homeland security and emergency management programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,182

The bachelor’s in emergency management online degree program at Thomas Edison State University is an established undergraduate program that aligns with the five National Preparedness System mission areas of prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. Coursework may be completed online and serves as preparation for the school’s master’s degrees in homeland security or management. Some of the courses you will take while enrolled in the program cover topics like concepts of emergency management, foundations of leadership, integrating public safety and homeland security, and management information systems. TESU is fully accredited and recognized by major publications like U.S. News & World Report.

#5 – University of Alaska

Online Bachelor’s in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Fairbanks, Alaska

Website

University of Alaska - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
Online bachelor’s in emergency management with unique concentrations – University of Alaska.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,176

The University of Alaska offers accredited online emergency management programs designed to prepare post-9/11 homeland security professionals. The online bachelor’s in emergency management is intended to be a four-year online program. There are no special admission requirements for this degree, though students are expected to hold a high school diploma or its equivalent. Several concentration options are offered. These concentrations allow students to tailor their degree toward areas of interest. The concentrations include cyber security, emergency management, emergency medical management, fire administration, and homeland security. Some of the online courses offered, no matter which concentration is selected, include all hazards risk analysis, organizational theory and behavior, and training and management development. The University of Alaska ranks with U.S. News & World Report as a top national university.

#4 – Eastern New Mexico University

Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management

Portales, New Mexico

Website

Eastern New Mexico University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
ENMU offers a ranked online bachelor’s in emergency management.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,648

Eastern New Mexico University offers an online bachelor’s in emergency management degree that takes just two years to complete. The affordable undergraduate degree has two concentration options, depending on students’ interests and career goals. The concentrations are emergency management and fire and emergency services. The core curriculum covers topics like community risk reduction for fire and emergency services, emergency services administration and management, hazard mitigation, and public health emergencies. Eastern New Mexico University is fully accredited, affordable, and ranked with major publications like U.S. News & World Report. The most current rankings include #95-#124 in best regional universities in the West.

#3 – University of Central Florida

Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management

Orlando, Florida

Website

University of Central Florida - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
UCF offers a FEMA-approved online bachelor’s in emergency management.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,368

At the University of Central Florida, undergraduate students may earn a bachelor’s in emergency management online. The program is fully accredited and ranked. Also, UCF offers one of the most affordable programs on our list. The curriculum adheres to the standards set forth by FEMA’s Professional Development Series. Courses cover topics like community resiliency and sustainability, disaster response and recovery, fiscal management, hazard mitigation and preparedness, information system for public managers and planners, and survey research in public administration. UCF ranks with major publications like U.S. News & World Report as the 160th best national university and 141st best value school.

#2 – Western Carolina University

Online Bachelor’s in Emergency and Disaster Management

Cullowhee, North Carolina

Website

Western Carolina University - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
Ranked and accredited! Western Carolina offers an affordable bachelor’s in emergency management.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,285

Western Carolina University’s bachelor’s in emergency management online degree program is specifically designed to ready students for leadership and management positions in government careers, non-profit agencies, and the private sector. Classes are delivered online and taught by the same WCU professors who instruct on campus. Courses cover topics like disaster response operations and management, emergency planning, introduction to emergency and disaster management, methods of disaster research, political and policy basis of emergency and disaster management, and social dimensions of a disaster. According to U.S. News & World Report, WCU ranks #25 in best regional universities in the South and #9 in best value schools.

#1 – University of Florida

Online Bachelor’s in Fire and Emergency Services

Gainesville, Florida

Website

University of Florida - 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees
#1 most affordable online bachelor’s in emergency management (fire and emergency services) – University of Florida!

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,876

The most affordable online bachelor’s in emergency management degree program on our list is the fire and emergency services degree program at the University of Florida. With three specializations, students may tailor their degree toward personal interests and career goals. These specializations are emergency management, emergency medical services (EMS) management, and fire specialization. All classes are delivered online and taught by the same professors who teach on campus. Some of the courses for the emergency management specialization include community risk reduction for emergency services, disaster policy in emergency management, and introduction to emergency management of terrorism. In addition to being accredited, UF ranks with major publications like U.S. News & World Report. Current UF rankings include #30 in best national universities and #116 in best value schools.
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Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with an online bachelor’s in emergency management degree?

There are several relevant career pathways after graduating from an online bachelor’s in emergency management program. Graduates often go to work for governmental, private, and public organizations. Public entities, such as federal agencies, fire departments, and police organizations, often hire recent college grads with a degree in emergency management. Below are several roles available for individuals with a bachelor’s in emergency management online degree.

Emergency response coordinator: These specialized coordinators assist public agencies and businesses in preparing for disasters and emergencies. They often work with fire departments and ambulance crews by creating emergency plans, providing training, and coordinating crisis management. The position requires a bachelor’s degree in emergency management or a closely related field.

Fire chief: While fire chiefs do fight fires, they also manage the daily operations of fire departments and personnel. They are responsible for conducting firefighter training drills, creating action plans, and inspecting buildings for code compliances. Fire chiefs hold bachelor’s degrees in a related discipline or have years of experience working up the ranks.

Intelligence analyst: Intelligence analysts are generally employed by federal agencies. They conduct field investigations and examine data related to security threats. For this role, a bachelor’s degree is required.

Police officer: Police officers ensure a community’s safety. They collect evidence related to a crime, make arrests, and respond to emergencies. Police departments may favor candidates with a bachelor’s degree. Additional training is required.

What is the job outlook for individuals with an online bachelor’s in emergency management degree?

For job outlook, we looked at the information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on emergency management directors. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by BLS, employment of emergency management directors is projected to grow four percent over the next eight years, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Approximately 700 openings for directors in this field are projected each year, on average, for the next decade. Since emergency management directors are a relatively small occupation, openings for new jobs will be limited. However, as current directors prepare for retirement, new hires will be needed to fill openings. Also, as current managers transfer to different states, advance to new positions, or take on new responsibilities, workers will be needed to fill the vacated positions.

During uncertain times, the need for minimizing risk from emergencies will help sustain demand and employment opportunities in this field. Emergency management coordinators and directors will be needed in businesses and organizations that provide essential services to the public during times of disaster. Hiring will likely take place in fire departments, police agencies, and other related emergency services.

Applicants with an earned bachelor’s degree, specialized areas of interest, and extensive work experience in emergency management should see the best job prospects.

How much money can you make with an online bachelor’s in emergency management degree?

The Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the BLS reports the median annual wage for emergency management directors, as of May 2020, was $76,250. The median wage is the wage that 50% of the workers in this occupation earned more than and 50% earned less than. In the case of emergency management directors, the lowest 10% earned less than $42,230 and the highest 10% earned over $142,850.

BLS also reports certain factors that impact earnings potential. For example, different industries pay different wages for the same occupation. Top-paying industries for emergency management directors are as follows:

Professional, scientific, and technical services: $106,570
Local, private, and state colleges and universities: $88,370
Local, private, and state hospitals: $87,920
Local government: $70,130
State government: $66,730

Other factors that impact earnings include geographic location. High-paying states/regions for emergency management directors include District of Columbia, California, Washington, New Jersey, and Maryland. Earnings also vary by region. Metropolitan areas typically pay higher wages than nonmetro areas.

Most emergency management directors work full-time, but are often called in to work overtime hours. During times of disaster, directors must respond to emergencies and support efforts. Some directors may be required to work evenings and weekends to be part of emergency response efforts.

What professional associations can you join while enrolled in an online bachelor’s in emergency management degree?

While enrolled in an online bachelor’s in emergency management program, there is no need to wait until graduation to join a professional association. In fact, several associations are available to students. Associations offer a wide range of benefits and resources for students working on their emergency management degree. Several professional associations for emergency management students are detailed below.

International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM)

The IAEM, founded in 1952 as the United States Civil Defense Council, offers membership benefits to emergency managers around the globe. Membership is extended to students earning their degree in emergency management or a closely related discipline. Benefits for students include access to job boards, emergency management certification opportunities, professional development opportunities, and scholarships.

National Emergency Management Association (NEMA)

Members of NEMA may participate in the NEMA Policy and Leadership Forum, and they may attend numerous educational workshops. NEMA members advocate for legislation that supports emergency management services and disaster mitigation. As members, students may also provide legislative input to Congress and build a network with other professionals in the field of emergency management.

National Emergency Number Association (NENA)

NENA members benefit from a wide range of opportunities. Since NENA works to enhance emergency communication, the focus is to improve technology and communication efforts during times of disaster. Student members have access to professional development programs and ongoing education opportunities.

In addition to an online bachelor’s in emergency management degree, what qualities should you have for a career in the field?

Beyond education and training, there are certain qualities that an emergency management professional should possess to work successfully in the field. While some of these qualities and skills may be honed in the classroom, some are more innate. Below are several important qualities for successful emergency managers and personnel.

Ability to think critically – During times of disaster, anything can go wrong. Emergency management directors, managers, and personnel must be able to think quickly and critically. They must anticipate problems or hazards and create solutions so that the team may respond effectively.

Ability to make decisions – In addition to thinking critically, emergency managers must be able to make decisions quickly and effectively. During times of stress, quick decision-making is critical for this occupation.

Strong communication skills – The ability to convey information clearly, both orally and in writing, to a wide range of audiences is critical for the role of an emergency manager. Emergency preparedness plans must be delivered in a way people respond to and understand.

Strong interpersonal skills – Since emergency personnel work with government agencies, law enforcement, and other professionals, having strong interpersonal skills helps coordinate efforts.

Strong leadership skills – Having strong leadership skills aids in the education and training of staff. The role of a manager requires leadership ability for the performance of many necessary functions.

Related:

BDP Staff
May 2021

This concludes our list of the 30 best online bachelor’s in emergency management programs.

Brenda Rufener
Author

Julie McCaulley
Expert

Carrie Sealey-Morris
Editor-in-Chief