15 Best Online Emergency Management Degrees for 2020

Terrorists. Earthquakes. Wildfires. Tornadoes. Hurricanes. The list of emergencies seems endless. One of the Best Bachelor’s in Emergency Management will prepare you to help communities recover.

What is a Bachelor’s in Emergency Management?

When an emergency or disaster occurs, it disrupts order and chaos takes over. People need help restoring their communities and lives. Trained professionals in managing the many aspects of emergencies or disasters are critical to recovery. A relatively new academic discipline, a B.S. or B.A. in Emergency Management, has developed at colleges and universities nationwide to train professionals in managing that chaos. The majority of these degrees are designed around the four, primary emergency management phases: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

If the “management” is more your speed than the “emergency,” consider a broader business degree, like an online Business Administration program.

How Much Can You Earn With A Bachelor’s in Emergency Management?

Emergency Management is expected to grow at 5% over the next ten years or so. Employment opportunities can be found in local, state, and federal government agencies, hospitals, public and private schools, colleges, and universities. Additional employment options may be found with private companies. Depending on location and employment, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the annual salary range for this career to be from $40,460 to $141,130, with the median compensation around $74,420.

What is Required for a Bachelor’s in Emergency Management?

As with any undergraduate degree, there are general education courses required in English, social studies, science, humanities, etc. While there is no set, universal curriculum, most programs will include studies in cybersecurity, terrorism threat assessment skills, weapons of mass destruction, natural disasters, communications and social media, etc. Online degrees are available and some will require field experience or internships. Academic programs frequently follow guidelines set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as well as state agencies.

Admission to undergraduate programs will generally require a high school/GED diploma or an associate degree. Undergraduate degrees typically require 120 credit hours for completion but transfer credit may reduce the number of hours required. You’ll find many of the Emergency Management degree programs will also offer credit for prior life experience, such as military training, first responders, healthcare, etc. 

What Are The Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management?

OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.

The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.

  1. Waldorf University

    20-Year ROI
    $747,925

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $20,544(in state) / $20,544(out of state)
    • Offers 2 Concentrations
    • 120 Credit Hours
    • Only Available Online

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction80%
    Admission Rate72%
    Programs offered online13

    Program Level

    Median Debt$18,743
    Programs in Department5
    Popularity at School44.06%
    100%
    OSR Score

    Waldorf University in Iowa has a B.A. in Emergency Management with concentrations in Fire Science or Homeland Security. Fire Science students will study personnel management, human behavior, administration, etc. Homeland Security students will focus on terriorism response and WMD.

  2. American Public University System

    20-Year ROI
    $1,257,003

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $6,480(in state) / $6,480(out of state)
    • 120 Credit Hours
    • Monthly Start Dates
    • Board-certified Emergency Managers Instructors

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online45

    Program Level

    Median Debt$25,478
    Programs in Department7
    Popularity at School17.72%
    98%
    OSR Score

    American Public University offers a generalist degree in emergency management. Depending on your interests, you may choose coursework in explosives, terrorism, risk communications, etc. This program holds accreditation from the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress.

  3. Bellevue University

    20-Year ROI
    $1,077,529

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $7,152(in state) / $7,152(out of state)
    • 127 Credit Hours
    • Instructors With Real-World Experience
    • Special Military Tuition Rate

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction72%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online51

    Program Level

    Median Debt$23,727
    Programs in Department4
    Popularity at School5.76%
    85%
    OSR Score

    This program concentrates on the cycle of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Admission requires either an associate degree or 60 semester hours from another school. Major courses cover natural disasters, terrorism, emergency planning, etc.

  4. Bethel University

    20-Year ROI
    $769,780
    Bethel University 219718

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,805(in state) / $9,805(out of state)
    • Military and Veteran Friendly
    • 128 Credit Hours
    • Dual Enrollment For Qualified Junior and Senior High School Students

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76%
    Admission Rate94%
    Programs offered online7

    Program Level

    Median Debt$24,301
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School35.48%
    78%
    OSR Score

    Some of the courses for this online B.S. in Emergency Management Services include weapons of mass destruction, homeland security, risk analysis and assessment, etc. You’ll also be required to complete the school’s Introduction to Adult Online Learning course.

  5. Indiana Institute of Technology

    20-Year ROI
    $842,763

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $25,940(in state) / $25,940(out of state)
    • 120 Credit Hours
    • A “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs” by U.S. News and World Report
    • Military Friendly

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76%
    Admission Rate76%
    Programs offered online12

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department5
    Popularity at School11.30%
    77%
    OSR Score

    This B.S. in Emergency Management Response at Indiana Tech teaches skills in disaster response operations, risk assessment, homeland security, etc. The degree will qualify you to work in a variety of emergency management organizations. Institutional scholarships are available.

  6. SUNY College of Technology at Canton

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $6,670(in state) / $13,029(out of state)
    • 125 Credit Hours
    • Electives Can Replace Internship
    • Virtual Disaster Simulation

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74%
    Admission Rate79%
    Programs offered online10

    Program Level

    Median Debt$24,599
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School17.72%
    74%
    OSR Score

    This B.S. in Emergency Management focuses on mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Among courses, you’ll learn about natural and technical hazards and assessment. The program studies past disasters and the effectiveness of current approaches.

  7. Kansas Wesleyan University

    20-Year ROI
    $793,067

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $28,980(in state) / $28,980(out of state)
    • Choose From 3 Concentrations
    • 120 Credit Hours
    • Nationally Recognized Faculty

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction79%
    Admission Rate54%
    Programs offered online3

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School7.50%
    72%
    OSR Score

    The program offers three concentrations: homeland security, community, business continuity, and non-governmental organizations. You can also minor in unmanned aircraft systems (drones) and their use in emergency management responses.

  8. Post University

    20-Year ROI
    $812,667

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $15,258(in state) / $15,258(out of state)
    • 120 Credit Hours
    • 3 Concentrations Available
    • Prior Learning Assessment Plan

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction80%
    Admission Rate63%
    Programs offered online17

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School8.47%
    71%
    OSR Score

    This online B.S. allows you to choose your concentration from policing, criminal justice leadership, or cybersecurity and information assurance. Courses emphasize mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The school offers up to 30 credit hours for qualifying work/life experiences.

  9. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide

    20-Year ROI
    $1,325,236

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,000(in state) / $9,000(out of state)
    • 2 Emergency Management Concentrations
    • 120 Credit Hours
    • Certificate of Recognition from Fire Emergency Services Education

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction70%
    Admission Rate63%
    Programs offered online16

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department4
    Popularity at School< 1%
    71%
    OSR Score

    Choose between aviation emergency management or fire and emergency services specialties. This B.S. curriculum follows the National Fire Academy curriculum model. Embry-Riddle began in 1925 as an aviation school and grew to become an accredited university in 1968.

  10. University of Alaska Fairbanks

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $6,467(in state) / $21,344(out of state)
    • 120 Credit Hours
    • Multiple Specializations Available
    • Hybrid or 100% Online Options

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76%
    Admission Rate77%
    Programs offered online7

    Program Level

    Median Debt$17,566
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School8.17%
    70%
    OSR Score

    This B.S. in Emergency Management offers six concentrations in areas such as fire administration, homeland security, cybersecurity, etc. The program considers military training, healthcare or first responder work for transfer credits. Two minors are available in emergency management and military security studies.

  11. Grand Canyon University

    20-Year ROI
    $1,049,692

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $16,365(in state) / $16,365(out of state)
    • 120 Credit Hours
    • Transfer Up To 90 Credit Hours
    • 100% Online

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction69%
    Admission Rate67%
    Programs offered online37

    Program Level

    Median Debt$25,686
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School3.03%
    68%
    OSR Score

    Grand Canyon University offers a B.S. in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. This program has four domains: emergency management framework, organizational management, ethics, and research. Grand Canyon is a Christian university and its degrees follow Christian perspectives.

  12. Crown College

    20-Year ROI
    $690,437

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $24,980(in state) / $24,980(out of state)
    • Christian Focused
    • 125-131 Credit Hours
    • Online Asynchronous Classes

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction70%
    Admission Rate51%
    Programs offered online10

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School< 1%
    66%
    OSR Score

    Crown College allows you to pair criminal justice, psychology/counseling, Christian ministry, or business with the B.S. in Disaster and Emergency Management for dual enrollment. You’ll learn policy implications for disasters, recognize ethical concerns, conduct scientific methodology, etc. The degree requires 15-21 hours of Christian studies.

  13. Ohio Christian University

    20-Year ROI
    $620,787

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $10,680(in state) / $10,680(out of state)
    • 120 Credit Hours
    • Military Friendly
    • Institutional Scholarships Available

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online14

    Program Level

    Median Debt$31,526
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School1.55%
    66%
    OSR Score

    Ohio Christian University offers a B.A. in Emergency and Disaster Management as well as a B.A. in Business with an Emergency Management concentration. The online bachelor’s programs require 50 semester hours, academic transcripts, and a 2.0 GPA for admission. You can choose between a capstone project or internship.

  14. Columbia College

    20-Year ROI
    $685,352

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $17,714(in state) / $17,714(out of state)
    • 2 Concentrations Available
    • $5,000 Tuition Discount for SC State Fire Fighters’ Association Members
    • 120 Credit Hours

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74%
    Admission Rate87%
    Programs offered online2

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School8.53%
    64%
    OSR Score

    Columbia College allows you to pick from a B.A. in Disaster and Emergency Management or B.S. in Disaster and Emergency Management in Fire Science. This program uses a broad, all hazards approach and is tailored for those currently working in the field. Topics include homeland security, communications, cybersecurity, epidemics and bioterrorism, etc.

  15. Pennsylvania College of Technology

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $13,860(in state) / $20,790(out of state)
    • All Students Pay In-State Tuition 
    • 120 Credit Hours
    • 24/7 Online Tutoring

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online5

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School< 1%
    63%
    OSR Score

    Penn College offers an online B.S. in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. This program has no campus requirements, but there is a 275-hour internship required. The school also offers an Alternative Credit Option for life experiences, exams, and other nontraditional methods.