Top 50 Affordable Master’s in Emergency Management Online

Contents

In this article, we profile the top 50 best, most affordable online master’s in emergency management degree programs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the employment of emergency management directors to increase by eight percent through 2026, slightly faster than the average for all occupations. Colleges and universities anticipating this demand for jobs offer master’s in emergency management online degrees for those seeking advancement and new roles as emergency directors.

Featured Programs

To be considered for our list of the best and most affordable online master’s in emergency management programs, a school must be regionally or nationally accredited by a significant governing body and offer at least one master’s in emergency management online degree or closely related program. We considered over 220 accredited colleges and universities and narrowed our pool by the school and/or program rankings with a publication like U.S. News and World Report. We then listed the institutions in order of raw affordability based on the graduate tuition and fees released by the National Center for Education Statistics – NCES College Navigator.

Below is our list of the top 50 best, most affordable online master’s in emergency management degrees.

Online Master’s Emergency Management Programs Reviewed

#50 – Tulane University of Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Online Master’s in Emergency Management

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Tulane University offers a master’s in emergency management online consisting of 11 courses, including nine core, one elective, and one capstone. Classes are taught under the auspices of The School of Professional Advancement. They include:

  • cyber threats and homeland security
  • health and medical issues in emergency management
  • homeland security and approaches to counter-terrorism
  • risk management and threat assessment

Admission requirements include:

  • a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • statement of purpose
  • 3.0 GPA (students below the GPA mark may be admitted on a conditional basis)

U.S. News and World Report ranks Tulane University #44 among national universities and #63 in best value schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $61,130

#49 – Adelphi University

Garden City, New York

Online Master’s in Emergency Management

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Adelphi University offers an online master’s in emergency management program delivered entirely via distance learning with no residential requirements. The program appeals to working professionals seeking flexible courses combined with a rigorous curriculum. The emergency management online degree is highly customizable as faculty and staff work with students to tailor a degree to the student’s career goals and objectives. The 39-credit curriculum includes courses, such as:

  • business continuity planning
  • management information systems and business analytics
  • public policy and administration in emergency management
  • research in emergency and disaster management

U.S. News and World Report ranks Adelphi University #147 among national universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $44,520

#48 – Pace University

New York, New York

Online Master’s in Public Safety and Homeland Security

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Through its Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Pace University offers an online emergency management program designed to teach and train homeland security and safety professionals who aspire to top positions within the public and private sectors. The program is completed entirely online, making it an attractive option for working professionals with various obligations who desire the flexibility of distance learning without sacrificing quality education. The 36-credit program can be completed in two years and includes an optional master’s project or comprehensive exam. Pace University has partnered with the Center for Homeland Defense and Security to ensure the curriculum for the emergency management degree is relevant to the current needs of the market. U.S. News and World Report ranks Pace #177 in national universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $34,100

#47 – American University

Washington, District of Columbia

Online Master’s in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security

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American University offers an emergency management master’s degree online focusing on counter-terrorism. The program is conducted almost entirely online, aside from a brief residency requirement where students can interact with faculty and counter-terrorism professionals. The curriculum is a conflation of skills and theory resulting in professionals able to develop effective counter-terrorism and security policy at all levels of government. The 36-credit emergency management related degree can be completed in two years and exposes students to an interdisciplinary environment, including:

  • social sciences
  • criminology
  • law
  • intelligence
  • terrorism studies

U.S. News and World Report ranks American University #18 in best public affairs programs, #24 in public policy analysis, and #6 in public management and leadership.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $38,456

#46 – George Washington University

Washington, District of Columbia

Online Master’s in Homeland Security

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George Washington University offers a top-ranked online master’s in emergency management through its School of Professional Studies. The program is delivered entirely online, making it an attractive option for current or aspiring security and emergency management professionals to complete a graduate-level degree while maintaining their current obligations. The curriculum provides students with security, emergency management, and safety knowledge and skills and leadership training. Courses include:

  • emergency management and crisis communication
  • globalization of threats and international security
  • information systems protection
  • intelligence
  • strategic analysis
  • strategic planning and budgeting

U.S. News and World Report ranks GWU #63 in national universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $32,904

#45 – Pennsylvania State University

University Park, Pennsylvania

Online Master’s in Homeland Security and Public Health Preparedness

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Penn State University offers one of the top online emergency management programs through its Penn State College of Medicine. The program is unique in that it was the first fully online homeland security degree offered through a medical school. The 33-credit hour program includes courses in the following:

  • critical infrastructure protection of health care delivery systems
  • foundations of information security and assurance
  • fundamentals of bio-risk management
  • veterinary infectious disease diagnostic and surveillance systems

Application requirements include:

  • transcripts
  • resume/cv
  • statement of purpose
  • three references
  • GRE scores

GRE scores may be waived in many instances. Penn State is ranked #59 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $33,231

#44 – Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Online Master’s in Disaster and Emergency Management

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Nova Southeastern University offers a master’s in emergency management online. The program is offered through its Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine. It prepares students to become top leaders and practitioners in the emergency management field. In addition to the general curriculum, students can choose an area of concentration, including:

  • maritime safety and security
  • cyber security
  • criminal justice
  • public health
  • fire administration

Admission requirements include:

  • a bachelor’s degree
  • 3.0 GPA
  • two letters of recommendation
  • written statement
  • GRE scores

Test scores can be waived if the applicant holds a terminal degree or master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Courses include:

  • agro-terrorism and food systems disasters
  • environmental hazards in emergency preparedness
  • leadership and organizational behavior for emergency preparedness
  • weapons of mass threat and communicable diseases

Nova is ranked #191 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $22,790

#43 – Excelsior College

Albany, New York

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Homeland Security and Emergency Management

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Excelsior College offers an online emergency management degree designed to teach and train criminal justice and emergency management professionals seeking top industry positions. The rigorous curriculum cultivates expertise in areas like:

. The 30-credit emergency management program is delivered entirely online and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Courses include:

  • criminal justice theory and policy
  • crisis management in a public forum
  • mental health issues in criminal justice
  • risk assessment in homeland security

Excelsior College is recognized by U.S. News and World Report in its 2019 cohort of regional universities North.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,350

#42 – Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, New Hampshire

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Advanced Counterterrorism

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Southern New Hampshire University provides an online master’s in emergency management focused on criminal justice and counterterrorism. The program provides students with in-depth coursework and training in intelligence analysis and threat mitigation and response. Courses in the program include:

  • global terrorism
  • threat assessment
  • terrorist techniques and counterterrorism

Students graduating from the fully online program assume positions within a variety of safety and security positions, such as:

  • security threat analysts
  • emergency management directors

Because the emergency management related program is delivered solely online, students can take courses while maintaining their current obligations. U.S. News and World Report ranks SNHU #112 in regional universities North and #1 in most innovative schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,470

#41 – Upper Iowa University

Fayette, Iowa

Online Master’s in Public Administration: Emergency Management and Homeland Security

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Upper Iowa University provides students seeking graduate education with an emergency management master’s degree online. The program consists of 36 credits divided into 18 core credits and 18 elective credits. Core classes include the following:

  • government and NFP financial management and control
  • introduction to program evaluation, political economy, and regulatory policy for public administrators
  • program evaluation implementation and evaluation

Electives may include:

  • comparative strategies of national security
  • psychology and culture of terrorism
  • leadership issues with critical incidents

All courses of this emergency management degree are delivered online. U.S. News and World Report ranks Upper Iowa University #128 in its cohort of best regional universities Midwest for 2019.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,685

#40 – Saint Johns University

Collegeville, Minnesota

Online Master’s in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Leadership

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Saint John’s University offers one of the top online emergency management master’s programs. It is designed to teach students new and innovative approaches to mitigating crime and terrorism. The 36-credit program is designed to train students for leadership positions in the homeland security and criminal justice spaces, where they will lead:

  • public and private agencies
  • departments
  • organizations

Aside from homeland security and criminal justice theory and practical skills, students learn leadership principles within the unique contexts of the above industries. Admission requirements include:

  • a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • 3.0 minimum GPA
  • two letters of recommendation
  • 300-word statement of purpose

U.S. News and World Report ranks St. John’s University #152 among national universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,460

#39 – Medaille University

Buffalo, New York

Online Master’s in Homeland Security

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Medaille University offers a master’s in emergency management online for students interested in careers within the homeland security and emergency management spaces. The program teaches and trains students in threat mitigation and response to terrorist threats and man-made and natural disasters. Graduates have gone on to occupations in:

  • law enforcement
  • customs and border protection
  • emergency management
  • homeland security
  • public policy

The 30-credit program offers 7-week courses delivered entirely online and can be completed in as little as 18 months. Students may enroll during the fall, spring, or summer semesters. U.S. News and World Report ranks Medaille University #142 among regional universities in the North.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $22,371

#38 – Saint Joseph’s University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice: Homeland Security Concentration

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Saint Joseph’s University offers one of the top online emergency management programs focusing on homeland security and criminal justice. The online program consists of 30 credits, including coursework in:

  • behavior analysis
  • behavior management
  • federal law enforcement
  • homeland security
  • intelligence and crime analysis

Electives may include the following:

  • federal criminal justice
  • forensic financial analysis
  • law enforcement intelligence analysis

Graduates open themselves to unique careers in categories such as:

  • mission support
  • law enforcement
  • immigration and travel security
  • prevention and response

Faculty members have industry experience and have published in top journals. U.S. News and World Report ranks St. Joseph’s #12 in regional universities North.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,144

#37 – University of New Haven

West Haven, Connecticut

Online Master’s in Emergency Management

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The University of New Haven offers one of the top master’s in emergency management online programs for working adults to take courses simultaneously while working. Classes last from 6-7.5 weeks in duration, allowing students to take multiple classes per semester, but no more than one at a time. The 36-credit program is designed to be completed in two years and offers discounts to Connecticut police officers and firefighters. Admission requirements include:

  • transcripts
  • two letters of recommendation

Optional materials for people with less than a 3.0 GPA include:

  • resume/cv
  • statement of purpose
  • GRE scores

UNH is ranked #93 in regional universities North.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,070

#36 – California University of Pennsylvania

California, Pennsylvania

Online Master’s in Legal Studies – Homeland Security Concentration

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The California University of Pennsylvania offers an online master’s in emergency management with a concentration in homeland security. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA and official transcripts. Students who are not granted unconditional admittance may be granted conditional admittance but must submit a resume with three professional references and a 500-word personal statement. Courses may include:

  • domestic extremism in the United States
  • executive protection
  • intelligence practice in homeland security
  • law and the international community
  • U.S. homeland security.

The program is fully online and can be completed in two years. U.S. News and World Report ranks CalU#142 in regional universities in the North.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,919

#35 – Millersville University of Pennsylvania

Millersville, Pennsylvania

Online Master’s in Emergency Management

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Millersville University offers an online emergency management degree delivered fully via distance learning. The program trains and teaches students to prevent, respond to, and manage man-made and natural disasters. Students earn gainful employment across various agencies and organizations in both the public and private sectors. The emergency management curriculum provides a comprehensive education from a multidisciplinary perspective for multiple disciplines as part of the Center for Disaster Research and Education. Courses may include:

  • emergency mental health and trauma
  • emergency preparedness for industry
  • principles and practices of emergency management
  • technical and professional writing for emergency management

Millersville is ranked #103 by U.S. News and World Report in regional universities in the North.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,934

#34 – Southern Illinois University

Carbondale, Illinois

Online Master’s in Public Safety and Homeland Security Management

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Southern Illinois University offers one of the top online emergency management master’s programs for working public safety and fire professionals with a bachelor’s degree who desire graduate education and training to position themselves for career advancement and skill and knowledge acquisition. The curriculum is delivered fully online, which enables students to keep their current obligations, including work and family. Students can earn the degree in as little as 16 months. The program is 31 credits for those who have graduated from the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Office program and 39 for those who have not. Courses include:

  • critical issues in homeland security management
  • disaster preparedness and crisis management
  • fiscal and financial management in fire service
  • public policy and ethics in fire service

U.S. News and World report ranks SIU #226 in national universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,162

#33 – National University

La Jolla, California

Online Master’s in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

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National University offers an interdisciplinary emergency management master’s degree online for students seeking homeland security and emergency management careers within various public and private organizational contexts. The program is entirely online and requires the completion of 54 quarter credits. Students possessing a bachelor’s degree in homeland security and emergency management may be exempt from up to two courses. Core classes include:

  • communication and security
  • fundamentals of recovery
  • global lessons in security
  • immigration issues in security
  • leading in complex environments

Graduates of the emergency management degree have gone on to successful careers working in top jobs in both the private and public sectors. National University is recognized in U.S. News and World Report’s cohort of regional universities West.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,480

#32 – Colorado Technical University

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice – Homeland Security

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Colorado Technical University offers one of the top online emergency management programs focusing on safety and security. The program’s curriculum is designed with a criminal justice lens. It focuses on organizational and governmental policy within the realm of homeland security and the protection of the critical community and national infrastructure. As part of the curricular design, students can design and implement a homeland security plan where they explore the intellectual underpinnings and practical application of technology, security, safety, policy, and threat mitigation theory. U.S. News and World Report ranks Colorado Technical University #34 in the best online graduate criminal justice programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,312

#31 – Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, Virginia

Online Master’s in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

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Virginia Commonwealth University offers one of the top online emergency management master’s programs with a broad interdisciplinary perspective. The program strives to teach and train future homeland security and emergency management practitioners to be aware of the political, social, ethical, economic, and sociological aspects of security and emergency mitigation. Admission requirements for this emergency management related degree include:

transcript documenting the student’s bachelor’s degree completion

  • three letters of reference
  • current resume/cv
  • 2.7 minimum GPA
  • GRE/GMAT/LSAT/MAT scores

Courses may include the following:

  • institutional challenges of security preparedness
  • law enforcement policy and judicial precedent
  • private sector issues in security and preparedness
  • a survey of cyber security

VCU is ranked #157 among national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,518

#30 – University of Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland

Online Master’s in Emergency Health Services

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The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a master’s in emergency management online mainly designed for current practitioners to acquire new skills and knowledge in preparation for leadership roles. The program includes two concentration tracks including:

  • EMS system management administration policy and planning
  • preventative medicine and epidemiology, and education

Admission requirements include:

  • a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, transcripts
  • application

Students with a GPA less than 3.2 are required to submit GRE test scores as part of the application. Core classes for this emergency management leadership degree include:

  • human resource development
  • introduction to high-performance EMS
  • issues analysis and proposal writing
  • system design
  • contracting

UMBC is ranked #65 in national universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,046

#29 – Regent University

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Online Master’s in Public Administration – Emergency Management and Homeland Security

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Regent University offers an online master’s in emergency management leadership focusing on public administration within the context of counterterrorism and emergency response. All of the curricula is designed for career-focused individuals and infuses Christian theology. Students can enroll at a part-time or full-time level, varying from semester to semester based on individual circumstances. The degree can be completed within 2-4 years, depending on enrollment level. Admission requirements include:

  • bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • college transcripts
  • admission questionnaire

Students may also submit test scores (GRE/LAST) and resume/cv as optional components. Regent is ranked #201 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,190

#28 – University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Online Master’s in Fire and Emergency Sciences

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Website

The University of Florida offers an emergency management master’s degree online through its M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management. The program is designed for individuals seeking career and academic training in areas such as:

  • emergency planning
  • homeland security
  • disaster response

Graduates assume positions at a wide variety of top employers such as:

  • Department of Homeland Security
  • all levels of government
  • FEMA
  • several private organizations

Admission requirements include:

  • statement of purpose
  • transcripts
  • bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • resume/cv, 3.0 GPA
  • GRE test scores

U.S. News and World Report ranks University of Florida #35 in national universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,737

#27 – University of Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice

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The University of Louisville provides individuals with an online emergency management degree with a focus in criminal justice. The degree pathway includes core classes in criminal justice areas as well as concentration areas including:

  • emergency management
  • homeland security

The degree consists of a minimum of 36 credits broken down into 15 core hours, 18 elective hours, and 3 hours for a final paper. The class format allows students to take one 6-week course at a time, resulting in degree completion in just two years. Courses may include:

  • advanced comparative criminal justice systems
  • constitutional issues in criminal justice
  • personnel management in the criminal justice system
  • race and gender issues in criminal justice

U.S. News and World Report ranks Louisville #171 in national universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,725

#26 – Thomas Edison State University

Trenton, New Jersey

Online Master’s in Homeland Security

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School Profile

Thomas Edison State University is a public institution offering a master’s in emergency management online designed for working professionals seeking graduate-level education and training. The degree program prepares students to be effective in emergency management leadership and managers within the context of emergency response and security and safety. The 36-credit program includes courses in administration and finance for:

  • security professionals
  • domestic and global intelligence for security management
  • natural disasters and search planning
  • research methods in public service
  • terrorism and homeland security in the United States

U.S. News and World Report recognizes Thomas Edison State University in its 2019 cohort of best regional universities North.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,024

#25 – Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona

Online Master’s in Emergency Management and Homeland Security

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Arizona State University provides interested individuals with one of the top online emergency management master’s programs designed to teach and train current or future emergency management planning professionals to assume top leadership positions in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors. The program consists of 33-credits and can be completed in just one year, making it an attractive option for people seeking a rigorous and efficient graduate degree from a top public institution. Admission requirements include 3.0 minimum GPA, bachelor degree from a related program, two years of professional work experience, two letters of support, and a written statement. U.S. News and World Report ranks ASU #115 in national universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,608

#24 – Endicott College

Beverly, Massachusetts

Online Master’s in Homeland Security Studies

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Endicott College offers one of the best online emergency management programs focusing on homeland security. The 36-credit program is designed for working professionals. It offers convenient distance education courses that provide multidisciplinary academic and occupational training. The program prepares graduates for top leadership positions in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors. In addition to core curriculum emergency management planning related degree, students can choose a concentration in:

  • cyber security
  • emergency management

The entire degree can be finished in as little as 18 months. Core classes include:

  • asymmetric threats to the American homeland
  • critical infrastructure protection
  • emergency management in homeland security
  • graduate writing and research in homeland security

U.S. News and World Report ranks Endicott #25 in regional universities North.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,746

#23 – Mississippi College

Clinton, Mississippi

Online Master’s in Homeland Security

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Mississippi College offers a top emergency management master’s degree online from an accredited Christian University. The program focuses on justice administration as well as homeland security. The degree is an interdisciplinary social science offering that teaches and trains students for top careers in anti-terrorism strategies and threat mitigation in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Emergency management graduates have gone on to careers, including:

  • immigration and customs enforcement
  • federal emergency management
  • Department of Homeland Security

Courses include the following:

  • cyber terrorism
  • domestic terrorism
  • grant writing for homeland security
  • special issues in homeland security

U.S. News and World Report ranks Mississippi College #32 in regional universities in the South.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,796

#22 – University of Alaska

Fairbanks, Alaska

Online Master’s in Security and Disaster Management

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The University of Alaska Fairbanks offers an inexpensive online master’s in emergency management. It is designed for current or aspiring emergency management and security professional to assume leadership positions within a variety of public, private, and nonprofit contexts and organizations. Admission requirements include:

  • statement of goals
  • three letters of support
  • resume/cv
  • transcripts

Students with a GPA lower than 2.75 must submit GRE or GMAT scores. A sample of core classes includes:

  • community planning and emergency management
  • disaster management policy
  • legal aspects of homeland security and emergency management
  • security and disaster management capstone

UAF is ranked #215 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,958

#21 – Marywood University

Scranton, Pennsylvania

Online Master’s in Public Administration

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Marywood University offers one of the top online emergency management master’s programs for working adults. The 30-credit program is delivered entirely online and offers six areas of concentration including:

  • general public administration
  • nonprofit management
  • homeland security and disaster management
  • health services administration
  • social work
  • criminal justice

Admission requirements include the following:

  • a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • 3.0 GPA in undergraduate studies
  • essay
  • transcripts
  • 2-3 letters of support

The curriculum is a blend of theory and applied skills needed to succeed in leadership positions. U.S. News and World Report ranks Marywood University #43 in regional universities North for its 2019 cohort.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,486

#20 – Bellevue University

Bellevue, Nebraska

Online Master’s in Security Management

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Bellevue University offers an online emergency management degree program ideal for individuals interested in security management. This affordable, fully online degree program is designed to prepare students with knowledge in:

  • criminal justice
  • public safety
  • security
  • law enforcement

Classes are delivered online and include:

  • emergency preparedness and management
  • evaluation of security programs
  • homeland security principles and practices
  • principles and theories of security management
  • terrorism
  • homeland defense fundamentals

Admission requires:

  • a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • a GPA of 2.5 or better
  • letters of recommendation

U.S. News and World Report recognizes Bellevue as a top regional university in the Midwest.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,730

#19 – Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, Arizona

Online Master’s in Leadership – Disaster Preparedness

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One of the top affordable online emergency management programs on our list is offered by Grand Canyon University. The master’s is in leadership with an emphasis on disaster preparedness and executive fire leadership. The program is designed to increase emergency awareness and safety readiness. Classes are taught by university professors and delivered online. These courses include:

  • emergency planning and management
  • law and legal issues
  • organizational development and change
  • understanding terrorism’s threat

Classes run for eight weeks, and the program consists of 38 credits. U.S. News and World Report ranks GCU #230-#301 among the best national universities. The school is accredited and one of the most affordable on our list.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,533

#18 – University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida

Online Master of Public Health in Global Disaster Management

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One of the top emergency management master’s degree online programs is both affordable and accredited. It is offered by the University of South Florida. The online master’s in public health has a concentration that emphasizes:

  • global disaster management
  • humanitarian relief
  • homeland security

Courses are administered online and include:

  • emergency and disaster management
  • foundations of humanitarian assistance
  • public health implications and concerns in homeland security

A strong undergraduate GPA and satisfactory GRE scores are required. U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of South Florida #124 in best national universities and #71 in best value schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,428

#17 – Salve Regina University

Newport, Rhode Island

Online Master’s in Administration of Justice and Homeland Security

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Salve Regina University offers online emergency management master’s programs with a flexible curriculum and three concentrations. Emergency management graduates earn a master’s in the administration of justice and homeland security with a concentration in one of the following:

  • cybersecurity and intelligence
  • digital forensics
  • leadership in justice

While the degree may be earned online. Evening courses are offered at some of the school’s different campuses. Twelve courses are required, including:

  • constitutional issues
  • criminal justice research methods
  • public policy in the global environment
  • terrorism and transnational crime

U.S. News and World Report ranks Salve Regina #28 among the best regional universities in the North and #42 in best value schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,730

#16 – Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, Kentucky

Online Master’s in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management

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Eastern Kentucky University’s online emergency management degree is a flexible master’s with 100% online coursework. The program moves quickly, and students graduate within two years. Courses include:

  • business continuity
  • crisis management
  • emergency action plans
  • emergency response
  • management practices
  • training methods

Five concentration areas allow students to tailor their degree toward their interest or to meet career goals. To be admitted to the program, students must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. U.S. News and World Report ranks EKU #76 in best regional universities in the South and #28 in top public schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,200

#15 – Purdue University

West Lafayette, Indiana

Online Master’s in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

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Purdue University offers online emergency management master’s programs including a master’s in homeland security and emergency management. This highly specialized degree prepares graduates for careers in homeland security. Courses are delivered online and taught by Purdue professors. They include:

  • applied research in criminal justice
  • crisis and emergency management fundamentals
  • homeland security policies
  • risk and capability assessment methods

A total of 55 credits satisfy the degree requirements. Purdue is ranked and accredited. Admission requirements include:

  • a bachelor’s from an accredited college or university
  • a satisfactory undergraduate GPA

In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks Purdue #56 in best national universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,530

#14 – Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, Florida

Online Master’s in Emergency and Disaster Management

Saint Leo University

Website

Saint Leo University’s affordable online emergency management programs include a master’s in emergency and disaster management. This fully online degree program offers flexible courses. They are taught by Saint Leo’s experienced professors. The program consists of 36 credits with classes in:

  • ethical issues in criminal justice
  • legal issues in criminal justice
  • management of critical incident operations
  • psychological aspects of critical incidents
  • risk identification and assessment

Admission requires:

  • a bachelor’s from an accredited college or university
  • a satisfactory undergraduate GPA

U.S. News and World Report ranks Saint Leo #47 in best regional universities in the South and #14 in best value schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,218

#13 – Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville, Alabama

Online Master’s in Emergency Management

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The online emergency management master’s programs at Jacksonville State University prepare graduates for careers in:

  • emergency management
  • homeland security
  • disaster preparedness

A total of 30 semester hours are required to complete the degree. Classes include:

  • disaster recovery
  • disaster response
  • emergency preparedness
  • foundations of emergency management
  • research methods in emergency management

An earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required for admission to the master’s in emergency management program. U.S. News and World Report ranks Jacksonville State as a top regional university in the South.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,445

#12 – Towson University

Towson, Maryland

Online Master’s in Integrated Homeland Security Management

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Towson University’s online emergency management programs include the master’s in integrated homeland security management. It is offered completely online. This program prepares students with an in-depth understanding of homeland security issues that interconnect Americans. Three areas of specialization allow students the opportunity to tailor their degrees. These specializations include:

  • health preparedness
  • information assurance
  • security policy

Courses include:

  • emergency communication and management
  • homeland security policy in the U.S.
  • terrorism and political violence

Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college, a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better, and three years of post-bachelor’s experience working in a related field. U.S. News and World Report ranks Towson #50 in the best regional universities in the North.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,028

#11 – University of Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska

Online Master’s in Emergency Preparedness

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The University of Nebraska offers emergency management master’s degree online programs designed for working students. The program is structured to prepare professionals in a world where emergency preparedness and response skills are needed to assist public health. Courses are delivered online and taught by the same experienced professors who teach on campus. These classes include:

  • applied research in public health
  • emergency preparedness protection
  • emergency preparedness response and recovery
  • foundations of public health
  • introduction to epidemiology

Admission requires an earned bachelor’s with a 3.0 GPA, three letters of recommendation, and GRE scores. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school among the #230-#301 in best national universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,552

#10 – Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

Online Master of Public Administration – Disaster Management

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Liberty University’s online emergency management degree program is a master’s in public administration. It has a concentration disaster management concentration. The 36-credit hour program takes 1.5 years to complete. It can be done entirely online. Classes run eight weeks in length and are taught by university professors. These classes include:

  • applied public policy research methods
  • hazard mitigation
  • introduction to disaster management
  • understanding terrorism
  • homeland security

Applicants must have an accredited bachelor’s with a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. GRE scores are not required. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank Liberty #230-#301 in best national universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,360

#9 – Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Online Master’s in Homeland Security

Natchitoches, Louisiana

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One of the top and most affordable online master’s in emergency management programs on our list is the master’s in homeland security from Northwestern State University of Louisiana. This fully online degree program is designed to prepare students with a deeper understanding of homeland security and the global implications of security issues. Classes are delivered online and include:

  • domestic terrorism prevention and analysis
  • international terrorism
  • network security and cyberterrorism
  • research design and methods in homeland security

A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is required for admission. U.S. News and World Report ranks Northwestern State #107-#141 in best regional universities in the South.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,598

#8 – Wilmington University

New Castle, Delaware

Online Master’s in Homeland Security

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For those interested in affordable online emergency management master’s programs, Wilmington University offers a master’s in homeland security. The degree is customizable and can be completed 100% online. Specialization areas include:

  • information assurance
  • military leadership
  • organizational leadership
  • safety and security

Core courses, no matter which specialization you choose, include the following:

  • contemporary issues in homeland security
  • legal aspects and policy of homeland security
  • research methods in criminal justice
  • sociology of terrorism

Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank Wilmington as a top national university. Also, several of the school’s online graduate programs rank in the top 250.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,060

#7 – Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, Texas

Online Master’s in Homeland Security Studies

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Sam Houston State University offers graduate programs in homeland security designed for those interested in an inexpensive master’s in emergency management online. The program is entirely online and offers courses in both homeland security and emergency preparedness. Some of the required classes include:

  • critical infrastructure protection
  • foundations of homeland security
  • law and ethics in homeland security
  • research methods in homeland security studies
  • unconventional threats

Admission requirements include:

  • three letters of recommendation
  • official transcripts
  • an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university

U.S. News and World Report ranks Sam Houston as a top national university. Also, the online graduate criminal justice programs, which include homeland security, rank #1 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,666

#6 – American Public University System

Charles Town, West Virginia

Online Master’s in Emergency and Disaster Management

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American Public University System offers online emergency management programs. This includes the master’s in emergency and disaster management. The program is taught by credentialed and experienced instructors, many of whom are board-certified emergency managers. The program consists of 36 credits and takes two years to complete. Courses include:

  • crisis action planning
  • emergency and disaster theory
  • interagency disaster management
  • research design and methods
  • a three-credit capstone project

Admission requirements include an earned bachelor’s from an accredited institution and official transcripts from all previous colleges. U.S. News and World Report recognizes APU as a top regional university in the South.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,050

#5 – Angelo State University

San Angelo, Texas

Online Master’s in Homeland Security

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Angelo State University’s emergency management master’s degree online focuses on homeland security. Admission to the program does not require the GRE. Applicants must have an accredited bachelor’s with a GPA of 2.75 or better. The degree is offered entirely online with classes delivered in a sixteen-week format. Classes include:

  • introduction to geographic information systems
  • national security policy
  • seminar in criminal justice ethics
  • seminar in emergency planning
  • studies in weapons of mass destruction hazards and responses

U.S. News and World Report ranks Angelo State #96-#127 in best regional universities in the West. Also, the online graduate criminal justice programs, including homeland security, rank #51-#67 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,246

#4 – Arkansas Tech University

Russellville, Arkansas

Online Master’s in Emergency Management and Homeland Security

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Arkansas Tech University’s master’s in emergency management online degree program is designed for working practitioners and those seeking a graduate degree. Admission requires an accredited bachelor’s degree with official transcripts, a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, and the completion of a letter of intent with research interests and career goals. Courses are delivered online and taught by Arkansas Tech professors. These courses include:

  • emergency technology in emergency management and homeland security
  • foundation of leadership
  • principles of emergency management
  • research design and methods

U.S. News and World Report ranks the institution #102 in best regional universities in the South and #42 in top public schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,037

#3 – Arkansas State University

Jonesboro, Arkansas

Online Master’s in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management

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Arkansas State University’s online emergency management degree is an interdisciplinary program. It prepares professionals for careers meeting the demands of disaster preparedness and emergency response. An earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required for admission. The program consists of 36 credits and either a seminar topics course or a sixty-hour practicum. University professors lead all online classes. These classes include:

  • crisis communications
  • global perspectives
  • health care issues and policies related to disaster preparedness and emergency management
  • theory development in disaster preparedness

U.S. News and World Report ranks ASU #95 in best regional universities in the South and #38 in top public schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,422

#2 – Trident University International

Cypress, California

Online Master’s in Homeland Security

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Trident University International is one of the most affordable online master’s in emergency management or homeland security degree programs on our list. It is a master’s in homeland security at Trident University International. This fully online master’s emergency management degree program provides a solid foundation in homeland security and prepares students to become thought leaders in the field. Four concentration options allow students to tailor their degree. These concentrations include:

  • cybersecurity
  • emergency and disaster management
  • leadership
  • logistics

Courses are delivered online and include 40 semester credits of core classes and electives. The admission process is standard and requires an earned bachelor’s with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5. No GRE, MAT, or GMAT scores are required for admission. U.S. News and World Report recognizes Trident as an unranked national university.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,120

#1 – University of Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada

Online Master’s in Emergency and Crisis Management

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The most affordable master’s in emergency management online program on our list is offered by the University of Nevada. UNLV was one of the first institutions to create an emergency and crisis management degree program following the September 11th attacks. The program is designed for individuals who are employed full-time and have difficulty attending traditional on-campus classes. All classes are delivered online. These courses cover topics like:

  • evolution of terrorism
  • the science of catastrophes

Classes are taught by the same professors who instruct on campus. The online emergency management program mirrors the on-campus counterpart. U.S. News and World Report rank UNLV #230-#301 in best national universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,607

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Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a master’s in emergency management online degree?

Emergency management graduates go on to become managers and disaster specialists protect the population during disasters and emergencies. Emergencies may come in the form of natural disasters, such as hurricanes or earthquakes, or terrorist situations. To acquire an advanced career in emergency management, one must earn an advanced degree, such as a master’s in emergency management online.

The work environment for most emergency management specialists is at the state or local government level. Directors may work in police force, fire safety, or other disaster relief organizations. Directors are responsible for conducting training courses and leading response efforts. They may also visit schools and hospitals, or conduct press conferences or outreach activities. Many times, the emergency management director is the public face of the response team.

Hospitals, universities, or private companies hire emergency management graduates. Director jobs require advanced schooling, such as a master’s in emergency management program online. In the private sector, as well as in state and local government and emergency managers revise and execute plans and preparation to assist with future disasters and emergencies.

There are three professional organizations for emergency managers::

  • Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response Association
  • International Association of Emergency Managers
  • National Emergency Management Association

Benefits of belonging to at least one of these organizations include job listings and in-person networking events.

How much will master’s in emergency management online programs cost?

Master’s in emergency management online programs cost vary among schools and degrees. State residency can dramatically cut costs when attending public universities, since some institutions charge higher tuition and fees for out-of-state residents. The emergency management online programs on our list range from $52,960 to $5,776 per year. This is quite a price difference. However, even some of the most expensive programs on our list offer tuition breaks and scholarship opportunities for graduate students, which can dramatically cut costs.

Online learners will need to factor in technology costs. Technology fees are historically higher for online students than traditional students. These fees cover connectivity, high-speed internet, and privacy networks. The purpose of the technology fee is to ensure online students receive an efficient learning environment. Depending on the institution, the fee may also cover the cost of delivering online courses to remote locations, thus providing education to individuals anywhere in the world.

While tuition and fees vary among schools, on average, students should expect to pay between $8,000 and $23,000 in tuition/fees per year. On our list of the 50 most affordable schools, 15 of the programs cost less than $10,000 per year.

What are the admissions requirements for master’s in emergency management online degree programs?

Admission requirements for master’s in emergency management online programs vary from school to school; however, most programs listed above require an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

Programs also consider the undergraduate GPA. Official transcripts from all college-level work must be submitted. Many schools require a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, though some programs accept a minimum of 2.75 or as low as 2.5. If your GPA falls below the program’s minimum requirement, you may still be accepted. Some schools offer provisional admission or accept standardized graduate test scores to help demonstrate the student’s academic capacity.

Other admission requirements for emergency management online programs include letters of recommendation from employers and individuals who can attest to the student’s academic ability (such as professors) and a statement of purpose or goals. While some schools require GRE or GMAT scores, others may waive the requirement when the applicant has an undergraduate GPA above 3.0. While few schools on our list required work experience for admission, some programs recommend having at least one year of applicable work experience in safety or emergency management. Volunteer work or an internship may satisfy the work experience component of the application.

How much will I make with an online master’s in emergency management?

According to PayScale, a global organization pioneering the use of big data and unique matching algorithms to collect information on compensation, emergency management specialists earn $57,550 per year, and emergency preparedness managers earn $66,162 per year. The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the most recent median pay for this occupation is $72,760 per year or $34.98 per hour.

Most emergency management directors hold advanced degrees, such as a master’s in emergency management online degree, or have extensive work experience. Directors work full-time, are often called in after hours, and may need to work overtime when response efforts are carried out, and support is needed for emergency management operations. It is not unusual for emergency management directors to work weekends or evening hours to meet with the press, various community groups, or response teams. When a critical emergency arises, the emergency manager or director needs to be accessible.

According to BLS and the most recently published Occupational Outlook Handbook, the lowest ten percent of emergency management directors earned less than $38,270, and the highest ten percent earned more than $141,620 per year. Professional, scientific, and technical services typically paid the highest salaries, while state governments, excluding education and hospitals, paid the lowest.

What is the career outlook for master’s in emergency management online degree holders?

The employment of emergency directors and managers is expected to increase eight percent through 2026, according to the latest job outlook projection from the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The steady yet anticipated growth should come as local and state governments rely on financial assistance at the federal level and can expand their emergency preparedness efforts. A heavier weight will be placed on officials to minimize the risks from emergencies and help sustain preparedness efforts. Hiring emergency managers, safety experts, and preparedness personnel should continue over the next several years.

Competition is also anticipated, especially in local governments and director emergency management positions, as job openings are limited. However, expected retirements over the next ten years will provide opportunities for those seeking employment in this field. Applicants with extensive experience and advanced degrees, like the master’s in emergency management online degree, will have the best job prospects throughout the next ten years.

The anticipated employment growth for emergency management positions is about as fast as the average for all other management occupations. To set yourself apart from the competition, advanced training and education will be required.

CVO Staff

Additional Resources:

This concludes our list of the top 50 best most affordable online master’s in emergency management degree programs.