Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in Emergency Management

Emergency management is a relatively new and rapidly growing occupational field dedicated to the management of catastrophic events through risk assessment, planning, and preparation. As issues such as national security and terrorism become increasingly important, emergency management has become the career of choice for people who love to develop and implement solutions to challenging problems. While some enter the field with a bachelor’s degree or a background in first response, more and more people are seeking a master’s degree to set themselves apart in this highly competitive field.

A master’s program provides students with the information they need to excel in emergency management, addressing topics in risk assessment, organizational theory, and security. Scenario-based courses require students to apply their knowledge to real-life incidents and populations. Unlike bachelor’s programs, graduate coursework allows you to fully focus on the specialized field of emergency management, gaining valuable skills that are highly sought out by employers. With a median salary of $70,500, many graduates who take on the role of emergency management director find it financially as well as intellectually rewarding.

Increasingly, many people are choosing to earn an affordable emergency management master’s degree online. Offering the same rigorous academics as traditional programs, self-paced online courses allow you to study whenever and wherever it’s most convenient. Some programs can be completed in as little as two years. The following accredited programs let you earn a cheap online master’s degree in emergency management, offering the highest returns for the lowest tuition costs.


10 Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Emergency Management
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1

Arkansas State University

Value Score 8.84
Average Tuition $4,572
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 72%
Number of Online Programs 12
Part-time cost per credit hour $254

A-State offers an affordable online master's degree in emergency management through its Department of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management. The master's of science in disaster preparedness and emergency is an interdisciplinary program that helps students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to prepare for disasters and to mitigate their consequences through appropriate planning, response, and recovery. The 36-credit curriculum includes courses on a variety of emergency preparedness topics, such as communication in disaster situations, radiological emergencies, pandemic planning, teaching emergency response, and more. Students must also complete an internship, research project, or thesis at the end of the program.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree and have completed prerequisite courses in incident command system and incident command system within healthcare organizations to be considered. They must also interview with a program adviser to determine how the program aligns with their career interests and long-term professional goals. A-State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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2

University of Maryland-University College

Value Score 7.66
Average Tuition $8,244
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 95%
Number of Online Programs 17
Part-time cost per credit hour $458

UMUC offers an online master's degree in emergency management that prepares graduates for leadership roles within the field. This 36-credit program emphasizes leadership and operational tactics to ensure that students learn the competencies within the mission areas of the National Preparedness Goal, which include prevention, mitigation, and recovery. The program leverages data from real-world crises in coursework to best prepare students for an actual crisis.

The curriculum includes courses on a variety of emergency preparedness topics, including disaster scenarios in large populations areas and risk assessment of urban areas. Students must also complete a strategic management capstone class that investigates how strategy integrates with an organization within internal and external environments. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Certified Emergency manager certification exam. Students may also join the university's Public Safety Administration Forum, which encourages information sharing and provides career information. UMUC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


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3

Arkansas Tech University

Value Score 7.57
Average Tuition $4,842
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 67%
Number of Online Programs 6
Part-time cost per credit hour $269

ATU offers a cheap online master's degree in emergency management through its Department of Emergency Management. The master's of science in emergency management and homeland security program teaches students about disaster preparation, response, and recovery at the federal, state, and local levels.

The multidisciplinary curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, such as disaster relief and recovery, community management of hazardous materials, and risk and vulnerability assessment for business and industry. Transfer students may apply up to nine credits towards their degree as long as they were earned with at least a "B" grade. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and provide a statement of intent about their career goals to be considered. ATU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and this program is accredited by the Foundation for Higher Education Accreditation.


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4

Arizona State University-Skysong

Value Score 6.75
Average Tuition $5,904
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 97%
Number of Online Programs 10
Part-time cost per credit hour $492

ASU offers a master's in emergency management online that prepares graduates for careers within nonprofit and private-sector entities as emergency management directors, risk management specialists, and transportation security managers. The 33-credit program includes 11 courses that require an average of eight hours of study each week. This affordable online master's degree in emergency management is offered through ASU's College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, such as hazards governance, geographic information systems and analysis, and data analysis in criminal justice. Students can also choose a concentration in emergency management, community resilience, biosecurity and threat management, or homeland security. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. Applicants must have either a bachelor's or master's degree in criminal justice, public administration, or social work, and a minimum GPA of 3.0 during their last 60 hours of study to be considered. They must also show evidence of either current employment or at least two years of work experience in a related field, as well as submit two letters of recommendation and a written statement. ASU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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5

Jacksonville State University

Value Score 6.33
Average Tuition $8,904
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 64%
Number of Online Programs 12
Part-time cost per credit hour $371

JSU offers an online master's degree in emergency management through the Department of Emergency Management. This 30-credit program prepares students to pursue leadership roles in in helping people and organizations prepare and recover from major events at the federal, state, and local levels. Courses are offered asynchronously online, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace.

The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, including hazard mitigation, legal aspects of emergency management, and biosecurity. Students must also pass a comprehensive exam at the end of the program. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree, official exam scores, graduate reference forms, and pass a background check to be considered. The university also accepts up to six hours of transfer credits from another accredited institution. JSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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6

Millersville University of Pennsylvania

Value Score 5.30
Average Tuition $8,460
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 23%
Number of Online Programs 1
Part-time cost per credit hour $470

MU offers an emergency management master's online through its Center for Disaster Research & Education. Students can pursue this master’s degree in emergency management online at either a part- or full-time basis. Graduates are prepared to pursue emergency management roles in both private and nonprofit entities, including consulting firms, disaster relief organizations, and the military.

This comprehensive program leverages the real-world experience of faculty to teach students about disaster planning, mitigation, and response. The 30-credit curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, such as terrorism, mental health and trauma, and communications. Graduates are eligible to sit for the International Association of Emergency Managers’ Certified Emergency Manager exam at either the associate or professional level depending on their experience. Those who want to earn a master's of social work can pursue the school's joint degree program. MU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


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7

Southern New Hampshire University

Value Score 5.07
Average Tuition $18,810
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 92%
Number of Online Programs 33
Part-time cost per credit hour $627

SNHU offers a emergency management master's degree online that teaches students how to plan, prepare for, and respond to threat like hazardous spills, disasters, and security breaches. Graduates from this affordable master's in emergency management online program are prepared to pursue careers in public agencies and private firms on the federal, state, and local levels.

The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, such as applied emergency management, disaster response and recovery, corporate communications, and strategic human resource management. Students can complete this program in just 15 months as long as they enroll in two courses per each 10-week term. The school has a rolling admissions cycle and students can begin this program during any one of SNHU's five graduate terms. Acceptance decisions are typically made within days of submitting all required materials. SNHU is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.


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8

Lander University

Value Score 5.06
Average Tuition $11,008
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 76%
Number of Online Programs 4
Part-time cost per credit hour $491

Lander University offers an online master’s degree in emergency management that teaches students how to prepare and respond to situations like chemical spills, blizzards, terrorism, earthquakes, and hurricanes. This online master’s in emergency management is ideal for those whose career involves nonprofit management, first response, government planning, or insurance adjustment. Students learn about intergovernmental relations as well as the interplay between FEMA, Homeland Security, the National Guard, and various other agencies in all phases of emergency management.

The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, such as phases of emergencies, intergovernmental relations among federal agencies, socioeconomic impacts of disasters, and the responsibilities of emergency management leadership. Lander allows students to complete courses within one year if their professional demands interrupt their study in any given academic term. Lander is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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9

Philadelphia University

Value Score 3.48
Average Tuition $18,900
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 25%
Number of Online Programs 4
Part-time cost per credit hour $1,050

This master's of science in disaster medicine and management at Philadelphia University is delivered in partnership with the Department of Emergency Medicine of the Albert Einstein Health Network. This emergency management master's online program includes instruction on the effects of natural and man-made catastrophes like wildfires, floods, hurricanes, terrorism, and war. Students learn how to effectively respond to these calamities without losing sight of public health consequences.

The 36-credit curriculum includes lectures and hands-on skills labs that explore a variety of topics, including emergency management, public health, disaster exercises and drills, and psychological aspects of disaster. This program is offered entirely online with the exception of a week-long on-campus requirement during one summer term. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree and submit a resume, personal statement, and two letters of recommendation to be considered. They should have also completed coursework in college writing, college-level math or statistics, biology/anatomy, and behavioral science. PhilaU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


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10

Adler University

Value Score 2.58
Average Tuition $28,625
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 23%
Number of Online Programs 4
Part-time cost per credit hour $1,145

The online master’s degree in emergency management at Adler University was the nation’s first fully online master's of arts in emergency management leadership. The program’s curriculum emphasizes disaster preparation, mitigation, and response. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers as disaster relief coordinators, emergency response planners, federal emergency management agency officials, and more.

Students can complete this 37-credit program in just two years of part-time study. The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, such as emergency management systems, effective communication, and psychology of terrorism. There is also a culminating capstone project at the end of the program. Graduates are prepared to earn a variety of certifications, including the Associate Emergency Manager designation and the Professional Development Series Certificate of Achievement from the Emergency Management Institute. Adler is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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