Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees

The nature of worldwide disaster incidents are changing, and so are our methods for responding to them. As a result, the field of emergency management has become one of the fastest growing professions, drawing dynamic thinkers and skilled planners from various occupational backgrounds. A challenging but rewarding field, emergency managers design and implement policies in preparation for the occurrence of natural and manmade disasters of all magnitudes.

This is a relatively and highly competitive profession. With an average job growth rate of 6%, it’s easy to see why interested individuals are seeking bachelor’s degrees to set themselves apart from the crowd. A bachelor’s program builds foundational knowledge in crucial areas like threat assessment, security operations, and response coordination, as well as nonprofit management skills. Many students also use their bachelor’s degree to enter graduate programs, enhancing their marketability while taking their education to the next level.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the commitment — and the cost — of earning a bachelor’s in emergency management. Increasingly, busy learners are turning to self-paced online courses for an affordable college education. The following accredited programs offer the same strong academics as their traditional counterparts, but they also allow you to study whenever and wherever is most convenient. Offering the highest returns for the lowest tuitions, these flexible programs are ideal for anyone seeking to earn a cheap online emergency management degree in as little as two years.

Most Affordable Online Emergency Management Degrees
Rank School Score Toggle Content

Arkansas State University

Value Score 6.78
Average Tuition $6,000
Net Price $10,521
Graduation Rate 39%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 50
Number of Online Programs 11

With 156 fields of study and a student body representative of nearly every state and 70 countries, ASU is a well-known regional provider of lifelong learning. Through the school's Prior Learning Assessment program -- also known as experiential credit -- ASU students can apply up to 30 credits to their undergraduate degree. Applicable experience includes employment, training programs, military service, and independent study. The school's BS in disaster preparedness and emergency management, for instance, consists of 120 credits total, but students with PLA credit can cut the time needed to complete the degree by a fourth, creating an even more affordable and flexible program. Tuition at ASU is the same for all U.S. residents.

ASU's online emergency management degree program prepares students in topics such as disaster preparedness, mitigation, planning, response, and recovery. All students take on an area of emphasis over 25 credits, covering politics and disaster, managing radiological incidents, and crisis communication. Class sizes at ASU are small, and degree candidates are encouraged to seek an advisor early in their college career to ensure they're on the right track. The school's recommended roadmap encourages students to complete the degree in eight semesters (each consisting of 15 to 16 credits). Applicants must have earned a 2.75 GPA or better submit ACT or SAT test scores. ASU offers conditional admission. Incoming freshmen with an ACT score of at least 28 and a high-school GPA of 3.5 or higher will be formally admitted to ASU's Honors College.

Visit School Website

SUNY College of Technology at Canton

Value Score 6.56
Average Tuition $6,470
Net Price $8,595
Graduation Rate 34%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 57
Number of Online Programs 9

Founded in 1906, SUNY Canton embraces hands-on learning woven into a ladder curriculum tailored to best prepare students for future leadership roles. The school offers 25 career-driven bachelor's degrees, including its BS in emergency management, a 123-125 credit program focused on developing emergency managers and leaders in homeland security. Classes are delivered asynchronously, and most are taught in seven-week sessions. Students admitted to this online emergency management degree will take part in virtual disaster simulations, and will have the opportunity to develop research projects or participate in EADM internships.

Graduation from SUNY Canton's emergency management degree online program finds students well-equipped with the skills and knowledge to analyze and learn from past disasters, to develop hazard and vulnerability assessments, and to prepare communities and organizations for natural and technological emergencies, disasters, and catastrophes. On average, learners take eight semesters of 15-17 credits each to complete the degree, culminating with a disaster simulation for six credits and either an internship or senior project for nine. An ACT or SAT score is required of all applicants.

Visit School Website

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Value Score 6.26
Average Tuition $8,520
Net Price $16,673
Graduation Rate 28%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 94
Number of Online Programs 12

Since 1971, ERAU has offered distance learning through its worldwide campuses. Today, students choose from 12 undergraduate and 10 graduate terms throughout the year; each session lasts nine weeks. ERAU's BS in emergency services is offered entirely online, and is ideal for distance learners juggling school with a job or raising a family. The curriculum comprehensively covers emergency-response concepts, from human behavior to structures and systems to investigation and analysis. Based on the National Fire Academy's Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education curriculum model, the program carries the organization's certificate of recognition.

ERAU's 120-credit online emergency management degree is all-encompassing. Students choose from two specializations: aviation emergency management or fire and emergency services. The aviation concentration covers areas such as aircraft accidents, airport emergencies, and aviation safety, while the fire and emergency services track focuses on emergency response, risk reduction, and operational issues. Transfer credit is accepted, and for active-duty students, the program is cheap and accommodating. The school's new low tuition rate applies to all active-duty service members and reserves.

Visit School Website

Bellevue University

Value Score 5.90
Average Tuition $6,600
Net Price $8,204
Graduation Rate 18%
Student to Faculty Ratio 31:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 87
Number of Online Programs 37

Founded in 1966 and based in Nebraska, Bellevue has recently implemented a skills-to-performance learning model that emphasizes performance expectations and helps students follow their own academic paths. Bellevue's BS in emergency management is a 127-credit program that provides students with the knowledge to pursue careers in such fields as law enforcement, firefighting, or security. Students complete a mix of courses, checking off 36 general education credits, 42 elective credits, and 40 major credits. All students must complete nine credits in the school's unique Kirkpatrick Signature Series, which covers topics such as American tradition, freedom, and responsibility.

Degree candidates take classes as part of a cohort and the curriculum is delivered in a building-block approach, culminating in mastery of the application of emergency mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. While tuition at Bellevue is the same for distance learners as it is for traditional students, active-duty members of the U.S. military and reserve service are eligible for a substantial discount. For many, this online emergency management degree is an affordable, prudent choice for career advancement or future career transition. Bellevue is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Visit School Website

University of Central Missouri

Value Score 5.85
Average Tuition $6,446
Net Price $11,227
Graduation Rate 52%
Student to Faculty Ratio 20:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 33
Number of Online Programs 6

Located in Warrensburg, Missouri, UCM serves more than 14,000 students, representing nearly every state and 50 nations. The school values lifelong learning and emphasizes hands-on, real-world experience in its future-focused academic programs. Bellevue's BS in crisis and disaster management is one such program, focused on professional development through integrated study. All students in this online emergency management degree must complete a practicum, a structured field experience to complement their textbook study.

UCM's 120-credit program is divided into four sections -- core, concentration, general education, and elective courses -- and students choose from three concentrations: emergency management, hazardous materials, or business continuity. What's more, military members are encouraged to consider UCM's four certificate programs in crisis and disaster management, as these programs can transfer to the school's BS program. Each certificate consists of 12 credits. As for admissions, first-year students are evaluated based on their ACT/SAT score, class rank, and GPA. For transfer students with at least 24 credits, a minimum GPA of 2.0 is the program's primary prerequisite.

Visit School Website

Arkansas Tech University

Value Score 5.77
Average Tuition $5,160
Net Price $9,061
Graduation Rate 46%
Student to Faculty Ratio 19:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 36
Number of Online Programs 2

Offered through the school's College of Engineering & Applied Sciences, ATU's BS in emergency management is a 120-credit program that bridges theory and practice. Students will learn not only about emergency planning and preparedness, but they will also explore topics like cultural considerations, human behavior, and FEMA. Before graduation, students complete 12 credits of internship/practicum study and a capstone in which they convert classroom training into real-world application. These two requirements may be taken concurrently. Degree completion time varies but ATU's sample matrix outlines eight semesters of 12 to 16 credits each.

ATU requires students to complete 60 hours of EAM courses, including 33 core courses covering such topics as mitigation and continuity of operations, living in a hazardous environment, and the emergency management doctrine. For these core courses, students must earn a "C" or better. An 18-credit minor in emergency management is also available. ATU is accredited to offer this online emergency management degree by the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities. Note that students who meet the program's minimum coursework and GPA requirements are eligible for ATU's College Distinction program, designed to further challenge students through an enrichment course and enhanced capstone.

Visit School Website

Trine University

Value Score 5.41
Average Tuition $10,320
Net Price $21,166
Graduation Rate 0%
Student to Faculty Ratio 10:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 87
Number of Online Programs 10

Founded in 1884 in Peoria, Arizona, today Trine University offers a wide range of degree programs delivered through various formats, including traditional, blended, and online. The school's BS in emergency management is a 120-credit program offered in eight-week accelerated courses. Students can choose from two concentration modules: business continuity and emergency response. The program, which requires 30 credits in emergency management, tackles the phases of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery, as well as the array of hazards and disasters a community, organization, or nation may face.

Trine encourages prospective students to inquire about the school's generous transfer-credit policy, which accepts up to 89 credits toward an undergraduate degree. Credit is awarded for a variety of experience, including lifelong learning and previous academic study, CLEP, DANTES, employment, and military training, all of which make this online emergency management degree among the most affordable programs in the field. Trine is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Visit School Website

Bethel University

Value Score 5.37
Average Tuition $14,564
Net Price $17,346
Graduation Rate 34%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 44
Number of Online Programs 7

For decades now, Bethel has been an advocate for lifelong learning and helping individuals realize their full potential through academic study in a Christian environment. Its 1997 Success Program for example was designed specifically to best accommodate the busy schedules of working adults. This same objective can be found in the school's BS in emergency management degree, which is delivered entirely online. Candidates in the program typically have at least 30 credits of previous college experience. A total of 80 credits may be applied toward this online emergency management degree, allowing students to graduate at an even quicker, accelerated pace.

Graduates learn how to lead and protect in the event of emergency, disaster, or catastrophe. Bethel students generally take four semesters to complete the 48 ESM concentration credits, with courses covering subjects like cybersecurity, science and hazards, and public safety; all coursework begins with an introduction to adult learning. Tuition at Bethel is all-inclusive, with course fees, textbooks, and materials factored into the school's rate. Applicants must provide officials transcripts and training documents such as certificates.

Visit School Website

Immaculata University

Value Score 5.23
Average Tuition $33,280
Net Price $28,967
Graduation Rate 70%
Student to Faculty Ratio 9:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 31
Number of Online Programs 6

Founded in 1920, Immaculata offers more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degree programs, including eight degree-completion programs that are delivered entirely online. Immaculata's BS in emergency planning and management is a 126-credit distance-learning program that prepares students to lead in the face of emergency or crisis. Graduates develop the acumen to plan and respond to disaster, as well as identify the strengths and weaknesses of a solution. Credits are split among a liberal arts core, electives, and the EPM major, and the program's accelerated terms run seven to eight weeks. Courses are taught asynchronously.

Immaculata is a transfer-friendly learning institution and the school accepts up to 72 undergraduate transfer credits. The college regularly awards credit for prior learning (such as military training, CLEP, or DANTES) and every student's unique background is reviewed by an advisor. Students who come to this degree with 64 credits can complete the major's requirements within two years. Tuition is offered at a discount for armed services members and military benefits are maximized. This online emergency management degree is recognized by FEMA.

Visit School Website

Adelphi University

Value Score 5.15
Average Tuition $32,380
Net Price $22,963
Graduation Rate 67%
Student to Faculty Ratio 11:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 6
Number of Online Programs 2

Adelphi began serving the educational needs of working adults in 1973 through its ABLE program, and today, the school offers more than a dozen degrees for working professionals. Adelphi's BS in emergency services administration program, designed for those in public safety, debuted in 2007 as the school's first fully online program. Today its curriculum continues to evolve to keep pace with the changes and demands of emergency response and management. For students with a full 60 credits of prior learning, the degree can be completed in just four semesters. Potential sources for prior learning credit include academy work, military training, and certification.

To meet the requirements of this emergency management degree online program, students must complete at least 30 credits at Adelphi; they may also transfer in up to 30 credits. Distance learners must maintain a 2.5 GPA for all coursework. For those looking to continue their education, Adelphi also offers a master of science in emergency management. Note that at this time the school is not authorized to offer any of its online program to Arkansas or North Carolina residents.

Visit School Website

Ohio Christian University

Value Score 5.13
Average Tuition $17,490
Net Price $16,184
Graduation Rate 33%
Student to Faculty Ratio 12:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 58
Number of Online Programs 12

Ohio Christian University's BA in business and disaster management program with a relief concentration prepares graduates to effectively lead during an emergency, crisis, or disaster. Courses for this concentration address a variety of subjects, including natural and manmade disasters, understanding trauma, intervention, and conflict. Each concentration course runs five weeks. Classes are taught asynchronously.

The online bachelor's degree in emergency management from OCU is exactly the same as the one taught to traditional students on the Circleville, Ohio campus. To graduate, students must maintain a 2.0 GPA or better a. Applicants are expected to have at least 50 transfer credits, from which they earned a 2.0 GPA or better at an accredited college. With these credits, students will attain advanced standing and can finish the program is as little as two years. Affordable tuition is available to military personnel, veterans, spouses, and dependents 23 years old or younger. OCU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Visit School Website

Philadelphia University

Value Score 5.10
Average Tuition $35,620
Net Price $23,664
Graduation Rate 65%
Student to Faculty Ratio 13:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 14
Number of Online Programs 5

With more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degrees, Philadelphia University provides career-oriented programs that prepare students for advancement in their chosen field. The school's BS in health services management is one such program. This 120-credit program helps students learn the basics of effective leadership in a healthcare setting, and is composed of 21 professional core credits and 15 major concentration credits. Courses delve into a variety of topics, such as cross-cultural communication, public policy and planning, and emerging issues in healthcare. The curriculum is delivered in eight-week terms and most students graduate in two to three years.

PhilaU Online programs blend a liberal arts education with professional studies and interdisciplinary learning. Graduates of this bachelor's degree in health services management program walk away prepared to make a difference, both in times of calm and during an emergency or disaster. The school accepts transfer credits and students work closely with their academic advisor from their first day in school. Tuition remains the same for all undergraduate distance learners. Philadelphia University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Visit School Website

Barry University

Value Score 4.63
Average Tuition $28,800
Net Price $22,047
Graduation Rate 33%
Student to Faculty Ratio 12:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 10
Number of Online Programs 5

Located in Miami and founded in 1940, today Barry University is a major learning institution in South Florida. Barry provides an integrated approach to a liberal arts education and its BS in emergency management program, which is available entirely online, falls under the school's PACE or Professional and Career Education program. This 120-credit degree extensively explores the tactics and strategies behind the four phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Core courses cover such topics as biomedical sciences and international disaster management. This program requires students to complete a capstone project and the program's student-to-faculty ratio is 14-to-1.

Graduates from this 120-credit online bachelor's degree in emergency management program emerge armed and ready to assume leadership roles in homeland security, hazard mitigation, and business continuity. Degree candidates work with academic advisors to determine the best roadmap for both learning and career goals, at which time they also assess whether or not they can apply transfer credits earned at a previous institution. Up to 30 college credits can be earned through work experience or community service. Barry is military friendly, follows a rolling admissions policy, and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Visit School Website

Indiana Institute of Technology

Value Score 4.34
Average Tuition $25,180
Net Price $25,840
Graduation Rate 32%
Student to Faculty Ratio 31:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 63
Number of Online Programs 9

Founded in 1930 as an engineering college, today Indiana Tech offers more than 55 career-focused degree programs through seven academic divisions. Indiana Tech's BS in emergency response management is one of seven programs administered by the school's Center for Criminal Justice, which takes a hands-on approach to teaching the criminal sciences. Through this accelerated program, students obtain the skills and knowledge needed to negotiate the four-phases framework of emergency management. Upon graduation, students are ready to protect life and property, and to help communities and organizations survive an emergency, whether natural or man-made.

Proof of Indiana Tech's embrace of nontraditional learning can be found in the university's enrollment numbers: of its approximately 7,500 students, more than 5,400 undergraduates take their courses in the evening, over the weekend, or online. The school's emergency management degree online program, which is offered entirely through an eLearning platform, is split into 66 required-course credits, 27 elective credits, and 27 core major credits. From risk assessment to incident command, coursework for Indiana Tech's bachelor of science degree program is comprehensive. Courses are taught asynchronously, but are also interactive -- faculty and fellow students regularly interact online, engaging in discussions, debates, and collaborative study. Indiana Tech's student-to-faculty ratio is 19-to-1 and the school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Visit School Website

Everglades University

Value Score 4.15
Average Tuition $15,048
Net Price $24,760
Graduation Rate 33%
Student to Faculty Ratio 11:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 64
Number of Online Programs 6

Based in Boca Raton, Florida and dedicated to the continued education of adult learners, Everglades University is one of the nation's newer colleges. The school emphasizes small classes and interactive, collaborative learning. Its BS in crisis and disaster management program is a 123-credit program that prepares students for work in public safety. The curriculum focuses on the management skills and business knowledge needed to handle a crisis or disaster, while combining them with a general education foundation to create a broad-based learning experience. In addition to 30 credits in GE courses, students will also complete 18 credits in required lower-division courses, 21 in interdisciplinary studies (IDS), and 54 in upper-division courses that cover topics like crisis and disaster psychology, public policy, and disaster and society.

The school allows prior learning to be applied as IDS credits, a notably cheap and quick way to check off a portion of this emergency management bachelor degree online program. Courses in business administration, macroeconomics, international business, and human resource management are commonly accepted for credit (acceptance is at the discretion of the university). Most students take 41 months to graduate Everglades employs a rolling admissions policy, and applicants must provide their school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores prior to acceptance. Candidates may be allowed to take Everglades's own entrance exam, for which a score of 15 or higher is required.

Visit School Website

Related Nursing & Healthcare Rankings