Best Online Bachelor's in Emergency Management Degrees

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 11/24/2020
Quick Facts
Accreditation: Institutional
Average Tuition: $24,100
Alumni Salary: $46,390

Online emergency management degrees are available at all levels from associate to doctoral degrees. Students pursuing degrees in emergency management should be prepared for a high-stress career that involves frequently working under pressure while making quick decisions. Those who work in emergency management may work with a relief organization coordinating aid to people affected by a natural disaster, with a government agency creating protocols for responding to a terrorist attack, or in any number of first-responder jobs such as firefighters, EMTs, and police officers. Our list of the best online bachelor's in emergency management programs may be a helpful resource for those interested in pursuing the degree. This ranking features the 25 best value schools based on alumni salaries and low tuition rates. We also offer a list of the best online master's programs in emergency management.

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2020 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in Emergency Management Degrees

2020 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in Emergency Management Badge

The 22 schools on this list are the best value options for obtaining an online bachelor's degree in emergency management based on alumni salaries and low tuition rates. Graduates of the #1 school, New England College, report earning a median salary of $100,088. University of Alaska Fairbanks offers distance learners a Bachelor of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for $10,140 per year. Alumni reported a mid-career salary of $91,899.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

RankSchool Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 New England College $12,150 $100,088
# 2 #2 University of Alaska Fairbanks $10,140 $91,899
# 3 #3 Adelphi University $21,600 $93,501
# 4 #4 Eastern New Mexico University - Main Campus $7,492 $81,033
# 5 #5 University of New Haven $20,150 $85,787
# 7 #7 Thomas Edison State University $9,856 $80,796
# 8 #8 Idaho State University $24,168 $84,422
# 9 #9 Mercer University $14,250 $78,533
# 10 #10 Union Institute & University $16,350 $77,986
# 11 #11 Colorado State University - Fort Collins $14,280 $76,967
# 12 #12 Utah Valley University $15,872 $77,323
# 13 #13 SUNY Empire State College $10,943 $75,291
# 14 #14 University of Central Missouri $8,761 $74,227
# 15 #15 Saint Louis University-Main Campus $19,500 $77,927
# 16 #16 West Texas A&M University $7,953 $73,197
# 17 #17 Indiana Institute of Technology $12,120 $74,009
# 18 #18 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide $12,390 $73,688
# 19 #19 National University $16,650 $75,175
# 20 #20 SUNY College of Technology at Canton $10,943 $69,600
# 21 #21 University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh $10,800 $69,528
# 22 #22 University of Nebraska at Omaha $15,600 $71,290
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

2020 Online Colleges Offering Emergency Management Degrees - Ranking Details

#1 New England College

  • Annual Tuition: $12,150
  • Median Salary: $100,088
  • Locations: Henniker (NH)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

New England College (NEC) in Henniker, New Hampshire, provides distance education students with fully online degree options that mirror the on-campus equivalents. One such program is the Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security and Emergency Management (BAHSEP). Courses in this program are offered in seven-week terms, which permit students to pursue one class at a time. The BAHSEP major core is comprised of 40 credit hours. Electives contribute an additional 40 credits, and the total degree requires 120 credit hours. Classes contain small group discussions and engagement with field practitioners. Subject matter aims to develop research skills and cover fundamentals in homeland security and emergency management and the interaction with the political decision-making process. Classes are delivered asynchronously with assigned deadlines. Online students have access to technology support (7:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.), Smarthinking Online Tutoring, and NEC’s Danforth Library. Successful candidates must complete a senior thesis. Students with at least a 3.0 GPA may pursue master's level classes that can be leveraged toward NEC's Master of Arts in International Relations and Diplomacy. Interested applicants need only submit a completed application and transcripts. NEC is a designated Yellow Ribbon college and supports students with a military background. There is no application fee, and transfer credit is available and may be awarded based on professional experience and past training. Applicants can enroll year-round, as classes have seven start dates throughout the year. While online students are always welcome on campus, graduates are also invited to attend an on-campus graduation ceremony.

#2 University of Alaska Fairbanks

  • Annual Tuition: $10,140
  • Median Salary: $91,899
  • Locations: Fairbanks (AK) (and 1 other)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) offers online, asynchronous courses via the UAF eCampus. Individuals interested in a career in emergency services or similar fields may consider the school's Bachelor of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM). Online classes are kept small and have weekly deadlines, and some include synchronous video conferencing or an on-campus component. UAF’s programs are recognized by Quality Matters, an organizational leader in online education quality assurance. Some faculty members are active emergency services professionals who contribute their real-world experiences and perspective in classroom discussion topics. The online bachelor's degree requires a total of 120 credits, with components derived from major courses and the concentration each student chooses. Those accepted into the online program can access a range of student support services, including advising, enrollment assistance, and student success coaching. There are five concentrations from which students may focus their studies: emergency medical management, cyber security, fire administration, emergency management, and homeland security. Interested candidates must complete the general application requirements for an undergraduate UAF degree. Applications may be submitted for the spring, summer, or fall semesters. Students must send in official transcripts and test scores from either the SAT or ACT. There are specific GPA and testing requirements to be met. Transfer students with less than 30 hours of college credit must also submit high school transcripts and test scores.

#3 Adelphi University

  • Annual Tuition: $21,600
  • Median Salary: $93,501
  • Locations: Garden City (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Adelphi University is a private institution in Garden City, New York. Students interested in the emergency services field who require a flexible degree format can apply for the four-year, online Bachelor of Science in Emergency Services Administration. Virtual classes through Adelphi University strive to share the same curriculum and level of engagement as the on-campus sessions. Adelphi's students benefit from the school's distance learning technology, including 24/7 access to class materials, specialized audio and visual application, iTunes University, Skype sessions, online journals, podcasting capabilities, and library services. Tutoring and academic advisement support are also available for online students. Online classes are delivered asynchronously through the Moodle learning management system. Students must meet assigned deadlines and, on average, commit eight to ten hours each week to classwork. The BS in Emergency Services Administration requires 120 credit hours to graduate, with 50 credits required for the specific major. Students will have the chance to interact with experienced professionals. Seniors must complete two capstone requirements. Credit may be awarded for past experience, including EMT or paramedic certification, military training, or police academy coursework. Those interested in applying must submit applicable transcripts and a personal statement. Applicants must have a 2.0 GPA. The school offers rolling admissions and two start dates each year. The BS in Emergency Services Administration meets some of the requirements toward a Certified Emergency Manager credential.

#4 Eastern New Mexico University - Main Campus

  • Annual Tuition: $7,492
  • Median Salary: $81,033
  • Locations: Portales (NM)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The Office of Distance Learning at Eastern New Mexico State's (ENMU) Main Campus supports the school's online degree programs. Individuals seeking an undergraduate degree in emergency preparedness, response, and management have the option of a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science in Emergency Management. This is a degree completion program designed for a two-year commitment. Undergraduate degrees typically take between four to five years to complete. Coursework is founded on the requirements of the FEMA Emergency Management Institute and the International Association of Emergency Management. Two concentrations are available: emergency management and fire and emergency services. The complete bachelor's degree requires 120 credit hours. The coursework aims to provide relevant training for current and future professionals to better mitigate risk and community vulnerability, as well as how best to respond to a crisis. Graduates must successfully complete a capstone course in emergency management. Using the tools available in Mediasite and Blackboard, classes will contain a mix of recorded lectures, readings, tests, and projects. Online students at ENMU benefit from the same resources as on-campus students, including financial aid, career-search assistance, and counseling. Online students can access library services and tutoring, including the Online Writing Center (OWL). Applicants must either possess an Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences or have earned enough credit hours in a related discipline. Individuals must also submit applicable transcripts and an online application. Military students and veterans are encouraged to apply and will receive additional support services.

#5 University of New Haven

  • Annual Tuition: $20,150
  • Median Salary: $85,787
  • Locations: West Haven (CT)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

The University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut, provides off-campus learners with online programs that match the objectives of the on-campus versions and award the same academic credit. Individuals interested in pursuing careers in TSA, FEMA, customs and border protection, and other areas of emergency services may apply to the Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management program. Candidates with transferable college credit, whether from previous coursework, AP exams, or professional experience as a firefighter or homeland security worker, may be able to reduce their tuition and accelerate their program. Classes are asynchronous. Instructors teach the infrastructure of homeland security and terrorism and assist students in creating an emergency management plan. Though materials are available 24/7, students will be expected to interact often via discussion boards and chat rooms, while meeting specific deadlines. The complete degree requires 121 credit hours, and classes are entirely online. Two tracks are available: emergency management and homeland security. The curriculum is comprised of core competencies, major-specific and concentration-specific courses, and an internship component. While designed for working professionals, previous experience is not required for consideration. Classes are offered in six-to-eight-week terms, so students have the option of taking one course each session. Interested candidates must submit a completed application, official transcripts, and are encouraged to submit letters of recommendation. Exam scores are not necessary for individuals who have previously taken college classes or been out of high school for more than five years.

#7 Thomas Edison State University

  • Annual Tuition: $9,856
  • Median Salary: $80,796
  • Locations: Trenton (NJ)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The online emergency management degree at Thomas Edison State University is a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Homeland Security and Emergency Management designed for adult learners 21 years and older. Although students can take as long as they need, many finish this 120-credit degree program in three years. Students with credit from another university have the opportunity to finish in a shorter time because of TESU’s credit transfer policies. The curriculum provides a broad understanding of key issues in homeland security and emergency management professions, with emphasis on the five National Preparedness System mission areas: prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. Online courses are 12-weeks each and allow for plenty of interaction with instructors and classmates. Work is flexible with expectations made clear via a schedule that details online class discussions, readings, assignments, and exams. SAT and ACT scores are not required for admission. All that is required is that students be 21 or older and have a high school diploma or GED.

#8 Idaho State University

  • Annual Tuition: $24,168
  • Median Salary: $84,422
  • Locations: Pocatello (ID)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

For an online bachelor’s in emergency management, Idaho State University offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) that allows students to begin in the spring, summer, or fall semester. The program is under the Emergency Services Department, and the curriculum follows the nationally recognized FEMA Higher Education guidelines. The ISU program is now partnered with Concordia University-Portland to be the preferred teach-out institution for their online BS degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM). This partnership allows two strong online programs to offer students the best that each has to offer as they train graduates to be future crisis managers. The increased demand for emergency management at all levels of government, as well as in the private sector, has made this an extremely practical degree for our increasingly complicated world. Convenient online coursework accommodates busy schedules while still allowing for live instructor interaction. All online students pay in-state tuition. Applicants begin by creating an online account. Admission requires an application fee, at least a 2.5 undergraduate GPA, high school transcripts or GED, and ACT or SAT scores. Anyone not meeting requirements can petition the Admission Committee.

#9 Mercer University

  • Annual Tuition: $14,250
  • Median Salary: $78,533
  • Locations: Macon (GA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Homeland Security and Emergency Management at Mercer University is a completely online 120-credit program designed with the working adult student in mind. Transfer credits are accepted, and there is a Transfer Equivalency Estimator on the website to determine how many prior credits will count towards this degree. The 8-week courses are taught in five sessions per year, and students can begin in January, March, May, August, or October. The curriculum allows students interested in security and public safety to learn how to plan for and manage disasters of all kinds. Coursework covers public safety issues, leadership skills, effective communication skills in high-risk situations, and critical thinking in emergencies. There are also opportunities for service-based learning that allow students to develop core competencies hands-on in the field. Students earning this online bachelor’s in emergency management have the same access to professors and resources as they would taking classes on campus. Support services include the Evening Student Support Center and the Office of Non-traditional and Evening Services (ONES). Admission usually requires application fees, but these are waived for 2020. Other requirements include an official transcript showing a GPA of 2.25 or higher or GED.

#10 Union Institute & University

  • Annual Tuition: $16,350
  • Median Salary: $77,986
  • Locations: Cincinnati (OH)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Union Institute and University’s Bachelor of Science (BS) in Emergency Services Management is a 120-credit program offering optional concentrations in Criminal Justice Management or Leadership. Classes start every eight weeks, and it is possible to earn up to 8 credits per 8-week term. There are full-time and part-time options, and up to 90 hours can be transferred through previous classes, prior learning assessment, military training, and first responder experience. This online emergency management degree prepares graduates to effectively confront a range of dangerous situations. The curriculum covers disaster and emergency management, critical incident management, homeland security, and how to diffuse or respond to hazardous situations within local, state, and federal agencies and organizations. Coursework not only covers practical action-based topics, but also more complicated subjects, such as economic, ethical, and legal issues within emergency services, and the social dimensions of disasters. Students can also earn a Certificate in Homeland Security that shows an understanding of the resources necessary for terrorist response in our communities. Fill out an online form for an admissions counselor to guide you through the online application process.

#11 Colorado State University - Fort Collins

  • Annual Tuition: $14,280
  • Median Salary: $76,967
  • Locations: Fort Collins (CO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Fire and Emergency Services Administration (FESA) at Colorado State University-Fort Collins is a 120-credit degree designed for students who already have at least 60 transferable college credits or an AA or AS degree. With transferred credits, this BS can be finished in 2 years, but most students finish in 3 to 4, taking two courses per semester. This program allows workers in emergency services to advance their careers. Students learn to integrate academic knowledge into managerial and administrative roles in fire and emergency services employment, collaborate with peers to solve organizational problems, and apply their skills to first responder organizations in the field, locally, nationally, and internationally. Despite the flexible online format, the classes still require the same amount of work as those in an on-campus degree program, and there are opportunities for interaction. Students spent an average of 9-12 hours a week on each 3-credit course, depending on the student and the course. Online students should be able to manage time for self-paced courses. For admission, previous college credit with at least a minimum 2.0 GPA must be transferred into the program.

#12 Utah Valley University

  • Annual Tuition: $15,872
  • Median Salary: $77,323
  • Locations: Orem (UT)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Utah Valley University offers an online bachelor’s in emergency management that is a 120-credit Bachelor of Science (BS) in Emergency Services Administration. This degree can be earned in 2-3 years, and experiential credit may be accepted for work experience in the field of emergency services. This BS degree provides students with a foundation in emergency service, criminal justice, and homeland security. With an emphasis on Emergency Management, students will be trained in the processes necessary to protect an organization or population from the consequences of terrorism, war, and disaster. Remote, online coursework allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree while simultaneously working in their field of study, acquiring the knowledge they need to progress into positions of leadership. As Utah Valley University has an open admissions practice, all applicants with qualifications indicating that they would benefit from the program and can handle the coursework will be admitted. An application with a fee is required, as are official high school and college transcripts. Online students benefit from a wide number of support resources, including library services, financial aid, academic tutoring and advising, accessibility services, career development, e-learning support, and more.

#13 SUNY Empire State College

  • Annual Tuition: $10,943
  • Median Salary: $75,291
  • Locations: Saratoga Springs (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

SUNY Empire State College offers three online emergency management degree programs at the bachelor level: a Bachelor of Arts (BA), a Bachelor of Science (BS), and a Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS). All three degrees are in Public Affairs, with a concentration in Emergency Management. The programs vary in how large a proportion of the degree credits are focused on the major, with the BPS having the highest number of Public Affairs course credits and the BA having the least. Students of Public Affairs learn the leadership, critical thinking, and decision-making skills needed to address a wide range of societal concerns. With the Emergency Management concentration, these skills will be applied to the specific issues that arise from acts of terrorism, natural disasters, and other kinds of emergency situations. Students learn to evaluate the causes and consequences of these situations, to manage issues of planning, response, and recovery, and to understand the social, historical, political, scientific, and cultural aspects of emergencies. Complete application files should include official transcripts, application essay, application, and nonrefundable fee (waived for veterans, active military, and family).

#14 University of Central Missouri

  • Annual Tuition: $8,761
  • Median Salary: $74,227
  • Locations: Warrensburg (MO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Central Missouri offers an online emergency management degree as a focus area of the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Crisis and Disaster Management. Though 120 hours are required to graduate, students can transfer in college credits. Credit hours can also be applied from professional training and licensing, and military experience. The curriculum emphasizes the crisis and leadership training needed to plan for, prevent, mitigate, and respond to terrorism and natural or human-made disasters. Coursework covers the four key phases of emergency management, the complexities of organizational management, and technologies that are used in the field. Four certificates offered that can be earned as part of the BS degree are Emergency Management, Emergency Services Management, Business Continuity, and Environmental Hazards. The majority of faculty are part-time because they still work as emergency professionals. Before graduation, students are given multiple chances to demonstrate what they’ve learned by collaborating with an organization, business, agency, or government entity. Applicants with at least 24 transferable hours and a minimum 2.0 GPA have assured admission, as are high school students as long as they have one of a list of required GPA and test score combinations (see website).

#15 Saint Louis University-Main Campus

  • Annual Tuition: $19,500
  • Median Salary: $77,927
  • Locations: St. Louis (MO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Emergency Management - Homeland Security at Saint Louis University is the only undergraduate emergency management program offered at a U.S. Jesuit University. Students choose from six 8-week start terms per year, making it possible to earn 30 credits per year. To earn this BS faster, students can transfer in credits from other colleges, or prior learning credits from the College-Level Examination Program, the American Council of Education, and the United States Department of Defense DSST examinations. The SLU’s Emergency Management program emphasizes the key sectors recognized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security. The curriculum ensures that students understand how to apply their classroom knowledge to emergency prevention, preparation, mitigation, response, and recovery. By graduation, students will fulfill most requirements for the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Certification as an Associate Emergency Manager (AEM). Admission requirements include a high school diploma or composite GED of at least 2250, official transcripts from all schools, minimum cumulative 2.5 transfer GPA, and a successful interview (can be by phone).

#16 West Texas A&M University

  • Annual Tuition: $7,953
  • Median Salary: $73,197
  • Locations: Canyon (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

At West Texas A&M University, the Bachelor of Applied Art and Science (BAAS) in Emergency Management Administration (EMA) is designed for students who already have an associate degree, and up to 36 hours of technical/vocational credits with a GPA of 2.0 or higher. The BAAS program requires 120 credits to graduate. The mission of the EMA program is to prepare emergency service professionals for advancement into management and administrative positions. Students can be full or part-time. The primary program focus is on students who are currently working in emergency management, emergency medical services, fire services, or similar fields. The curriculum covers disaster and emergency management history, effective group and interpersonal communication, leadership and management skills, risk assessment, current and emerging technologies, best practices, and more. Admission requires acceptance through the WTAMU online application portal and an associate degree with BAAS block of technical/vocational credits. Assessments will be given to transcripts from any school to determine what qualifies towards degree requirements.

#17 Indiana Institute of Technology

  • Annual Tuition: $12,120
  • Median Salary: $74,009
  • Locations: Fort Wayne (IN)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Emergency Response Management provided by the College of Professional Studies (CPS) at the Indiana Institute of Technology is a 120 credit, fully online program. There are nine 5-week sessions offered per year for online classes, allowing CPS students to accelerate their time to graduation. Transfer credits, prior learning assessments, and military credits are also accepted, but at least 30 course credits must be earned at Indiana Tech. This online emergency management degree teaches the skills that are in demand for employers such as state and local fire departments and law enforcement, homeland security agencies, government emergency management agencies, nonprofits, corporations, and the military. Skills covered in the coursework include risk assessment and management, emergency planning, intelligence analysis, disaster response operations, incident command, and financial management. Applicants should apply online and be sure to transfer any credits they want to be counted toward their degree. Admission requirements include official transcripts showing high school graduation or official copy of GED/TASC from credible testing centers. Resources available to online students include a call-in service offering direct assistance on any issue, free tutoring, electronic library, and career services.

#18 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide

  • Annual Tuition: $12,390
  • Median Salary: $73,688
  • Locations: Daytona Beach (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The online bachelor’s in emergency management degree offered at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide is a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Safety Management. This 121-credit degree has 12 possible start terms. The focus is on teaching working professionals and active-duty military members on how to meet key safety challenges within an ever-evolving regulatory environment. High school students are also welcome. The program produces safety managers ready to lead, to design safer workplaces, to respond to emergencies and hazardous events, to ensure employee wellness, and otherwise maintain and address industry-related safety issues. The BS in Safety Management is a Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) Qualified Academic Program (QAP), which means the curriculum substantially matches the Associate Safety Professional (ASP). There are both interactive online classes available, and asynchronous classes that can mesh with any schedule. Students should plan to spend 8 to 10 hours a week on classwork. Admission requires an official high school transcript with at least a 2.5 unweighted GPA and transcripts and documents from other schools and military (especially if transferring credits). ACT and/or SAT scores are optional but encouraged. A resume, entrance essay, and two recommendation letters are also not required but can be submitted.

#19 National University

  • Annual Tuition: $16,650
  • Median Salary: $75,175
  • Locations: La Jolla (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

The Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management (BS-HSEM) at National University is a 180-credit accelerated program. With 4-week classes, monthly starts, and applications accepted year-round, students can quickly start and progress towards this online emergency management degree. Prior learning credit and other credit transfers are available. The curriculum lays a foundation in the practices, cultures, politics, and security issues of terrorism; the best practices for preventing, mitigating, and responding to a pending emergency; and managing operations during an emergency, as well as recovery after. Graduates will learn critical thinking and sustained analysis of security management, how to apply analytical skills to ethical dilemmas faced in government and private industry and the implications of technology, descript the religious and political implications of terrorism, and more. The streamlined application process allows students to get started online and then begin class as soon as the next month. Applicants can call to speak to an admissions advisor, contact someone online, or go ahead and begin the application. From veteran services, tutoring, career guidance, or help adjusting to the online degree program, there is a range of staff and resources available at National to help.

#20 SUNY College of Technology at Canton

  • Annual Tuition: $10,943
  • Median Salary: $69,600
  • Locations: Canton (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The online bachelor’s in emergency management at SUNY College of Technology at Canton is a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, with most classes offered in 7-week sessions. The program’s focus is on getting students hands-on experience through exercises and cutting-edge emergency management and operating center technology. Technology allows them to put into practice the cornerstones of emergency management: preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery. BS students also learn by using the Graphical Information System (GIS) as well as Virtual Emergency Operations Center (WEBEOC – which is used by 25 states and nearly all Federal agencies). Through hazard modeling and virtual disaster simulations, graduates are prepared for the many career opportunities available in this field. The convenience of the online classroom allows students to participate in their degree program at any time from anywhere, even while working full-time. SUNY OnLine also allows students ways to network with classmates through chat, video, discussion boards, and social media. Lectures are live-streamed and recorded so that they can be accessed at any time and as many times as needed. Online student services include online library access, student accessibility services, academic advising, tutoring, and career services.

#21 University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

  • Annual Tuition: $10,800
  • Median Salary: $69,528
  • Locations: Oshkosh (WI)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The online emergency management degree at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh is a Bachelor of Applied Studies (BAS) in Fire and Emergency Response Management (FERM). The FERM major offers the option to choose an emphasis in Emergency Management or Fire Services Management. Full-time FERM students with 60 or more transferable college or military credits can finish their BAS in two years. Applications are accepted year-round. The FERM emphasis in Emergency Management focuses on the development of communication and leadership. Coursework includes emergency planning, fiscal management, and administrative law. The degree combines research and theory with practical application to prepare students for public service in emergency management services. Online FERM courses are delivered through Canvas, and most are accelerated seven-week sessions. Students interact with classmates and faculty through class lectures and online discussions, but there are no set meeting times, only due dates and deadlines. For admission, applicants should have an associate degree in emergency management or related major, or have three years of full-time experience. The best way to apply is to make an appointment for an advisor to answer any questions and give personalized advice on requirements and transfers for college, military, or work credits.

#22 University of Nebraska at Omaha

  • Annual Tuition: $15,600
  • Median Salary: $71,290
  • Locations: Omaha (NE)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The online Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management (BSEM) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is a 120-credit degree that requires 30 of the last 36 credit hours to be taken from UNO. Students enrolled in full-time classes who have transferred the 64 maximum allowed credits may finish in two years. This online emergency management degree requires students to choose two 15-hour concentration areas from the following: Tribal Management and Emergency Services, Public Administration and Management, Nonprofit Management, Intelligence and Security, Information Technology and Communication, Gerontology, Fire Service Management, and Criminology and Criminal Justice. BSEM curriculum focuses on the key components of disaster prevention and preparedness, hazard mitigation, and emergency response and recovery. Graduates are prepared to work in government, nonprofit, and private companies. The online coursework is available anytime and anywhere and offers the same rewards and challenges as online classes. Applicants must submit official high school transcripts or GED, SAT or ACT scores, and application and fee. Transfer students must submit an application and pay a fee, and official transcripts are required with at least a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA. Support services include academic advising to keep students on track for graduation and faculty available to discuss mentoring, internships, and careers.

Overview of Online Emergency Management

Online emergency management degrees are offered at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. There are also undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. Each degree prepares students for different careers. Those who earn an associate degree can find entry-level work. It is also a valuable degree option for those working as EMTs, firefighters, or police officers, as it can give them an advantage in these careers. At the bachelor's level, graduates will have the opportunity to take on more responsibilities and leadership roles. With a bachelor's degree and several years of experience a professional could eventually be promoted to emergency management director. Those who pursue a master's or doctorate may pursue upper-level management jobs with various organizations and government agencies or teaching at the university level.

Online Bachelor's Degrees in Emergency Management

As higher levels of education become the preferred standard for emergency management professionals, those who complete an online bachelor's degree will be more competitive in the workplace than those who stop at the associate level. An online bachelor's degree allows an individual to strengthen their management and administration skills so that they can competently lead teams of first responders in situations like terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and other emergencies. Those who want to work in higher management positions will be required to hold a bachelor's degree, at the minimum. Completing this degree typically takes four years and 120 semester credit hours. A high school diploma or GED will be required for admission. Coursework for this program includes classes in crisis management during terrorist attacks, legal aspects and ethics in emergency management, recovery practices, policy, leadership development, hazard mitigation, and others. Those interested in pursuing an online bachelor's degree in emergency management can do so at colleges and universities across the country.

The Importance of Accreditation 

When choosing an online program to attend, an important factor to consider is whether or not the school is regionally accredited. If a school is accredited, it means that an outside, independent organization has evaluated the school and its programs and determined that the institution meets a certain level of academic excellence. There are several reasons why this accreditation is important to keep in mind. First of all, students enrolled in an accredited program will know that they are getting an education which will prepare them for their future career and make them competitive in the job market. Additionally, students are only eligible for federal financial if they attend an accredited school. Credits from accredited schools also transfer more easily, and those who are hoping to secure advanced degrees like a master's or doctorate will likely need to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university in order to be accepted.

Careers in Emergency Management 

There are many career options available in the field of emergency management from EMTs and firefighters to emergency management directors and crisis management consultants. There are emergency management positions available no matter what level of education a person has, from associate to doctoral degrees. For example, those with associate degrees may find entry-level jobs in areas such as law enforcement, firefighting, and other first responder roles. Once an individual has gained several years of work experience and additional education, he or she may be able to find work as an emergency management director. These professionals are the ones who create processes and plans for how to react when different types of emergencies occur, such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks. They also work alongside government agencies, officials, relief organizations, and others to bring aid to people during and in the aftermath of an emergency. In addition to a bachelor's degree, an emergency management director will need substantial work experience, and may also need to attain various professional certifications, depending on where he or she chooses to work. It is also important for these professionals to work well under extreme stress.

With advanced degrees such as master's or doctoral degrees come more job opportunities. These individuals may pursue work in upper-level management positions and at colleges and universities in a teaching, research, or administrative capacity, and with public policy organizations and government agencies.


This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.

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By Michael McCarthy | 8/31/2022

Best Online Master's in Emergency Management Degrees

These ranked schools are offering online master's in emergency management degrees, and are ranked based on annual tuition rates and reported alumni salaries.

By Jordan Beliles | 8/1/2022

Best Online Bachelor's in Healthcare Administration Programs

Find an accredited bachelor's in healthcare administration degree online. Use data on tuition, salary, debt, and 10-year return on investment to determine which school best fits your needs and price range.

By the OnlineU team | 2/9/2022


Start Your Online College Search:

Review schools that align with your career aspirations.


Start Your Online College Search:

Review schools that align with your career aspirations.