Most Affordable Emergency Management Degrees 2021

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Emergency management professionals prepare for potential disasters, respond during an emergency, and help communities recover after a crisis. They coordinate with public safety officers, politicians, government agencies, and the public to educate people about risks and respond to natural and man-made disasters.

An online emergency management degree trains students in mitigation, disaster response, and recovery using flexible online classes. The distance learning format appeals to working public safety administration professionals seeking career advancement. A bachelor’s degree meets the requirements for emergency management director jobs, which report a median annual salary of more than $74,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Our ranking lists the most affordable online bachelor’s in emergency management programs for 2021. Prospective applicants can use the list to research the best fit for their budget and career goals. This page introduces common emergency management courses and scholarship opportunities for emergency management majors.

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Emergency Management FAQ's


  • What is emergency management?

    The emergency management field prepares for natural and man-made disasters, analyzes risks to mitigate their harm, and responds to emergencies. Emergency management also includes the recovery phase after a crisis.


  • What kinds of jobs can you get with an emergency management degree?

    Emergency management jobs include first responders, law enforcement officers, and firefighters. With an emergency management degree, graduates can work as emergency management directors.


  • What can you do with a bachelor's in emergency management?

    A bachelor’s in emergency management prepares graduates for leadership roles such as emergency management director. Professionals also work as emergency management specialists and homeland security agents.


  • What is the difference between emergency management and public safety administration?

    Emergency management focuses on protecting people from natural and man-made disasters. Public safety administration covers a broader number of criminal justice roles.


What Are the Goals of an Emergency Management Degree?

An emergency management bachelor’s degree emphasizes disaster preparedness, organizational leadership, and disaster response. Majors specialize their skills with homeland security, bioterrorism, and hazard risk assessment courses. Undergraduates learn to analyze disaster scenarios, prevent emergencies, and respond effectively during a crisis.

The degree prepares graduates for emergency management jobs, including emergency management director. These professionals create disaster preparedness and response plans. They lead disaster response teams, coordinate with multiple government agencies, and conduct damage assessments after a disaster.

After earning a bachelor’s degree, graduates enter the workforce or pursue a master’s in emergency management.

Why Get an Emergency Management Degree?

Earning an online emergency management degree offers several personal and professional benefits. These include specialized training, career advancement opportunities, and a flexible schedule.

Leadership Training
An emergency management degree provides management and leadership training, preparing graduates for supervisory and decision-making roles. Courses in leadership, fiscal management, and public safety administration strengthen these skills.
Career Advancement
Firefighters, first responders, and law enforcement officers advance into leadership positions with emergency management training. Emergency management jobs such as program manager, director, and specialist hire candidates with a bachelor’s in the field.
Flexibility
An online learning format prioritizes flexibility. Public safety and emergency management professionals benefit from arranging coursework around their irregular work schedules.
Higher Earning Potential
Management-level roles pay a higher salary than entry-level public safety, law enforcement, and emergency management positions. Professionals often increase their salary by earning a bachelor’s degree.
Accessibility
Distance learning formats make it easier to attend a top program without relocating. Prospective applicants research programs nationwide to find the right fit.

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Courses in Emergency Management

Emergency management courses train majors in emergency planning, disaster response, and preparedness. These classes prepare graduates for leadership roles by strengthening their problem-solving and analytical thinking skills. Fiscal management, human resource development, and public safety leadership courses develop knowledge and skills necessary for managerial roles.

Many programs offer specialized training in areas including homeland security, terrorism response, and emergency public health. These courses let majors focus their degree for a specific career path.

This section introduces common emergency management courses. While each program sets its own curriculum and course descriptions, many include these options.

Introductory courses examine emergency management’s foundational concepts. Learners study different types of emergencies, including natural disasters, man-made crises, and public health emergencies. The course explores the history of emergency management agencies and their relationship with other government agencies. It lays the foundation that more advanced emergency management classes build upon.

Natural disasters, bioterrorism, and infectious diseases often require emergency management and public health training. The course introduces undergraduates to public health in an emergency setting. Topics include disease monitoring, health recovery, and public health planning. Learners strengthen their public health knowledge to make informed decisions in emergency settings.

Emergency managers often oversee their organization’s fiscal health, including budgeting and accounting. The course trains students in fiscal management for public safety organizations. Enrollees analyze fiscal reports, learn how to prepare budgets, and study governmental finance basics. The course may also include grant writing.

In emergency planning and preparedness courses, learners explore the responsibility of emergency managers to prepare for emergencies. The course covers risk analysis for different hazards and modifying emergency operations plans based on data and experience. Students learn how to design and test plans to respond to emergencies, and monitor and measure preparedness.

The course introduces effective disaster response strategies. Learners study the impact of different disasters, the agencies that participate in disaster response, and disaster response planning. Topics include recovery operations, preparedness, and interagency communications. The class prepares graduates for emergency management roles that include disaster response.

Scholarships for Emergency Management Students

Emergency management majors qualify for several scholarship opportunities. Professional associations, private foundations, and other organizations award scholarships for emergency management degree-seekers. Online learners at accredited institutions often qualify for the same scholarships as in-person peers. In addition to the following opportunities, undergraduates should research scholarships based on their state, college, and career goals.

  • International Association of Emergency Managers Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: IAEM offers a scholarship for undergraduates earning an emergency management bachelor’s degree. Applicants provide documentation of their intellectual and technical skills. The award amount varies each year, but IAEM aims to provide at least $1,500 in support to recipients.

    Amount: Varies

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  • Richard L. Resurreccion Public Safety Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Phi Theta Kappa members qualify for the scholarship, which supports students in public safety programs, including those pursuing an emergency management degree. Applicants must enroll in at least six credits per term with a minimum 3.5 GPA.

    Amount: Varies

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  • Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: CSHEMA offers a scholarship to full-time undergraduates earning a degree in an environmental health and safety field, including emergency management. Submission requirements include a completed application form, a current transcript showing a minimum 2.5 GPA, and a one-page essay.

    Amount: $3,000

    Explore Here

Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management 2021

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