Former Federal Emergency Management Agency Senior Advisor Marcie Roth has commented that “the importance of preparing ourselves for disasters is universal.” Bachelor’s programs in emergency management combine classroom lessons with real-world experiences to train leaders who can anticipate natural and man-made disasters. Typical programs outline best practices, technology, and case studies that take the stress out of disaster responses. The best online bachelor’s degrees in emergency management use specialized tracks to create candidates for government, nonprofit, and corporate jobs.
How Do I Apply for a Bachelor’s in Emergency Management?
The application process for an online bachelor’s in emergency management is similar to the process used for other degrees. High school graduates typically submit their ACT or SAT scores, transcripts, and completed applications to their desired programs. Transfer students can use some or all of their completed college courses to offset general education requirements. Every application is accompanied by an application fee. U.S. News & World Report found that the average fee across 979 universities was $43 in 2018. Online emergency management programs place a strong emphasis on technical requirements when admitting new students. Undergraduate students need access to a reliable Internet connection and computers with updated operating systems that can handle required exercises.
How Much Can I Earn with a Bachelor’s in Emergency Management?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics paints an optimistic picture for new entrants into the emergency management field. Between 1990 and 2017, the number of emergency and relief jobs in the United States grew from just over 50,000 to more than 150,000. This growth was due, in part, to energy companies, security firms, and relief nonprofits expanding their emergency management teams. Emergency managers with five or more years of experience can supercharge their careers by pursuing director positions with public and private organizations. The BLS found a median salary of $74,420 for directors in 2018, compared to an average salary of $38,640 for all occupations. The bureau also projects a 5% growth in director jobs between 2018 and 2028. Aspiring emergency managers can take advantage of this growth by pursuing one of the best online bachelor’s degrees in emergency management.
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If you’re interested in emergency management, be sure to check our list of the 5 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management!
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Average Net Price
The University of Alaska Fairbanks provides great returns on investment through programs like its Bachelor of Security and Emergency Management. Forbes ranked the university No. 185 among America’s Best Value Colleges 2019. The School of Management draws on Alaska’s large community of state and federal security professionals to train leaders in emergency management scenarios.
The Security and Emergency Management program is available as a 100% online degree, or as a hybrid degree. Nine required courses cover subjects like disaster response operations and all-hazards risk analysis. Students are also asked to complete a state-specific course like Human Security in Alaska or Alaska Native Corporations. Upper-level electives are defined by a student’s concentration, which is selected from six options, including Fire Administration and Homeland Security.
Future emergency managers can find many extracurricular activities and research opportunities at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The university’s chapter of the International Association of Emergency Managers encourages networking and professional development. Facilities such as the Center for the Study of Security, Cyber, Hazards, Response and Preparedness and the Virtual Reality Lab connect students with faculty and world-renowned researchers.
Average Net Price
Bellevue University has extended its reach beyond Bellevue, NE since holding its first classes in 1966. The school focused from the start on continuing education, with online courses first offered in the 1990s. In recent years, programs like the Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management have pushed the university to No. 33 among the Best Online Colleges of 2019, as ranked by Best Colleges. U.S. News & World Report also ranked Bellevue University No. 230 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
Like other programs, this BS in Emergency Management casts a wide net when seeking applicants. Prospective students need not have completed conventional high school diplomas prior to admission. Bellevue accepts GED certificates, homeschool completion documents, and state-approved equivalency exam results. The school listed a $50 application fee for the 2019-2020 school year.
Every bachelor’s degree at Bellevue University requires completion of the three-course Kirkpatrick Signature Series on American Values. The 40-credit major track features courses on natural disasters, terrorism, and emergency communications. A final capstone project allows each BS candidate to show their proficiency in emergency management through a simulated scenario. The BS in Emergency Management came with a $425 per credit price tag in 2019, while military veterans received rates of $250 per credit.
SUNY College of Technology at Canton
Canton, New York
Average Net Price
The State University of New York Canton – better known as SUNY Canton – opened its doors in 1906 as an agricultural college. The university’s partnerships with other schools in the St. Lawrence Valley have expanded options for its students. Online programs like the Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management helped the school reach No. 14 in Best Value Schools and No. 23 in Regional Colleges North in U.S. News & World Report rankings.
Prospective emergency managers make steady progress through the BS program thanks to 7-week courses. The online learning platform integrates with exercises designed by public agencies that develop marketable skills. Faculty members work with students to understand tools like the Virtual Emergency Operations Center. The flexibility of this online program means that students can build their degree paths around professional and personal schedules.
The School of Science, Health & Criminal Justice built its Emergency Management curriculum for the rigors of real-world situations. Newcomers to the program build administrative skills through courses such as Management Communications and Public Budgeting. A required Simulated Disaster Training course teaches students to use technology for hazard mapping. Students select from an internship or senior project to demonstrate their readiness for the work ahead.
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Average Net Price
The University of Nebraska Omaha started in 1908 as a private school called the University of Omaha. The school became a public university in 1930 and attracts students with programs like its Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management. Niche’s 2020 grades recognized the growth of the University of Nebraska Omaha with a No. 211 placing among the Top Public Universities in America.
Completed applications to the University of Nebraska Omaha include a $45 application fee and an ACT score of at least 20. The College of Public Affairs and Community Science requires undergraduate GPAs of at least 2.5 before working in the Emergency Management major. BS candidates select two concentrations from 16 options including Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Nonprofit Management, and Fire Service Management.
The BS in Emergency Management has a 30-credit core with courses like Applied Statistics, Risk Mitigation, and Disaster Response. Students also complete internships and capstone projects that show familiarity with the skills needed to succeed in high-stress environments. The Emergency Management Student Association provides students the opportunity to prepare the campus community for emergency situations.
Kansas Wesleyan University
Average Net Price
Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Emergency Management at Kansas Wesleyan University benefit from the school’s regional reputation. U.S. News & World Report ranked the school No. 39 among Regional Colleges Midwest for 2019-2020. The Coyotes athletics programs also brought 60 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference championships back to the campus in Salina, KS between 2005 and 2018.
BA candidates in Emergency Management select from concentrations in Homeland Security, Business Continuity, and Non-governmental Organizations. Every student completes 42 credits of major courses. including Disaster Preparedness and Criminal Justice Administration. The Center for Public Policy and Safety expects all students to complete internships in their areas of specialization. Elective options are divided among concentrations, with available courses ranging from Victimology to Crisis Communication.
Kansas Wesleyan University features a minor in unmanned aircraft systems to accompany the BA in Emergency Management. The UAS minor is offered in aviator and non-aviator options through a partnership with Kansas State Polytechnic. Two-year students at Barton Community College can transition to the Emergency Management program through the school’s 2+2 agreement with Kansas Wesleyan University.
If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, be sure to check out the Top 10 Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Degree Programs and 25 Best Master’s in Organizational Leadership!