Disaster management graduate degree options include: the Master of Science in Emergency Management, the Master of Science in Disaster Medicine and Management, and the Master of Public Health in Disaster Management. A bachelor's degree and coursework such as English composition, college-level math or statistics, and introductory psychology are often necessary for these programs.
Master's degree programs in disaster management are available in online, on-campus, and hybrid-delivery formats. Master of Science programs can often be completed in two years. A Master of Public Health in Disaster Management program focuses on the public health issues related to the response and evaluation of disasters, including preparedness, hazard detection, containment, and recovery.
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Master's Degrees in Disaster Management
These programs are designed for individuals who already work in a disaster or emergency management-related career. Core classes and electives cover leadership in disaster mitigation and response, terrorism, hazardous materials, natural disasters, psychological aspects of disasters, and resource allocation. Programs end with a practicum course. The Master of Science and Master of Public Health programs share some common coursework, which can include the following:
- Principles and practices of emergency management
- Communication for disaster and emergency personnel
- Social and population dimensions of disaster
- Emergency mental health and trauma procedures
- Introduction to toxicology and natural hazards
- Theoretical perspectives applied to disaster management
Employment Outlook & Salary Information
Graduates from one of the three aforementioned master's degree programs often find employment as governmental and non-governmental emergency management professionals. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that as of May 2015, the median yearly income of emergency management directors was $67,330 (www.bls.gov). Over 2014-2024, there is an expected job growth of 6% in this field.
Continuing Education Information
Doctoral degree programs emphasizing disaster management are difficult to find. Seminars, workshops and online classes are more common continuing education opportunities.
There are a few disaster management graduate degree options available depending on the student's particular interest. These programs prepare students to qualify for certified emergency manager positions.