Disaster Management Graduate Programs: Degree Options

Master of Science in Emergency Management or Disaster Medicine and Management programs teach students about disaster mitigation and response, terrorism, hazardous materials, natural disasters, the psychological aspects of disasters, and resource allocation.

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Essential Information

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.

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