Doctorate in Disaster Management: Program Information

Doctoral programs in disaster management are not available, but interested students may enroll in a master's degree program in the field. Find out what you can expect from these programs and get employment info for graduates.

Essential Information

Students who wish to pursue graduate studies in disaster management may choose from a number of master's degree programs with disaster and emergency management specializations. A Master of Science (MS) program in Emergency Management is designed to equip students with the conceptual knowledge of disaster-related issues, such as crisis needs, public health considerations, local impact and service-delivery systems. In addition, students are taught specific skills in disaster response, including trauma intervention, disaster planning and management, risk assessment and community recovery tactics. Other topics of study include hazardous materials, weapons of mass destruction and terrorism theory. Students may apply their knowledge in a hands-on internship.

This degree program is ideal for individuals who wish to hold leadership positions in emergency management in either government or industry. In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree. A number of majors are acceptable, including natural science, engineering, management, business administration and public health, but students need to have taken undergraduate courses in anatomy and psychology.


Master's Degree in Emergency Management

Students in emergency management master's degree programs will not only learn to analyze the threat of a potential disaster, but they will also be trained to respond to one while meeting municipal guidelines and communicating effectively during a crisis. Possible course titles include:

  • Disaster Preparedness and Planning
  • Public Health Emergencies in Large and Small Populations
  • Disaster Logistics
  • Hazard Mitigation
  • Maritime Security
  • Terrorism and Homeland Security

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects a 6% increase in employment for emergency managers between 2014 and 2024. As of May 2015, the median annual salary for emergency management directors was $67,330, according to the BLS. The highest-paying employers are in the federal executive branch, while local governments employ the greatest number of workers (www.bls.gov).

With a master's degree in disaster management, students are prepared for occupations related to crisis prevention, management and recovery through a combination of coursework and practical training.


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