Master's degree programs in emergency management are available fully online and generally take two years to complete. These programs include coursework in emergency management policies and disaster response. Within these programs, students have the flexibility to listen to lectures when they want to, but they must complete assignments by specific deadlines. Some programs require specific computer software. Some programs require previous employment in the field for admission.
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Master of Science in Emergency Management
Online Master of Science in Emergency Management degree programs provide advanced training for those already employed in the field, but some programs accept students without prior experience. Students build skills in leadership, critical thinking, disaster response, planning and communication. By the end of the program, students are prepared to improve the current state of emergency management practices and policies.
Program Information and Requirements
Students can earn their master's degree in emergency management online with two years of full-time study. Instructors and students interact via discussion boards through a course management system such as Blackboard. Group and individual projects can be assigned. Courses are generally asynchronous but may have designated deadlines for assignments.
Standard technical requirements include a computer with a recent Windows or Mac operating system, high-speed Internet, a newer Web browser and an e-mail account. Some courses may have additional needs, such as specific software programs.
Common Emergency Management Courses
Master's degree programs in emergency management focus on policies, practices, organizations, legal issues, rules and regulations related to disaster planning, relief and recovery. Students may be required to complete a practicum, project or thesis at the end of their program.
Principles of Emergency Management
In this course, students learn disaster planning and preparation, emergency response and disaster recovery. Other topics include terrorism, international issues, cost assessment and new technologies in emergency management.
Students are taught about the risks posed by nuclear, chemical, radiological and biological materials. Ways to deal with possible disasters caused by the manufacture, transportation, handling or storing of these hazardous materials is discussed.
Sociology of Disaster
Sociology is used to look at the way disasters affect societies. Students look at disaster research and learn ways to respond to and prevent disasters in communities.
Students examine management techniques and theories involved with coordinating public emergency response services. Topics include budgeting, liability and resource assessment.
Career Information for Graduates
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that emergency management directors earned an annual median of $67,330 as of May 2015. Earnings varied based on the industry. Emergency management specialists employed in federal executive branch earned the most, with an average salary of $148,230, while those at the state government level earned an average of $63,240.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of online master's programs in emergency management can continue their studies by pursuing a Ph.D. The majority of doctoral programs in emergency management are offered on-campus.
In online master's degree programs in emergency management, students learn about disaster and crisis prevention, preparedness and recovery. Graduates can pursue employment in the field or a doctoral degree.