10 Most Affordable Master’s in Emergency Management Online in 2021

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Updated June 24, 2021

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Public safety personnel can mitigate career stagnation by pursuing online master's in emergency management degrees that prepare for upper-level leadership in times of trouble. Emergency management is among the newest, 21st-century master's majors focused on allaying threats to fearful citizens in a dangerous post-9/11 climate. Our World in Data figured there were 13,488 terrorist attacks that caused 34,676 deaths in 2016 alone. Yet homeland security isn't the only concern with a warming Mother Earth cooking up natural disasters. The Borgen Project reported that there's been an 80 percent uptick in climate-related events that has cost $1.2 trillion and impacted 217 million annually since 1990. The Trump Administration has also named the opioid crisis that claims 115 American lives daily according to the National Institutes of Health a "national emergency." Those courageously called to the front lines to advocate for human well-being should consider an emergency management master's online.

Explore these promoted online degree programs.

These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online graduate degree programs. Figuring out where to apply? Consider one of these online Master’s or PhD programs.

Top 10 Most Affordable Master’s in Emergency Management Online

  1. Trident University International

    Cypress, CA



    Given an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, Trident University International is an independent, for-profit distance learning powerhouse and Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement member acquired by Summit Partners in 2007 that's offering 28 master's options to 3,922 adults at an average age of 35 from Imperial Estates. Trident is lauded for America's 233rd most popular homeland security programs by College Factual, 243rd most faculty awards in Washington Monthlys and seventh most affordable education on College Choice. The College of Health and Human Services led by Dr. Mickey Shachar bills our list's cheapest price for an Online Masters in Homeland Security (MSHLS) with the Emergency and Disaster Management Concentration. On Blackboard, the 40-credit, WASC-accredited major sequences skills for civilian government jobs protecting American soil. Graduates take 30 months completing courses like Security Technology, Vulnerability Analysis, and Global Terrorism with minimum 2.5 GPAs. Trident also suggests the Online Masters in Health Sciences in Occupational Safety and MBA for Safety Management or Conflict Negotiation.

  2. Arkansas Tech University

    Russellville, AR



    Planning its 6th Annual EMHS Conference in October, Arkansas Tech University boasts 17 years of record-high enrollment to 12,054 Golden Suns as the 10th fastest-growing public, master's applied sciences institution that's HLC accredited for 26 graduate programs in Russellville, Fort Smith, Ozark, and online via Blackboard. ATU is esteemed for America's 224th best online graduate school by the U.S. News & World Reports 271st best public education on Niche, and 246th top master's study in Washington Monthlys The College of eTech considers candidates with 3.0 GPAs until March 1st or October 1st for the M.S. in Emergency Management & Homeland Security Degree Online. Coordinated by Dr. Jamie Earls from Dean Hall, the 36-credit program offers funding like the Ed Leachman Scholarship and IAEM membership for building disaster response teams. Online students always pay low in-state tuition for courses from Information Security to Hazardous Materials before the practicum or thesis. Other Arkansas Tech offerings are the Law Enforcement Certificate and MBA in Organizational Management Online.

  3. Arizona State University-Skysong

    Scottsdale, AZ



    Home to the Congressman Ed Pastor Center for Public Service with $5,000 Spirit of Service Scholars stipends, Arizona State University is a Carnegie first-tier, research ABOR member that's budgeting $1.07 billion to welcome 13,100 post-grad Sun Devils online via Canvas or at Phoenix, Tempe, Thunderbird, Skysong, Polytechnic, and Lake Havasu campuses. ASU is designated America's ninth best public affairs school on the U.S. News & World Reports 25th best Peace Corps producer, and fifth top university chosen by recruiters in The Wall Street Journals Chaired by Dr. Jonathan Koppell, the HLC-accredited College of Public Service & Community Solutions launched the Online Master of Arts in Emergency Management & Homeland Security in the PLUS Alliance. The 33-credit, thesis-optional curriculum has four concentrations in Biosecurity and Threat Management, Community Resilience, Emergency Management, or Homeland Security. Graduates with "B" averages or better take 7.5-week courses like Public Budgeting and Urban Safety Design taught by ACJS fellows. There's also the M.A. in Global Security, M.A. in Public Safety Leadership, or M.A. in Criminology Online.

  4. American Public University System

    Charles Town, WV



    Gifting $54.4 million in financial aid annually, including a Military Tuition discount to $325 per credit, American Public University System is a for-profit, dual-institution online learning giant founded in 1991 that has 2,000 global faculty to instruct 84,000 Golden Eagles in 215 degrees with Moodle courses averaging 18. APUS was applauded for America's 37th top-paid criminal justice grads on College Factual, fourth most adult-friendly education by AARP, and second best price on College Values Online. Granted two straight OLC Effective Practices Awards, the School of Security & Global Studies offers a IFSAC-accredited Emergency and Disaster Management Master of Arts Online. The 36-credit major directed by Dr. Terri Wilkin, the 2017 Order of the Sword & Shield Outstanding Leadership Award winner, satisfies board certification in two years full-time. Eight-week online courses, such as Weapons of Mass Destruction, Wildland Fire Mitigation, and Climate Change Adaptation, end in a crisis action planning project. Also investigate APUS online programs like the Homeland Security MA, National Security Studies MA, and Intelligence Studies MA.

  5. California State University-Long Beach

    Long Beach, CA



    Linked to 151,692 LinkedIn alumni, including detective J. Warner Wallace and Senator Gloria Romero, California State University-Long Beach is the 23-school system's third-largest public, space-grant research hub founded in 1949 that's endowed for $66 million to serve 5,530 49ers in 65 master's from the "Aquatic Capital." CSULB was declared America's 64th best university in Washington Monthlys 19th top college on the Social Mobility Index, 92nd best value by The Daily Beasts and 38th best criminal justice school on Niche. With selective 32 percent admission, the College of Health and Human Services accepts $55 applications until June 1st for the Online Master of Science in Emergency Services Administration. The 33-unit, WASC-accredited program organized by Dr. Ryan Fischer focuses on strengthening disaster-resilient communities. Fall cohorts with minimum 2.5 GPAs take 10-week D2L courses like Risk Planning, Interagency Communication, and Homeland Security before the strategic practices project. Other Cal State Online opportunities include the Maritime Academy's MS Humanitarian Disaster Management, Dominquez Hills' MA Conflict Resolution, and Northridge's MPA Public Sector Management.

  6. Jacksonville State University

    Jacksonville, AL



    Housing the Center for Disaster & Community Resilience, Jacksonville State University is a public, state-funded Emergency Management Coalition of Eastern Alabama member that's celebrating its 135th year training 953 post-grad Gamecocks from 61 nations and employing 1,104 faculty with a $336 million economic impact. JSU is crowned America's 51st best online criminal justice school by the U.S. News & World Report,s297th best master's college in Washington Monthlys and 268th top value on The Economists The School of Human Services & Social Sciences in McClellan Center utilizes Blackboard to deliver a Master of Science in Emergency Management Online with funds like the DHS Scholarship. Advised by Dr. Jane Kushma, the 30-hour, SACS-accredited program substitutes virtual exams, projects, and discussion boards for residencies. Online students applying by the January 16th deadline choose courses from Biosecurity and Radiological Incidents to Disaster Recovery and Public Information before the capstone paper. Jacksonville State put its Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management, DSc in Emergency Management, and MPA Emergency Management Concentration online too.

  7. Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo, FL



    Known for its CAE-designated Center of Cybersecurity Education since 2014, Saint Leo University is a nonprofit, Benedictine liberal arts college opened four decades ago at MacDill Air Force Base that's currently endowed for $62 million to enroll 16,000 Lions from 44 states in LearningStudio courses averaging 19. Leo is ranked America's 157th best online graduate school by the U.S. News & World Reports 37th best criminal justice college on Niche, and 36th most diverse university in Best College Reviewss Directed by Dr. Janis Prince, the School of Education & Social Services has SACS accreditation for an Online Emergency and Disaster Management MS with 71 percent retention. The 36-credit degree uses video conferencing to connect crisis professionals in eight-week courses like Hazard Mitigation, Preventing Terrorist Attacks, and Crime Scene Investigation. Most graduate in 24 months, including the 15-week applied administration project, but an accelerated track is available with special approval. Saint Leo WorldWide also grants a Criminal Justice MS in Critical Incident Management and Fire Science Administration MS.

  8. Eastern Kentucky University

    Richmond, KY



    Registering 270+ student organizations, including Epsilon Sigma Pi and the Assets Protection Society, Eastern Kentucky University is an SACS-accredited public, regional Bluegrass OVC member that's budgeting $355 million to train 16,305 Colonels, undertake Safety Center research, host the Annual Critical Criminology Conference, and more. EKU was recognized for America's 171st highest-paid homeland security grads on College Factual, 165th best opportunities by the Social Mobility Index, and 99th best ROTC program in Washington Monthlys On Blackboard, the College of Justice & Safety headed by Dr. Victor Kappeler, an ASC Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, has the Safety, Security & Emergency Management Master of Science Online. The 36-credit, non-thesis program expects composite GRE scores above 290 for entering concentrations on Homeland Security, Occupational Safety, or Emergency Management. Fulfilling CSHM exam requirements, the online degree ends with a capstone project or written examination after eight-week courses like Organizational Continuity and Construction Safety. Check out Eastern Kentucky's Justice Policy & Leadership M.S. or Fire and Emergency Services MPA Online too.

  9. Anna Maria College

    Paxton, MA



    Chartered by the Commonwealth Board of Collegiate Authority in 1946, Anna Maria College is a private, nonprofit Catholic AAC&U member affiliated with the Sisters of Saint Anne that's endowed for $4.6 million to handle a 45 percent enrollment increase to 1,432 Amcats in the Worcester Metro and online through Blackboard. AMC was judged America's 464th best master's university in Washington Monthlys 235th most popular homeland security school on College Factual, and 17th best MPA buy by College Values Online. The FESHE-accredited School of Fire & Health Sciences employs faculty with 100+ years of combined experience for an Online Master of Public Administration - Emergency Management Specialization. Chaired by Dr. Michael Donnelly, the curriculum splits into 12-course Direct and 10-course Mid-Career tracks. Online learners accumulate credits from Strategic Planning and Ethical Theory to Emergency Operations Frameworks anytime 24/7 before applied research projects. Notice there's also Online MPA specializations for Fire and Emergency Services, Homeland Security, or Criminal Justice.

  10. Bellevue University

    Bellevue, NE



    Led by Dr. Mary Hawkins, Leader's 2016 Person of the Year, Bellevue University is a nonprofit, open-access "Military Friendly" institution passing its 50th anniversary that's HLC accredited to enroll 50,000 Bruins in 80+ degrees at the 46-acre Nebraska campus with a Remember Our Fallen exhibit and on Blackboard. Bellevue is proclaimed America's 120th best online management school by the U.S. News & World Reports 26th safest college on Niche, and sixth best university for adults in Washington Monthlys The School of Public Service, Safety, Security & Intelligence received a 2015 Government Security News Award for its Master of Science in Security Management Online. Mandating minimum 2.5 GPAs, the 36-credit, FEMA-recognized curriculum fosters emergency preparedness via courses like Critical Infrastructure, Terrorism Defense, and Vulnerability Assessment. Two real-life threat analysis projects are integrated to help post-grads become Certified Homeland Protection Professionals (CHPP). Related online programs include the M.S. in Intelligence and Security Studies, M.S. in Justice Administration, and M.S. in Cybersecurity.

Our Methodology, Explained

Grad School Hub compiles rankings based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics play a significant role in how we source our educational data. After collecting insight for each institution, we organize information into five weighted categories.
Metric Data Used Percentage
Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 30%
Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 10%
Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 30%
Program Offerings Number of program options 20%
Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 10%
A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible on our Ranking Methodology page.

Which Jobs Do Master's in Emergency Management Online Programs Open?

Investing 12 to 48 months on online master's in emergency management curricula qualifies individuals for upper-level administrative authority in all four EMI stages: preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. Save for PhD-preferred careers in university teaching and bioterrorism research, master's graduates can find rewarding work in various disciplines like hazardous material safety, epidemic control, cyber security, financial loss prevention, and criminal justice. Many states offer credentials, such as the Kansas Certified Emergency Manager (KCEM) title, for applicants with 2+ years of experience who pass an online course and exam. Industry certifications, including the CompTIA Security+ designation with a 90-minute, $320 exam, can also help specialize. The IAEM even has a global program where 1,375 professionals meeting the 100+ training hours became Certified Emergency Managers (CEM). Here are five advantageous careers online emergency management master's are appreciated.

Emergency Management Specialist- Included in the U.S. News & World Report's "50 Best Jobs," emergency management specialists are the behind-the-scenes brains who synchronize effective responses to high-stress events. An online master's in emergency management would prepare for modifying crisis procedures, evacuating at-risk citizens, dispatching first aid, cleaning up debris, budgeting government money, and planning media outreach.

Homeland Security Agent- Since its 2001 founding, DHS has grown a $40.6 billion annual budget to employ 240,000 officials, including some cheap emergency management master's alumni, to thwart the 176 terrorist plots assessed by RAND Corporation. Homeland security agents analyze government intelligence, address assumed risks, harden federal infrastructure, outline emergency responses, investigate incidents, and arrest perpetrators.

Risk Management Director- Recognized for America's #2 best job on CNN Money with median pay of $131,000, risk management directors identify vulnerabilities that organizations face to reduce losses from natural or man-made disasters. Getting a master's in emergency management online may help conduct risk assessments, review suspicious activity, present compliant protocol changes, reduce liabilities, procure insurance, and lead cleanups.

Business Continuity Planner- The Gazette warns that nearly four in 10 small businesses shut down after danger strikes, so emergency management master's online training has good private-sector options. Business continuity planners conduct impact analyses, create disaster recovery strategies, interpret regulation codes, set up emergency communication networks, execute mock-incident exercises, tweak risk response plans, and inform personnel.

Incident Response Manager- Online emergency management master's graduates who stay calm during crises could coordinate teams that react expediently to hazards from tornadoes to data breaches. The National Emergency Number Association estimates 240 million 9-1-1 calls yearly, so incident response managers assess threats, launch defensive acts, mitigate security risks, initiate corrective actions, and find future precautions.

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What are Salary Expectations After Emergency Management Master's Online Study?

Cheap emergency master's degrees can save from flooding debt by generating solid ROI with wages that surpass the mean graduate salary jump of $28,000 annually on Quartz. It's expected on PayScale that M.S. holders in emergency management have yearly paychecks of $51,029 to $88,067. The Bureau of Labor Statistics showed median pay of $70,500, or $33.89 per hour, for the 10,100 emergency management directors in America. Criminal investigators snag mean profits of $81,490. Homeland security analysts see average earnings of $79,200. Specializing in cyber security provides median income of $92,600. Risk management analysts reap generous compensation of $91,910. On Salary.com, emergency services directors posted a median wage of $135,826. Other notably high averages were $89,234 for security managers, $103,341 for sheriffs, $101,050 for compliance directors, $124,181 for disaster recovery administrators, and $88,520 for business continuity managers.

How are Hiring Outlooks for Online Emergency Management Master's Graduates?

Earning an emergency management online master's isn't a risky chance since Government Technology deemed it a "growth industry" in January 2017. From the 175-mph Hurricane Maria to the 273,400-acre Thomas wildfire, the last year has proved the need for disaster response. The Department of Labor stated that hiring in emergency management will rise by 8 percent for 10,900 total jobs by 2026. Need for EMTs is spiking by 15 percent with 37,400 openings. Information security is perhaps the fastest-growing niche projecting 28 percent hikes. Other positive 10-year job outlooks are 7 percent for detectives, 10 percent for fire inspectors, 6 percent for private security guards, and 9 percent for safety engineers. Insurance Journal ranked New York, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Charleston, and Atlantic City as the most vulnerable cities for worsening climate change. Putting an online master's in emergency management atop one's resume improves hirability where protective service jobs abound.


Our World in Data
The Borgen Project
National Institutes of Health
National Center for Education Statistics' College Navigator

This concludes our ranking of the top 10 most affordable master's in emergency management online.

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GradSchoolHub.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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