An online master’s degree in emergency management appeals to distance learners who have an interest in both administration and crisis relief. “Emergency Management” can refer to everything from responding to natural disasters to mitigating terrorist threats. And emergency management professionals do exactly what you’d expect – manage situations and personnel related to crises and disasters.
It can be tough to find time to go back to school if you’re a working professional or running a household, but the 21st century has brought with it a substantial improvement in the effectiveness of online education. Adults can continue their full-time schedules while attending classes on their own time, all from the comfort of their living rooms. In fact, some of the best online master’s degrees in emergency management feature online classes, simply requiring program members to complete face-to-face practicums and field experiences in their local area.
Some of these top programs are listed below, among our selection of the 10 most affordable graduate degrees available. These 10 schools represent many of the best value universities in the nation, boasting quality academics combined with rock-bottom tuition. In order to compile this list, we consulted NCES/College Navigator, which is based on information collected directly from institutions by the U.S. Department of Education. From among schools offering online master’s in emergency management, we selected the 10 least expensive. We’ve listed these universities from most to least expensive, giving public institutions an approximate value based on the average of their in-state and out-of-state rates.
Ranking the Cheap Online Master’s in Emergency Management Degree Programs 2015
10. Walden University
Online M.S. in Emergency Management
Earning a master’s degree in emergency management online from Walden University will prepare and equip students to become the battle-ready leaders needed in the 21st century. Walden prepares students to work with diverse parties in order to craft and execute effective emergency response plans. Walden also gives students the opportunity to obtain three certifications from FEMA’s Emergency Management Institution. In addition to a General Program, Walden also offers students specializations in Terrorism and Emergency Management, Criminal Justice, Public Management and Leadership, Homeland Security, and Global Leadership. Walden, a pioneer in non-traditional education, comes in at 13th in SuperScholar’s 2014 rankings of best online programs and also ranks highly on Forbes’ list of top online colleges.
9. California State University Long Beach
Online Master of Science in Emergency Services Administration
California State University Long Beach offers an online master’s degree in emergency management in order to accommodate working professionals’ busy schedules. Students can consult with advisors online, access recorded lectures whenever and wherever they want, and network with other professionals from related disciplines. After completing a set of required courses, students consult with their advisor on selecting specialized electives. Before graduating, students are expected to complete a final thesis or capstone project in which they will apply what they have learned in a real-world, hands-on environment. U.S. News ranks CSULB 6th on their list of top public institutions in the western United States.
Tuition: $475 per unit, or $1475 for a 3-unit course, or $15,675 for the entire program
8. University of South Florida
Online Master of Public Health in Global Disaster Management and Humanitarian Relief
Students from military, public health, disaster relief, and humanitarian backgrounds, among others, will find appeal in the University of South Florida’s Master of Public Health in Global Disaster Management and Humanitarian Relief. This accredited online master’s degree in emergency management caters to mid and entry-level professionals, aiming to give graduates a serious advantage as they look to advance in their field. Today, graduates serve in the military, all levels of the government, the Center for Disease Control, NGOs such as World Vision and the Carter Center in Sudan, and the healthcare industry. Regionally, Forbes ranks USF 100th in the South; nationally, the U.S. News list of up-and-coming universities places USF at 14th.
Tuition: $6,410/yr (In-state) $17,324/yr (Out-of-state)
7. Jacksonville State University
Online Master’s in Emergency Management
Jacksonville State University not only offers an online master’s degree in emergency management but upon completion students also have the option to continue studying in the Doctor of Science track. Master’s program students can select three electives in topics ranging from Current Issues in Homeland Security to Maritime Transportation Security and Crisis Management for Business and Industry. The program focuses on developing analytic and management skills, hazard assessment, and practical skills in addition to classroom theory. JSU allows students to transfer up to six credit hours from another university. GetEducated gives JSU an A- for affordability and an A- on their overall score as well.
Tuition: $6,602/yr (In-state) $16,174/yr (Out-of-state)
6. Colorado Technical University
Online Master of Science in Homeland Security – Emergency Management and Public Health
The coursework required by Colorado Technical University is heftier than others included on this list; students must complete 52 credit hours in order to earn their degree. Students can choose to pursue a specialization in Emergency Management and Public Health or Cyber Security. This top online master’s degree in emergency management is available exclusively online and takes students into the dynamic, ever-changing world facing officials in public health, law enforcement, the military, and various branches of the government. Core curriculum aims to explore public policy, examine the role of various actors in the field (intelligence, first responders, the private sector, etc.), and critically analyze the various threats facing our communities. Military Times has listed CTU as one of its “Best for Vets” for two years in a row.
5. University of Nebraska
Online Emergency Preparedness M.S.
Designed around the Department of Homeland Security’s four foundational principles – Prevent, Protect, Respond, Recover – this program is ideal for students aspiring to be on the frontlines of national security. The University of Nebraska gives students the option to pursue a “practice-based” track or an “academic based” track, with the former allowing interested parties greater freedom to choose electives (which must be approved by an advisory committee). This affordable online master’s degree in emergency management has special accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). In addition, the University of Nebraska is ranked 65th in the Midwest by Forbes and 20th nationwide on U.S. News’ list of best schools for veterans.
Tuition: $6,586/yr (In-state) $12,744/yr (Out-of-state)
4. Trident University
Online Master of Science in Emergency and Disaster Management
Trident is a solid option worth considering – particularly for members of the military – as the university offers numerous means of support for veterans and active duty members. Trident offers a Military College Discount Program in addition to other services, such as free transcript evaluations, to determine how veterans can effectively apply their past military education to their degree. Those who wish to obtain an online master’s degree in emergency management can choose from two tracks: Homeland Security and Logistics. There is no application fee and no residency requirement, and online learners enjoy the flexibility of eight annual start dates. Nearly 90% of students on College Prowler call their experience at Trident both “meaningful” and “worth the money.”
3. Arkansas Tech University
Online Master of Science in Emergency Management and Homeland Security
Arkansas Tech University sets itself apart from other similar graduate programs by uniting theory with real world experience – such as spending 100 hours in an off-site internship. At ATU, students have the opportunity to adapt their degree towards their own area of interest while enjoying personal advising from the Emergency Management and Homeland Security (EMHS) Program Director. The department organizes classes in four essential categories: professional, methods, applied research, and interdisciplinary. U.S. News lists ATU as one of the top 50 public universities in the nation, as well as one of the top 100 schools in the South.
Tuition: $5,862/yr (In-state) $10,878/yr (Out-of-state)
2. Bellevue University
Online Master of Science in Emergency Management
Bellevue University is an incredibly competitive option thanks to its low tuition and military-friendly status. The cheap online master’s degree in emergency management gives students the tools they need to land mid- to upper-level management positions in disaster relief and emergency response. order for students to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the field, each term focuses on a different area: public sector, private sector, leadership and management skills, and funding and grant writing. Bellevue has sought to support military students since its founding in 1966, a claim backed up by the fact that Bellevue is ranked in U.S. News’ top 10 universities for veterans and Military Times top 5 online colleges for veterans.
1. American Military University
Online Master of Arts in Emergency and Disaster Management
Instructors at American Military University are leaders in their fields, assuring that students learn from people who actively practice what they teach. Thanks to AMU’s association with industry experts, students learn the very latest practices. AMU not only excels in academics and industry expertise but also offers students a high level of care and support from faculty and staff. AMU also offers extremely competitive tuition rates – and no application fee. The American Public University System (APUS), AMU’s parent institution, is a leading online institution, having won the Online Learning Consortium’s Effective Practice Award four times. Students in the online master’s degree in emergency management program report high satisfaction with their experience, and a full 96% of seniors recommend the program to friends.
About the Author:
Iris Stone began her writing career when she started working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates’ careers. Her interests actually span far beyond writing, and she is currently studying to be a physicist! Check out her Google+ Profile.