The 15 Best Online Emergency Management Bachelor’s Degree Colleges of 2021

Emergency Management Badge

Are you planning to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management but still at a loss as to what you can do with the degree? If you are, it’s best to answer the questions below so you can determine whether or not an emergency management academic program is suitable for you.

  • What is Emergency Management?
  • What is an emergency manager?
  • What can graduates do with an Emergency Management degree?

To sum it all up, degree holders of emergency management are those responsible for keeping in close coordination and communication with different organizations to help anticipate and prepare for possible disasters or hazards. You can typically see these jobs in private industries or the government sector. 

What is Emergency Management?

Emergency management is the management and organization of the responsibilities and resources for dealing with all humanitarian aspects of emergencies (disaster preparedness, response, mitigation, or recovery). The primary aim of emergency management is to minimize the possible harmful results of all hazards. According to the World Health Organization, an emergency is defined as the state where normal day-to-day procedures are interrupted, and immediate measures have to be implemented to prevent hazards from becoming a disaster, which is even more difficult to recover. 

As time passes and more data are readily available (usually by studying an emergency as it occurs), a plan should yield. When developing emergency plans, remember that this is a cyclical process—something common to most risk management disciplines like security risk management and business continuity. 

Several publications and guidelines concerning emergency planning are published by different professional organizations like ASIS, the NFPA or National Fire Protection Association, and the IAEM or International Association of Emergency Managers. When an emergency happens, managers must plan to mitigate the emergency’s potential effects and ensure critical operations’ business continuity following the incident. 

What is an Emergency Manager?

When you think about emergency management, you normally think about the many professionals involved on the ground in an emergency: police officers, firefighters, first responders, and emergency medical technicians. But some people work behind the scenes: enter the emergency managers. 

Emergency managers are exceptional planners responsible for seeing the bigger picture of a whole situation (as well as the tiny details), ensuring that the organization and community are both prepared adequately in case of an emergency. These managers are usually employed in colleges and universities, hospitals, community relief organizations, the military, state or local government, and law enforcement organizations. 

While most emergency managers are confined in their officers, there are some instances when they are required to travel to consult with community organizations and lead training sessions. These professionals can also conduct research or perform surveys to keep abreast of the issues and regulations on a local, state, or federal level. In an emergency event, these managers are responsible for implementing rescue efforts or coordinating evacuations. 

What Can Graduates Do with an Emergency Management Degree?

Because of the constant increase of unanticipated natural and human-made disasters, private and public-sector organizations are increasingly interested in investing in emergency management. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, employments have grown by 2,800 (roughly 22%) between 2008 and 2018. 

Emergency management is a very challenging but rewarding field to get involved with. You can gain entry to this profession by volunteering with your state or local emergency management office, pursuing an advanced degree, or taking independent emergency management courses to further learn about the field. 

Employers usually look for emergency managers who clearly understand the socio-economic and political implications of a disaster. They also want these professionals to know how to create and develop detailed operations plans. 

As far as education quality goes, students of online bachelor’s in Emergency Management programs acquire the same education level as those enrolled in a classroom setting. Some students prefer to have a more relaxed environment, and when they have the chance, they will thrive in taking these courses online. 

cc methodology

Each of the best colleges on our list offering Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management programs were picked based on their program features that truly stand out! First of all, we factored in excellent program design equipping graduates to acquire and demonstrate the best skills for the relevant jobs. 

The online colleges on our list also highlight convenience with 100% online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management programs, reasonable tuition, and financial aid options. Other ranking factors include cost, graduate salary, and reputation. 

Please visit our Methodology page for more information.


Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University Logo

The Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management of Saint Louis is the only undergraduate emergency program this Jesuit university offers. Through the campus’ School of Professional Studies, you are taught how to properly administer aid and assistance to others and help ensure a community’s resilience in times of disasters, big or small. This multi-disciplinary and comprehensive program mainly focuses on all sectors recognized by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the Department of Homeland Security. 

Location:

Saint Louis, Missouri

Accreditation:

  • International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM)

Program Features:

  • 120-credit program
  • Flexible options
  • Six terms every year

Course Options:

  • Managing Natural, Man-made, and Technological Disasters
  • First Responder and Healthcare Coordination in High Impact Disasters
  • Emergency Management Fundamentals
  • Homeland Security Intermediate Practicum
  • Emergency Management in Practice
  • Advanced Emergency Management 

Admissions:

  • High school diploma or composite GED score of at least 2250
  • Interview (via phone or on-campus)
  • Minimum transfer cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • Official transcripts

Tuition:

$650 per credit hour (Standard Undergraduate)

Financial Aid:

  • Scholarships: awarded based on one’s academic standing, leadership, standard, and financial need. 
  • Financial aid: Loans and grants. Some may require repayment. 

What’s Unique About the Program

  • It has six start terms every year (meaning you can enroll anytime)
  • Eight-week terms are entirely offered online, perfect for working professionals. 

Mercer University

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Mercer University runs a Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management program that tackles various global threats to public safety and equipping students for effective management in this field. Students will also experience service-based learning to develop their core competencies in the field even more. This degree program is ideal for adult learners already working in the emergency response arena or homeland security. 

Location:

Atlanta, Georgia

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges 
  • Schools Commission on Colleges

Program Features:

  • Provides a strong foundation of knowledge of public safety issues
  • Gears students with the tools to harness their leadership skills
  • Teaches efficient communication skills for high-risk situations
  • Develops students’ critical thinking skills in terms of important issues on public safety

Course Options:

  • Border Patrol Agent
  • C.I.A. Officer or Analyst
  • Air Marshal
  • Customs and Border Protection Officer
  • Disaster Engagement Specialist
  • Disaster Services Analyst
  • Emergency Management Planner
  • Emergency Preparedness Analyst
  • Emergency Response Coordinator
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE.) Agent

Admissions:

  • Completed application for admission
  • Non-refundable $25 application fee ($50 for international applicants)
  • High School or GED. Transcript
  • Official College Transcripts (college-level work from previously attended institutions)

Tuition:

Available upon request 

Financial Aid:

  • Federal or state grants
  • Federal or state and other outside scholarships
  • Loans
  • Federal Work-Study grants 

What’s Unique About the Program

  • Easier for adult students to have access to higher education
  • The online courses are structured in an eight-week session
  • The program admits students five times a year (January, March, May, August, and October).

Colorado State University

Personnel in fire and emergency services are notable in providing communities with a wide number of fire protection services, emergency medical, fire prevention, and emergency preparedness services. Colorado State University’s Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Services Administration is an online degree program that challenges you to integrate your academic knowledge into administrative and managerial roles, apply your knowledge, skills, and competencies to fire and emergency service situations and collaborate with your peers to solve organizational problems. Highly experienced practitioners teach the courses in this field to develop better skills to apply directly to your job. 

Location:

Colorado

Accreditation:

WASC Senior College and University Commission

Program Features:

  • Personal administration
  • Financial management
  • Emergency management
  • Program evaluation

Course Options: 

  • Fire Service Leadership
  • Structure Influence on Tactics and Strategy
  • Proposals/Reports in Fire Service Management
  • Orientation to Experiential Learning
  • Trends in Fire Science Technologies
  • Fire Emergency Services Administration
  • Essentials of Emergency Management
  • Fire and Emergency Services Budgeting
  • Fire and Emergency: Human Resources
  • Fire and Emergency: Legal Considerations
  • Integrated Management Solution

Admissions:

  • Minimum of 120 credits needed to complete the degree, including 42 upper-division credits and 30 upper-division credits completed through Colorado State University
  • 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Previous college credit should be transferred into the online anthropology bachelor’s degree completion program
  • $50 nonrefundable application fee

Tuition:

$476 per credit (this includes Student Services Fee

Financial Aid:

  • Federal Financial Aid
  • Scholarships
  • Military Discounts
  • Veteran’s Benefits

What’s Unique About the Program

  • This will help you increase your opportunities for raises and promotions
  • You will receive a well-rounded background in emergency services 
  • Alumni members include governors, astronauts, CEOs, among others 

Grand Canyon University

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The Grand Canyon University Colangelo College of Business offers a BS Degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management entirely available online. The program prepares graduates to have the right communication skills and leadership abilities if an unexpected situation happens. Emergency Management teaches preparedness, response, and recovery during and after hazards and dangers. 

GCU’s Homeland Security Degree program focuses on four major domains to guarantee a student will have practical and theoretical knowledge to help keep communities safe. These domains include:

  • Emergency management frameworks and practice
  • Organizational disaster management and leadership
  • Research and critical thinking
  • Ethics, relationship building, and community engagement

Location:

Phoenix, Arizona

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC.)

Program Features:

  • Emergency action planning
  • Community response planning 
  • Knowledge of local, state, and federal guidelines for emergency preparedness 
  • Budget or resources management
  • Hazard analysis
  • Mass care operations
  • Training in high-risk communication

Admissions:

  • Admission form
  • 34-40 credits (general education requirements)
  • 36 credits (Major)
  • Official transcripts from each educational institution attended. These may be mailed, hand-delivered, or faxed.

Tuition:

$470 per credit

Financial Aid:

  • FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • Only offered online
  • Perfect for working professionals who are looking into switching careers or elevate within their current jobs

Barry University

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The Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Emergency Management at Barry University is ideal for students planning to acquire and learn operational skills applicable to various emergency scenarios and systems. The degree is designed for present emergency management professionals eyeing promotion and planning to embark on a new career. 

This accelerated online program incorporates coursework from management, public administration, psychology, health sciences, criminal justice, sociology, and environmental sciences. You are taught to plan, coordinate, and create high-level decisions in this degree as well. 

Location: 

Miami Shores, Florida

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges
  • Schools Commission on Colleges

Program Features:

  • You are taught how to use National Planning Scenarios to apply and adapt emergency management skills to a broad scale of possible terrorist threats
  • You will learn to apply the four-stage hazard mitigation planning cycle.
  • You will learn cultural, ethical, research-related, and developmental issues that affect communities’ psychosocial and physical recovery and individuals exposed to disaster. 

Course Options:

  • Overview of Disasters and Complex Emergencies
  • Principles of Emergency Management
  • Business Continuity Crisis Management
  • Emergency Management of Homeland Security
  • International Disaster Management 
  • Hazard Mitigation and Management
  • …many more!

Admissions:

  • Must be over 21 years old
  • At least two years of work experience (unless you’re a military applicant
  • Official transcripts
  • Professional resume with two references
  • If fewer than 12 college credits earned, an official transcript that indicates graduation from a regionally accredited high school or GED is needed

Tuition:

$247 per credit

$741 per 3-credit course

Financial Aid:

  • Qualified students who applied via FAFSA

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • It has multiple start dates every year, very convenient for working adults
  • Classes are completely online

Franklin University

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Franklin University offers a BS Degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management, offering degree candidates two academic tracks: Emergency Management and Disaster Response or Homeland Security. With the curriculum, you will gain exposure to emergency management, risk management and threat assessment, homeland security, safety, security planning, and other related subjects to prepare you for future leadership in different settings.

Whether you want to build on your experiences, enter the field, or want to lay a stronger foundation for graduate school, this program is a perfect choice for you. You can easily earn this degree according to your terms by having online classes 100%. Being a regionally accredited and nonprofit school, Franklin University was built from the ground up to fully accommodate adult learners’ needs. 

Location: 

Columbus, OHIO

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)
  • National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education

Program Features:

  • 120 Semester hours
  • Additional General Education Requirements (12 hours)
  • University Electives (36 hours)
  • Major Area (28 hours)

Course Options:

  • Business Continuity Manager
  • Corporate and Private Security Managers
  • Emergency Medical Services Operations Manager
  • Homeland Security Specialist

Admissions:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.00
  • Minimum GPA of 2.25 in the major area

Tuition:

  • $398 per credit (Standard Tuition)
  • $250 per credit (current service members)
  • $526 per credit (international students)

Financial Aid:

  • Federal, state, local and Franklin-only scholarships
  • FAFSA Scholarships to qualified enrollees

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • You can personalize your major
  • Real-world practitioners
  • Relevant curriculum

Western Carolina University

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The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Homeland Security and Emergency Management of Western Carolina University is available 100% online! Upon enrollment, you are required to complete 120 credit units to meet the program’s prerequisites. This baccalaureate degree coursework includes EMC systems management, social dimensions of a disaster, emergency planning, disaster response operations, methods of disaster research, and methods of a research project, to name a few. 

Location: 

Cullowhee, North Carolina

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges
  • Schools Commission on Colleges

Program Features:

  • Theory and hands-on practice through the program’s interdisciplinary curriculum.
  • The curriculum applies the current standards and knowledge of public safety and security management

Course Options:

  • Risk Assessment ad Vulnerability Analysis
  • Emergency and Disaster Management
  • Political and Policy Basis of Emergency and Disaster Management

Admissions:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better on all coursework at other colleges or universities
  • Completion of AA, AS, or AAS degree from the community college or substantial progress toward “44 General Core.”

Tuition:

  • $ 246.57 per credit (graduate; in-state)

Financial Aid:

  • FAFSA scholarships are available

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • 100% online classes

Jacksonville State University

When you have a degree in Emergency Management from Jacksonville State University, you will always be ready and prepared for any community incident: from minor emergencies to major disasters. You will have the skills and knowledge to lead the way in helping your community. Mandated classes include an introduction to disaster management, disaster mitigation and preparedness, populations at risk, emergency management capstone course, and research in emergency management. 

Location: 

Jacksonville, Alabama

Accreditation: 

  • Southern Association of Colleges
  • Schools Commission on Colleges

Program Features:

  • Emergency management degree
  • Research in Emergency Management
  • Disaster Mitigation and Preparedness
  • Intro to Disaster Management

Admissions:

  • Official transcripts
  • SAT Scores
  • Minimum GPA.
  • Application fee of $30 (non-refundable)

Tuition:

  • $324 per credit hour (in-state students)
  • $648 per credit hour (out-of-state students)

Financial Aid:

  • Federal State Aid for qualified students who submit applications at FAFSA

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • The accredited program taught by experienced staff
  • Comprehensive degree options
  • Convenient online courses for working professionals 

Upper Iowa University

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You can complete a BA. Emergency and Disaster Management Degree at Upper Iowa University entirely online. This degree is also available in Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and Wisconsin. The program integrates theory with practice to gear you to fully understand, manage, and mitigate the human and physical consequences of technological, natural, civil, or human-caused disasters. 

Location: 

Fayette, Iowa

Accreditation: 

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Louisiana Higher Education Board
  • Wisconsin Educational Approval Board
  • Iowa Department of Education

Program Features:

  • Two-at-a schedule
  • Evening or online courses to accommodate each student’s unique lifestyle

Admissions:

  • Completed application
  • Official transcripts
  • College Level Examination (CLEP) and DSST Scores
  • Official proof of English proficiency (if English is not your native language)

Tuition:

  • $488 per credit hour (online undergraduate)
  • $ 330 (self-paced)

Financial Aids:

  • Available through Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • Convenient and focused scheduling
  • Two-at-a-time schedule

Drury University

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The BS in Emergency Management program of Drury University is the state’s best online emergency management degree. Each student is required to completed 124-semester credits to be able to complete the program. Major requirements for this degree include classes in financial basics for leaders, hazard mitigation, hazard identification, social aspects of a disaster, and grant writing. Students are also involved in an internship program, and they can enter the university’s program five times each year.

Location:

Springfield, Missouri

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission

Program Features:

  • General education courses have to be completed, plus 39 hours specific to the Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management
  • Dubbed as the Best Value Online Emergency Management Program for 2020

Course Options:

  • Emergency Management Principle and Practice
  • Hazard Identification
  • Social Aspects of Disaster
  • Disaster Planning and Preparedness
  • Disaster Response 

Admissions:

  • Completed application form
  • Official transcript of the record from any college or university you have attended

Tuition:

$320 per credit hour

Financial Aid:

  • Available federal scholarships thru FAFSA

What’s Unique About the Program

  • Five start dates every year
  • 124 credit hours to graduate
  • 15 average class size 

Kansas Wesleyan University

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The Bachelor of Arts in Emergency Management of Kansas Wesleyan University is one of the best online emergency management degrees in Kansas’s entire state. The only academic offering of its kind in Kansas, this BA degree has two minor options: Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Criminal Justice. Upon graduating from KWU, you can find rewarding careers in hospitals, businesses, the federal government, colleges and universities, public schools, the Red Cross, just to name a few. Kansas Wesleyan University was chosen to host the Multi-Hazard Planning for Emergencies coursework of FEMA. 

The Emergency Management major at Kansas Wesleyan can be completely obtained online, on-campus, or a hybrid combination of both. Because of its popularity, KWU’s program became one of the top 60 in the entire USA. 

Location:

Salina, Kansas

Accreditation:

  • Kansas State Department of Education
  • National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education

Program Features:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Aviator or non-Aviator)

Admissions:

  • Completed application
  • Official transcript of records
  • KWU is currently test-optional. But if you have the SAT or ACT results, you can submit them to the admissions officer.

Tuition:

  • $495 per credit hour

Financial Aids:

  • Presidential Scholarships ($9,000 off-campus)
  • Dean’ Scholarship ($7,000 off campus)
  • University Scholarship
  • Promise Scholarship

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • Local and National Partnerships (Hands-on Learning)
  • Out of classroom experiences
  • Incredible internships
  • Service-learning
  • Community partnerships

Waldorf University

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The BA Degree in Emergency Management at Waldorf University is curated to prepare the student with extensive emergency management knowledge. This program includes Waldorf’s general education curriculum, various courses in the emergency management arena, electives in Homeland Security, Business, and Fire Science operation. This program also gives a student the right general education and technical and discipline-specific knowledge needed to succeed in the wide field of emergency management. 

Location:

Forest City, Iowa

Accreditation: 

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Council of Higher Education Accreditation

Program Features:

  • Emergency Management Concentration
  • Provides an in-depth background related to Department of Homeland Security practices
  • Focuses on strategies to protect the American homeland like planning, prevention, or response measures related to terrorist threats

Course Options:

  • Fire Science
  • Homeland Security

Admissions:

  • Proof of high school completion or equivalent
  • Students from high school or transferees with less than 12 post-secondary credits should submit a high school transcript with a GPA of not less than 2.0 
  • Applicants transferring with 12-post secondary credits (or more) may self-certify high school completion and must provide the school’s name, city, state, and year of graduation
  • Official transcript of the record from previously attended post-secondary institutions

Tuition:

  • $305 per credit hour (undergraduate)
  • $395 per credit hour (graduate)

Financial Aid:

  • Federal Student Aid
  • Federal Loan Programs
  • Subsidized Stafford Loans
  • Work-Study programs

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • Provides students with flexible learning options
  • Numerous courses in the emergency management arena
  • 100% online classes

Crown College

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Crown College’s BS in Disaster and Emergency Management is 100% online. With the onset of unpredictable weather patterns and other natural disasters, Disaster and Emergency Management is quickly becoming an exciting and rewarding profession. Upon graduation, students emerge as highly qualified professionals for emergency response work and law enforcement careers. 

Location:

Minnesota

Accreditation: 

  • Higher Learning Commission

Program Features:

  • Addresses the management principles, best practices, and public policies that are critical in any emergency management situation
  • Combines DEM coursework with degrees in Psychology, Criminal Justice, Business, and more
  • Small class sizes

Course Options: 

  • Management principles
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Risk and crisis communication
  • Disaster response
  • Social science research method

Admissions: 

  • Completed application
  • Completed the Spiritual Life Essay
  • Official transcript of record

Tuition:

  • $395 per credit
  • $25 application fee
  • $140 technology fee

Financial Aid:

  • FAFSA applications accepted and awarded to qualified students

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • Christ-centered
  • Completely online
  • Major or minor in DEM.
  • Combine DEM coursework with degrees in Criminal Justice, Ministry, Business, Psychology/Counselling

New England College

New England College Logo

New England College’s BA in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is considered one of the best online emergency management degrees in the state of New Hampshire. If you enroll in NEC, expect to complete classes in introduction to homeland security planning, crisis communication, cyber-crime, warfare, research methods, emergency planning and response, and a senior thesis, to name a few. As part of the Yellow Ribbon program, New England College is a designated military-friendly higher learning institution. 

Location:

Henniker, New Hampshire

Accreditation: 

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

Program Features: 

  • Consists of 40 credits and focuses on the intersection between policy, theory, and politics.
  • Students gain a clear understanding of the important foundations for key homeland security discussions and know how those decisions are affected by the political process.
  • Integrates and build intellectual interest and experience. 

Course Options: 

  • AA in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
  • MA in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

Admissions:

  • Completed application form and official transcripts
  • No ACT/SAT needed

Tuition:

$405 per credit

Financial Aid:

  • NEC Scholarships 
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • New England College Grant
  • State Grants 

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • Directly helps you with your new promotion
  • Streamlined admissions process
  • Competitive tuition
  • Courses are all delivered online
  • Flexible 7-week terms 

Immaculata University

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Being the only Emergency Planning and Management major in Pennsylvania, Immaculata University’s BS in Emergency Planning and Management is duly recognized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This program’s curriculum teaches its students the most suitable and practical skills to help you become an asset to organization planning for emergencies. You will learn how to use data from real crises in projects and assignments, and you get to practice making executive-level decisions that will come in handy in case a crisis occurs on the field. 

Location: 

Malvern, Pennsylvania

Accreditation: 

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Program Features: 

  • This degree can be completed entirely online.
  • Prepares you to establish or grow your career in different settings and industries that focus on emergency response and rescue.

Course Options:

  • Principles of Emergency Management
  • Emergency Management Systems
  • Risk Analysis and Threat Assessment
  • Legal Aspects Emergency Management

Admissions: (for first-year undergraduate students)

  • Admission application
  • Official school transcripts
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Letter of Recommendation 

Tuition:

$540 per credit hour

Financial Aid:

  • FAFSA grants available for qualified students

What’s Unique about the Program

  • 100% online
  • Graduates can find rewarding careers in various fields after graduating: homeland security, special agencies, hospital security, border patrol, government agencies, or private security. 

Emergency management service careers are indeed rewarding and provide students more work opportunities. With an online degree in this field, students who may not live near their chosen school can finally have the chance to attend despite the distance.