Emergency & Disaster Management

Master of Arts

The Master of Arts in Emergency and Disaster Management (EDM) provides graduate-level knowledge to improve critical thinking and decision-making skills required in the planning and management of public crises. This online master's degree program exposes you to the history, theory, response, recovery, and economics of EDM. Through case study examination, you'll study natural, technical, and human-induced public emergencies, disasters, and catastrophes. Knowledge gained from this online program can supplement experience previously gained in the public safety field, or can help to prepare you for a new career in EDM. Knowledgeable leaders who can effectively manage crisis events are in demand in government agencies, public safety, and law enforcement organizations.

This program is recognized by the Foundation of Higher Education for Disaster and Emergency Management and Homeland Security. The university is the first 100% online institution to receive this important distinction.

Program Courses

The curriculum for this online master’s program is reviewed by an advisory council of industry experts for relevancy to today’s marketplace. Course topics include:

  • Emergency and disaster theory
  • Emergency management, including communication and mitigation
  • Emergency responses and recovery
  • Terrorism
  • Interagency disaster management
  • Research methods in emergency and disaster management
  • Crisis action planning, including leadership and methodologies

Courses in this program are taught by highly credentialed and experienced instructors, many who are board-certified emergency managers (CEM) or who hold key positions in government agencies or national safety and security organizations.

View all courses.

Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these program specific learning outcomes and be able to:

  • Develop a research proposal for emergency and disaster management and report the findings including an estimation of economic impacts.
  • Select, evaluate, and prioritize research projects and proposals in community preparedness and emergency response.
  • Organize emergency management functions and activities using contemporary emergency and disaster management concepts and federal guidelines.
  • Formulate plans that clearly differentiate disaster response actions including recovery operations and their funding from routine emergency operations.
  • Design and promote inter-disciplinary training to assure integration between all aspects of an emergency operations function including: planning and pre-event preparedness; threat and vulnerability assessments; capability and capacity evaluation; public policy issues; mitigation strategies; exercises and training; program evaluation.
  • Develop plans and policies that ensure the strong organizational and personal relationships necessary to be able to work with the key federal agencies to ensure interagency cooperation at all levels during any large scale incident.
  • Formulate policies procedures and protocols to allow seamless agency integration in both small and large emergency operations centers (EOCs) assuring compliance with the National Response Plan and National Incident Management System.
  • Perform economic and social analyses necessary to provide funding recommendations to appropriate fiscal authorities; develop and manage budgets.

Degree at a Glance

Admission Requirements

  • All graduate programs require you to have earned a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an institution whose accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
  • If you have a non-U.S. transcript, please view our International Admissions page for more information.
  • There is no fee to complete our admission application. View steps to apply.  

Need help?

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an admission representative at 877-777-9081 or info@apus.edu.


Graduate Tuition Rates  

Per credit hour: $350 | $325 with military grant*

View Tuition and Fee Details

*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, we offer a tuition grant for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, Guard, Reserve, military spouses and dependents, and veterans. See all military-affiliated student benefits.

Paying for School

As an accredited university, we accept the following forms of financial aid and payments:

Ways to Save

Transfer Credits 

Accelerate your degree completion by taking full advantage of our transfer credit options, including credit for your previous college courses, military service schools, American Council on Education (ACE) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and prior learning experiences.  

Employer Contributions

The university has educational partnerships with many employers and associations. Be sure to accurately enter your employer information when you complete our admissions application. Your employer might also offer a tuition reimbursement plan as one of your benefits.