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Prepare yourself to oversee complex emergency situations with Capella University's PhD in Emergency Management program. Courses include case studies from Chemical, Biological, Radiological/Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) incidents, as well as the National Incident Management System (NIMS). You will also have opportunities to have your own doctoral research help towards advancing the field of emergency management. Use the opportunities offered through this PhD program to research key questions in emergency management, which could add to the body of knowledge and lead to advancements in the field.

Each member of our expert faculty at Capella’s School of Public Service holds a doctoral degree. They have extensive public safety experience in organizations such as the FBI-NAA, FEMA, IAEM, Secret Service, the U.S. armed forces and more. 

Moreover, Capella University was named a Yellow Ribbon organization by the State of Minnesota in 2010, and our military-affiliated students may be eligible to for a range of benefits including the Post-9/11 GI Bill, a 10% military discount, or one of Capella’s many scholarships.

The Building Blocks of Your PhD

Your PhD in Emergency Management program includes 4 integrated components: online coursework, in-person experiences (called residencies), comprehensive exams, and dissertation. Each facet of your education builds on the others to take you through your program and to your goal of a PhD.

View a sample course sequence to understand program timing and see how your coursework, residencies, comprehensive exams, and dissertation all fit together.

To learn more about this program, request more information and we will match you with an enrollment counselor who specializes in your area of study.

Degree Outcomes

With your PhD in Emergency Management from Capella, you'll learn to lead and manage integrated multijurisdictional disaster management organizations and agencies. You'll also develop and communicate information critical to multijurisdictional emergency management stakeholders, and implement multijurisdictional support to address diversity issues to improve emergency management preparedness. Discover specifically what you'll learn — and how you can apply it.

View full learning and career outcomes report for this program at

People with Doctoral degrees in Public Service Leadership from Capella earn an average of $19,000 more per year than people who only hold a Master's degree.

GE Salary Project Update

Career Outcomes

Common jobs with an online PhD in Emergency Management include adjunct, part-time or full-time faculty, crime scene investigation unit manager, customs and border protection officer, disaster response consultant, emergency management director, fire chief or marshal, highway safety specialist, homeland security coordinator/manager, intelligence operations specialist, law enforcement specialist, police officer, probation, parole, and correctional administrator or commissioner. Potential workplaces include: correctional facility or prison, emergency communications agency, emergency medical service, federal government agency, federal or state emergency management agency, fire service, land-based or online college or university, law enforcement and administration, law enforcement organization, municipal court system and corrections, parole, and probation, private security firm or state government agency.

For a More In-Depth Study

With this area of study, Capella also offers a program concentration — an opportunity to delve deeper into your specific knowledge area. Your program concentration can be included in your transcript to potentially enhance career opportunities.

To learn more, call 866.933.5943, or email us. When you connect with Capella, we will immediately put you in touch with an enrollment counselor trained to assist you with specific questions and needs for your area of interest.