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MS in Emergency Management Public Service

Master of Science in Emergency Management

Be part of the solution when communities need help

When you grow your expertise as an emergency management professional, you develop the skills to help people plan for crisis situations—or work to mitigate the effects if disaster strikes. The Capella online Master of Science in Emergency Management can help you develop your skills to lead the way and prepare for viable solutions to emergency situations. You’ll pick up an understanding of fundamental and contemporary issues related to emergency management, how systems can help protect communities, and when risk-based decision-making can be used to save lives.

At a Glance

  • Online
  • 7 Core courses
  • 4 Elective courses
  • 1 Integrative project
  • 48 Total quarter credits
  • 12 Max transfer credits

Classes Start April 13th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 application fee (waived w/promo WINTER)

Master’s in Emergency Management program highlights

Real-world skills

Our curriculum is designed to meet IAEM National Partners industry standards to help you act effectively in an emergency.

No wasted time

Curriculum teaches critical skills, knowledge, theories, and abilities that employers need in their workforce.

Built-in master’s-to-doctoral pathway

You can earn up to 40 credits, upon acceptance, toward a doctoral degree in emergency management by completing your master’s courses. 

Learn the fundamentals of the field

Take on and understand emergency management concepts, including mitigation, preparation, protection, response, and recovery.

97% of employers surveyed rated the work performance of Capella graduates as proficient or exceptional.

Source: Alumni Employer Survey, 2016

Scholar-practitioner faculty

Learn from expert faculty members, many with real-world experience in FEMA, IAEM, the FBI, and the U.S. Armed Forces.

Meet the faculty »

Get the support you need for success

You’ll never go it alone at Capella. Our dedicated support teams are waiting to help you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment counselors

These experts will set you up for success. They’ll help you find the right degree and program, and answer all your questions about Capella.

Financial aid counselors

Our team knows how to run the numbers and help find ways to save on costs.


Our courses are taught by distinguished faculty members who hold top credentials and have hands-on expertise in their fields. They know what you need to know today.

Career center

For this team, it’s more than resumes and interview tips. It’s about thoughtful and strategic career planning—beyond graduation.

Cost & learning format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

A more structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$540 per credit, 48 total quarter credits, 12 max transfer credits

*This is only an estimate, using general program pricing, and it does not include fees (including application and resource kit fees).  Your price may be higher or lower depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. If transfer credits are allowed in this offering, the prices above show what you would pay if you brought in the average number of transfer credits and the price if you brought in the maximum allowed transfer credits.  

Get the details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.


Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Ways to save

Affording your education shouldn’t be an obstacle to reaching your goals. We can help you find ways you can save

$3K toward your master's

Apply for a $3K Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship to help fund your master’s degree.

10% military discount

If you're an active-duty military service member, spouse, or veteran, discounts may be available.

Transfer credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools.

Master’s in Emergency Management sample courses

The online MS in Emergency Management curriculum helps you gain in-depth expertise in coordinating all facets of emergency management, from preparation to mitigation to response and recovery.

Show course with description
EMG7015 *
Application of Emergency Management Theory

This course introduces learners to the application of emergency management theories by scholars and professionals in research, policy, practice, and systems. Learners in the course identify and assess primary theoretical constructs and research methodologies commonly used in emergency management. Throughout the course, learners synthesize relevant theories and applicable methodologies in order to generate potential research topics, determine potential policy issues, and examine ways to inform emergency management administration. Prerequisite(s): PSL7020, completion of or concurrent registration in PSL7030. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
EMG7025 *
Emergency Management Policy and the Administration of Emergencies and Disasters

This course focuses on the organizational challenges that emergency management leadership typically encounters in contemporary society. Learners critically examine the intended and unintended effects of political, social, and legal policies and pressures impacting the ways emergency management organizations function. Learners assess organizational and administrative theories, and best practices for leadership and administration in emergency management. Learners also analyze innovative policies and change initiatives to achieve specific ethical and functional objectives. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in EMG7015; PSL7030.

4 quarter credits
EMG7035 *
Emergency Management Systems

Learners in this course identify best practices to coordinate and manage comprehensive emergency management systems. Learners examine technology and research-integrated applications, risk communication, risk-based decision making, application of theory, and monitoring and measurement of the programs analyzed. Prerequisite(s): EMG7015, PSL7030. 

4 quarter credits
EMG7045 *
Risk Management Application

In this course, learners determine best practices for risk assessment composed of hazard identification, vulnerability assessment, and impact analysis as an integrated process. Throughout the course, learners integrate the theoretical paradigm supporting the management of risk and risk-based decision making. Prerequisite(s): EMG7015, PSL7030.

4 quarter credits
EMG7095 *
Integrative Project for Emergency Management

In this course, learners demonstrate proficiency in a specific area related to emergency management by applying learning from required and elective courses to develop an original project. Throughout the process, learners select an emergency management theoretical perspective and apply it to best practices and industry-specific approaches and methods. Using their project, learners write a paper to demonstrate knowledge they have gained throughout the program. For MS in Emergency Management learners only. Prerequisite(s): Completion of all required and elective coursework. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or prior learning assessment. 

4 quarter credits

What you’ll learn

The right education can change everything. Discover your path with a Master’s in Emergency Management.

  • Examine how research in emergency management can impact policy.
  • Apply leadership models to modern emergency management issues.
  • Use principles of strategic and tactical thinking as a leader and administrator.
  • Lead and manage integrated emergency management organizations and agencies.
  • Apply valid, reliable, and ethical research to your decisions.
  • Master scholarly, professional, and consistent communication practices.


Concentrations let you hone in on your specific area of interest that can get you even closer to your exact career goals. The concentrations you earn will be included on your transcript.

Critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR)

Address the hazards that threaten the well-being of society with the Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR) Concentration.

Project management

Implement project management practices through innovative technology related to communication, collaboration, information management, and decision support.

Emergency management insights

What Is Emergency Management?

Basic answers to questions about the growing—and evolving—field of emergency management

Preparing For a Hurricane: An Emergency Manager’s To-Do List

Emergency managers provide an essential public service in the face of natural disasters such as hurricanes.

Technology Trends in Emergency Management

Adoption of new technological advances is having a positive effect on the emergency management field.

"I was working in disaster emergency applications and I was using what I had just learned."

Grant Jongejan
MS in Emergency Management graduate
Actual Capella student who agreed to appear in promotional materials for Capella.

Emergency management professional paths

Your education can help you reach your goals, professionally and personally. Here are some of the jobs and employment settings to consider with a Master’s in Emergency Management.

Related job titles to explore*

  • Emergency management director
  • Emergency management specialist
  • Adjunct or part-time emergency management faculty

Employment settings to explore

  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Emergency relief services
  • Government - federal, state, local

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other programs to explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the next step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.