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Emergency Management Master of Science in Emergency Management

School of Public Service Leadership

Help Communities in Crisis

Lead communities when it’s needed most. Capella’s online master’s in emergency management degree will train you to lead and direct disaster prevention and relief efforts, building your leadership abilities. You’ll gain the skills you need to assume greater management responsibility in helping communities prepare for and reduce vulnerability to hazards as well as cope with disasters in private and public settings. This program will prepare you for opportunities for advanced study, leadership, and career advancement at the supervisory and administrative level.

At a Glance

  • Online
  • 7 Core Courses
  • 4 Elective Courses
  • 1 Integrative Project

Classes Start July 8th

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 SPRING)

What you’ll learn

See How Research Impacts Policy

Examine how research in emergency management impacts policy in the field.

Use Leadership Models

Apply leadership models to modern emergency management issues.

Apply Strategic Thinking

Use strategic and tactical thinking principles in leadership and administrative roles in the emergency management system.

Back Up Decisions with Research

Apply valid, reliable, and ethical research to your decisions.

Manage Organizations & Agencies

Lead and manage integrated emergency management organizations and agencies across all sectors.

Communicate Professionally

Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with the expectations for your profession.

Program features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

Scholar-Practitioner Faculty

Learn the latest in theory and practice from a doctoral faculty who are actively engaged in the emergency management field.

Relevant, Real-World Learning

Engaging media simulations help you develop and practice skills in on-the-job, risk-free scenarios.

Practical Research Application

You’ll gain advanced knowledge to make effective, evidence-based decisions that are based on research and not popular opinion.

Learning Online Doesn’t Mean You’ll Learn Alone

From day one, you’ll interact in a multidisciplinary courseroom that mimics the real world. You’ll be paired with an expert instructor and writing coach who will help you develop the skills needed for success.

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. 

Our original learning format offers extra structure for those who want it. 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.

Ways to save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

Reduce your tuition by $3K

Enroll in your master's degree, apply for the scholarship, meet eligibility requirements, and receive up to $3K.

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.

Student Success Story

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

Grant Jongejan
MS in Emergency Management

*Actual Capella student who agreed to appear in promotional materials for Capella. Results vary.

Develop the Skills Employers Are Looking For

Soft skills like leadership, ethics, communications, critical thinking, diversity awareness, teamwork, and collaboration are vital to providing quality community service and upholding the standards of public service. 

Accredited & recognized

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

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


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.

Continuity Management

Apply research and theory to inform policy and practice to design and manage resilient systems.

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. 

Higher Education

Prepare to teach using your personal teaching philosophy and applying ethical decision-making, multicultural competence, and more.

Project Management

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

Faculty & support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise 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.


Advisors know the details of your program. Got questions about courses? Instructors? Resources? Advisors have answers.


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.

Relevant blog posts

Focused Education Is Key to Emergency Management, Expert Says

Kay Goss, former Associate FEMA Director, talks about her long career in emergency management and the importance of a focused education.

What Is Emergency Management?

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

How a Master’s in Emergency Management Helps Graduates Manage Disasters

Help your community respond and recover from disasters with an emergency management degree.

Move forward in your career

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our master's in emergency management degree.

Related Job Titles to Explore*

  • Emergency operations center director
  • Emergency preparedness specialist or coordinator
  • Preparedness and incident management director
  • Emergency management agency director, assistant director, or planner
  • Fire service officer, battalion chief, or chief
  • Fire marshal
  • Fire department operations center manager
  • Disaster response consultant
  • Homeland security coordinator/manager
  • Logistics coordinator
  • Security specialist
  • Crime scene investigator

Related Employment Settings to Explore

  • Emergency communications/dispatch center
  • Emergency management agency—local, state, federal
  • Fire service
  • Corporation
  • Private security firm
  • Prison
  • Municipal court system and corrections
  • Law enforcement and administration
  • State government agencies
  • Federal government agencies

*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.