Graduate certificates are an inexpensive and time-saving means to enhance your credentials and undergraduate degree. They can also complement your graduate degree by taking a graduate level certificate in an area in which you want to gain further knowledge. Many employers used to look as these with a jaundiced eye, however now more are seeing a graduate certificate as being pursuant to your existing degree. That is the key-to stress the additional knowledge learned by completing the certificate program. How did this particular certificate improve your skills to handle your current or prospective job? When viewed in this light, employers are more apt to embrace the value and recognize your initiative to upgrade your qualifications.

We have ranked these accredited colleges according to their tuition in increasing order. The word accredited is italicized as it is important to select a regionally accredited school. Accreditation ensures that an institution or degree program meets certain standards and has been evaluated by the respective agency covering the school’s geographical location. Another significant factor regarding institutional accreditation, in addition to ensuring a quality of education, is that it enables students of the accredited college to receive federal and state aid. These are just a few of the advantages in choosing an accredited college or university.

1.  University of Florida

The M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management at UF has many online certificate programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. The school grants certificates in specialized subjects after students complete a specific number of college credit courses. The credit from these courses may or may not be transferable towards an advanced degree program. At the graduate level is the Certificate in Emergency Services and Disaster Management (ES/DM) for individuals seeking to amplify their knowledge in emergency planning, hazard mitigation and preparedness, disaster response and recovery, and homeland security. The goal is to create a broad experience that includes the many elements of current cases in ES/DM and accentuates both the critical thinking and leadership skills necessary to advance in the field.

Applicants must have already attained at least a bachelor’s degree prior to being admitted to the program. In addition, at least two years of supervisory/management experience is necessary. The ES/DM graduates will be prepared to handle competently any of these situations:

  • Emergency Services – Disaster Response
  • Hazard Mitigation and Preparedness
  • Fire and Emergency Services (FES) Response Planning
  • Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Tuition: $129.18 (FL residents): $552.62 (non-residents)

Accrediting Agency: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

2. Auburn University

Auburn University, founded in 1856 as East Alabama Male College, went through three name changes until it officially adopted its current name in 1960. One of the many degrees and certificates offered through their Office of Professional & Continuing Education is their online certificate in Emergency Management. The Office does not stipulate if this is a graduate certificate. However, since the program is aimed at the working professional, we expect that most have a degree in a related field.

For those individuals seeking to promote safer, less vulnerable communities with the capacity to cope with hazards and disasters will benefit from the coursework. It may also enhance the career of those who are in a position to coordinate and integrate activities necessary to respond to and recover from threatened or actual natural disasters. As well as acts of terrorism, or other man-made disasters that impact a community. Students enrolled in this program come from the private and non-profit sectors, including businesses, faith-based and disability organizations, Federal agencies involved in emergency management.

You can earn the Emergency Management certificate by completing a minimum of five courses. Individuals enrolled in the Emergency Management Certificate program must complete all four specified core courses as well as one elective. Courses may be taken individually and independently from the Emergency Management Certificate.

Tuition: $400 per course

Accrediting Agency: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

3. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

The Gillings School of Global Public Health offers a Certificate in Community Preparedness and Disaster Management at UNC-Chapel Hill will enhance your knowledge of management systems used to prepare for, and to respond to, natural and man-made disasters, including terrorism. This graduate-level program favors community leaders in public health, health services, emergency management, emergency medical services, fire, law enforcement, and other first responders. Coursework covers information on community and public health security, community and public health disasters, and analytic methods. The faculty encourages discussion among classmates and the sharing of ideas as they work on the 16-week projects.

An undergraduate degree is not mandatory to apply, as long as you have substantial experience in public health, health services, and/or disaster response services. Students should be able to complete the program in a year and a half when taking the courses over 3 semesters each year: Spring, Fall, and Spring (following year). A typical module consists of 6–8 PowerPoint presentations, 5–8 journal articles (there are no textbooks), and (2) 3-5 page research papers to produce. A drawback for some students is the requirement to be on-campus twice during the length of the program. You will also be required to visit campus upon completion of the program for wrap-up and graduation.

Tuition: $209 per credit hour or $246.90 with all fees (NC residents); $$855/$892.90 with fees (non-residents)

Accrediting Agency: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

4. Angelo State University

ASU’s College of Graduate Studies and Research offers a 12-hour certificate in Emergency Management. This certificate is an excellent addition to the résumé of anyone interested in a career related to homeland security, cybersecurity, information technology, emergency management, law enforcement, or in areas of federal, state, or local government and the private sector. The total twelve hours of study consist of three hours each in these courses: Studies in Mass Destruction Hazards, Disaster Preparedness, Emergency Planning, and Home Security or Geographic Information Systems. Moreover, you will learn from nationally recognized experts in border and homeland security, terrorism and human rights, cybersecurity, emergency management, and law enforcement techniques.

The study plan will enhance each student’s knowledge of national and international security issues in the areas emergency management and disaster preparedness with a holistic approach to real-world issues. Upon completion of the certificate, students can choose to pursue a Master of Science in Homeland Security from Angelo State and use their certificate credits as electives for their degree.

Tuition: $214.20 (Texas resident); $629.20 (non-resident)

Accrediting Agency: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

5. Arkansas State University

Arkansas State’s College of Nursing and Health Professions provides a graduate certificate in Healthcare Emergency Management. This interdisciplinary program prepares professionals to meet the demands of disaster preparedness, mitigation, planning, response, and recovery. The program requires 18 hours of graduate-level courses related to disaster health. Hours completed in fulfillment of a prior degree cannot be counted toward certificate requirements. Hours completed in the certificate program, however, can be applied toward the Master of Science degree in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management. Before enrolling, the applicant must meet the admission criteria that consist of a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline, specified courses, as well as a TB skin test, TB mask fit test, and CPR card from a healthcare provider. Due to the small class size, not all applicants will be accepted into the program.

The College of Nursing and Health Professions is clinically affiliated with over 500 health facilities across the region including hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, public schools, outpatient facilities, sports health agencies, extended care facilities, private practice clinics, industrial settings, wellness clinics, health maintenance organizations and government agencies. This affiliation increases the employment opportunities. For example, graduates from their certificate programs have an 80% employment rate.

Tuition: $268 per credit hour

Accrediting Agency: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

6. University of Nevada-Las Vegas

UNLV offers a graduate certificate under the banner of a man-made critical event with their Emergency Crisis Management in Cybersecurity. The course is designed to address the growing challenges of cybersecurity within private and public organizations. Students will learn the foundations of cybersecurity, risk assessments, threat response techniques, and implementation. The four required courses and one on-site lab prepare students for cybersecurity situational awareness and readiness to respond to a variety of cyber-attacks encountered in data-driven workplaces. The knowledge and skills gained in this program can be applied to interdisciplinary business practices with high regulatory frameworks. Students take the entirely online, except for a one-week faculty, student, and industry cohort session in Las Vegas during the summer.

By taking two courses a semester, the student can complete the program within a year. Some of the learned skills of graduates are:

  • Evaluate the principles behind effective approaches for prevention, planning, risk, mitigation, response, and recovery strategies.
  • Interpret the major elements of technical and operational disasters by learning to implement emergency strategies that reduce vulnerabilities.
  • Analyze the appropriate ways to convey technical operations through verbal and written communication to support organizational operations.

Tuition: $269.25 per credit (Nevada residents)

Accrediting Agency: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

7. Indiana University

Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) offers an online graduate certificate in Homeland Security and Emergency Management for individuals with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. This is an interdisciplinary program designed for people who work or plan to work in government, or with government contractors, private firms, and nongovernmental organizations. Career employees of public and private sector agencies seeking courses in homeland security and emergency management, especially those changing from professional or technical roles to managerial roles, should find the certificate program beneficial. The curriculum of 15 credit hours includes courses in emergency management, risk analysis for public safety, and national and homeland security in America, plus two additional SPEA courses.

IU provides hundreds of online classes for working professionals seeking career and knowledge gains, as well as general interest courses for the public. The 100% online classes do not require any campus visits, and there are no specific login times or dates. This format has helped make the Indiana tops in the number of students taking distance education. The state has 4686 (2016) students enrolled in online courses or 62.9% of the total number of college students in Indiana. Since 1820, IU has been providing “excellent, relevant, and responsive education” from undergraduate to doctorate degrees.

Tuition: $276.98 state resident; $409.16 non-resident

Accrediting Agency: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

8. American Military University

The online certificates at AMU are for students who seek a shorter program focused on career development or knowledge of a specific discipline. You can obtain your certificate at an accelerated pace and amenable tuition while balancing the demands of your work and personal commitments. The diverse selection of undergraduate and graduate certificate programs range from 18-27 semester hours. Many of these typically include six to nine courses focused on developing your skills and educational foundation in a specific discipline. Credits may be applied to an Associate, Bachelor’s, or Master’s degree at the university should you wish to continue your studies further.

One of two certificates offered is the online 18-credits graduate certificate in Emergency and Disaster Management. This program introduces you to the concepts of emergency management, including hazard analysis, mitigation, planning, communication, response, and recovery. It provides a theoretical foundation and understanding of what constitutes disaster, and offers you a glimpse into real-world emergency operations centers. You’ll also uncover how various emergency support functions (fire, law enforcement, public works, healthcare providers, etc.) work together in an integrated emergency management system.

The certificate is also recognized by the Foundation of Higher Education for Disaster and Emergency Management and Homeland Security. The university is the first fully online institution to receive this important distinction.

Tuition: $350 per credit; $325 with Military Grant

Accrediting Agency: The Higher Learning Commission

9. American Military University

A second graduate certificate at AMU is in Emergency Management Executive Leadership. It is designed to improve your knowledge of crisis management, local to national agency coordination, risk assessment, crisis planning, disaster response, and disaster recovery. One of the key objectives of this 18-credits program is to be able to discuss and interpret the interaction, coordination, and facilitation between federal, state, and local agencies during preparation, response, and recovery operations. This online certificate is intended for students who want to expand their knowledge of emergency management leadership without committing to a degree program. An abbreviated list of the learning objectives are:

  • Evaluate public law, regulation, and associated policy that are relevant to emergency planning, response and recovery operations.
  • Discuss and interpret the interaction, coordination, and facilitation between federal, state, and local agencies during preparation, response, and recovery operations.
  • Analyze, and conduct research on the direct and indirect economic losses in public and private sectors that are associated with a disaster.

The curriculum in this program consists of six required courses, each three semester hours. These are: Emergency Management and Public Law, Emergency and Disaster Planning, Hazard Mitigation, Economics of Disaster, and Public Management.

Tuition: $350 per credit; $325 with Military Grant

Accrediting Agency: The Higher Learning Commission

10. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

UW-Green Bay offers a Certificate in Emergency Management, Planning and Administration is a 15-credit online certificate program can be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit. Students seeking undergraduate credit must be a graduate of a recognized high school or have a high school equivalency diploma. Graduate credit can be earned for students with a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. This program is unique in that it is open to students with a bachelor’s degree and those not pursuing an undergraduate degree. For the former, this certificate gives you the option of taking it for graduate credit. Graduate credit can be earned if you held a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. No transcripts are required. However, this is a hybrid program meaning that there are mandatory campus visits. In fact, students and instructors will meet face-to-face three weekends each semester (Friday evening and all day Saturday) on campus.

You will learn about the Principles and Practices of Disaster Response, Political Dimensions of Emergency Management, and Strategic Emergency Preparedness and Planning. Those working as or pursuing work as public safety personnel, emergency planners, and business continuity planners will benefit from the curriculum.

Founded in 1965, the university has a student population of 7,000 representing 39 countries and a placement rate of 98%. The school attests that 54% of students are hired before graduation.

Tuition: $353.26 per credit

Accrediting Agency: The Higher Learning Commission 

11. University of Illinois-Springfield

The University offers a 20-hour graduate certificate in Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security (EPHS Certificate). Courses for the certificate are offered by all College of Public Affairs and Administration programs: Criminology and Criminal Justice, Environmental Studies, Legal Studies, Political Science, Public Administration, and Public Health. The EPHS certificate provides interdisciplinary professional education to the administrators of governmental agencies and others who need to enhance their skills and abilities. This audience may include individuals in law enforcement and fire departments administration, public health agencies, health care providers, and people in private industry. This unique program provides post-bachelors education for administrators rather than training for first responders.

Students take three core courses and two elective courses to extend these skills to one or two disciplinary areas. The electives have been chosen to include courses on salient issues of public policy influenced by recent challenges in emergency preparedness and homeland security. The three core courses are Risk Management and Communication, Environmental Risk Assessment, and Program Evaluation for Public Health. The three required core courses for the certificate provide students with the opportunity to gain substantial graduate-level expertise in risk assessment, risk communication, and program evaluation. Some of the electives cover the topics of Health Law, National Security Issues, Environmental Toxicology, and Emerging Diseases.

Tuition: $362.25 per credit hour  

Accrediting Agency: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

12. Jacksonville State University

JSU offers nine different degrees with twenty-seven majors at the master’s level, the post-master’s Educational Specialist degree with five majors, four graduate certificates, and a Doctor of Science degree in Emergency Management. Their graduate certificate is one of these for students who want to continue their education or working professionals looking to advance their career in this field. This certificate is available for students whose degree is not in emergency management but wish to specialize in this area of study. Upon satisfactorily completing the requirements of the graduate certificate, an entry will be made on the student’s transcript. A student who completes the graduate certificate in Emergency Management (EM) may apply for 15 hours of earned credit towards the Master of Science with a major in Emergency Management.

Another graduate certificate is available for graduates of a nursing degree who wish to specialize in or augment their medical training. This is the graduate certificate titled- Emergency Preparedness Nursing Coordinator. A student who completes the graduate certificate may apply these hours of credit toward the Master’s of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Emergency Management degree. Again, a nursing degree is not a prerequisite to enroll in this program.

Located in Jacksonville, Alabama, this learning institution was founded in 1883 as Jacksonville State Normal School. In 1967, the school attained the status of a university which today offers programs leading Bachelor’s, Masters, and Doctorate degrees. The two highlighted certificates in EM are just two of the total forty-five degree programs that include 35 online degrees, as well as non-degree certificates in 50+ programs.

Tuition: $382 per credit hour

Accrediting Agency: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

13. Black State Hills University

Founded in 1883, BSHU is located in the northern Black Hills, a region abundant with outdoor activity and culture. Spearfish, South Dakota is recognized as one of the top 10 livable small towns in the USA and has been recognized nationally for outdoor recreational opportunities. The school has a second location, BHSU-RC, recently established in Rapid City, the state’s second-largest city. This learning institution provides innovative, high-quality undergraduate (associate and baccalaureate) programs in the arts, humanities, education, behavioral sciences, mathematics, social sciences, natural sciences, business, and technology. In addition, they offer an array of masters-level degrees and certificates. Also, it is the only comprehensive university in western South Dakota.

The Graduate Certificate in Crisis Leadership and Emergency Management (CLEM) will benefit those who are currently in a position of leadership or may be required to manage a critical incident, should it occur. Such events could be related to domestic terrorism and homeland security, transportation disasters, natural and man-made catastrophes, workplace and schoolhouse violence situations. This program is especially suited to those leaders and managers in the emergency management, first responders, law enforcement, military, corporate, and non-profit industry sectors. The coursework places an emphasis on not only response but also prediction, prevention, mitigation, preparedness, and post-response (recovery) aspects of leadership during a crisis.

Tuition: $444.25 (all internet classes)

Accrediting Agency: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

14. Florida State University

FSU’s College of Social Sciences and Public Safety offers a graduate certificate in Emergency Management and Homeland Security (EMHS) online and at their main campus in Tallahassee. Students in the EMHS Program are able to select classes covering a range of topics, from the core principles of Emergency Management to related areas in Public Health and Terrorism Studies. Cross-discipline and non-degree seeking students are welcome to enroll. The range of courses includes Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Emergency Management, Disaster Recovery and Mitigation, Public Health,  Advanced Topics in Terrorism, and U.S. Intelligence Community, to name a handful. Course selection can vary per semester. Graduation from the 15 hours program requires a minimum of a C-. Any courses with a grade lower than C-minus may be repeated.

Founded in 1851, it is located on the oldest continuous site of higher education in the state of Florida. For 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Florida State as the 33rd best public university in the United States. The diplomas and transcripts granted by Florida State show no distinction between online and on-campus students. A testament to the quality of education at FSU is that in recent years, their students have received more than 75 nationally competitive awards, including

  • 3 Rhodes scholarships
  • 4 Truman scholarships
  • Nearly 50 Fulbright fellowships

Tuition: $444.26 (in state); $1,075.66 (non-residents of Florida)

Accrediting Agency: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

15. University at Albany (State University of New York-SUNY)

Most of us relate emergency management to natural disasters; however, there is a concern for those perpetrated by the spread of infectious disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a public health branch devoted to issues related to emerging infections, bio-terrorism, and other disease emergencies. Individuals considering this aspect of emergency response may wish to consider Albany’s School of Public Health. One of the three this School offers is their online graduate certificate titled Public Health Surveillance and Preparedness. Previous public health experience is not required, although many students in the program may be working in public health settings. This program requires the completion of 15 graduate course credits and a cumulative grade of 3.0 or higher. Prior to enrolling, you must have proof of a Bachelor’s degree and the completion of a college-level pre-calculus course.

The curriculum covers Basic Principles of Epidemiology, Emergency Preparedness, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Public Health Preparedness, and Environmental Health. There is an understandable emphasis on epidemiology as it is the study and analysis of the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is the cornerstone of public health and shapes policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive healthcare.

Tuition: $453 per credit hour: New York state residents; $543 per credit hour: non-residents

Accrediting Agency: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

16. University of Maryland-University College

UMUC offers a graduate certificate in Homeland Security Management through which you’ll gain practical experience in performing security risk assessments, planning for and managing operational recovery, and developing strategies to protect people, facilities, and critical infrastructures. You will be learning online at a school named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. This certificate may provide the impetus for mid-career professionals to be elevated in their leadership roles. This possibility is presented through the study of issues in emergency management, cyber security, bio-terrorism, and energy security, as well as core courses in business management.  Strong writing and analytical skills are highly recommended to succeed in this program.

The 15-credits coursework allows up to three transfer credits. There are three credits each of Homeland Security, Infrastructures, Planning and Preparedness, Law, Regulations and Ethics, and IT in Emergency Management. After graduating with your certificate, you may want to consider one of the 90+ degrees, specializations, and certificates offered at UMUC, including programs in the high-growth fields of cybersecurity, data analytics, and healthcare. All of which the Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits.

Tuition: $458 per credit (in state); $659 (non-Maryland residents)

Accrediting Agency: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education

17. Crown College

For over 100 years, Crown College has distinguished itself for its Christ-centered education, academic excellence, and global connections. Their comprehensive Minnesota bible college offers both on-campus and online degree programs and was recently included in Money Magazine’s list of “50 Colleges That Add the Most Value” as well as placing in the top-15% of their “Best Colleges” list. They offer the online and graduate degrees through their School of Online Studies & Graduate School Student around the world. These courses are designed around the unique needs of adult learners, with relevant coursework, constructive feedback, and respect for the experiences you bring to the table.

Crown offers an online graduate certificate in Disaster and Emergency Management. Students enrolled in these programs benefit from short, 7-week online courses and access to the same outstanding faculty teaching in our Master’s degrees. The 12-credits certificate is designed to help students:

  • Successfully lead organizations in domestic and international contexts
  • Learn effective leadership strategies for each phase in the disaster management cycle
  • Enhance skills in areas such as emergency preparedness, operations management, and interagency coordination
  • Develop the skills needed to effectively serve victims of disaster

The programs consist of two required courses in Leadership and Planning and Applied Practicum. This is followed by the choice of two electives, three credits each, from a list of five. Some of the electives delve into Emergency Preparedness, Hazards Mitigation, and Public Policy.

Tuition: $510 per credit

Accrediting Agency: The Higher Learning Commission

18. Northern Kentucky University

Established in 1946 at the Trailways Bus Station in Covington, Kentucky, the university has grown to more than 14,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff. Since 1969, the school has been located on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. In 1976, the institution became a university. Currently, the school offers 2,902 degrees and certificates for students from 62 countries and 44 U.S. states. The university has been cited for academic quality and value by Forbes magazine and US News & World Report.

One of the certificates is the graduate level 18-credit hour program in Emergency Management. It is most suited for individuals currently employed or interested in emergency management in local, state, or federal government or in universities, schools, hospitals, other nonprofits, or private businesses. Students may complete the certificate at their own pace with most of them taking a year or two by enrolling in one to three courses per semester. In addition, you may choose to pursue the certificate in a mix of online and face-to-face classes or in a completely online format. The core courses are taught online, and the electives are taught either online or on weekday evenings (6:15 to 9 p.m.), and they include a mix of lecture, seminar, small group, and service learning.

Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Tuition: $524 per credit hour

Accrediting Agency: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

19. Park University

The Graduate Certificate in Disaster and Emergency Management complements the existing graduate programs offered by the University’s Hauptmann School for Public Affairs (HSPA). The HSPA offers citizen-centered, professional programs of study that are grounded in the liberal arts tradition. Students develop the knowledge, skills, and values that are necessary for leadership and service in government, in the businesses world and in non-profit sectors of society. The school is named after Professor Emeritus Jerzy Hauptmann, Ph.D., who taught at Park for more than 50 years.  He also designed the Masters in Public Affairs degree program.

The public has continued concern for efficient governmental response to natural and man-made disasters. These increase in the frequency and severity of catastrophes has created the demand for further investment in emergency management resources. The array of potentially hazardous events that now confront public managers includes Homeland Security issues, failures of complex technology and a wide range of natural hazards. Students possessing a Graduate Certificate in Disaster and Emergency Management will be well-prepared to engage the public policy issues surrounding these community hazards. This 12-credit certificate deals with public policy, critical infrastructure in disaster and emergency management, as well as terrorism and homeland security.

Tuition: $549 per credit hour; $408 Active Duty Military, their dependents, Reservists and National Guard; $485 Veterans & Dependents

Accrediting Agency: North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, Board of Trustees

20. University of Colorado-Colorado Springs

he University of Colorado offers different programs at their three campus locations, which are Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs. The latter provides 13 online Master’s degrees and numerous graduate certificates in 6 categories. One of these is Criminal Justice that has three certificates, one of which is titled Homeland Security and Emergency Management Leadership. Offered by the School of Public Affairs, the coursework is designed for law enforcement, public safety, and emergency first responders, as well as military personnel potentially interested in civilian security careers. This certificate will expose students to the threats to the United States, ranging from terrorism and natural disasters to climate change. Recognized experts with extensive practical experience in leadership positions in law enforcement and emergency management agencies teach the classes. In addition, their Criminal Justice undergraduate and graduate degree programs are renowned for combining theory and practice.

Applicants for this program must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university. Students continuing their education may apply the credits toward the electives in their Master of Public Administration or Master of Criminal Justice degree. There are 12 credits dealing with courses in Homeland Security, Intelligence and Security Policy Making, and Emergency Management Leadership. Some of the potential jobs open to graduates of this certificate are in Emergency Management, Security Management, Loss Prevention, and Compliance Management.

Tuition: $6,773 for in-state tuition & fees (total); $13,829 for out-of-state students

Accrediting Agency: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

21. University of South Florida

Founded in 1956, the University of South Florida was the first independent state university conceived, planned, and built in the 20th century. Recently, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine ranked the school among the nation’s top 50 best values in public higher education for 2016. Today, it serves more than 50,000 students at its institutions in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota-Manatee.

The USF Innovative Education offers you an opportunity to complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree – or just a single course – in a convenient online format. They also offer several fully and partially online undergraduate degrees, in subjects including criminal justice, public health, nursing and more, as well as more than two dozen online graduate degrees. Additionally, the school offers over 100 graduate certificates fully online, partially online, and on-campus options – in a variety of fields, including new certificates in robotics and applied behavioral analysis.

Under their Public Health category, USF offers a graduate certificate online in Disaster Management for individuals eager to enhance their knowledge base of public health professionals, as well as other disaster management personnel. The curriculum consists of 12-15 credit hours of required courses with no electives. Upon completion, up to 12 hours may be applied to a graduate degree subject to departmental approval.

Tuition: $461.43 (includes distance learning fee): Florida resident; $482.65 (non-resident-living outside FL); Non-resident (living in Florida), taking the program online $877.17 tuition + $30 distance learning fee = $907.17 / per credit hour

Accrediting Agency: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

22. University of Nebraska

The University of Nebraska consists of four campuses, plus over 100 online programs. Their online programs give adult learners from around the world access to the opportunity to learn from the same expert faculty who teach on their campuses. One of their online programs is a graduate-level professional certificate in Emergency Preparedness. The Federal Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) core focus areas have been adopted as the structural and conceptual basis for all course development and are as follows: Prevent, Protect, Respond, and Recover. Students will explore naturally occurring disasters, intentional acts of terrorism, and newly emerging infectious disease threats. The course curriculum is designed to be reflective and inclusive of current and nationally endorsed competencies. You will also be exposed to an introduction to the National Response Framework and the Incident Command System, per the DHS guidelines.

The four core courses all entail Emergency Preparedness to which is added Protection, Prevention, Response, and Response & Recovery to each. There are, in addition, seven electives from which to choose with each one being 3 credits. Acceptance to this 18-credits program is governed by the requirement to have completed a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 or higher for the last 60 undergraduate or the last 18 graduate/post-baccalaureate credit hours completed.

Tuition: $560 per credit hour (in-state & out-of-state)  

Accrediting Agency: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission      

23. University of Massachusetts-Boston

The university offers a graduate certificate in Global Post-Disaster Studies online to meet the demands of informed managers of sustainable recovery. This certificate could be the key that allows those involved in disaster management to specialize in reconstruction, from policy and planning to operations on the ground. The program will also be of value to people eager to enhance their knowledge of a national disaster framework as regards preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery. Unique among advanced post-disaster education programs, this certificate emphasizes the needs of vulnerable populations, including children, women, the elderly, people with disabilities, and the poor. In this endeavor, the curriculum should facilitate more job opportunities, as well as complement a master’s degree.

The program requires the successful completion of 18 credit hours of courses: nine required and nine electives. These inter-related courses bring a science-based and human rights approach to risk reduction and post-disaster reconstruction. Graduates will gain an understanding of two of the most important challenges facing the global society today: food and water shortages. Furthermore, climate change, environmental degradation, and natural and human-caused disasters exacerbate these problems.

  • Social Vulnerability Approach to Disasters (3 credits)
  • Climate Change, Global Food and Water Resources (3 credits)
  • Topics in Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disaster (3 credits)

Tuition: $575 per credit   

Accrediting Agency: New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education

24. Sam Houston State University

SHSU’s online graduate certificate in Emergency Management is one of many offered at this highly ranked school. U.S. News & World Report for three consecutive years ranks the university in the top 20% for online programs. U.S. News has also ranked their Online Grad Business, IT, Criminal Justice, and Education in the Best category. Their excellence extends to the 18-hour program that caters to working professionals in law enforcement, public safety, private security, emergency management, as well as related occupations. The certificate is structured in such a way that most students can complete it in one calendar year by taking two courses per semester.

Applicants must submit all official transcripts from accredited colleges/universities and proof of three years of employment. This must be in a professional field involving emergency management or related work as stated in the prior paragraph. The curriculum consists of two courses in Crisis Integration, one in each of Homeland Security, Unconventional Threats, Information Management, and one elective. Enrollment is three times a year: fall, spring, and summer.

Founded in 1879, Sam Houston State University is currently classified as a “Doctoral Research University” by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education. While education continues to be the most popular major among students at the university, the institution has nationally recognized programs in banking, performing arts, mathematics and criminal justice.

Tuition: $579.25 per semester hour (includes Distance Learning fee ($101)

Accrediting Agency: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

25. University of Illinois-Chicago

The University’s School of Public Health provides two graduate certificates online. One if the 16 credit-hour certificate in Emergency Management and Continuity Planning (EMCP). The curriculum provides in-depth coverage of analytical and sustainability planning tools (e.g., decision tree analysis, sustainable disaster recovery (SDR) plans). The EMCP certificate program will benefit the needs of both public and corporate personnel working in the area of disaster management and recovery. The EMCP online certificate program consists of five graduate-level courses presented in a cooperative effort of the UIC School of Public Health and the UIC College of Business Administration.

The other one offered by the same school is the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Certificate. This 14 credit-hours program builds skills and competency in preparing for and responding to public health emergencies related to infectious diseases, natural disasters, bioterrorism events and threats and industrial emergencies. The design of this certificate primarily targets current public health workers.

A third online possibility is offered through their College of Engineering-the Disaster Management Certificate. It consists of three courses:

  • Foundations of Emergency Management and Continuity Programs
  • Environmental Risk Assessment and Management

And one of the following 2 courses:

  • Critical Infrastructure & Resource Protection Planning
  • Disaster Response and Recovery Operations

Tuition: $580 per credit hour for the School of Public Health(in-state & out-of-state); College of Engineering: $830 per credit hour

Accrediting Agency: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

26. Southwestern College

Founded in 1885, today Southwestern College of Professional Studies is an online, non-profit institution offering graduate and undergraduate degrees as well as certificates to adults, members of the armed services. Their online platform provides the flexibility learners require while balancing career and family as they pursue their degree or certificate. Working adults of all ages, including current and former military, complete college degrees through the Professional Studies program. The school has received accolades as a Military Friendly School, Top College & University for Military, and Best for Vets Colleges.

Emergency Planning is one of four graduate certificates the college offers. It is designed to prepare the executive security professional for assessing and designing contingencies for public and private security measures in a global society. Threats to safety and systems are examined and the emphasis is given to the analysis of models and practices. Learners will examine the cost-benefit comparisons of contemporary, theoretical, and practical models. The five courses comprising the Emergency Planning Certificate can be completed in eight months or less during the six-week classes with no prerequisites. Individuals completing this certificate may apply all of the 15 credit hours earned toward the Master of Science in Security Administration degree. The core courses deal with Physical Security Planning, Homeland Security Defense, Terrorism, Special Issues in Homeland Security, and Emergency, Disaster & Contingency Management.

Tuition: $599 per credit hour; $479 Military

Accrediting Agency: Western Association of Schools and Colleges

27. Virginia Commonwealth University

The Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs offers an online graduate certificate titled Homeland Security/Emergency Preparedness. The curriculum focuses on international and domestic security and preparedness issues related to terrorist threats, such as the 9/11 attack, and natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina. Students will achieve comprehension of the theory and practice of homeland security and emergency preparedness and be able to analyze policy and synthesize information.

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, the graduate certificate program requires 15 credit hours, comprising five three-credit-hour graduate courses delivered through a combination of online technology and one on-campus session (three days). During the final week of the semester, the class will have a three-day in-class session from Thursday to Saturday. It will feature presentations and discussion of student projects and papers, as well as lectures, seminar sessions, and exercises. The courses offered in the certificate program are the same as those taken by students in the master’s program. With minimum grades of B and upon acceptance into the master’s program, these courses are fully transferable to the Master of Arts in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness degree program.

Please note that during the final week of the semester, the class will have a three-day in-class session from Thursday to Saturday. Exceptions will be made for students who are unable to attend these sessions, such as active-duty military personnel or emergency managers involved in ongoing operations.

Tuition: $605 per credit hour

Accrediting Agency: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

 28. Benedictine University

The university offers an online Master of Public Health that can be taken with or without the Emergency Preparedness Certificate. This graduate-level certificate teaches risk management, crisis management, and disaster management. All of which are necessary to prepare for and prevent disasters, assess risk, communicate with organizations and populations. The four courses in this program are Environmental Health, Emergency Preparedness and Planning, Psychology and Sociology of Disasters, and Emergency Response and Recovery. The Psychology and Sociology course focuses on the immediate and long-term effects that natural and man-made disasters have on survivors, their communities, and first responders. Students learn to mitigate stress reactions, triage behavioral casualties and when to refer to behavioral health specialists or other social and medical services.

As a graduate, you will possess the skill set to:

  • Coordinate or implement programs and plans related to emergency preparedness, response, and/or recovery.
  • Assist states or communities to plan and implement community development programs for emergency and disaster management.
  • Administer the development of educational and training materials for disaster-relief initiatives.
  • Provide summaries and progress reports to senior level management and program directors.
  • Confer with law enforcement, fire safety services, and other public safety agencies that deal with disaster planning.

Tuition: $650 per credit

Accrediting Agency: The Higher Learning Commission

29. University of Denver

The university’s College of Professional and Continuing Studies offers an array of online graduate certificates that are the same content as taking classes on-campus. The eleven categories of certificates are designed and delivered for busy adults seeking a convenient format to advance their education. One category is Security Management that affords the choice of Emergency Planning and Response, Information Security, and Organization Security. The first of these three is most pertinent to our topic as it deals with emergency preparedness for both man-made and natural disasters. As a student, you will learn to formulate, implement, and assess emergency plans with the objective of mitigating the impact of the event on the welfare of others. You will also learn the importance of and the skills for effective communication with individuals, teams, and private or public sector organizations.

This Advanced Study Certificate consists of a total of six courses or 24 credit hours. There are 16 credits of concentration courses and 8 credits of electives. The concentration courses consist of Critical Incident Management, Hazardous Materials, Mitigation, and Emergency Planning. The electives may be chosen from any of the Security Management programs or from other graduate programs with the approval of your academic director. This format for the electives expands your choices considerably, as there are twenty courses in the Security Management category alone. Four of which are included in the concentration study plan.

Tuition: $660 per credit or $15,840 total

Accrediting Agency: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

30. George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. It was founded as a branch of the University of Virginia in 1949 and became an independent institution in 1972. The school was the first university in the country to offer doctoral programs in conflict resolution, information technology, bioinformatics, and computational social science.

The university’s Schar School of Policy and Government offers a Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management and Homeland Security 100% online. This certificate is ideal for those interested in policy, planning, security, and organizational and management issues related to emergency preparedness and homeland security. Private sector consultants will gain critical expertise and credibility; local fire and police department staff will put their first response duties into a larger context; and Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies and U.S. Military employees will gain essential knowledge and tools to minimize damage from natural disasters and prevent external attacks.

This program is 15 credits of which there are 9 required and 6 elective credits delivered asynchronously. This allows the student to study at his/her own pace accessing instructional materials online via Blackboard any time. The topics covered in the required courses are Administration, Emergency Planning, Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. The choice of 3 electives is in Biodefense, Disaster Response Operations, and Recovery and Interagency Preparedness: Interagency Communication. The courses are 3 credits each.

Tuition: $795 per credit hour (Virginia residents); $1,516 (non-residents)

Accrediting Agency: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

31. Penn State World Campus

Students more interested in the security issues related to handling emergency situations will benefit from Penn State’s online Homeland Security Graduate Certificate. Enrolling in this program will provide you with a broad-based knowledge of homeland security issues and strategies at the local, state, and federal level as well as in the private sector. In conjunction with their Harrisburg School of Public Affairs, graduates will gain an understanding of these subjects:

  • Origins and organization of the Homeland Security Enterprise
  • Relevant Congressional acts, Presidential policies, and national strategies
  • Roles and shared responsibility of key agencies and partners at federal, state, and local levels, and from the private sector
  • Planning and organizational imperatives related to homeland security and emergency management

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree to be eligible for acceptance. The certificate is ideal for federal, state, and local emergency management officials, law enforcement personnel, and members of the military. In addition, professionals in the private sector, including finance corporations, insurance agencies, and security consultants, may find the program provides valuable and relevant skills. Those individuals who opt to continue into Penn State’s Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security can apply all 12 credits toward the degree.

Penn State World Campus has been providing quality education online since 1998 that now offers more than 125 degree and certificate programs. U.S. News & World Report has recognized them as Best Online Bachelor’s Programs 2017.

Tuition: $853: fewer than 12 credits per semester; $10,235 (flat rate) if taking more than 12 credits per semester

Accrediting Agency: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education

32. Adelphi University

Adelphi has an online Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management for those who desire to enter or expand their presence in a leadership role in organizations and services that deal with natural disasters, homeland security, and terrorism. To meet the critical need for trained professionals who can respond effectively to emergencies, the College of Professional and Continuing Studies offers this 18-credit program. The curriculum consists of six courses that can be completed within one calendar year. Each class is taught in an asynchronous and fully online format. The plan of study includes five required core courses and a choice of one homeland security elective. Classes include Introduction to Emergency Management, Business Continuity, Health Management in Times of Disaster, Emergency Operations and Planning, and Emergency Management Law. All courses can be applied towards the M.S. in Emergency Management.

All of Adelphi’s distance learning courses and programs go through the same rigorous approval process as our traditional offerings. They feature well-designed courses led by expert faculty who use emerging technology and communication styles to emulate the personal, lively nature of a face-to-face classroom environment. They have been educating working adults since 1973 at the Garden City, New York campus. It wasn’t until 2007 that their first online degree was instituted-the Bachelor of Science in Emergency Services Administration.

Tuition: $945 per credit hour

Accrediting Agency: The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools 

33. New York Medical College

Established in 1860, the College is now one of the largest private health sciences universities in the nation. Their beautiful, suburban campus is located close to New York City. Students are invited to earn a high-quality accredited graduate degree or certificate from their College School of Health Sciences and Practice (SHSP) in a fully online format. Both the campus-based and the online courses are taught by world-class faculty without the use of teaching assistants. The rich learning environment features tutorials and courses with exercises, discussions, readings, projects, collaborative assignments, and faculty interaction and guidance. Communication is ongoing via email, discussion boards, and group conference rooms.

SHSP offers an Advanced Certificate in Emergency Preparedness that provides an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach to comprehensive emergency management and public health emergency preparedness for community-wide disasters, acts of terrorism, and public health emergencies. Graduates of this 15-credit program will be equipped to enter or advance in the field of emergency preparedness. You will have the skills to engage in comprehensive emergency planning and mitigation, hazard and vulnerability analysis, and the conduct of integrated emergency management planning, drills, and exercises. Noteworthy is that this certificate is preparation for the Certified Emergency Manager examination offered by the International Association of Emergency Managers.

In addition to a Bachelor’s Degree, applicants must have relevant initial experience in the field of emergency preparedness.

Tuition: $1,125 per credit    

Accrediting Agency: Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training and Middle States Commission on Higher Education  

34.  Fairleigh Dickinson University

Fairleigh Dickinson offers a number of graduate certificates, one of which is Emergency Management and Administration. Their School of Administrative Science makes this 18-credit certificate available online primarily for community leaders involved in planning, policy-making, implementation, and administration in emergency management. The 6-course program offers these choices:

  • Emergency Management & Safety Administration
  • GIS and Emergency Administration
  • Community Threat Assessment & Risk Analysis
  • Global Preparedness for Catastrophic Emergencies
  • Organizational Planning & Risk Communications
  • Disaster Recovery & Organizational Continuity
  • Current Issues in Terrorism & Security
  • Global Terrorism & Emergency Management Preparedness

Founded in 1942, FDU achieved four-year status in 1948, university status in 1956, and it is the largest private university in New Jersey. They currently offer over 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including doctoral programs in pharmacy, nursing practice, clinical psychology, and school psychology. Two New Jersey campuses offer degree programs, plus two locations outside the U.S.: Wroxton College, in Oxfordshire, England, and the Vancouver Campus, in British Columbia, Canada.

Tuition: $1,245 per credit

Accrediting Agency: The Middle States Commission on Higher Education

35. Tulane University

Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (SPHTP) provides a graduate Certificate in Disaster Management and Resilience online. This 15-credit program is designed for students in other programs at Tulane’s SPHTM who wish to acquire a more in-depth knowledge of public health in the context of disaster preparedness and management. For example, the certificate program would appeal to an epidemiology major who has an interest in applying epidemiological principles to the study and management of chronic disease in the aftermath of disasters. This may also appeal to community health sciences majors who will be working on the impact of land use and built-environment on post-disaster recovery. Those enrolled in global health systems and development whose plan is to work with disaster-prone populations overseas may be interested in this certificate, as well. Finally, students studying infectious diseases or tropical medicine may find this program advantageous to the post-disaster changes in infectious disease control and manifestation.

The eleven graduate certificates offered by the SPHTP are available only to students currently enrolled in one of the professional master’s degree programs at Tulane. In other words, to be eligible, you have to be studying for a Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Public Health, Master of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, or Master of Health Administration. The university attests that 95% of undergraduates find jobs or advance in a graduate public health program within a year. In addition, their SPHTP is a member of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health and the Consortium of Universities for Global Health.

Tuition: $1,256 per credit hour

Editor’s Note: As mentioned in this report, Emergency Management and Homeland Security can complement one another. Therefore, for students preferring to pursue a graduate degree, we offer our Top Online Master’s Degree Programs in Criminal Justice; and our Top 10 Graduate Degree Programs in Criminal Justice (campus only).  Students working on their Bachelor’s degree may be interested in the Best Job Prospects with an Emergency Management Degree. Also, for individuals contemplating this field as a career, should read our report on What Specializations are there in an Emergency Management Degree? 

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