A bachelor’s degree in EM comes in several flavors. There is the obvious Bachelor of Arts or Science in EM, as well as other options wherein the major pairs with other associated fields. Also, the degree itself takes on different names depending on the school. We will look at a cross-section of undergraduate programs to give you an idea of the choices available both online and on-campus.
Bachelor of Arts
A B.A. in EM at Waldorf University starts with the general education requirements in Fire Science Administration, Business, and Homeland Security. This program has concentrations in Fire Science and Homeland Security. The former provides an opportunity to focus on fire-related aspects of emergency management.
If you select the Homeland Security concentration at Waldorf, you will learn about the involvement of the military and U.S. government in domestic terrorism activities. Courses also explore preparing for terrorism, mitigating, and recovering from these acts.
A B.A. in Emergency and Disaster Management is another choice offered by American Military University. This program provides a range of courses that cover all aspects of emergency incidents, hazard reduction, and prevention. You will learn about human behavior, border security, bioterrorism, quarantine measures, weapons of mass destruction, and more.
Bachelor of Science
A B.S. program is the most common in emergency management. The first example is a B.S. in Crisis and Disaster Management at the University of Central Missouri. This program will benefit individuals currently working as safety personnel, emergency planners, relief organizations (ex. Red Cross), and emergency responders.
The above program affords the choice of four specialty areas. These are Business Continuity, Emergency Services Management, Emergency Management, and Environmental Hazards. Each is 12 semester hours, which follow the 36 hours of major requirements.
An example of a science and math-intensive program is the B.S. in Emergency Management offered at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. The first two semesters include classes in algebra, trigonometry, biology, calculus, earth science, and chemistry. The remainder of the curriculum focuses on risk management and emergency management topics.
The University of North Texas (UNT) refers to their program as a B.S. in Emergency Administration and Planning. The curriculum explores natural disasters (floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes), as well as hazardous materials and terrorist attacks. Graduates will have the ability to launch a career in disaster management at all governmental levels, risk management, or a specialist in hazardous materials.
This next example may interest individuals employed in or planning on working in areas of emergency services. Examples are firefighting, emergency medical responders, police officers, and environmental healthcare employees. Grand Canyon University (GCU) has a Bachelor of Science in Public Safety and Emergency Management. This degree studies the fundamentals of emergency planning and management. Graduates will have proficient communication skills to use at the personal and professional levels. They will also be versed in disaster response, terrorism, emergency operations, group behavior, and ethical leadership.
One of the most common degree pairings is EM with Homeland Security. In the post-9/11 era, tragic events perpetrated by individuals have blossomed. Hence, there is a need for schools to stress the importance of combining courses in terrorist activities with emergency management. The four phases are mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
Through the combination of homeland security and emergency management, you study an array of issues entailing the criminal elements in terrorism and the political intervention during a human-made and a natural crisis. You may also examine the cultural and religious influences in terrorist acts. With this knowledge, you will be an effective communicator and coordinator during emergencies.
The inclusion of Homeland Security may attract students whose interests extend to criminal justice. For these students, there is a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security and EM. This degree provides the skills to look at emergencies from a strategic perspective. Therefore, there is an emphasis on the importance of communication when disaster strikes.
The above degrees are not an inclusive list. However, these examples should provide the impetus to look at each school’s emergency management program. As you examine the pairings and review the curricula, you can make the informed decision as to which coursework suits your current and future career.