Earn an Online PhD in Emergency Management

When you earn an Online PhD in Emergency Management, you will be shown how to help communities and organizations prepare for and respond to various disasters. Typically, your coursework will evaluate models and best practices on the local, state, national, international, and organizational level. Therefore, you may be exposed to theories and techniques that can directly impact the lives of your neighbors.

Did You Know?

Hurricanes are large, spiraling tropical storms that can pack wind speeds of over 160 miles per hour. They can drop more than 2.4 trillion gallons of rain per day.

What Is Emergency Management?

Emergency management is the plan established to continue the normal operations of government and organizations in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. It is also commonly referred to as disaster management. This includes the preparation, mitigation, recovery, and response by a business or community. Creating plans to effectively prepare for and respond to disasters helps communities and businesses return to normal as quickly as possible.

Online PhD in Emergency Management: Basics

Online PhD in emergency management degree programs focus on teaching you how to make quick decisions in the face of disasters. In order to be accepted, most schools require that you have earned a masters degree from an accredited university. They may also require that you earned a minimum GPA. Typically, that GPA is 3.0 or higher.

Most doctorates programs are designed for part-time students who work full-time. However, there are a number of PhD programs that are designed for full-time students. Upon completing all required coursework, normally you need to propose, write, present, and defend a dissertation to a board of faculty. Most students earn their degree in three to five years.

Keep in mind that every school has their own admissions and graduation requirements. To find one that matches your goals, research individual schools.

Different Online PhD in Emergency Management Degree Names

There are a number of different names of emergency management doctorate degrees. All of these programs are focused on providing you extensive knowledge in the theoretical components integral to emergency management.

The following list includes some of the different names for emergency management doctorate degrees.

  • Engineering Management with Research Focus in the Field of Crisis, Emergency, and Risk Management
  • Public Policy with Disaster Management Specialization
  • Emergency Management
  • Fire and Emergency Management
  • Biosecurity and Disaster Preparedness
  • Disaster Science and Management
  • Public Administration and Management with a Concentration in Emergency Administration and Planning

While each of these may have a similar overall focus, each may have a unique specialization. Therefore, read a number of different program descriptions while researching schools. That way, you can find one that matches your goals.

Common Online Emergency Management Courses

While earning your online PhD in emergency management, courses focus on teaching you a complete understanding of the many components of disaster management. Typically, this includes analyzing evidence-based research, theories, and models. It also includes developing solutions for problems related to public policy and public administration.

Check out the list below for some of the common courses while pursuing a doctorate in emergency management degree.

  • Preparedness Theory and Practice: During this course, students examine natural and man-made disasters from a risk assessment perspective, as well as preparedness and procedures.
  • Voluntary Agency Disaster Services: Students are taught the roles different voluntary agencies (local, state, national, and international) play in emergency preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery.
  • Critical Issues in Emergency Management: This course focuses on examining the historical context of emergency management, processes of risk assessment, the emergency management cycle, and crisis planning.
  • Risk Assessment, Preparedness, and Disaster Mitigation: Coursework focuses on the methods and techniques required to assess an organization’s risk in regards to human life and assets.
  • Disaster Response and Recovery: During this course, students explore a range of topics including evacuation, relocation, and strategic decisions in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

This is only a sample of courses you may take. Every school is different and has different requirements. To find a perfect program for you, research individual schools to see a specific course listing.

Did You Know?

The deadliest hurricane in American history was the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. It included winds of 145 mph, storm tides of 8 to 15 feet, and is responsible for roughly 8,000 deaths.

What Is a Business Continuity Plan?

A business continuity plan is the strategy to recognize threats and how to return to normal business operations as quickly as possible after a disaster. This includes securing personnel and resources and making sure they can function during a disaster. Typically, they include the four steps below.

  1. Identify critical business functions and the resources they need
  2. Document and implement how to recover critical business functions
  3. Organize a business continuity team to create a plan
  4. Create strategies and test to evaluate effectiveness

What Is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

A disaster recovery plan describes how a business can return to normal business operations after a disaster. Typically, this is part of a business continuity plan and is applied specifically to aspects of an organization that relies on IT infrastructure. Therefore, a disaster recovery plan is focused on recovering enough data and system functionality to allow an organization to operate at a minimum level.

Possible Careers in Emergency Management

After earning your PhD in emergency management, there are a number of different careers that you can pursue. These typically include leadership roles, either in the public, private, or educational sectors. Most of these positions also include combining research and analysis to design and implement emergency management procedures.i

Some of these positions, and the 2015 annual median salary, include the following.

  • Management Analysts: $81,320 ii
  • Information Security Analysts: $90,120 iii
  • Postsecondary Teachers: $72,470iv
  • Operations Research Analysts: $78,630v
  • Emergency Management Directors: $67,330vi

While most of these positions only require candidates have a bachelors degree for entry-level roles, many search for candidates with a graduate degree for higher-level positions.vii To become a postsecondary teacher, most schools require that candidates have a doctorate degree. However, there are some positions that only require a masters. viii

Take the Next Step!

If you’re interested in earning an online PhD in emergency management, take the next step. Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to read program descriptions, specific courses, and admissions requirements. You can even contact the schools you love directly to request more information.


 i bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-health-and-safety-specialists.htm#tab-2 ii bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm#tab-5 iii bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm#tab-5 iv bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-5 v bls.gov/ooh/math/operations-research-analysts.htm#tab-5 vi  bls.gov/ooh/management/emergency-management-directors.htm#tab-5 vii  bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm#tab-4 viii bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-4