Online Ph.D. Programs in Emergency Management

Updated November 1, 2022 · 4 Min Read

Graduates of online doctorate in emergency management programs experience different admissions requirements depending on the college or university. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Degree Options & Potential Careers

Excellent communicators and critical thinkers who want to help others in emergency and crisis situations can explore doctorate programs in emergency management. These programs prepare graduates for successful careers after graduation.

Due to the specialization of this field, graduates enjoy the opportunity to work in careers that allow them to capitalize on the skills and knowledge they learn throughout their rigorous curriculum and pursue careers that enable them to use these skills each day.

Should I Earn an Online Doctorate in Emergency Management?

  • Constant Growth: Doctoral graduates often work in research-oriented positions that allow them to continuously learn while working and grow their knowledge in the emergency management field.
  • More Career Opportunities: Doctorate students boast the highest level of education possible, so they can pursue any career in the emergency management field without fear of meeting education requirements.
  • Highest Earning Potential: Because of their education level in emergency management, doctoral graduates enjoy the highest possible earning potential for their field and can increase earnings further by putting in more time with their company.
  • Expert-Level Knowledge: Holding the most advanced degree possible in the field allows doctoral students to expand their knowledge to an expert level.

What Can I Do With an Online Ph.D. in Emergency Management?

Graduates of online Ph.D. programs in emergency management can work in hospitals, government agencies, clinics, primary care practices, and colleges or universities. At the doctoral level, students enjoy the widest variety of careers in the industry. Often, professionals with such a high-level education focus on research and scholarly work, constantly building upon their expertise in emergency management. Professionals can work in management and higher education, sharing their skills with others to develop them professionally.

Many graduates go on to work as program directors, overseeing all operations of a program in emergency management to ensure quality care and attention. Professionals need to multitask, pay close attention to detail, communicate effectively, and think critically.

Career Profiles

Director of Business Continuity & Emergency Management

Directors of business continuity and emergency management focus on noticing potential threats to businesses and formulate efficient plans to reduce risk factors and prevent disaster. They also work with other departments within their company to understand the essential processes in place, developing contingency plans for them.

Emergency Preparedness Manager

Responsible for arranging crisis management plans and disaster response efforts, emergency preparedness managers ensure their company holds a plan for emergency situations and procedures, including earthquakes, tornados, floods, and hurricanes. Professionals also review what to do in hostage situations and other dangerous events.

Operations Manager

In charge of managing the daily operations within a company, operations managers carry out important decisions regarding compensation, hiring, promotions, disciplinary action, and termination of employees. They also oversee operational costs and formulate plans to ensure efficiency for their company.


University professors focus on a particular area of expertise to prepare students with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive after graduation. They create curricula, deliver seminars and lessons, assign coursework, administer exams, and publish research findings to constantly learn more about their field.

Emergency Room Director

Emergency room directors provide administrative efforts and management to emergency and trauma departments in hospitals. They ensure all patients entering the emergency room receive thorough, quality, and appropriate care while also managing employees in the department to ensure efficiency and productivity.

Emergency Management Ph.D. Program Overview

Before choosing an online doctoral program in emergency management, learners should review a variety of important factors to ensure they choose the school that best fits their needs. First, prospective students should explore the application requirements and criteria for admission to determine eligibility. Then, they can review the coursework they might experience within a particular program. Finally, learners should determine the type of accreditation featured at their chosen institution to ensure it aligns with their goals.

Application Requirements and Admission Criteria

Applicants to online doctorate in emergency management programs experience different admissions requirements depending on the college or university. At every institution, applicants must submit a completed admissions application for consideration. Along with the application, learners should hold a master's degree and provide previous transcripts. Most doctoral programs require students to meet minimum GPA requirements.

Many colleges and universities feature supplemental admissions requirements, including personal essays, resumes, and letters of recommendation. Personal essays should follow subject and formatting requirements outlined on the college or university admissions page. Letters of recommendation should remain professional in nature, not personal. Most programs outline their admissions requirements on their program website so students can easily find all necessary prerequisites.


The curriculum for online emergency management varies depending on the college or university but typically features similar structures across the board. Students focus their studies on general education requirements, integrative seminars, administration and policy courses, practice areas in the field, research methods and statistics, electives, and a dissertation. General education requirements in emergency management typically focus on sciences, ensuring students hold the background they need to further develop their competencies.

Administration and policy requirements cover disaster management principles and practice, systems thinking and applications in emergency management, and interdisciplinary context and emergency management policy. Practice area courses review emergency management and program management, while research methods and statistics courses include research design, qualitative research, and cost-benefit analysis.

Electives allow students to tailor their curriculum to their particular areas of interest, exploring topics like risk communication and IT applications for emergency management. Dissertations require students to culminate the skills and knowledge they learn throughout their program into one cohesive essay.

  • Finance and Budgeting for the Public Sector
    In the finance and budgeting for the public sector course, students review the financial practices needed to manage nonprofit operations. They explore theories to motivate policy debates, reviewing auditing practices, financial management, budgetary reform, and financial technology systems.
  • Leadership and Organizational Change
    The leadership and organizational change course reviews the ethical standards and issues related to diverse organizations going through transformation. The course covers social change within an organization or a community.
  • Governance and Public Policy
    Exploring the influence of public policy, governance and public policy focuses on administrative decision making. Throughout the course, students relate the concepts to practical applications in the field.
  • Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
    The qualitative reasoning and analysis course explores the skills needed for carrying out qualitative research at an expert level. Students focus on data collection strategies and procedures and theoretical frameworks for research.
  • Research Theory, Design, and Methods
    Students in the research theory, design, and methods course explore the role of theory, the philosophy of science, and methods in data collection and research design.
  • Strategic Planning
    The strategic planning course reviews concepts of collaboration, coordination, and cooperation, also diving into theories of globalization and its impacts in practical situations.

Program Outcomes

Students pursuing their online doctorate in emergency management develop the knowledge and skills they need to pursue careers in private and public sectors, such as healthcare, human services, and local and state government. The framework of the program focuses on providing students with the competencies needed to respond effectively in crisis and emergency situations to help victims reestablish their daily lives. Students focus on disaster health management, relationship management, and emergency preparedness and response.

The curriculum emphasizes skills in planning, response, relief, global awareness, critical thinking, management, recovery, and particular areas of public emergency and disaster situations. Throughout the curriculum, students learn how to relate concepts to in-the-field experiences.

Accreditation for Online Ph.D. in Emergency Management Programs

Before choosing a program, students should pay special attention to what type of accreditation each college or university features. Nationally accredited institutions often focus on technical and career education and do not dive into liberal arts-based coursework. These institutions highlight low tuition costs but tend to get excluded from tuition reimbursement plans and can hinder credit transfers.

Regionally accredited institutions often charge higher tuition rates but often count for tuition reimbursement plans. Regional accreditation primarily focuses on liberal arts-based coursework and boasts easy-to-transfer, widely accepted credits, making regional accreditation more prestigious than national accreditation.

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.

See All Posts is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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