Online Master of Emergency Management

Master of Emergency Management

100% Online

The Master of Emergency Management Degree (MSEM) at the University of New England Online is a 36-credit program designed to prepare students to successfully lead or coordinate an organization’s response to a disaster and to determine preparedness and training activities. These online graduate-level emergency management courses are built to be interdisciplinary, allowing students to pursue a range of careers upon graduation, including roles within emergency response teams, city /town leadership, training development, municipal planning, and more!

As a fully online degree program, the Master of Emergency Management can accommodate full-time and part-time students and is ideal for working professionals in various sectors. Emergency Management is a dynamic field, and our program is designed to benefit recent graduates, career changers, and those who are already working in a responder role. Additionally, this program can be completed in as few as 24 months.

At UNE Online, you can be sure your courses are aligned to current issues and trends in emergency management and are grounded in quality and standards required by the industry.



Current Application Deadline

August 12, 2024

Fall A Session

Courses begin September 4, 2024

Time Left to Apply:

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Why Choose the University of New England Online?

Fully Online

Fully Online

Courses are delivered fully online, allowing you flexibility to complete coursework around your schedule.



Support staff who are committed to providing our online students with the highest level of academic and personal support.

FEMA Certifications

FEMA Certifications

Embedded into course content to maintain industry standards.

Practical Application

Practical Application

Interactive branching scenario allows students to apply learning outcomes within courses.

Master of Emergency Management Learning Outcomes

Specific competencies or student learning outcomes and measurement process:

The goal of the MSEM program is to prepare graduates to become leaders in emergency management, applying theory and best practices to the processes of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

At the conclusion of the program, the student will be able to:


    • Describe the capabilities of various local, state, federal and tribal organizations that can assist in all four phases of emergency management (Learning Outcome 1 – LO1)
    • Evaluate community vulnerabilities in order to establish engineering controls and code enforcement (LO2)


    • Critically appraise grant and federal/state funding processes to address multiple phases surrounding pre and post-event disaster management (LO3)
    • Conduct a hazard risk assessment and SWOT analysis to determine organizational/regional preparedness and training activities (LO4)
    • Appraise the impact of climate change related disasters regarding infrastructure, public health, and economic concerns (LO5) 


    • Successfully coordinate an organization’s response to a disaster (LO6)
    • Design recommendations to regional, state, or federal officials regarding emergency response action/orders (LO7)
    • Assess appropriate proactive and real-time responses to cyberthreat identification (LO8) 


    •  Establish defined transition criteria from recovery completion to the start of mitigation processes (LO9)
    • Compile information to complete a State disaster declaration, Stafford Act grant or Presidential disaster declaration (LO10)

FEMA Competencies and Certificates

Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) competencies are integrated into UNE Online’s Master of Emergency Management program. FEMA competencies are the playbook for the federal response to emergency situations. Our students have the opportunity to bolster their resumes by earning five separate FEMA certificates of completion. Fundamentals of Emergency Management, an Introduction to National Response Framework, and an Introduction to the Incident Command System are examples of FEMA competencies incorporated into the MSEM curriculum. Our students are prepared to fill FEMA roles and responsibilities upon graduation.

Emergency Management Certificate

Students have an opportunity to get started in our graduate-level certificate program, which will stack into the MS of Emergency Management. In addition to working toward the goal of the full 36-credit master’s degree, students may achieve a smaller credential along the way since many of the required courses of the certificate are also part of the master’s degree curriculum.

Get started working toward your Master of Emergency Management Degree by applying to the following graduate certificate:


Successful applicants to UNE Online’s Master of Emergency Management will possess a strong understanding of the role healthcare plays in advancing community health, a demonstrated ability to succeed academically, and the capacity to master a broad range of disciplines crucial for career success. We review applicants in a comprehensive manner, taking into consideration their previous academic coursework, professional experiences and application materials.

Admission Requirements:
  • A bachelor’s degree or above from a regionally accredited institution or its equivalent. See International Admissions for details regarding evaluation of international degrees for grade and degree equivalency.
  • Applications are reviewed holistically as a determination of academic readiness. The admissions committee values previous academic performance as indicated on transcripts and considers it as part of the review process.
  • Computer with an internet connection, including the hardware and software requirements described in our Technical Requirements. Must also possess sufficient computer skills to navigate the internet as all classes are accessed 100% online.

Application Process:

  • Completed online application
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Goal Statement/Writing Sample
  • Two professional/academic references
  • Official transcripts reflecting conferral of a bachelor’s degree or above from a regionally accredited institution.

Note: Transcripts for any coursework appearing as transfer credit on the transcript of the conferred degree can be waived if the coursework is unrelated to the degree being sought. The program admissions committee defines all coursework not eligible for waiver.


Master of Emergency Management Curriculum

The Online Master of Emergency Management degree curriculum is designed to make earning a graduate education accessible for full-time working professionals. The MSEM offers convenient, flexible courses, which are focused on practice and management to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and values to gain employment or get promoted in the growing and critical field of emergency management.

Courses Include:

This course introduces students to the field of environmental health in a public health context. The effects of infectious agents, toxic chemicals, air pollutants, and ionizing radiation on human health are examined. Identifying upstream sources and downstream solutions – with a particular focus on health equity – is emphasized. Emerging topics such as the impact of climate change on environmental health globally, and the interconnectedness among human health, animal health, and environmental health are included. Public health applications are incorporated through case studies and a comprehensive key assessment project.

In this course students will have the opportunity to focus on the grant writing process (as it is designed and directed by a federal or state public health funding agency). Particular emphasis will be placed on identifying and applying the requisite skills to have a potential public health program funded. The course will feature hands-on assignments based on (current) real world topics, resources, and grant funding guidelines. While students do not need to have a background in accounting, many components of a grant application (including a line-item budget) will be addressed.

Communities have preparedness protocols for emergencies like hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes, but what do communities have for pandemics? The pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), a respiratory virus, required a response that matched its unique properties and the severity and intensity of the associated infection and disease. How do we prepare for the next pandemic? What would our preparation and response look like if the next pandemic is due to a fomite? What about a combination of fomites and inhalants? Is there potential to create a biohazard that is waterborne, foodborne, an inhalant, and a fomite? How would public health professionals prepare communities for this new biohazard?

This course equips students with the skill set necessary to prepare for the next pandemic. Students will be able to develop audience-appropriate resources and engage and effectively communicate best practices and prevention and mitigation strategies to key stakeholders.

Disaster incidents, response, and recovery all have a unique impact on all those involved. This course provides students with an introduction to the emotional and mental health challenges that are attributed to both mad-made and natural disasters. Students will consider the mental health impacts of planning and preparation phases of disaster mitigation, as well as the response and recovery phases. Topics include: vulnerability and resilience, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) mental health interventions. In each instance, students will address the needs of both disaster victims and responders.

This course develops awareness of threats to data on computer systems. Students will gain an understanding of security weaknesses and considerations in maintaining sensitive data on networks and computer systems. The course examines the threats from differing outside entities as well as the potential for insider threats to both active data and data at rest. The course will examine key indicators of intrusion and various motives for intrusion to better develop an awareness of the vulnerabilities of health information handling in the cyber era.

The impact of climate change related disasters has gained attention over the last decade. In this course, students will examine the increase in frequency, severity, and human cost of natural disasters. With a lessons learned approach to case study review, students will develop mitigation plans and policies with an emphasis on adaptability to the changing global climate concerns.

This course provides an introduction of the Department of Homeland Security and its role in Emergency Management. Topics include DHS legislation/PATRIOT Act, foreign and domestic terrorism, and international coordination.

A hurricane is an amazing meteorological phenomenon… until it becomes a disaster by coming in contact with humans. From an overturned tractor-trailer full of milk to a global pandemic, the philosophy of “proper prior planning prevents pathetically poor performance” applies. And that’s what emergency management does. Emergency managers and emergency management agencies are tasked with making sure that no matter what life throws at society, society is ready to respond. This course provides an introduction to the principles and practices of emergency management based on the structure developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Using a combination of readings, didactics, discussions, and participating in an interactive scenario, emergency management principles of preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation will be explored. Students will also complete FEMA training and be certified in several FEMA competencies that prepare you for work in emergency management.

From basic cell phone coverage to sophisticated satellite imagery, advances in technology have significantly changed the role and abilities of Emergency Managers. This course will examine the latest advances in Emergency Management technology and how it has affected readiness and response efforts. Exploring policy development, legal concerns, and the role of federal agencies such as the FCC & FAA provide additional real-world applicability.

As a continuation of HCA 705 Emergency Management I, this course will expand on the content to include development of training and mitigation programs to address deficiencies identified in the after-action reports, as well as appropriate implementation policies. An examination of leadership and management practices of active disaster response will provide a comparative evaluation of the HCA 705 case study.

Prerequisite course: HCA 705.

Students in the course will examine concepts, theories, and best practices for communicating in the professional workplace. The goal of this course is to refine written, oral and visual communication. Participants in this course will develop strategies to create meaningful communication for a vast audience. Students will enhance their skills in natural and scholarly writing, oral presentation, and visual demonstrations.

This course is the culmination of the student’s learning throughout the program. Combining the leadership theories and practices they have studied, the challenges facing the Emergency Management sector they have explored, and the contextual practice they have gained through their courses, students will engage in a systematic [KP5] inquiry into one or more of the phases of Emergency Management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery that addresses a current or emerging challenge relevant to their professional goals.


Tuition and Fees

Tuition for the University of New England Online graduate certificate programs is competitive among other schools at $830/credit*, and because all of our courses are delivered 100% online, you will not incur the cost of traveling or relocating to complete your degree. (*Note: Tuition is subject to change.)

Cost per
Credit: $830

# of credits for program:
36 credit hours

Cost per program:



Application Fee (non-refundable)
General Services Fee (per semester, non-refundable for matriculated students)
Tuition (per credit hour)
Technology Fee (per semester)
Registration Fee (non-matriculated students per semester)


New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) logoThe University of New England is regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE), which accredits schools and colleges in the six New England states. Accreditation by the Commission indicates that the institution has been carefully evaluated and found to meet standards agreed upon by qualified educators.


With a mission centered on teaching, research and service, the Master of Emergency Management program boasts a renowned faculty who are leaders in emergency management, training development, and research with extensive collaborative partnerships in the community. The Emergency Management faculty is a dynamic group of experienced first responders, leaders, researchers and educators. Faculty actively engage with students from across the nation and around the world through online group discussion, email, and traditional office hours.

Each faculty member is a respected member in the field of Emergency Management and Public Health. Our expert faculty are essential to the success of UNE Online and to the continued success of our students.

Student Support & Resources

At the University of New England Online, we are committed to providing our students with the highest level of academic and personal support possible. Our online Emergency Management programs were created with the working professional in mind, and as such we realize that students need easy access to resources that can help them manage the degree requirements alongside their career and home life. Learn more about our Student Support and Resources.

Frequently Asked Questions


Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, six times per year for our Master of Emergency Management graduate programs. Contact an Enrollment Counselor for program and enrollment information: (866) 722-5096 or

A bachelor’s degree or above from a regionally accredited institution or its equivalent. See International Admissions for details regarding evaluation of international degrees for grade and degree equivalency.

Yes! Applications are reviewed holistically as a determination of academic readiness. The admissions committee values previous academic performance as indicated on transcripts and considers it as part of the review process.



The online Master of Emergency Management program offers six terms of enrollment per year. Each term consists of two 8-week sessions. Students are eligible to take more than one course per session for accelerated learning.

Students taking one course per 8-week session are considered full time students, and eligible to receive financial aid.

No. The Emergency Management program is completed 100% online in an asynchronous format with no campus visits required. Students are welcome to visit campus and we offer all on-campus resources to online students.

We design the online classroom experience to suit the demanding schedule of full-time professionals. And recommend students log in to courses 3-5 times per week. Program assignments will vary by course and be shaped for best content delivery. These assignments include discussion boards, written papers, reading, exams, and collaborative group work.

For the best outcomes, our student support specialists recommend that you reserve 15-20 hours a week for coursework and studying.


Master of Emergency Management Program (MSEM)

The MSEM utilizes software that tracks the choices made by students and groups in various scenarios. Among learning design experts, this is known as a type of sophisticated branching scenario. The simulated emergency provides a direct context for the content students are learning each week – in a safe environment. In MSEM courses, students are making decisions about communications, supply chain, etc. Being able to apply their theoretical knowledge in a simulation and then creating an after-action report allows for a great deal of reflection – and by examining their decision-making process, students learn from their mistakes differently.

FEMA competencies are the playbook of federal response, and are goldmines of information. The competencies taught within them are the fundamentals of organization and leadership, which are foundational to this course. In addition, these skills are what FEMA requires of their staff. We produce graduates who are ready to step into those FEMA roles.

Students have the opportunity to achieve five separate FEMA credentials when they complete each FEMA competency during the MSEM courses. For each FEMA course, the student earns a certificate of completion, which looks great on a resume. In addition, if you need Continuing Education (CE) credits for your job, each certificate is worth a certain amount of CE credits. You can achieve two goals at once!

Below are some of the examples of the competencies and FEMA credentials that are part of the degree. There will be additional FEMA credentials available as well.

IS-230.D: Fundamentals of Emergency Management

The goal of this course is to introduce you to the fundamentals of emergency management. This course presents emergency management as an integrated system with resources and capabilities networked together to address all hazards. This is the first course in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute’s independent study Professional Development Series.

IS-800.D: National Response Framework, An Introduction

The goal of the IS-0800.d, National Response Framework, An Introduction, is to provide guidance for the whole community. Within this broad audience, the National Response Framework focuses especially on those who are involved in delivering and applying the response core capabilities.

IS-240.B: Leadership and Influence

Being able to lead others—to motivate them and commit their energies and expertise to achieve the shared mission and goals of the emergency management system—is a necessary and vital part of every emergency manager’s, planner’s, and responder’s job. The goal of this course is to improve leadership and influence skills.

IS-700.B: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System

This course provides an overview of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). The National Incident Management System defines the comprehensive approach guiding the whole community—all levels of government, non-governmental organizations (NGO), and the private sector—to work together seamlessly to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the effects of incidents. The course provides learners with a basic understanding of NIMS concepts, principles, and components.

IS-100.C: Introduction to the Incident Command System, ICS 100

ICS 100, Introduction to the Incident Command System, introduces the Incident Command System (ICS) and provides the foundation for higher-level ICS training. This course describes the history, features and principles, and organizational structure of the Incident Command System. It also explains the relationship between ICS and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

The above are just a sampling of FEMA credential examples in the course. If you have questions about additional FEMA credentials not listed above as part of the course, reach out to your admissions representative.


Transfer Credits

Yes. Upon acceptance, students may apply to transfer up to three, 3-credit courses (maximum nine semester credits) into the program.

Yes, students who successfully complete the graduate certificate in Emergency Management can “stack” their 12 earned credits into UNE’s 100% online 36-credit Master of Emergency Management degree program. This can be done immediately or within several years after completion of the graduate certificate. Reach out to an enrollment counselor at or (866) 722-5096 for more details on this opportunity.


Student Support

Our motto is “A successful student is a supported student.” And we take that to heart. Upon entering the program, you will be assigned a dedicated Student Support Specialist to provide you with support and to answer any questions you may have.

Your Support Specialist is your on-the-ground advocate at the University – from questions on textbooks, to registration, to financial aid and more, they are there to help you make your academic journey successful. And of course, this dedicated support is provided in addition to the tremendous support you will receive from program staff, your academic advisor, course instructors and fellow classmates.

The Emergency Management program uses the Brightspace D2L Learning Management System.



Yes, the University of New England is regionally accredited, the most prestigious and widely-recognized type of accreditation, by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE). To learn more, please see


Financial Information

Tuition information for the MSEM is available here.

UNE is proud to be among ‘America’s Top Colleges’ according to Forbes and one of the ‘Best Colleges for your Money’ based on a 2019 MONEY magazine ranking. We value each graduate’s return on investment and ensure academic quality translates to higher earnings. More than 90% of our students receive some form of financial aid. Please visit our financial aid page for more information.