Master of Science in Emergency Services Administration

Degree Program

The Master of Science in Emergency Services Administration degree program at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) is fully online, and prepares graduates for organizational leadership and senior-level positions across the emergency services sector. The program's high-quality, wide-ranging courses engage students in theory and research that inform the management of disaster risk. Program coursework culminates in projects or theses that directly strengthen students’ organizations and communities. Students may also choose to complete a comprehensive exam as their culminating activity.  

The EMER program at CSULB was named in the Top 5 of the Guide to Online Schools in their 2020 Best Value Colleges (based on tuition rates and salary data) and 2020 Most Affordable rankings. 

In recent years, emergency services professions have become extremely competitive, with demands for personnel to further their education to attain promotion and keep up with technical advances. Those in the following fields are well-suited for this program: firefighters, police officers, military personnel, emergency medical services personnel, and disaster response planners within government, business, and industry.

College: Health and Human Services

Department: School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Emergency Management

Please Note:

  • Out-of-state students who do not reside in California are not eligible to enroll in this fully online program. For more information, visit The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).
  • Students enrolled in this program are eligible for some forms of financial aid, with the exception of the State University Grant (SUG) and Cal Vet College Fee Waiver.  
  • GI Bill benefits can be used for this program. Click here to learn more about eligibility, rates, and other details.

The purpose of the EMER program is to develop administrative leadership skills in emergency service personnel including:

  • Public administrators
  • Private business and industry disaster planners
  • Emergency medical services personnel
  • Nursing and public health practitioners
  • Military personnel
  • Humanitarian workers
  • Police officers, firefighters, and emergency managers
  • Exclusively online instruction to meet the needs of working professionals
  • Instructors are prominent faculty from the emergency services field
  • Networking with other professionals in a team learning environment
  • Students’ course assignments have practical and real-world applications
  • Courses are scheduled to allow students to pursue the degree on a year-round basis
  • Administrative leadership
  • Emergency planning and management theory and practice
  • International emergency management
  • Legal, economic, and human issues in emergency administration
  • Organizational change mechanisms
  • Participative decision making and collaboration
  • Research methods and analytic techniques for decision support and innovation
  • Hazards and risk management
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Disaster public and mental health
  • Homeland security
  • Risk, crisis, and interagency communications
  • Business continuity
  • Emergency management technologies
  • Public service
  • Critical thinking
  • Sociocultural skills
  • Community Engagement
  • Governance and Civics
  • Leadership

The EMER degree requires satisfactory completion of 31 units of approved graduate courses including:

  • EMER 500 Information Literacy and Practical Writing Applications for Emergency Management (3); Prerequisites: None.
  • EMER 506 Emergency Planning and Management (3) Prerequisites: None.
  • EMER 530 Applied Research Methods and Analytical Techniques for Decision Support and Innovation (4) Prerequisites: EMER 506.
  • EMER 540 Emergency Management Organizations: Constructs for Influencing Complex Systems (3) Prerequisites: None.
  • EMER 548 Risk, Crisis, and Inter-Agency Communications (3) Prerequisites: EMER 500.
  • EMER 661 Emergency Management Leadership Across the Megacommunity (3) Prerequisites: EMER 500, EMER 506, EMER 530, and EMER 540.
  • EMER 671 Strategic Planning and Integrative Practices in Emergency Services Administration (3) Prerequisites: EMER 500, EMER 506, EMER 530, EMER 540, and EMER 548.

Project Students take the following course:

  • EMER 694 - Project: Strategic Planning and Integrative Practices in Emergency Services Administration (3 units)

Thesis students take the following course:

  • EMER 698 Thesis (3 units) Prerequisites: Advancement to Candidacy.

Comprehensive Exam students take the following course: 

  • EMER 697, Directed Studies. Prerequisites: EMER 500, EMER 506, and EMER 530. 

In addition:

  • Students complete two additional elective courses selected in consultation with a faculty advisor (6 units).

    EMER Program Overview

    CPaCE NewsLink EMER

    The class challenged my previously-held beliefs and provided new insight into a subject I had yet to dive into. The quality of instruction and content has surpassed my expectations.

    Matt Borasi Current EMER student Master of Science in Emergency Services Administration