Emergency Planning and Management, B.S.
Adult Professional Studies

Immaculata University’s bachelor’s degree in emergency planning and management develops leaders to serve their communities and the nation when they are needed most.

Immaculata’s Emergency Planning and Management (EPM) program prepares you to plan for, manage and respond to today’s increasingly complex disasters. The curriculum will teach you practical skills that can make you an asset to organizations preparing for emergencies. You’ll use case studies from real crises in assignments and practice making executive-level decisions, so you can apply what you’re learning to the field of emergency management right away.

Immaculata’s EPM program is the only bachelor’s degree focused on emergency management in the Philadelphia region, but you can take 100% of the classes online from anywhere. Our program stands out among competition and is recognized by FEMA.

Program Highlights

  • Choose hybrid or 100% online classes, studying part-time or full-time.
  • Earn FEMA certifications through your coursework. As part of your class assignments, you will complete online training in emergency management operations and protocols. Once you pass a test at the end of each course, you will receive a certificate that helps you build your résumé for internships and employment.
  • Guided by an advisory board that includes a former director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, classes are designed and taught by educators with real-world practical experience in emergency response.
  • Gain real-world, résumé-building experience while expanding your network through professional internships. Our students have interned with county emergency management agencies and with the southeast Pennsylvania regional counter-terrorism task force.
  • Participate in research opportunities under the guidance of faculty. Our students have recently studied topics such as firefighter resilience.
  • The program was ranked one of the best online emergency management degrees by Best Colleges and Student Training & Education in Public Service.
  • If you transfer in approximately 64 credits, you can complete your major’s requirements in two years or less through year-round, accelerated seven-week courses.
  • You may be eligible for credit for prior learning, allowing you to earn academic credit for college-level learning experiences outside the classroom.
  • Order of Sword and ShieldYou may qualify to be inducted into the Order of the Sword and Shield, the only academic honor society dedicated exclusively to emergency management. The society promotes critical thinking, high scholarship and professional development, and enhances the ethical standards of future leaders in the protective services. OSS is widely recognized throughout the emergency management profession.
  • You may qualify for military or veterans’ discounts, and your advisor may be able to help you apply for EPM-specific scholarships.


Course Preview

Principles of Emergency Management

This course provides the scope, objectives, and principles of emergency management; preparedness, including prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery strategies as well as roles of federal, state and local emergency management agencies, and private agencies. Learners will also be able to explain how various emergency management services work together in a system of resources and capabilities.

Risk Analysis & Threat Assessment

This course prepares emergency response managers to conduct a comprehensive, capabilities-based threat and risk assessment for terrorism/all-hazards incidents under the National Response Framework and National Preparedness Guidelines. Learners will identify shortfalls, perform gap analysis and develop a needs assessment to fill shortfalls/gaps identified within the preparedness cycle.

Human Dimension Communications Planning of Disaster Management

This course prepares emergency managers to consider the human dimensions of disaster, and to operate effectively with the public and media concerning a variety of threats to community wellbeing. Students will understand and learn to develop strategies for community-based planning ,communicating and negotiating with the public, and managing conflict.

Emergency Management Systems

Examination of the emergency management practices used during an emergency situation by responders, particularly the structure and responsibilities of the Incident Command System (IC S), the management of facilities and resource identification. National Incident Management System (NIMS) principles are also discussed and applied.

Legal Aspects Emergency management

An overview of the major legal and liability issues in emergency management. The focus is on the legal environment within which emergency managers operate, including their roles in rule-making, policy administration, contract law and their potential personal legal liability for discretionary actions.


The culminating academic experience for the learners, drawing on the foundational information from earlier courses in law, budgeting research, technology, threat assessment and risk analysis and business continuity in the production of a comprehensive emergency management plan that meets state and federal standards.

Program Outcomes

Immaculata University’s bachelor’s degree in Emergency Planning and Management focuses on developing well-rounded emergency managers with a background in planning, organizational leadership and ethics in an all-hazards environment. Through the program, you will develop the attributes to:

  • Anticipate hazards and problems that may arise from an emergency in order to plan and respond effectively.
  • Make decisions, identify the strengths and weaknesses of possible solutions, and the costs and benefits of each action.
  • Write and communicate professionally, particularly emergency preparedness plans, to inform communities, other agencies and the public.
  • Work with other organizations, government officials and the general public to coordinate emergency responses.
  • Lead successfully to ensure effective responses to emergencies by organizing and providing direction to a variety of people.

Where Can I Work?

Many of our graduates work as first responders or emergency managers with such organizations as Bucks County Emergency Service, the American Red Cross, and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. Networking is key to finding a position after graduation, and our program’s LinkedIn group helps connect students to emergency management professionals in the field.

A bachelor’s degree in emergency management prepares you to establish or grow your career in a variety of industries and settings that focus on risk mitigation and emergency preparedness, including federal homeland security, health care organizations, and municipal emergency management.

Once you have at least five years of entry-level experience, you may be eligible for director positions, giving you the opportunity to earn a median salary of over $76,000 a year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides more information on the emergency management occupational outlook.

Alumni Spotlight

Nathaniel DiDonato
Nathaniel DiDonato ’19
Fire Inspector
Immaculata’s EPM program prepared me by giving me the tools, practical experience and knowledge to be successful at my job in the fire marshal’s office. Through specific course exercises, faculty who are active in the field, and engaging subject matter, Immaculata’s EPM program is second to none. Knowing that this program is recognized by FEMA is also a fantastic benefit as well. I would highly recommend Immaculata’s EPM program!

Chris Noll ’21

Chris Noll ’21 is following in the footsteps of his parents who have volunteered with disaster response organizations. No matter the challenges, Chris feels prepared and excited to enter the emergency management field and help his fellow Americans—something that is ingrained in him.

Learn more about Chris’ story.

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