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Crisis and Disaster Management, BS

Crisis and Disaster Management Bachelor of Science

Develop the skills to build stable, resilient communities in the University of Central Missouri’s Crisis and Disaster Management BS program. Unlike most emergency management programs that focus only on how to respond to and recover from disasters, UCM’s Crisis and Disaster Management degree program also teaches you how to build community preparedness through proactive planning. Our degree is one of the oldest of its kind in the country and was the first in the state of Missouri. 

You’ll learn risk, crisis and disaster management skills from dedicated faculty members who have firsthand experience working in the field. In addition to teaching undergraduate program classes, Crisis and Disaster Management (CDM) program faculty members mentor you to help you develop professional skills, such as networking and career planning.

An accessible bachelor’s degree for working adults

The University of Central Missouri makes it easy for you to go to college to advance your career — or take it in a new direction. We offer Crisis and Disaster Management degree courses fully online. Allowing you the time, flexibility and support to achieve your educational and professional goals.

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Laurel Hogue, Ed.D.
Vice Provost for Online and Learning Engagement
Humphreys 410
Warrensburg, MO
Tel: 660-543-4984

Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies

Crisis and Disaster Management

CDM Student Handbook

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#1 best online program in the country

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#11 in affordable emergency management

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#1 in Missouri for returning adults

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#5 in best value emergency management

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One of the first CDM degrees in the U.S.

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Earn FEMA Independent Study credentials


What you will study

Prepare to help your community through times of difficulty by developing a deep knowledge of risk, crisis and disaster management. At the University of Central Missouri, you can select dynamic classes that cover the application of technology in the field, safety practices for emergency responders, catastrophic readiness and more. Choose from one of four areas to focus your studies in:

  • Business continuity: Learn how private businesses prepare for, deal with and recover from disasters.
  • Emergency management: Develop the skills you need to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters that affect the public sector.
  • Emergency services management: Build the qualities you need to be a leader and decision-maker in the emergency management field.
  • Environmental hazards: Understand what’s needed to prepare for, handle and recover from disasters such as earthquakes, chemical spills and diseases.

Courses focused on practical experience

As part of our Crisis and Disaster Management degree program curriculum, you’ll take three classes that focus on experiential learning opportunities: Technology Application Study, Field Exercise Project and Practicum in CDM. Through UCM’s available partnerships with local organizations, the real-world experience you’ll gain prepares you for professional success and gives you job experience to demonstrate on your résumé.

EMT Certification partnership

In partnership with the Johnson County Missouri Ambulance District, UCM offers opportunities for you to take undergraduate courses that double as requirements for the Emergency Medical Technician certification. This means you can earn your bachelor’s degree and your EMT certification at the same time.


Excellence in crisis and disaster management

  • #1 : Best Value Bachelor’s Degree College for Crisis/Emergency/Disaster Management in Missouri (College Factual, 2022)
  • A Most Popular Bachelor’s Degree Online Crisis/Emergency/Disaster Management School (College Factual, 2022)
  • #1: Best Online Emergency Management Degree Program (, 2021)
  • #11: Most Affordable Bachelor’s in Homeland Security and Emergency Management Degrees Online (Best Degree Programs, 2021)
  • #1: Best Homeland Security, Law Enforcement and Firefighting Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Missouri (College Factual, 2021)
  • #4: Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management (The Best Schools, 2020)
  • #6: Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management Degrees (Best Degree Programs, 2020)
  • #12: Best Affordable Online Emergency Management Degree Programs (Bachelor’s) (Affordable Schools, 2020)


Unique learning opportunities in crisis and disaster management

Gain vital field experience and industry knowledge by getting involved outside the classroom at the University of Central Missouri.

  • Internships: Practice your risk, crisis and disaster management skills in the field before you start your career by participating in internship opportunities. Past students have interned at public emergency management departments, fire departments and private companies, including hospitals.
  • Rural Emergency Management Summit: At this annual event, you can knowledge-share with emergency management professionals, attend case study reviews about lessons learned from past disasters and network with others in the field.
  • Resident program: Live at the Warrensburg Fire Department to learn first-hand what it’s like to work in emergency response. Go on service calls, network with emergency responders, develop leadership skills and learn about fire service.
  • Institute for Rural Emergency Management: As an undergraduate student in UCM’s Crisis and Disaster Management degree program, you can join the important efforts at the Institute for Rural Emergency Management. Take part in internships, complete research, help develop new programs and provide training to gain work experience and make a direct impact in the field.
  • Guest speakers: Attend campus speaking events to hear directly from FEMA personnel, city and county emergency management directors and graduate program representatives.


What can you do with a degree in Crisis and Disaster Management from UCM?

Courses on risk, crisis and disaster management will provide you with the skills you need to enter the field or advance in your current organization. Specifically, the University of Central Missouri prepares you to succeed in roles that encompass:

  • Business continuity
  • Disaster recovery
  • Emergency planning
  • Emergency response
  • Public safety
  • Relief work

To that end, graduates of UCM’s Crisis and Disaster Management degree program have excelled in these positions at a wide range of organizations, including financial institutions, state and national government agencies, local fire departments and EMS companies and corporations.

You can also choose to continue your education in graduate school to better position yourself for specialized leadership roles. Many CDM students enter master’s programs such as Sociology or Occupational Safety Management.

Careers with a Crisis and Disaster Management degree

Interact with the tool below to learn more about how risk, crisis and disaster management skills can help strengthen your career path. Explore job opportunities, salary expectations, the field’s growth potential and more.




Financial assistance options for your Crisis and Disaster Management degree

The University of Central Missouri works with you to make sure cost isn’t a barrier to earning your bachelor’s degree. Our affordable tuition puts college within reach, and our wide range of options to finance your undergraduate education ensures you don’t graduate with a large financial burden. 

In fact, LendEDU recognized UCM as a top-ranked university for low student debt. We offer a wide variety of financial aid options, including:

  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Assistantships
  • Tuition awards

You can learn about program-specific scholarships at the UCM Scholarship Finder.

Our Crisis and Disaster Management degree program, in particular, has been recognized by college ranking websites for its value. It often ranks highly for being one of the most affordable programs for risk, crisis and disaster management in the state and country.


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Take your degree further.

Continue your education at UCM to specialize in an area related to crisis and disaster management or better prepare yourself to take on a leadership role in your career.

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Make yourself more marketable.

Earn a related minor or undergraduate certificate to supplement the risk, crisis and disaster management skills learned in UCM’s Crisis and Disaster Management major.

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Explore programs related to crisis and disaster management.

If you’re interested in the risk, crisis and disaster management topics covered in this bachelor’s degree program, you may also be interested in one of these undergraduate majors at UCM.

An ethical approach to crisis and disaster management

Through a partnership with Gallaudet University (GU), the University of Central Missouri is creating a diverse and ethical future for the crisis and disaster management profession.

As a UCM student, you may get to work alongside GU representatives to provide them with rural and Midwestern perspectives on risk, crisis and disaster management. At the same time, you’ll learn from Gallaudet students about the barriers to emergency responses for special populations, such as those who are deaf or who have difficulties with mobility.

Together, you’ll work to plan emergency response strategies that take everyone’s safety needs into account.


Information on Completing the Practicum:

  • 150 hours of service learning (not necessarily an internship)
  • Contact Brenda Fuhr, for an internship application and more information. You can also contact Brenda Furh for a copy of the internship manual.

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