Degrees in Emergency & Disaster Management

FAQs

The below FAQs relate specifically to Georgetown’s Emergency & Disaster Management (EDM) degrees: the Executive Master of Professional Studies (EMPS) and Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in both the on-campus and online formats.

Visit the Admissions page for general FAQs related to the application process, tuition, financial aid and more.

You can view and download the Master of Professional Studies Handbook here.

GENERAL EDM QUESTIONS

Which EDM program should I apply for: the on-campus master’s, the online master’s, or the executive master’s?
Can I apply to multiple programs?
Can non-U.S. citizens enroll in these programs?
When can I apply?
Do I have to register and pay for the entire program at one time?
Do you offer any scholarships or assistantships?

EMPS-SPECIFIC QUESTIONS

Who should apply for this program?
What is a cohort enrollment program?
How many students are in each cohort?
Where are the courses held?
Who pays for students’ transportation to the on-site residencies?
How long does it take to complete the program?
Can I fit this program into my work schedule?
If my work schedule conflicts with one of the on-site residencies, what are my options?

MPS-SPECIFIC QUESTIONS

Who should apply for this program?
Where are classes for the on-campus MPS held?
Where are classes for the online MPS held?
Can MPS students take both online and on-campus courses?
How long does it take to complete the program?
How many students are in each class?
If my question isn’t answered here, what do I do?

General EDM Questions

Which EDM program should I apply for: the on-campus master’s, the online master’s, or the executive master’s?

We recommend that you first and foremost consider your level of experience and your learning goals: are you new to this field, or do you have considerable experience with this subject matter? The ideal candidate to the executive program has at least six years of relevant work experience and is currently in a position of leadership in his or her organization; meanwhile, the on-campus and online master’s degrees are designed for students with less experience in this field, including career changers and recent graduates.

As a secondary factor, you should also consider the format of each program. For example, if you are an experienced practitioner but you do not have the flexibility to participate in the intensive and travel-heavy format of the executive program, you may consider applying for the on-campus or online master’s programs.

There are many other factors you will need to consider as you select the program that is right for you. Start by reviewing the degrees comparison chart and diving in deeper to the EDM website. Take a look at the “who should apply” FAQs for the executive master's and online/on-campus master’s programs below. We also recommend that you attend an information session or webinar.

Still have questions about which program is right for you? Contact us.

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Can I apply to multiple programs? (e.g. the executive program and the online program)

Please apply to only one program. If you need assistance deciding which program you should apply for, contact us.

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Can non-U.S. citizens enroll in these programs?

All foreign nationals should review the International Students page for the most up-to-date information regarding eligibility for enrollment.

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When can I apply?

Students may only begin the EMPS program in the fall term of each academic year; students may enter the MPS program in any of the fall, spring, or summer terms. Applications for both programs are accepted throughout the year. See Application Deadlines for clarification on when applications are reviewed and when you can expect a decision.

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Do I have to register and pay for the entire program at one time?

No. Tuition is paid on a semester-by-semester basis.

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Do you offer any scholarships or assistantships?

We do not offer any assistantships. We do offer a number of scholarships for students who have completed a term of service with an eligible organization. Students may get more information on financial assistance by reviewing the SCS Financial Aid web page.

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EMPS-SPECIFIC QUESTIONS

Who should apply for this program?

The ideal candidate for the executive master’s (EMPS) program in EDM has 6+ years of experience and is currently serving in a leadership position in emergency management, disaster response, or a closely related field. EMPS students represent the full diversity of this profession, coming from backgrounds related to public health/medicine, international humanitarian assistance, first response, community/human services, law enforcement, defense, and of course domestic emergency management. Applicants must demonstrate a clear and explicit vision for how this program fits into their specific plans for career development.

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What is a cohort enrollment program?

This simply means that each enrollment class, or cohort, moves through the program as a group. Additionally, there are no electives for this program. Each cohort must complete all five courses in chronological order, with each course including a mixture of online study and on-site residencies.

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How many students are in each cohort?

Overall enrollment in the EMPS program varies each year; individual “sub-cohorts” will range from 18-25.

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Where are the courses held?

To minimize vital time away from your job, the EMPS degree uniquely blends online instruction with on-site residencies. The residencies include classroom discussions and thought-provoking field visits to national and international locations. Online classes are held weekly and include both synchronous and asynchronous content. View the schedules for the EMPS-EDM program or the EMPS-EDM Gulf-focused program

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Who pays for students’ transportation to the on-site residencies?

Students are responsible for making and financing their own transportation arrangements to and from on-site residency locations. Travel expenses are not included in tuition. However, at each residency location, accommodations and some meals will be covered by tuition.

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How long does it take to complete the program?

It takes one year (from August to August) to complete the EMPS program’s five courses, including both online study and on-site field residencies at various locations.

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Can I fit this program into my work schedule?

You should be able to juggle your work schedule around the online and on-site portions of the program. The on-site residencies are designed as five six-day blocks to help minimize work interruptions. The online course study is conducted live and is scheduled on weekday evenings (Eastern Time).

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If my work schedule conflicts with one of the on-site residencies, what are my options?

Commitment and attendance are required for each course, including keeping pace with online assignments and attendance at on-site residencies. If you cannot commit to all of the on-site residency dates, we encourage you to apply to the next available cohort or to consider the online or on-campus MPS.

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MPS-SPECIFIC QUESTIONS

Who should apply for this program?

Students in the on-campus and online master’s (MPS) programs come from diverse backgrounds and a range of professional experiences. All applicants for these programs must demonstrate a clear vision for their career goals in this field. Successful applicants must also demonstrate academic preparedness for intensive graduate studies through their writing abilities and previous academic record, including a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0.

Although not required, the most competitive applicants to these programs will also have previous professional, academic, or volunteer experience in a related field. We welcome academically qualified career changers and recent graduates whose goals closely align with the learning objectives of the program. 

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Where are classes for the on-campus MPS held?

Classes for the MPS on-campus EDM degree are held at the School of Continuing Studies downtown campus, located at 640 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. This central location provides unparalleled opportunities for professional development, internships, and networking, as well as cultural activities and events.

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Where are classes for the online MPS held?

Classes for the MPS online EDM degree are conducted 100% online.

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Can MPS students take both online and on-campus courses? 

Yes. Although you will apply for and be designated as a student within either the online or on-campus program, you may take some courses in the other format if there is space available.

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How long does it take to complete the program?

Students may dictate their own pace within the guidelines and restrictions of the University. Students who participate in the program full-time can finish in four semesters. Part-time students (1-2 classes per semester) generally take 2-3 years (up to 5 if necessary). View sample part-time versus full-time schedule here.

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How many students are in each class?

Class sizes in the on-campus and online master’s programs are generally held to 23 or fewer students.

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