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Degree Overview: Master of Health Sciences (M.H.S.) Degree in Emergency & Disaster Management

Majors Overview September 24, 2015

This article talks about Master of Health Sciences (M.H.S.) degree programs in Emergency & Disaster Management and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Health Sciences (M.H.S.) Programs in Emergency & Disaster Management

The world relies on emergency and disaster relief administrators to prepare and plan for situations of health crisis and disasters; they strive to act speedily, skillfully and calmly whenever such events occur. Emergency and disaster management options are not typically available through a Master of Health Sciences (M.H.S.) program. A Master of Science (M.S.) in Emergency Management or Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management may be most suitable for those interested in a graduate degree in this field. Another commonly offered degree in the field is the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.).

In this master’s degree program, students are offered emergency and disaster management as an area of concentration; alternatively, students may complete courses that address these subjects in the coursework. Coursework begins by addressing the basic tenets of public health law and management techniques. Students can expect to become keenly aware of a variety of ways in which emergency situations and disasters arise. They will get the opportunity to investigate both instances of man-made crisis such as terrorist attacks and natural disaster. They learn about methods of response to such situations; they can factor in components such as supply acquisition, personnel recruitment, and methods of aid delivery.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in a related major. They must also submit GRE test results, complete an interview process, and provide a summary of their goals for their career and the program.


Program coursework incorporates substantial hands-on education, in the form of internships with emergency relief organizations, as well as simulated in-class scenarios. Core coursework covers topic areas such as:

•Communication in crisis situations
•Public health emergencies
•Disaster planning and response
•Health care economics
•Public health law
•Health management
•Special needs in emergency response
•Community recovery after health disasters
•Psychosocial aspects of disasters
•Health risk assessment

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek various opportunities in management for public health and emergency relief organizations. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Public health consultant
•Emergency response trainer
•Social service worker

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a faster-than-average job growth rate of 19% has been predicted for social workers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, child, family and school social workers brought in an average annual wage of $41,530. Mental health and substance abuse social workers banked $39,980 per annum, on average. During the same period, health care social workers netted $49,830 as an average annual income.

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates may seek continuing education at the doctorate level by enrolling in degree programs such as the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Disaster Management. They may conduct heavy research to find out the best modes of preparation for and prevention of various forms of disasters.

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