The Department of Emergency Management and Disaster Science (EMDS) educates students in the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of emergency management. Primary emphasis is placed upon the human dimensions of hazards and disasters, and enhancing community and societal resilience to a wide range of threats. The department is home to the Emergency Administration and Planning (EADP) program, which was established in 1983 as the nation's first bachelor's degree program in emergency management.
The Master of Science degree in Emergency Management and Disaster Science provides students with in-depth knowledge of diverse theoretical perspectives and empirical research traditions that inform the practice of emergency management. This degree provides a solid academic and practical foundation for those seeking to begin or advance their careers in emergency management or pursue doctoral studies in a hazard-or disaster-related discipline. In addition to taking required courses in emergency management theory, methods and statistics, students may select from a range of electives covering such topics as challenges of disaster response, disaster preparedness and management, community recovery and resilience, and international disasters. Our program also offers:
The department's faculty come from diverse educational and professional backgrounds, and bring a breadth of knowledge and experience to the classroom. They have written books on emergency management topics and have published in many of the top scholarly journals on hazards, disasters and emergency management. Faculty also have received significant external funding for their research from numerous sources, including the National Science Foundation and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Current research topics include:
UNT provides a wide variety of services to graduate students. The Graduate Student Writing Support office assists with developing writing skills, and the Office of Research Consulting offers assistance with statistical research.
The Toulouse Graduate School® offers several professional development workshops, including Master's and Dissertation Boot Camps. Many of the workshops are available online for your convenience.
You must first apply and be admitted to the Toulouse Graduate School. Once you are admitted to the graduate school, your application will be reviewed by the department for admission to the M.S. in Emergency Management and Disaster Science program. Admission decisions are based on a holistic review of the application packet, including:
(Optional: GRE scores, including verbal, quantitative and analytical writing)
Applying to the M.S. in Emergency Management and Disaster Science program is a two-step process:
Step 1: All students applying for graduate programs at the University of North Texas must apply through the UNT Toulouse Graduate School at applytexas.org. More information about the application process and UNT admission requirements for graduate students can be found at the Toulouse Graduate School website.
Step 2: Students applying for the M.S. in Emergency Management and Disaster Science program must also submit the following application materials electronically in either PDF or Microsoft Word format to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Applications are reviewed for admission in the fall and spring semesters. Completed applications must be received no later than July 1 for fall admissions and November 1 for spring admission.
The Master of Science in Emergency Management and Disaster Science requires 30 hours of coursework, including 24 hours in EMDS courses and 6 hours in a minor field of study. Students may choose either a thesis or a non-thesis option.
Required courses, 9 hours
This degree requires each student to select a thesis or non-thesis option.
Thesis option: Students selecting the thesis option will be required to complete the following:
Students selecting the thesis option must have departmental consent to enroll in thesis and must successfully complete a thesis defense.
Non-thesis option: Students selecting the non-thesis option will be required to complete the following:
Students choosing the non-thesis option also must pass a written comprehensive exam covering the core curriculum.
All coursework applied toward the Master of Science in Emergency Management and Disaster Science must be at the 5000 level.
Graduate Courses in Emergency Management and Disaster Science
Students may apply for funding as a teaching or research assistant in the department. These positions typically require students to work 20 hours per week either assisting faculty in the classroom or with grant-funded research projects. Funding for these positions is limited and decisions are made on a competitive and selective basis.
Nicole Dash, Associate Professor and Associate Dean; Ph.D., Florida International University. Social vulnerability and disaster; post-disaster housing and sheltering; hazard mitigation costs and benefits.
Jennifer Evans-Cowley, Professor, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Ph.D., AICP, Texas A&M University. Hazard mitigation; housing recovery after disaster; planning for community resilience.
Mary Nelan, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., University of Delaware. Donations and convergence behavior in disasters; international disasters; volunteerism and disaster.
Ronald Schumann, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., University of South Carolina. Long-term disaster recovery and resilience; participatory GIS; environmental perception.
Laura Siebeneck, Associate Professor; Ph.D., University of Utah. Evacuation and return-entry processes; risk perception and risk communication; GIS and spatial analysis.
Ronald Timmons, Senior Lecturer; Ph.D., University of Texas at Dallas; Disaster communications behavior; policy dimensions of disasters; current issues in emergency management.
Gary Webb, Professor and Chair; Ph.D., University of Delaware. Organizational response to extreme events; flexibility in emergency management; cultural aspects of disasters.
Tristan Wu, Associate Professor; Ph.D., Texas A&M University. Hazard Adjustment; Protective Action Decision Making; risk communication and mental models.
Elyse Zavar, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Texas State University. Land use and landscape change after disaster; hazard mitigation; post-disaster buyout programs.