About the EMA Program and Degree


WTAMU’s EMA Program is a professional emergency management program based on a public administration curriculum.

The EMA Degree Program was specially designed by West Texas A&M University faculty and administrators in cooperation with the Texas Engineering Extension Service for non-traditional students. Offered completely online, our students can complete the program while remaining employed full-time.


  • The mission of the Emergency Management Administration (EMA) program is to prepare firefighters, emergency responders, military personnel, police officers, private sector, and other emergency-services professionals for advanced levels of administration and management within the emergency services professions.
  • This program is designed to meet the needs of full-time and part-time students.
  • Our primary focus is on non-traditional students who are currently working in emergency management, fire services, emergency medical services, and related fields.
  • The WTAMU EMA program has been approved by the State to accept the state tuition waiver. Firefighters who are employed or volunteer with a political subdivision and meet the requirements of the State of Texas will qualify for a tuition waiver for all courses as outlined by Texas Education Code 54.353.

EMA Program Goals

  • Increasing administrative capabilities of emergency responders by providing a state-of-the-art online learning environment.
  • Expanding all of our students' current written and verbal skills that will enable them to present themselves and their agencies to any community before, during, and after emergency situations.
  • Creating an outstanding commitment to service with the EMA community and WTAMU.
  • Providing a modern curriculum from experienced faculty who support a student’s professional and intellectual development.
  • Expanding the student’s current leadership capabilities within and contributions to the EMA profession.
  • Helping communities, both large and small, to deal with and minimize the effects caused by emergencies.

What Our Graduates Learn

  • Awareness of the history of disasters and emergency management
  • Effective interpersonal and group communications
  • Leadership, management & decision-making skills
  • Personal, organizational, & professional development
  • Definitions, mission, concepts, and terminology used and applied in emergency management
  • Human dimensions in social, political, economic, cultural, and ecological issues
  • Policy and legal dimensions of the statutory basis of emergency management
  • Areas of emergency management responsibility
  • Risk assessment process and methodology
  • Fiscal dimensions of emergency management
  • Awareness and promotion of emergency management
  • Emergency management standards, best practices, and comparative practices
  • Public administration and community planning and development
  • Public, private and nongovernmental organization networking
  • Current and emerging technologies


The EMA program is offered through West Texas A&M University.

West Texas A&M University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of West Texas A&M University.

West Texas A&M University's EMA program has been ranked as one of the best universities located in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review.

Career Opportunities and Advancement

EMA students can find employment in various areas such as:

Government Agencies and Departments 

  • Local Government (Cities, Counties, Districts)
  • State Government and State Agencies 
  • Federal Government and Federal Agencies
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency 
  • Departments of Health
  • Departments of Justice

Coordinating Volunteer Organizations 

  • Red Cross
  • Salvation Army
  • CARE

Other Opportunities 

  • International Organizations
    • UNESCO
  • Humanitarian and Relief Agencies 
  • Private Business and Industry
    • Emergency Management Consulting 
    • Many companies and firms have developed emergency management operations and plans requiring dedicated personnel

EMA students are in moderate-to-high demand, particularly students who have experience in the field and hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.

EMA managers are responsible for planning and coordinating emergency responses from all types throughout their political subdivisions, businesses, or geographic agencies. This includes conducting vulnerability analyses, capability assessments, writing comprehensive strategic plans, implementing budgets, and communicating these needs to various groups. These groups vary from local neighborhood associations and volunteer groups to a board of directors/elected officials throughout a jurisdiction.

Emergency managers are expected to coordinate and conduct education programs for various groups within a community or field. All the while, they are expected to develop training exercises. Confidence, team building, and leadership skills are necessary. The ability to work under pressure and possess problem-solving abilities are essential.

Salary Information

  • Median wage of recent EMA graduates - $65,223
  • Average wage of recent EMA graduates - $71,006 

(Data source: Career Services)