Mitigate the Impact of Disasters

When disaster strikes, corporations and governments alike need leaders who are ready to act, providing a swift response to an unexpected emergency or readiness for the unknown future. Our online BSHS in Global Leadership in Disaster Response will equip you to lead in the most challenging of situations, mitigating the impacts of disasters for all stakeholders.

Quick Facts

  • 60 total credits
  • $38,100 tuition
  • 3.5 years average duration

Accreditation and Rankings

  • Fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • #66 Best National University*
  • #20 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs*

U.S. News & World Report‘s 2021 Best Colleges Rankings

Program Highlights

  • 100% online, no campus visits required
  • Gain the preparation to lead in challenging situations by integrating principles of medicine, public health, and disaster response and recovery
  • Earn your degree in as few as 3.5 years
  • Application fee waived for military and veterans within three years of service


Students must earn a total of 120 college credit hours to receive the BSHS degree. They may transfer in up to 60 college credit hours from another institution, which are applied toward the general education and advanced standing requirements. They then must earn at least 60 college credit hours at GW to meet the academic residency requirement of which 48 credit hours are required courses for the major.*

* Students may be considered for review with a minimum of 45 transfer credits but will be required to complete any missing general education credit hours in addition to completion of the 60 programmatic hours. Transfer credit hours will be evaluated prior to admission.

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Program Outcomes

When you graduate from this program, you’ll hold the skills and knowledge to:

  • Compare and adopt leadership approaches for managing complex projects in diverse, inter-agency environments
  • Manage financial and human resources in emergency and disaster settings
  • Analyze and apply strategies for emergency mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery for any crisis, whether naturally caused or the result of a coordinated attack
  • Coordinate collaboration and effective communication between team members and stakeholders

Who Is the Ideal Student for This Program?

Our online BSHS in Global Leadership in Disaster Response program was originally developed to recognize the work of special operations medics in the U.S. military. If you’re a recent military professional, this program can provide a seamless transition from the field to a career in emergency management.

For students who have completed their general education requirements, this program can set you on the path to leadership in disaster response roles throughout the corporate and government sectors.

With a 100% online, asynchronous format, you can continue working while you earn your degree, saving time and cost of commuting and keeping the schedule that works best for you.

Career Outlook

From developing natural disaster preparedness plans to responding to a bioterrorism attack to making sure a business can continue to operate under extreme circumstances, careers in disaster response are diverse and in demand, with job opportunities projected to grow at a rate of 5% from 2018 to 2028. With an education in emergency response and leadership, you’ll be well qualified to enter emergency management roles with significant responsibilities and competitive salaries across the government, corporate, and nonprofit sectors:

  • Emergency Management Director, median salary $74,4201,2
  • Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity Specialist, median salary $81,5443
  • Director of Business Continuity & Emergency Management, median salary $103,3994
  • Emergency Preparedness Manager, median salary $68,5345
  • Emergency Management Specialist, median salary $60,7036

Admission Requirements

To apply for the BSHS in Global Leadership in Disaster Response, you’ll need:

  • Completed application
  • 2.5 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
  • Resume/CV
  • Personal statement
  • One letter of recommendation

If you have an associate degree from a participating D.C., Maryland, Virginia community college, you may be eligible for guaranteed admission to this program. Review the list of participating institutions or complete this form to speak with an Online Admissions Advisor for more details.

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Tuition Details

The BSHS in Global Leadership in Disaster Response program at GW consists of 60 credit hours and costs $635 per credit hour.

Note: Tuition rates are subject to change and additional fees may vary by program. Please call at (844) 386-7323 for more information.

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  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019 September 4). Emergency Management Directors. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved January 9, 2020, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/emergency-management-directors.htm.
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019 September 4). Emergency Management Directors. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved January 9, 2020, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/emergency-management-directors.htm#tab-5
  3. Payscale (2020 January). Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity Specialist. Retrieved January 9, 2020, from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Disaster_Recovery_%26_Business_Continuity_Specialist/Salary.
  4. Payscale (2020 January). Director of Business Continuity & Emergency Management. Retrieved January 9, 2020, from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Director_of_Business_Continuity_%26_Emergency_Management/Salary.
  5. Payscale (2020 January). Emergency Preparedness Manager. Retrieved January 9, 2020, from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Emergency_Preparedness_Manager/Salary https://www.payscale.com/research.
  6. Payscale (2020 January). Emergency Manager Specialist. Retrieved January 9, 2020, from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Emergency_Management_Specialist/Salary.