63 - Number of undergraduates who earned a degree 2015-16
56 - Number of M.P.A. graduates in 2015-16
57 - Number of M.N.M. graduates in 2015-16
5 - Number of M.S.-URP graduates in 2015-16
17 - National ranking of the M.N.M. program by U.S. News and World Report
63 - National ranking of the M.P.A. program by U.S. News and World Report
13 - Number of M.R.A. graduates in 2015-16
193 - Total number of degrees awarded by SPA in 2015-16
School of Public Administration
College of Health and Public Affairs
University of Central Florida
4364 Scorpius Street Orlando, FL 32816-1395
FAQs Answered by the Advisory Board
For students within UCF's emergency management and homeland
security minor or graduate certificate programs, the advisory
board has answered the frequently asked
questions that come across their desks. Within this
section are a plethora of questions related to academic life,
job searching and professional know-how. Answered by experts within
the field, these answers can guide and support your development
through the EMHS program and into the professional world.
Undergraduate students should focus on a couple of areas.
Foundational courses such as Emergency Management, Homeland
Security and Terrorism, and Geographic Information Systems are a
must. Pair these courses with electives that can help you hone a
related skillset, such as technical writing, public speaking,
leadership and management, and you will be able to showcase a
diverse range of knowledge and development.
What extracurricular courses would benefit me the most?
Some of the most sought-after courses include FEMA's Independent
100b, Introduction to Incident Command System;
200b, ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents;
700a, National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction;
800b, National Response Framework, An Introduction.
Other options include FEMA's Professional Development List,
Advanced Professional Series, and their Continuity of Operations
Excellence Series. To go above and beyond this, investigate FEMA's
HAZUS-MH software, courses by the United States National Grid or
the Red Cross.
Where can I find an internship in emergency management?
As for internships, the sources are many. The challenge is
reaching out to the plethora of local, state and federal agencies.
The best place to start is with your very own UCF faculty.
Also make sure to keep an eye out on the career center's website.
If you want to generate these connections yourself, then start with
your own local county/city or state emergency management offices
and don't forget about private or nonprofit agencies. You can also
search through Pathway Internships from FEMA or those offered
through Florida Division of Emergency Management or the UCF Office
of Emergency Management.
What emergency management associations should students be engaged in?
In terms of student engagement, the first place to start is
UCF's own Emergency Management Student Association. They strive to
further professional development in EM through workshops and
activities and are closely tied to local EM offices. Meetings are
typically twice a month. Check them out on Knight Connect and follow them on Facebook!
What are the minimum qualifications for employment?
For a typical emergency management agency, students will need a
four-year degree with two years of experience, a clean background
check, a driver's license for the state you will operate in and a
On an academic level, each student must have a good foundation of
emergency management education. Moreover, most agencies require
applicants that have already completed FEMA Independent Study
Courses 100, 200, 700 and 800, at a minimum.
To stand apart from the rest, applicants should be able to
demonstrate public speaking and critical thinking skills and have
practical experience in the form of internships. The more education
and experience, the better!
What qualities, skills and abilities should be emphasized in a resume?
When tailoring your resume to your perfect job, make sure you
review the description of the position itself. Try to highlight
those key words within your resume. Take your time as you will not
only want to showcase the fact you read the position description,
but that you have the creativity, flexibility, people skills,
presentation abilities, attention to details, work ethic, budgetary
experience, integrity and professionalism. Also, do not forget to
highlight those certifications you accumulate while matriculating
through UCF's EMHS program!
Do I need to move out of the area for a job?
The brief answer is: "It Depends!" When it comes to emergency
management positions, there may not be any openings at the time of
your graduation. Additionally, your situation may change, causing
you to reconsider the option of relocating.
At the end of the day, the experts do suggest having the
flexibility to move. If your perfect job is in a different state,
then hopefully you can move for that opportunity. If you need to
stay local, then make sure you take advantage of networking
opportunities through internships, volunteering and active
participation in professional associations.
Did you come into the field through the traditional role (fire/law/military) or through a non-traditional one (education/academia)? Is there a difference?
For our experts, it is a mixed bag. Some of the advisory board
members came to the field through the Fire Service or Military.
Others were introduced to emergency management in college or were
working before being introduced to the field and returning to
college for related degrees. Either way, each of the board members
highlight that the way to an emergency management career may
differ; the commonality is the ability to match experience and
education. Whether you obtain these through tradition or
non-traditional methods, emergency management professionals are
able to navigate between the educational and practical realms and
make a difference within their communities.
What is a typical day, week or month like in this profession?
The simple answer to this question is: Every day is different.
All of our experts agree that no day is routine. Some days are
filled with meetings, while other days allow for some individual
work. Tasks vary from reviewing plans and exercises, staff
meetings, program coordination, reading and answering emails,
attending conferences and workshops or webinars and conference
calls, and providing answers to management while also conducting
community reports. Bottom line: There is no typical day.
Why did you get into this field?
Much like the journey into the field, the reasons why our
experts have become emergency managers are just as diverse. For
some of our board members, emergency management provides a unique
and satisfying career. Moreover, a career in emergency management
is a way to give back to the community.
What is the difference between private, public and nonprofit sector emergency management? What other fields require emergency management?
In terms of sector differences, each segment has a different
perspective to their mission of safety; however, the main
foundation stays the same in regards to understanding ICS, NIMS,
management of an emergency operations center, notification
processes and the need for all-hazards planning. Our experts state
some of the biggest differences will be seen in the agencies'
responsibility and provision to the community. For instance, the
private sector is considered a business with an emphasis on
customers and profit, the public would be considered with overall
safety and well-being while the nonprofit arena provides services
deemed needed but unavailable.
In terms of other fields and disciplines, our board agrees the
field of emergency management is still young. Yet, all arenas have
some version of emergency management.
What is the difference between emergency management and homeland security?
To understand the difference between emergency management and
homeland security, our experts speak generally. Emergency
management brings about connections to FEMA, all-hazards
approaches, and simply managing emergencies. Homeland
security focuses more on threat assessments and border control.
Within your courses, you will learn the nuances to the policies,
procedures and regulations that differ between the two. However,
there are more similarities than differences. It is all based on
What challenges will I face?
Each individual entering the field will face his or her own set
of challenges. For some, the growing number of applicants will
cause stress when searching for the right position. You will be
competing against current practitioners. Try not to underestimate
your academic background, but make sure you can translate it into a
For other graduates, age and years or practical experience will
become a challenge. Each student should take advantage of
internships and other opportunities presented by the UCF faculty
and within the local community. Moreover, make sure to take full
advantage of any additional educational or certification
Lastly, the field itself will challenge many individuals. It is
ever changing and finding your perfect position can take time.