Fire Emergency Management Program (FEMP)

Oklahoma State University’s graduate program in Fire and Emergency Management Administration Program is one of the oldest programs in the nation. Students receive a superior academic experience in preparing leaders in the fire services, disaster management, emergency management professions, as well as educators and researchers in these fields.

Students can complete degree requirements either online as distance students or as a resident on campus. Online Graduate courses typically meet in real time.  Distance students join on-campus students in lecture, discussion, and group work, utilizing state of the art classrooms designed for distance education.  The FEMP program requires that a minimum of nine hours must be completed on campus in Stillwater, Oklahoma. This can be accomplished during one-week courses in the summer.

The program was established in 1996 as a Master of Arts specialization in Fire and Emergency Management within political science.  In 1999, the degree changed to the Master of Science in Fire and Emergency Management Administration. The curriculum includes public policy, strategic administration and organizational management, human dimensions of disaster, leadership, and terrorism.

In 2009, the Doctor of Philosophy in Fire and Emergency Management Administration was instituted.  The PhD degree is designed to produce proficient and active research scholars.  It emphasizes preparing talented individuals for faculty careers at major research-oriented academic institutions, but we also welcome applicants whose career interests may lean towards non-academic settings or academic institutions that stress teaching.

Regardless of their post-graduation plans, all PhD students are given the same standard of preparation.  After all, it takes a competent research scholar to maintain currency in the field and provide their students or employers the best, most contemporary information the discipline has to offer.

Only July 1st, 2018 the Fire and Emergency Management Program moved to the College of Engineering Architecture and Technology as part of the Division of Engineering Technology. This move strengthened the relationship between the FEMP program and the other internationally known, fire-related programs at Oklahoma State University.

A major component of Oklahoma State University’s land grant mission is service to community, state, and nation by preparing professionals for jobs in critical service sectors. The mission of the Fire and Emergency Management Administration Program is to prepare professionals for management positions in the critical service professions of fire and rescue, emergency management, emergency medical services, law enforcement, homeland security and related fields in both the public and private sectors. These professions are concerned with the mitigation of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from the adverse effects of acute exposures to natural, technological, and social hazards. The program specializes in strategic policy, public management, and organizational behavior, human dimensions of disaster, leadership, and counter-terrorism. It also facilitates professional networking among its students and with leaders in the field. The curriculum is designed to provide students with theoretical and substantive knowledge about management structures and functions, analytical skills that enable the practical application of theories, research skills that enable critical analysis of real-world problems, and written communication skills necessary for effective management.

The Learning Outcomes for the Fire Emergency Management programs are that:

1. Graduates can demonstrate mastery of substantive theories in and knowledge of fire and emergency management administration and of its application to practical problems and issues in the field.

2. Graduates are able to conduct research and critically analyze problems in the fire and emergency management field.

3. Graduates can demonstrate effective written communication skills.

FEMP 3103 Introduction to Emergency Management

Description: An overview of the history and philosophy of the current emergency management system. Concepts, issues and programs associated with the development of an emergency management program. Local, state and federal roles and responsibilities for responding to disasters and emergencies with emphasis on man-made natural and technological hazards. This course is the same as POLS 3813.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Undergraduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 3733 Emergency Management: Preparedness and Response

Description: Introduction to preparedness and response activities for emergency personnel and managers. Covers components, policies, programs and organizations related to preparedness and response. Illustrates course concepts with case studies. This course is the same as POLS 3733.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Undergraduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 3763 Emergency Management: Recovery and Mitigation

Description: Introduction to recovery and mitigation activities for emergency personnel and managers. Covers components, policies, programs and organizations related to recovery and mitigation. Illustrates course concepts with case studies. This course is the same as POLS 3763.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Undergraduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 5000 Thesis

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of instructor.

Description: Thesis. Offered for variable credit, 1-6 credit hours, maximum of 6 credit hours. Same course as POLS 5000.

Credit hours: 1-6

Contact hours: Other: 1

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Independent Study

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 5013 Research Design

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: Overview of research design, including conceptualization and operationalization, literature review, deductive and inductive theorizing, hypothesis testing, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis. This course is the same as POLS 5103.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 5023 Quantitative Methods for Fire and Emergency Management I

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and FEMP 5013 or consent of instructor.

Description: Fundamental methodological issues in the scientific study of fire administration and emergency management. Computer data manipulation and analysis. This course is the same as POLS 5013.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 5213 Disaster Response

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: Review of scientific literature on human and organizational behavior in response to disasters. Identification of actors involved in emergency response, their roles and responsibilities. Examination of human response in context of organizational structures and resources including emergency operating centers. Review of local and national government response policies. This course is the same as POLS 5933.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 5223 Preparedness and Planning

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: Planning and training for hazards and disaster management at the organizational level; review of public education and preparedness efforts at the household and community level, review of research on disaster planning. This course is the same as POLS 5923.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 5233 Disaster Recovery

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: Processes, conditions and components of recovery in disaster contexts. Topics include environmental, economic, housing, infrastructure and policy. Roles of voluntary organizations; securing and managing resources. This course is the same as POLS 5383.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 5243 Mitigation

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: Structural and non-structural mitigation approaches to hazard reduction; description of policies, programs and planning methods relevant to all governmental levels; and review of research and case studies of mitigation efforts. This course is the same as POLS 6313.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 5303 Introduction to Fire and Emergency Management

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: Examines the content and historical evolution of fire and emergency management including terminology, concepts, theories and methods employed. Previously offered as POLS 5303.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 5313 Political and Community Relations for Fire and Emergency Management Administration

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: Navigating the political and policy context of emergency services administration including understanding how to develop and pass legislation and municipal codes affecting emergency services. Other topics include communicating with politicians, other agency administrators, and the community and building coalitions with relevant actors, agencies and governments. This course is the same as POLS 6213.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 5323 Leadership and Management for Fire and Emergency Management

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: Introduction to leadership and administrative processes required to deliver fire and emergency services; detailed examination of the social, political and economic issues that have an impact on service delivery and leadership and management approaches for emergency services. This course is the same as POLS 5343.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 5613 Complex Emergencies

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: This course examines complex emergencies from an emergency management perspective. We will look at the collapse of governance, the causes of armed conflict, food insecurity, infectious disease, natural disasters, and so on, and examine specific cases in detail. Furthermore, we will look at how the international community responds to these crises, and which agencies are involved in relief efforts. We will apply the traditional four phases of disaster management to these situations. This course is the same as POLS 5943.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 5623 Emergency Management in the International Setting

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: Introduction to emergency management in the international setting. Provides background for students who may work with international assistance programs or who may become involved in the delivery of emergency management services abroad as part of an international assistance effect. This course is the same as POLS 5693.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 5633 Emergency Management and Public Policy in the United States

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: Examination of natural and man-made disasters in the U.S. along with the policies and programs intended to prevent, respond to, mitigate, and recover from such events. The evolution of the U.S. Emergency Management System, the emergency management profession, and future directions in emergency policy. This course is the same as POLS 5683.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 5643 Politics of Disaster

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: Situates disaster phases in the political context at the local, national and international levels. Examines research on specific events and their interactive effects between the political system and various phases of disaster. This course is the same as POLS 5393.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 5653 Hazard, Vulnerability, and Risk Analysis

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: Introduction to hazard, vulnerability and risk analysis (HVRA) techniques in fire and emergency management. Explains the role and uses of HVRA in decision-making, public policy and emergency management planning. This class is the same as POLS 5653.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 5810 Special Topics Seminar in Fire and Emergency Management

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: Specialized topics in emergency management. Offered for variable credit, 1-3 credit hours, maximum of 9 credit hours. This course is the same as POLS 5300.

Credit hours: 1-3

Contact hours: Lecture: 1

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 5903 Practicum in Fire and Emergency Management Administration

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.

Description: Supervised practicum in fire and emergency management administration. This class is the same as POLS 5903.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 6000 Dissertation

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of instructor.

Description: Research for PhD dissertation. Offered for variable credit, 1-12 credit hours, maximum of 60 credit hours. Same course as POLS 6000.

Credit hours: 1-12

Contact hours: Other: 1

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Independent Study

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 6013 Qualitative Methods for Fire and Emergency Management

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and FEMP 5013 or consent of instructor.

Description: Qualitative methods for collecting and analyzing data regarding fire administration and emergency management. This course is the same as POLS 6013.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 6023 Quantitative Methods for Fire and Emergency Management II

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and FEMP 5013 and FEMP 5023 or consent of instructor.

Description: An advanced course that builds on the introductory level of statistics. Develop a systematic and critical understanding of alternative quantitative approaches and methodologies of fire and emergency management research. This course is the same as POLS 6123.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 6103 Proseminar in Fire and Emergency Management

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: Examines scope of the fire and emergency management field as an area of academic inquiry. This course is the same as POLS 6003.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 6303 Populations at Risk

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: Describes populations at risk for increased injury, death and property loss. Identifies policies, programs and resources for risk reduction. Applies research for purposes of planning and capacity building. This course is the same as POLS 6303.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 6313 Comparative and International Dimensions of Emergency Management

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: Comparative analysis of the organization, management and policies of fire and emergency response services in other countries. This course is the same as POLS 6203.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 6323 Organizational Behavior in Disasters

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: Theoretical overview of organizational behavior in a disaster context. How organizations respond, adapt, fail and succeed when disrupted by disaster. Role of formal and informal organizational structures in confronting disasters. This course is the same as POLS 6343.

Credit hours: 3

Contact hours: Lecture: 3

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 6810 Advanced Special Topics Seminar in Fire Administration

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Description: Specialized topics in fire administration. Offered for variable credit, 1-3 credit hours, maximum of 9 credit hours. This course is the same as POLS 6300.

Credit hours: 1-3

Contact hours: Lecture: 1

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Lecture

Department/School: Engineering Technology

FEMP 6840 Directed Readings in Fire and Emergency Management

Prerequisites: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Description: Directed readings for doctoral students in specialized areas of fire and emergency management. Offered for variable credit, 1-3 credit hours, maximum of 9 credit hours. This course is the same as POLS 6040.

Credit hours: 1-3

Contact hours: Other: 1

Levels: Graduate

Schedule types: Independent Study

Department/School: Engineering Technology

The Fire and Emergency Management Program, housed in the CEAT Division of   Engineering Technology offers a Master of Science degree in fire and emergency management administration, a PhD in fire and emergency management and administration, and an undergraduate minor in emergency management.

The MS and Phd in Fire and Emergency Management Administration are specialized degrees designed to provide an educational foundation for those who are currently serving or aspire to serve as managers or administrators in the fire service, emergency management, emergency medical services, law enforcement, or homeland security in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors.

Admission Requirements for Master’s Degree Programs

Any student having a bachelor's degree with an overall 3.00 grade-point average (on a 4.00 scale) may be admitted as a student in full standing. Those with less than an overall 3.00 grade-point average are considered for admission on a probationary basis.

In addition to the general requirements outlined above, candidates for the Master of Science degree in fire and emergency management administration must meet one of the following requirements:

  1. Have significant practical experience in a fire or emergency service organization.
  2. Have a bachelor's degree or a minor in fire or emergency services related discipline such as fire protection technology, fire management administration, fire science, emergency management, disaster science, criminal justice, emergency services administration; or
  3. Not meeting the criteria specified in 1 or 2 above, completed a minimum of 12 hours of undergraduate study in fire protection and/or emergency management, or provide significant proof that studies in another field led to knowledge and experience in fire or emergency services field, such as a final project related to fire or one of the emergency services listed above or an internship with a fire, emergency service, or law enforcement related organization in the public, private, or nonprofit sector.

A complete application for admission to the master's program must include:

  1. A completed Graduate College application submitted with a non-refundable application fee.
  2. A copy of undergraduate transcript(s).
  3. Two letters of recommendation with at least one from an employer or faculty member familiar with the applicant's academic abilities.
  4. TOEFL results for students for whom English is a second language. Students must have a score above 549 (paper exam) or 79 (internet based test) to be considered for admission.
  5. A brief letter indicating interests, career goals and other information the applicant considers relevant.

Degree Requirements for the MS in Fire and Emergency Management Administration

In addition to the general requirements of the Graduate College, requirements for the Master of Science degree in fire and emergency management administration are listed below.

  1. A minimum of 33 credit hours in FEMP or closely related courses. Required courses include a 21-hour scope of the field core requirement, a six-hour methods requirement, and six hours of electives. Students must complete a three-hour practicum research project or a thesis with a minimum of six hours. Students are required to complete a minimum of nine hours on campus in Stillwater, Oklahoma. This can be accomplished during one-week courses offered each summer.  Most courses in the FEMP MS program are conducted in the department’s state-of-the-art virtual classroom, where both on-site and off-site students participate simultaneously in the same class sessions.
  2. Satisfactory completion of a final assessment project (either a Thesis or a Practicum).
  3. Minimum 3.00 grade-point average, with only one grade of "C" allowed.

Admission Requirements for PhD in Fire and Emergency Management Administration

OSU Graduate College admission requirements include the following:  an OSU Graduate College Application, payment of the OSU Graduate Application fee and transcripts of all previous college level coursework including transcripts that verify receipt of an undergraduate and graduate master's degree.

  1. GPA:  minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  2. GRE:  Scores from the Graduate Record Examination taken within the past 5 years.
  3. Professional experience in a fire or emergency services related field is preferred, but not required.
  4. Academic experience in a fire or emergency services related field is preferred.  If applicant has a degree outside of the fire or emergency services related field, they should spend time explaining how their academic background (i.e. degree, courses, research) has prepared them for the pursuit of a PhD in Fire and Emergency Management Administration.
  5. English Language Proficiency:  For international students, a minimum TOEFL score of 79 (Internet) and 550 (paper) is required.
  6. A current resume
  7. Three letters of recommendation: At least two letters must come from individuals who can speak directly to the applicant’s abilities in the classroom and conducting research.
  8. An essay:  This 1-2 page essay should address the applicant’s previous professional and academic experience and how it has prepared them to seek a PhD in Fire and Emergency Management Administration. Candidates should also address their 5 and 10 year goals, discuss their research interests, and explain how the FEMP program and faculty can help them reach their goals and develop their research interests.
  9. Copy of the applicant’s thesis or other written example of applicant’s research abilities.
  10.  Copies of any published materials authored by the candidate.

Degree Requirements for the PhD in Fire and Emergency Management Administration

Degree candidates must have completed a master's degree. In addition, they must complete 45 hours of required common coursework that includes 12 hours in a common core, 12 hours of research tools, three hours from an International core, nine hours of electives and 15 hours of dissertation research. An additional nine hours of courses are required in either a fire service administration track or an emergency management administration track. Students are required to complete a minimum of nine hours on campus in Stillwater, Oklahoma. This can be accomplished during one-week courses offered each summer. Finally, candidates must take written and oral comprehensive exams and must successfully defend their dissertation before their dissertation committee. Most courses in the FEMP PhD program are conducted in the department’s state-of-the-art virtual classroom, where both on-site and off-site students participate simultaneously in the same class sessions.

Haley Murphy, PhD—Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator
Professors: Dave Neal, PhD
Assistant Professors: Hsien-Ho (Ray) Chang, PhD; Alex Greer, PhD; Hao-Che (Tristan) Wu, PhD