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General Information: Graduate Program


Graduate Program Director: Dr.Richard Bissell
Graduate Program Coordinator: Renee Decker



Modern emergency health service systems are complex entities that require the coordination of multiple service organizations in order to be effective. The common goal of this cooperative effort is to reduce death and disability resulting from acute illness and injury. The emergency health care system is the larger health care system’s method of reaching out to people experiencing unforeseen medical emergencies, assessing their needs, initiating care, and transporting them to an appropriate facility while continuing care. Emergency health care encompasses agencies ranging from local rescue squads to national and international disaster and refugee health services, and includes mobile (i.e. ambulances) and fixed resources (hospitals). Increasingly, EHS agencies are becoming more involved in activities aimed at the prevention of injuries and sudden illness, and are exploring other public health roles. In order for this work to be effective, a high degree of management capability, combined with targeted research and education are required. Our Master’s and Ph.D. Concentration programs are designed to address these needs.


The UMBC Emergency Health Services graduate study programs encompass the system components listed above. The program is primarily focused on preparing professionals for leadership roles requiring skill in planning, research, development, and organizational operations. The curriculum is designed to provide graduate level training and education to health care providers, researchers, educators, policy makers and administrators.


Regular admission criteria for the Graduate School are required for all prospective degree-seeking Emergency Health Services graduate students. You must have an undergraduate grade point average of at least a 3.0. If your grade point average is under 3.2, you will be required to take the Graduate Record Examination. Completion of another post-graduate degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 is an acceptable substitute. Applicants for whom English is not a native language must have a score of at least 550 on the written Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or 80 on the internet-based test (iBT) version. Consult the UMBC Graduate School Catalogue for further requirements and deadlines. Those wishing to “test the waters” or to enroll in one or two courses without degree candidacy may register as Non-Degree Students. Consult with a departmental advisor for more information. Applications are available through the graduate school.


Combined Degree Program (B.A./M.S.)

Students in the EHS undergraduate program who meet specific qualifications may opt for a combined BS/MS degree. Application for this program is made during your Junior year of undergraduate study and must be approved by both the Graduate Program Director and the Advisor for your undergraduate degree track. Under optimal conditions, this program can be completed in five (5) years.

Emergency Management Certificate

The Emergency Management Post-Baccalaureate Certificate provides a 5-course (minimum) option for those interested in emergency management, with two recommended courses of optional study available. This certificate can be obtained as a stand-alone option, or as part of the M.S. degree. Under the guidance of the program advisor, combinations of these tracks may be possible. Courses are available through distance education (completely online) or through on-campus/hybrid courses.

Master’s of Science (M.S.)

Three tracks are available to the Master’s level emergency health services major:

  • Administration, Planning and Policy
  • Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology
  • Education

Each track begins with a mandatory core of (4) courses, followed by track specific courses. All three tracks are available through on-campus/hybrid courses. Both the Administration, Planning, and Policy track and the Education track are available via distance education (completely online).  Much of the Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology track can be completed via distance education, however, some on-campus/hybrid courses may be required within this track.

Ph.D in Public Policy with Emergency Health Services Concentrations

This track is for the professional specializing in public health, disaster care and emergency management. There are two pathways: emergency health and emergency management. The emergency health pathway includes courses in disaster health, catastrophes, and system design. The emergency management pathway includes courses in disaster mitigation, catastrophe preparation and response, and strategic planning.



The EHS baccalaureate program began in 1980. Our goal was to produce the most comprehensively educated individuals capable of performing tasks within the broad scope of the emergency health care field as leaders, managers and providers. Our graduate program, the first in the nation for EHS, began a year later. It remains the largest program of its type available in the United States. Our program is unique in its proximity and interaction with other world-renown emergency medicine resources. We share faculty, resources, and projects with the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (our state EMS agency), the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine, and its National Study Center for Trauma and EMS. Many students intern in these organizations. Our proximity to Washington D.C. enhances access to national agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Department of Health and Human Services. Maryland is often looked to as a leader in emergency medical services; our Graduate Program is one of the resources enhancing this reputation.


For General Graduate School information and funding option/opportunities, please check out the Graduate School’s website at



EHS Graduate Program Alumni Careers and Positions after Graduation  (PDF-2016Nov)