• Course Delivery
  • Total Credits
  • Tuition
  • Duration
    3.5 years

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

BSHS in Global Leadership in Disaster Response

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.

You'll learn to: 

  • Compare and adopt leadership approaches for managing complex projects in diverse, interagency 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.

Disaster Response 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 percent from 2018 to 2028.1

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 non-profit sectors: 

  • Emergency Management Director, median salary $72,7602 
  • Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity Specialist, median salary $83,5663 
  • Director of Business Continuity & Emergency Management, median salary $93,8524 
  • Emergency Preparedness Manager, median salary $66,5355 
  • Emergency Management Specialist, median salary $57,5836 

Request More Information

Request information, or call (844) 386-7323 to speak with an admissions advisor.

1 https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/emergency-management-directors.htm

2 https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/emergency-management-directors.htm#tab-5

3 https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Disaster_Recovery_%26_Business_Continuity_Specialist/Salary

4 https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Director_of_Business_Continuity_%26_Emergency_Management/Salary

5 https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Emergency_Preparedness_Manager/Salary

6 https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Emergency_Management_Specialist/Salary

Admissions Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. 2.5 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
  2. A written personal statement

    Please include a 250-500 word essay describing your reasons for undertaking study at The George Washington University, and your academic objectives, career goals, and related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, relevant to your program of interest. Include any substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application form.

  3. Completed Application
  4. Resume/CV
  5. Application Fee: A non-refundable application fee of $80 is required. The application fee is waived for active-duty U.S. military and veterans, current GW students, degree-holding GW alumni, graduates of Minority Serving Institutions (MSI), and current McNair Program Scholars.
  6. 1 Letter of Recommendation
  7. Official transcripts from every college and university attended. All non-U.S. transcripts (including those in English) must be evaluated by an accredited foreign credential agency. Please find the list of member organizations here: https://www.naces.org/members
  8. International Students: Applicants who are not U.S. citizens are also required to submit official test scores for Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Pearson’s Test of English (PTE) Academics or the academic International English Language Test System (IELTS). The following are the minimum scores for admission consideration: TOEFL: 250 computer-based or 100 Internet-based GW's school code for the TOEFL is 5246. PTE: overall score of 68 IELTS: overall band score of 7.0, with no individual band score below 6.0 International applicants may be considered for admission without submitting the above scores if: You are a citizen of a country where English is the official language, You hold a bachelor’s degree from a country where English is the official language and language of instruction, You hold a bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting agency.
NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.


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 towards 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.

  • EHS 2109Infectious Diseases and Bioterrorism3 Credits

    Examination of the basic principles of epidemiology, the growing problem of emerging infectious diseases, the threat of biological warfare, and emergency preparedness planning and response for large-scale biological events. Restricted to students in the health sciences program or with the instructor's permission. Recommended background: 4 credits in courses in the areas of biology or anatomy and physiology; or HSCI 2102.

  • EHS 2160Disaster Response Planning and Management3 Credits

    Planning for and management of mass-casualty incidents in the pre-hospital and hospital environments for all risks (attack, man-made, and natural), including development of response plans, triage, medical evacuation procedures, communications, roles of government and the private sector, terrorism, pandemics and epidemics, and medical care for mass gatherings. Restricted to students in the health sciences program or with the instructor's permission.

  • EHS 2211Introduction to Telemedicine3 Credits

    An introduction to the ethical, legal, and technical aspects of telemedicine, including, but not limited to, emerging technologies, planning and operational considerations. Students will complete a number of practical exercises requiring direct application and utilization of Internet, video, audio, and other technologies.

  • EHS 3101Leadership Concepts3 Credits

    Leadership topics in the context of emergency action and disaster response, including developing leadership skills, team and group dynamics, and contrasting military and civilian leadership structures. Restricted to students in the health sciences program or with the instructor's permission.

  • EHS 3103Technology in Critical Incident Response3 Credits

    Examination of the role of technology in critical incident response through an assessment of domestic and international cases. Restricted to students in the health sciences program or with the permission of the instructor. Prerequisite: EHS 2160.

  • EHS 3107Financial Management for the Disaster Cycle3 Credits

    Financial management, budgeting, and grants management in the emergency response and preparedness arenas. Restricted to students in the health sciences program or with the instructor's permission. Prerequisite: EHS 2160.

  • EHS 4101Humanitarian Relief Operations3 Credits

    An integrative approach to humanitarian relief operations, including factors that can influence relief delivery, field planning considerations, and the roles and limitations of non-governmental organizations, international organizations, local government, and various federal and civilian and military agencies. Emphasis on medical aspects of working with particular populations such as women, children, the elderly, and culturally underrepresented or persecuted population subsets.

  • EHS 4103Advanced Topics in Leadership3 Credits

    Leadership topics for emergency managers and responders, including leadership in complex systems, change management, interagency collaboration, and leadership in domestic and international responses. Restricted to students in the health sciences program or with the instructor's permission. Prerequisite: EHS 3101. Recommended background: EHS 2160.

  • EHS 4105Operations Management in Asymmetric Conditions3 Credits

    Application of operations management principles in asymmetric conditions, including multi-dimensional approaches and responses to attack, man-made, and natural disasters. Restricted to students in the health sciences program or with the instructor's permission. Prerequisites: EHS 2160 and EHS 3101.

  • EHS 4160Seminar in Project Management and Leadership3 Credits

    Capstone course using challenges and opportunities encountered by emergency managers to apply and develop project management and leadership approaches. Restricted to students in the health sciences program or with the instructor's permission. Prerequisites: EHS 2160 and EHS 3101. Recommended background: completion of EHS 3107, EHS 4103, and EHS 4105.

  • HSCI 2105Current Issues in Bioethics3 Credits

    Basic issues, approaches, and requirements of ethically acceptable decision making with patients, including patient confidentiality, conflicts of interest, allocation of scarce resources, occupational risks in health care, and professional responsibility for overall quality of care.

  • HSCI 2110Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Concepts 3 Credits

    An overview of basic public health concepts for health sciences students, including epidemiology, health promotion, and disease prevention. Review of current issues in health promotion. Completion of a public health project in a clinical site.

  • HSCI 2112WWriting in the Health Sciences3 Credits
  • HSCI 2114Healthcare in Developing Nations3 Credits

    An introduction to health concerns in the developing world. Students will explore interventional approaches for such issues as malaria, HIV/AIDS, clean water, maternal and women's health, and childhood mortality.

  • HSCI 2117Introduction to Statistics for Health Sciences3 Credits

    Foundational concepts in descriptive and inferential statistics, including probability, sampling distribution, estimation, correlation, t-Test, simple linear regression, and chi-square. Application of statistical concepts and methods within the health sciences.

  • HSCI 4102Human Physiology in Extreme Environments3 Credits

    The course examines human physiology and the pathophysiology of acute illnesses and injuries, and evaluates appropriate mitigation strategies associated with living and working in extreme environments.

  • HSCI 4106Intro to Epidemiology for Health Sciences3 Credits

    An introduction to epidemiological methods and their applications in the prevention and control of illness, community and clinical interventions, and health services.

  • HSCI 4112WResearch and Writing in the Health Sciences3 Credits
  • EHS 2161Principles of Hazmat and CBRNE Incident Management3 Credits

    Examination of hazardous materials and their risks, including chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives (CBRNE). Identification of hazardous materials and related problems, precautions in approaching the contaminated patient, protective clothing, decontamination, and management of selected hazards, and countermeasures. Restricted to students in the health sciences program or with the instructor's permission. Recommended background: 4 credits in courses in biology or anatomy and physiology; or HSCI 2102.

  • EHS 3105Integrated Response to High Impact Violent Incidents3 Credits

    Examination of resources and response strategies needed to mitigate high impact, violent incidents involving an ongoing threat; evaluation of multiagency and multidiscipline integrated operations, mass casualty events, and terrorism. Restricted to students in the health sciences program or with the instructor's permission. Prerequisite: EHS 2160.

  • EHS 4198Administrative Internship3 Credits
  • HSCI 2102Pathophysiology3 Credits

    Biomedical and scientific framework for the understanding of human disease mechanisms and biologic processes. Overview of infectious, immunologic, cardiovascular, genetic, respiratory, gastrointestinal, neoplastic, reproductive, renal, hematologic, neurologic, and musculoskeletal diseases.

  • HSCI 2104Management of Health Science Services3 Credits

    Application of management and organizational principles to the delivery of services provided by health sciences disciplines. Issues addressed include information systems, leadership, team building, fiscal management, human resources management, quality improvement, and management of conflict and change.

  • HSCI 4105Case Studies in Health Care 3 Credits

Tuition & Fees

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

  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $615
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1,845

What's it like to earn this degree online?

  • Study on your schedule
    The flexible anytime, anywhere approach to online learning at GW means that you can study and work on assignments when and where it’s convenient for you. Balance your personal and professional commitments. At GW online, you can advance your career without stopping it.
  • Personalized learning
    Many of our online programs have a student-instructor ratio that’s lower than on-campus classes, making it easier to interact with fellow students and get personalized attention from your instructors. Plus, you have access to one-on-one tutoring to help ensure your success.
  • The prestige of a GW degree
    Now you can earn a GW degree without relocating your life, giving you access to the distinguished connections and opportunities we provide. When you earn a degree from an online program at GW, you earn a degree from the George Washington University. Entrusted with its rights, privileges, and honors, you’ll join the ever-expanding GW alumni community who make the world a better place.
  • Connect to campus from anywhere
    GW is your link to leading authorities in policy and health care in Washington, D.C. You’ll be able to research, collaborate, and discuss with classmates and instructors using online learning management systems. Engage with all the resources GW offers, including tutors, the writing center, career services, and libraries—all online.
  • A dedicated advisor from day one
    Each GW online student is assigned an academic advisor who will support your journey to graduation. You’ll get help finding resources, guidance on scheduling classes, answers to your questions, and more. As an online learner at GW, you’re never alone.
  • Round-the-clock tech support
    A late-night software malfunction won’t keep you from getting your assignment in on time. GW provides 24/7 technical support for our online students, ensuring you have complete access to what you need, when you need it.

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