School of Health and Life Sciences

Disaster and Emergency Management

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The Disaster and Emergency Management (D&EM) program provides current, relevant, and forward-thinking theory and knowledge, to help ensure that the D&EM practitioners of tomorrow are prepared to better manage the increasing complexity and frequency of disaster events. The program offers learning and skills that extend across the entire system of D&EM, including mitigation/prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery, as well as resiliency building, business continuity, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, and crisis communication.

Graduates from this program will leave able to support businesses and organizations in any sector or community to prepare for and respond to the risk of harm or loss resulting from natural, technological, and intentional hazards more effectively.

This guided pathway allows students to engage in their diploma learning as a full-time cohort.

Sep 01, 2023

Quick Facts

Credential: Diploma

Diplomas are credit programs that take 2 to 3 years and lead to government approved and industry-recognized credentials.

Campus: Main

Any in-person components of your courses will be delivered at NAIT's Main Campus in Edmonton. View map

Delivery Options:

  • Online Flexible Delivery - Your course activity is not scheduled and therefore you can determine when to do the coursework.

Length: 2 Years

With a typical full-time course load, this program will take 2 Years to complete.

Open Studies: Available

This program has courses that are available for Open Studies. Open Studies allows you to explore credit courses without applying to a program. It is an opportunity to get a feel for school and what program you want to be in. View courses

International Students: Not Accepted

This program is not accepting international students for this intake.

Grad Employment Rate

Employment rates are reported by NAIT alumni, are for information purposes, and do not guarantee future employment opportunities. Please note that data for newer programs may not be included within this report.

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Median Starting Salary

Salaries are reported by NAIT alumni, are for information purposes, and are not a guarantee of future income. Please note that data for newer programs may not be included within this report.

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Applied, industry-relevant training

The Disaster and Emergency Management Program will give you the opportunity to study while balancing other aspects of your busy life. All 20 courses, including the Final Project course, are delivered 100% online. Your final project will showcase your ability to independently tackle a Disaster and Emergency Management issue or problem on behalf of an approved stakeholder, and provides the opportunity to apply current, theoretical knowledge to address a real-world stakeholder need.

NAIT is a member of the Canadian Risk and Hazards Network (CRHNet) which allows students in the program to access mentorship and learning/job/volunteer opportunities through their “Emerging Professionals” group.

Emergency Management

Alumni profile: Shauna Hetherington

Hear how recent graduate Shauna Hetherington used her training in Emergency Management to launch a rewarding career

Centre for Applied Disaster and Emergency Management

NAIT’s Centre for Applied Disaster and Emergency Management (CADEM) advances the Disaster and Emergency Management profession through hands-on training & professional development.

A new frontier in hands-on health-care training

CAE Healthcare and NAIT have entered a simulation research partnership to improve health-care education and patient safety, including support for the polytechnic's simulation research initiatives.

Upon Graduation

Graduates from this program are well positioned to seek out additional credentialing available through organizations like the Disaster Recovery Institute and the International Association of Emergency Managers, if they choose. Effective April 2021, students are no longer able to access the free online ICS courses through the Government of Alberta. Instead, all students in the Disaster and Emergency Management program will be offered the opportunity to access  ICS Canada recognized in-house and virtual learning for ICS100 and ICS200 through the Centre for Applied Disaster and Emergency Management (CADEM). These are not mandatory for program graduation, but are highly recommended as additional credentials that are often requested by prospective employers.

Emergency Management

Additional credentialed learning

Some students may wish to continue with their formal learning. NAIT has created agreements with specific institutions in order to create some fair and accessible pathways as options for graduates from the Disaster and Emergency Management Program. In addition to successfully completing the diploma program, students also would need to satisfy the eligibility criteria to obtain admission to the institution/program listed:

  • Continue your studies at NAIT with the Bachelor of Technology! This option gives graduates a full 2-year credit towards the completion of the 4-year BTech program. Please note that this program offers face-to-face and eLearning options.
  • Wilfred Laurier University – Bachelor of Arts in Public Safety. This is a “2+2” agreement that also gives our program graduates a full two-year credit towards the completion of the 4-year BA program. Please note that this program is also fully online.
  • Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) – Bachelor of Emergency & Security Management Studies. This is also a “2+2” agreement that gives our diploma graduate a full two-year credit towards the completion of the 4-year BESMS program. Please note that this program has an online option.

Ongoing professional development

NAIT believes in supporting Disaster and Emergency Management Professionals throughout the lifespan of their career. Our Centre for Applied Disaster and Emergency Management offers additional professional development training courses, workshops, stakeholder events, and certificate programs. 

Enter the workforce with confidence

Disaster and Emergency Management is one of the fastest growing fields globally. Upon successful completion of the program, you may find entry level employment in the public, private, non-profit/humanitarian, and industry sectors. Many organizations require disaster and emergency managers in the areas of policy development/advocacy, field work, public engagement, communications, business continuity management, risk management, crisis management, disaster risk reduction, response coordination, disaster preparedness/mitigation, planning, disaster recovery, training, and building community resilience. This field is relevant and necessary for all organizations, communities, and businesses that are exposed to any type of natural, human-induced, or technological hazard.

International Applicants

Some NAIT programs are unavailable to international students because they do not meet eligibility for a study permit or Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). 

  • Study Permit: This program is delivered through distance learning and therefore does not meet the criteria for a study permit.
  • Post-Graduation Work Permit: This program is delivered through distance learning and therefore is not eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program. Completion of this program will not make you eligible for a PGWP.

International applicants seeking permissions to take this program in the Winter term can contact a NAIT Academic Advisor – International to discuss options.

Courses and Advanced Credit

Current and recently admitted students can find information and updates about their program on their My Program page in the MyNAIT Portal. To monitor your course progress and the courses still needed to graduate, visit your Academic Progress Report.

Advanced Credit

You may apply for advanced credit once you have been accepted into the program. Advanced credit can be Transfer Credit (for completed post-secondary courses) or PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition).

Transfer Credit

In addition to the common guidelines outlined on the Transfer and Credit Options section, your program has other advanced credit requirements that are applied to each request including:

  • You must have completed the course or program no more than 4 year(s) ago unless a formalized articulation agreement is in place
  • You must have a minimum mark of C- in the course(s) or program

Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition (PLAR)

Read more about advanced credit or contact us about applying for credit for this program.


Expand each course below to see details about credits, requisites, scheduling, and more.

Tuition & Fees

Scholarships & Awards

The following scholarships and/or bursaries are available to you as a student in this program. To access your opportunities, visit the Student Portal.

Admission Requirements

Want to learn more about this program?

Thank you for your interest! We want to get you in contact with the right person to answer your questions. If you are a current or recently admitted student you can find program and course information as well as contact details for your program on the My Program page on the MyNAIT Portal.

General inquiries

Please contact the Student Service Centre for general inquiries such as:

  • Student application support
  • Program entrance requirements, tuition & fees, and how to apply
  • Program admissions process
  • Enrolment support
  • Student funding options
  • Fee and refund inquiries
  • General program and course withdrawal procedures
  • Navigating and MyNAITPortal

Contact Student Service Centre

Program-specific questions

Please fill out the form below if you have any program-specific questions relating to:

  • Program details
  • Work-integrated learning and cooperative education
  • Advance credit and Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)
  • Program and course withdrawal

The personal information on this form is being collected under the authority of the Post-secondary Learning Act and section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). The information will be protected by the provisions of FOIP, and will be used for the purpose of registration and administration of the event. If you have any questions or concerns about the collection, use, security or disclosure of the personal information, please contact General Council at 780.471.7664 or

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