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Frequently Asked Questions

The application deadline is 30 days prior to the start of the new semester.  This is approximately July 15th (Fall), December 2nd (Winter), and April 10th (Summer).  Students are accepted every semester.  Check the MS DEM website for specific dates.

The following items are required to be considered for admission to the DEM program:

  • A completed online application form, including an essay explaining your interest in the field.
  • A nonrefundable application fee of $50.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate, graduate, and professional education.
  • Two letters of recommendation.

For applicants whose native language is not English, one of the following must also be provided:

  1. Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) with a score of at least 500 in the reading section; or
  2. An American College Test (ACT) with a score of at least 20 in the verbal section; or
  3. A Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score of at least 306; or
  4. A Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score of at least 450; or
  5. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of 213 on the computer-based exam or 78-90 on the Internet-based exam; or
  6. An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam with a score of 6.0 on the test module.

Create an Self-Service Banner (WebSTAR) account if you do not already have one.  

  • To select the MS in Disaster and Emergency Management degree program, you must FIRST select the College of Osteopathic Medicine at which point you will be able to choose the MS DEM degree.
  • Have your scores, transcripts, or any other supplemental application materials sent directly to or mail to:
    • Nova Southeastern University
      Enrollment Processing Services
      Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine
      M.S. in Disaster and Emergency Management
      P.O. Box 299000
      Fort Lauderdale, FL 33329

If you have been a student at NSU in the past, you will need to make an internal transcript request to have your NSU transcripts entered into your MS DEM file.

Once your file is complete (application, essay, letters of recommendation, transcripts, entrance exam scores), it will be reviewed by members of the Committee On Admissions within the week. Once the decision is made, the admissions office will email you and send a hard copy of the letter regarding the decision of the Committee. This process takes 2-3 days once the file is completed.

Two courses (6 credit hours) is considered to be full-time.

The degree is a 36-credit hour program. Typically students complete the degree in two years by taking two courses each semester (Fall, Winter, Summer); however, you may choose to take more than two courses or less than two courses per semester in which case your time to finish would vary.

The degree must be completed within six (6) years of matriculation unless you withdraw, and reapply, to the program or seek an extension, in writing, from the Program Director.

Nova Southeastern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s, educational specialist, doctoral, and professional degrees. Nova Southeastern University also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Nova Southeastern University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

View all of NSU's accreditations.

Yes, financial aid is available for online courses. Individuals should evaluate their eligibility for financial aid by calling the Office of Student Financial Aid at (954) 262-3380 or visiting Financial Aid at NSU.

Yes. In order to be admitted into the program you need an undergraduate degree.

The following exams are accepted:

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • Miller’s Analogies Test (MAT)
  • Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
  • Dental Admission Test (DAT)

If you already have a terminal degree (e.g. M.D., D.O., J.D., Ph.D.) or master's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, no entrance exam is required. For all others, a graduate entrance exam is preferred, but not required. However, if you choose to apply to the program, and are accepted, without one of the listed entrance exams, you will be accepted on a provisional basis for the first three courses. In order to continue on in the program, you must attain a grade of "B" or better in your first three courses. Once this requirement has been satisfied, the "provisional" status on your acceptance will be removed and you can continue on in the program without further stipulation.

In this case the Program Director and the Admissions Committee will review your application. You may be required to take an entrance exam or be subject to the GPA benchmark of a "B" or better in your first three to four courses, or both. Each applicant will be reviewed individually.

A concentration track is a group of courses that are related to a specific subject or content area that can be taken to provide you with a subspecialty within the overall degree. You must take 12 credit hours within the subject area to earn the concentration. There are six tracks, but a concentration is not required.

  • Criminal Justice
  • Cyber Security
  • Environmental Hazards
  • Fire Administration
  • Maritime Safety and Security
  • Public Health

Students can transfer a maximum of 12 credit hours if they meet the following criteria:

  • Courses were taken at the graduate level with a grade of "B" or better
  • Transfer courses must have been completed within five years of matriculation in the DEM program
  • In order for transfer credit to be considered, the student must supply official transcripts, a course syllabus and catalogue description to determine applicability to the degree
  • A request must be submitted in writing to the DEM Program Director along with all appropriate documentation for transfer credit to be considered (transcripts, syllabus, catalog description)
  • Transfer courses must meet one of the criteria within the degree program (core, management, threats/hazards, concentration track, or elective)
  • Transfer courses must be approved by the DEM Program Director

Do to the widely encompassing field of Disaster and Emergency Management, there are many academic disciplines which share an interest in this subject. Therefore, many of our courses are shared, or cross listed, with courses in other degree programs (Criminal Justice, Public Health, Computer and Information Science, Gerontology, and Human and Child Protective Services). As a result, there will often be a variety of students from different backgrounds and interests in the courses.

Contact Wendy Pierre; Academic Program Coordinator, at (954) 262-1030, or Kelley Davis, PhD; Program Director, at (954) 288-5326,or visit MS DEM Overview page.

The student must fill out the Student Transaction Form. Once the form is completed, the Program Director will sign it and file it with admissions for the appropriate action.

Students can go to My NSU Identity to retrieve their IDs or passwords.

All classes are taught online through the Canvas web-based course management system. Classes generally involve both synchronous (in real time) and asynchronous (on your own time) components. Readings, discussion posts, papers, etc. are done on your own time, and then class "meets" online through Canvas once each week for 1-1.5 hours where you will have discussions and additional interactions and information with your instructor and classmates.

NSU has excellent support staff to help you with any problems or issues you may have using or learning Canvas. To maximize the use of the system, the web browser Mozilla is recommended. To get additional information and access online tutorials, go to Canvas Support.

As you will soon discover, there will be some writing assignments in many of your courses. As a matriculant in a master's level program, you will be expected to write at the graduate level. For resources, tools, and tips, go to the Tutoring and Testing Center (TTC).

Contact Us

For general inquiries or questions about the M.S. in Disaster and Emergency Management program, please email

Kelley Davis, Ph.D. 
Program Director
(954) 262-4319

Wendy Pierre
Academic Program Coordinator II
(954) 262-1030

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