JIBC emergency management students

Is this program right for you?

Be the one in a dynamic, growing field keeping communities safe. If you are a working professional looking to make a difference helping mitigate and respond to emergencies and disasters, this program is for you.

Applied Knowledge and Skills Development

Gain the applied knowledge and skills to pursue rewarding careers in emergency management, security management, or public safety.

A Self-Paced Bachelor's Degree

Complete a bachelor’s degree part-time, online, and at a pace that works for you.

The online offering of the Bachelor of Emergency and Security Management Studies is designed for individuals looking to start or enhance their career in emergency management, security management or public safety. The option to complete the program full- or part-time program that enables them to start a career in an exciting field or take their existing career to the next level.

Program Strengths

This broadly based, multi-disciplinary program is specifically designed to meet the safety, security and emergency management challenges of today and tomorrow.   It is Canada’s first degree of its kind to combine emergency management and security studies with a foundation in business. It provides students with the basic conceptual approaches and methodologies of safety, security and emergency management as they apply to business and community environments.   Graduates have the theoretical, methodological and technical competencies required for a career in security and emergency management.

Graduates of the program have a solid knowledge base and the skills to pursue leadership roles across the public safety sector.

They have gone on to careers in emergency management, disaster planning and security. 

Graduates include those who have strong organizational skills, a background in planning or administration, experience as a search and rescue volunteer or in various emergency services positions, demonstrated a desire to serve the public, and an ability to work well under pressure with strong teamwork and communication skills.


  • Emergency Management, Disaster Planning and Public Safety
  • Business Continuity
  • Risk and Crisis Management
  • Security and Intelligence
  • Business Administration
  • Leadership and Management

What You Need to Graduate

The program consists of 40 courses, totalling 120 credits. 

To receive the Bachelor of Emergency & Security Management Studies, students must complete 99 credits of required courses (33 courses) and 21 credits of electives (7 courses) for a total of 120 credits (40 courses). To meet degree requirements, a minimum of 45 of these credits (15 courses) must be upper division (300- and 400- level) courses.

Program Format

This program is paced and facilitated online. Students have the opportunity to collaborate and share experiences in an interactive online learning environment. Courses are led by faculty who are experts in their fields.

Students can pursue their studies full-time or part-time.


Full-time students generally take three to five courses per semester. Students need to take a minimum of three courses per term to be considered full time. All program courses are offered between the September (Fall) and January (Winter) terms with special offerings during the May (Summer) term. Students can expect to complete their program in four to five years.


Part-time students generally take one to three courses per semester. All program courses are offered between the September (Fall) and January (Winter) terms with special offerings during the May (Summer) term. Students can expect to complete their program in five to six years. 

Time Commitment

Courses run on a 14-week term in the fall and summer, and a 15-week term in the winter. Although most activities do not require students to be online at a specific time of day, students must be active in their courses on a weekly basis. Some courses will have scheduled online lectures and events though instructors will try to record these for students that can’t attend live. Plan to dedicate approximately six hours per week for each course.

Upcoming Intakes

There are three intakes each year in September, January, and May.


The Bachelor of Emergency and Security Management Studies is a 120 credit or 40-course program. Tuition fees are charged on a per course basis. (See the course pages for descriptions and prices).    

Total tuition fees are approximately $23,000.*

* All costs are current as of April 1, 2021 and apply to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Prices are subject to change. Applicable fees and taxes are extra.

Textbooks & Supplies

Some courses have open source textbooks or a series of readings and resources embedded in the course materials.

A number of courses have textbooks. Textbooks for each course can be obtained a number of ways. They can be purchased through the JIBC Store, purchased directly from the publisher, or purchased through online retailers such as Amazon or VitalSource. A current list of courses is available in the ESMS Online Campus, a resource site available to current students.

STEP ONE - Apply to the Program

Apply by registering online at www.EducationPlannerBC.ca and completing the online program application form.

Write a letter of approximately 250 words describing your interest in the program, and detailing how you intend to manage your studies with your other responsibilities to ensure your success in the program.

STEP TWO - Submit Supporting Documents

Submit the entrance letter in person at the Registration Office, via email or by mail.


The subject line should read "BESMS Entrance Letter" and the body of the email must include your full name and mailing address.

Admissions Officer
Justice Institute of British Columbia
715 McBride Boulevard
New Westminster, BC V3L 5T4\

Application Deadlines

January start: November 29
May start: April 5
September start: August 3

Complete applications must be received no later than the dates posted above. Once accepted into the program, you will receive information on how to register for courses.

Admission Requirements

  • High school graduation diploma (or equivalent)
  • Grade 11 mathematics with a minimum grade of C (or equivalent)
  • Grade 12 English / Grade 12 First Peoples English with a minimum grade of C (or equivalent)

For more information, contact the Emergency Management Division.

Required Documents

  • A copy of your high school transcript
  • A letter of approximately 250 words describing your interest in the program, and detailing how you intend to manage your studies with your other responsibilities to ensure your success in the program. 

Credit Transfer and Program Laddering

For more information on transferring credit from another post-secondary institution, please see Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Information and Application.

Graduates of the Emergency Management Certificate program receive credit for ESMS-1300 and ESMS-2300, as well as 6.0 credits toward their security and emergency management electives.

Graduates of NAIT's Diploma in Disaster & Emergency Management receive full two-year credit towards the completion of the four-year BESMS program.

Financial Aid and Awards

This program is eligible for student loans, external awards and JIBC awards, bursaries and scholarships.

International Applicants

International applicants interested in this program are encouraged to visit the International Students page or contact JIBC's Office of International Affairs at international@jibc.ca.

Q: I’m not a Canadian citizen, can I still take the program? 

A: International students are welcome to apply to the program. International application and tuition fee rates apply.

Q: How long will it take to complete the program? 

A: It depends on how many courses you take.

Part-time Studies (one to three courses per semester,
  Diploma: 2.5-3 years
  Degree: 5-6 years

Full-time Studies (three to five courses per semester)
  Diploma: 2-2.5 years
  Degree: 4-5 years

Q: Can the program be taken entirely online? 

A: Yes.

Q: Can I take some classes in person? 

A: Not at this time.

Q: I’ve completed the EM certificate program. Can I get credit for any courses? 

A: Graduates of the EM certificate program receive credit for ESMS-1300 Foundations of Emergency Management I (3.0 credits) and ESMS-2300 Foundations of Emergency Management II (3.0 credits). They also receive 6.0 elective credits.

Q: I’ve completed the Exercise Design certificate program. Can I get credit for any courses? 

A: Graduates of the Exercise Design certificate program receive credit for ESMS-3360 Exercise Program Management.

Q: I’ve taken a couple of other emergency management courses through the JIBC. Can I get credit for them?

A: The degree program comprises a series of specific core courses. Individual courses offered by EMD cannot be transferred in.

Q: I’ve taken some courses/completed a diploma/degree at another institution. Can I transfer credit in?

A: You may be able to get credit for relevant course work completed at another institution. See JIBC’s policies and procedures as they relate to transfer credit.

Q: I’ve worked in the field for 15 years. Can I get credit for that?

A: You may be able to get credit for relevant experience. See JIBC’s policies and procedures as they relate to Prior Learning Assessment (PLA).

Q: I graduated from high school 25 years ago. Do I need an official transcript? 

A: We require an official (sealed) transcript(s) confirming that you meet the admission requirements of high school graduate (or equivalent), grade 12 English with a minimum grade of C (or equivalent), and grade 11 mathematics with a minimum grade of C (or equivalent). If you have completed credit courses (not continuing education) at another post-secondary institution, you should submit official transcripts reflecting all post-secondary work. In this case, you may not need to submit your secondary school transcript, it will depend on the type of courses you have completed and the institution’s admission requirements. If you have not completed courses at another post-secondary institution, contact the Ministry of Education. They should be able to provide you with a secondary school transcript.

Q: Do you have a mature student policy?

A: Students who are at least 21 years of age who do not have BC Grade 12 or any of the equivalencies listed in the Grade 12 equivalency procedures, but meet all other admission requirements may, with the approval of the Registrar or designate, be admitted into the program based on other qualifications or experience. However, all students are required to meet specific course prerequisites. Students without grade 11 mathematics or grade 12 English are required to complete the appropriate equivalent. For more information see the JIBC’s Admissions policy and procedure.

Q: Can I start the program in January/May? 

A: Yes. See the deadlines in How to Apply for specific time frames for submitting your application.

Q: Will I need to buy textbooks? 

A: Textbooks are required for a number of courses. You can order these from the JIBC Store, the publisher, or online retailers before the start of the semester.

Q: Do I need to be employed in the field? 

A: No.

Q: Does this program qualify for BC student loans?

A: Yes. Please see information on JIBC Financial Aid & Awards.

Courses in This Program

Core Courses

ESMS-1100 Emergency & Security LegislationESMS-1200 A Systems Approach to Business
ESMS-1300 Foundations of Emergency Management I: Planning & PreparednessESMS-1400 Foundations of Safety & Security
ESMS-2210 Introduction to Information ManagementESMS-2300 Foundations of Emergency Management II: Response & Recovery
ESMS-2310 Human Behaviour & Social Constructs of DisastersESMS-2340 Foundations of Business Continuity Management
ESMS-2400 Introduction to Risk ManagementESMS-2450 Critical Infrastructure Protection Systems
ESMS-2500 Crisis CommunicationESMS-3110 Corporate Investigations
ESMS-3210 Information Security ManagementESMS-3330 Technology Applications in Security & Emergency Management Environments
ESMS-4200 Root Cause Analysis & Problem IdentificationESMS-4220 Ethical Issues in Public Safety
ESMS-4250 Policy Development and ImplementationESMS-4340 Advanced Business Continuity Management
ESMS-4410 Strategic PartneringESMS-4500 Issues & Crisis Management
ESMS-4900 Degree Capstone ProjectINTL-3410 Introduction to Intelligence Analysis

Business & Liberal Arts Foundations

BUSN-1100 Business CommunicationsBUSN-1101 Introduction to Human Resource Management
CRES-1851 Introduction to Conflict Analysis and ResolutionETHS-1100 Applied Ethics
ENGL-1100 Academic WritingENGL-1110 Critical Reading & Writing
FIRE-2145 Financial ManagementSTAT-1100 Statistics
RESM-2100 Research MethodsFIRE-2125 Leading Inclusive Cultures in Emergency Services
BUSN-3110 Project Management 

Core Electives

ESMS-3420 Safety & Security Management for Major EventsESMS-3360 Exercise Program Management
ESMS-4300 Current Trends in Security & Disaster ManagementESMS-4310 Resilience & Recovery
ESMS-4420 Planning for Terrorism, CBRNE & Major Health Crises 

Liberal Studies

PSYC-1100 Introduction to PsychologyBUSN-3115 Data & Research Management

Courses must be outside the primary area of study. Acceptable electives include Inter-Cultural Studies, Economics, History, Philosophy, Political Studies, Psychology and Sociology. Courses may be taken at JIBC or transferred in from another institution.

Dagan Nish, graduate of the Bachelor of Emergency & Security Management Studies program.

BESMS degree helps grad lead during the pandemic

The education Dagan Nish gained through the Bachelor of Emergency Emergency & Security Management Studies has given him the knowledge & skills to provide valuable support in times of crisis.

BESMS gradute Mona Safar

JIBC degree helps grad pursue career in public safety

JIBC's Bachelor of Emergency & Security Management Studies has helped Mona Zafar pursue a career dedicated to keeping communities safe.

Success Story - Josh Windsor


A life-changing volunteer opportunity led Saskatchewan’s Josh Windsor to the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) and its online Bachelor of Emergency & Security Management Studies (BESMS) program.

Tara Stroup oversees the emergency program for the City of Port Coquitlam. Thanks to her training in emergency management at JIBC, she helps ensure the city is prepared in case of a disaster. 

JIBC programs help grad progress in her career

A major fire was burning at a strip mall in the downtown area of Port Coquitlam. Senior city staff were arriving to work at the city’s emergency operations centre. Tara Stroup, emergency program officer for the City of Port Coquitlam, was ready to guide them thanks to her training at JIBC.

Melodie Hutmacher is now working in her dream job in emergency management after learning of the growing field and completing JIBC’s Bachelor of Emergency and Security Management Studies program.


A few years ago, Melodie Hutmacher was searching for a career where she could make a difference. She found it thanks to her education from the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC). Today, Melodie is working in her dream job in emergency management helping to keep communities safe.

Questions about Emergency Management Programs?

By submitting this form, I agree to receive promotional communications from the Justice Institute of British Columbia via email or by phone.
call604.528.5590, or fill out the form.