UCF’s Master of Emergency and Crisis Management program ranks #1 in the nation

ORLANDO, Fla. — University of Central Florida programs are reaching new heights. U.S. News and World Report has recognized UCF’s faculty and graduate programs in its 2024 list of “Best Graduate Schools.” UCF’s Master of Emergency and Crisis Management program ranks #1 in the nation.


“We are laying the foundation for our students to go out into the world to be able to assist their communities through any type of hazard including ones we haven’t even seen yet,” Professor Claire Knox, the director of the program, said.

Knox said hands on training and the use of state-of-the-art facilities like the campus-based emergency operations center are what sets this program apart from other colleges.

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“Whether that’s natural like a hurricane or wildfire or human induced like an active shooter situation, we want our students to not just walk away with a degree we want them to have a full portfolio of experiences,” Knox said.

Alli Calvert is one of the students who will soon walk away with this degree. The COVID-19 pandemic piqued her interest in emergency management.

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“It became pretty clear to me that those who had full fleshed emergency management plans and programs and had exercise to those were fairing much better than those who had no idea what they’re doing,” Calvert said.

In just a few weeks she will join the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa as its Emergency Management Coordinator.

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She said the skills she learned in this #1 program have set her up for a successful career.

“Facilitating communication in times of need, but also plan writing, exercise creating so I can jump into my new role pretty quickly hopefully,” Calvert said.

Four graduate programs ranked in the top 25 nationally. Nine programs in public affairs, health and education ranked in the top 50.

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