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The Haiti EarthquakeInside HumanitarianismInside the Documentary

Studying Humanitarianism

Interested in learning more? We’ve compiled this list of relevant graduate and post-graduate programs from around the world to get you started.

Have any additional program recommendations to share? Let us know in the comments below.

CanadaUnited StatesUnited KingdomEuropeAfrica



Disaster and Emergency Management Programs, Royal Roads University
Residencies in Victoria, British Columbia + Distance Learning
Royal Roads offers both a Graduate Diploma and MA in Disaster and Emergency Management.  Both programs explore the theoretical foundations of disaster and emergency management as a growing field of practice and study and are designed for existing and aspiring disaster management and emergency services professionals.

British Columbia

Liu Institute for Global Studies, University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia
The “hub for global issues research at UBC,” the Liu Institute primarily focuses on researching sustainability, security, and global justice. Humanitarian-themed courses include The Politics of Humanitarianism and Gender, Peace, and Security.

Nova Scotia

Coady International Institute, St. Francis Xavier University
Antigonish, Nova Scotia
The institute focuses on the study and practice of community-driven development. Coady offers certificate programs in Conflict Transformation, Natural Resource Management, Health Impact assessments, and more.


Applied Disaster and Emergency Studies, Brandon University

Brandon, Manitoba
Brandon University’s Applied Disaster and Emergency Studies (ADES) program is designed to combine social and physical sciences perspectives of hazards and disasters within a liberal arts education framework. The ADES program builds on a foundation of understanding the interaction of hazards and societal vulnerability. Courses consider the consequences of these risks and the various methods we have to control or respond effectively.


Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario
A multi-disciplinary research centre focused on disaster prevention, communication and research, ICLR hosts 26 Research associates and offers forums and workshops that reach a broad audience in association with the University’s Department of Political Science. Western also hosts the Centre for Transitional Justice and Post-conflict Reconstruction, which investigates the complexities of implementing programs and institutions in societies emerging from conflict.

Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario
University of Toronto’s CIS, Munk School of Global Affairs, and Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict studies are interdisciplinary research centres that attract a wide audience of undergraduate and graduate students and the engagement of broader civil society through events, lectures and courses that focus on humanitarian development and public policy and social justice issues, with particular classes offered in Humanitarianism, World Politics and International Humanitarian Law.

Centre for Refugee Studies, York University
Toronto, Ontario
A summer course on refugee and forced migration issues for academics and policy makers.

Emergency Management, York University
Toronto, Ontario
York University has developed three programs in disaster and emergency management—a  Bachelor of Disaster & Emergency Management, a certificate program in Emergency Management and a Master of Arts in Disaster & Emergency Management. These programs provide students with the academic and technical skills necessary to aid in the prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery from regional and global disasters and emergencies, providing a range of core management competencies relevant to career paths in government, the private sector and non-governmental organizations.

Human Rights Research and Education Centre, International Humanitarian Law Course, University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario
University of Ottawa offers an annual Bilingual summer program on International Humanitarian Law to 37 students. The course operates in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross and offers students an opportunity to apply knowledge of IHL through hypothetical, yet realistic, case studies.

Norman Patterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA), Carleton University
Ottawa, Ontario
NPSIA offers graduate and PhD programs in International Affairs. The school takes an interdisciplinary approach that combines studies in Sociology, Law, Environment, Human Rights, Peacebuilding and Economics.

Pearson Peacekeeping Centre
Ottawa, Ontario
The Pearson Peacekeeping Centre develops and delivers education, training, and simulations for groups, governments and institutions (but not individuals). Courses offered include The Humanitarian Challenge: Emergency Response in Peace Operations.


Humanitarian Studies Initiative (HSI), McGill University

Montreal, Quebec

A multi-disciplinary program to train resident-physicians and fellows who have had some previous experience in international health and/or in humanitarian response for disaster and refugee crises. An extension of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

United States


Center for Continuing Studies, Master of Professional Studies in Humanitarian Services Administration, University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT
University of Connecticut’s part-time, online professional program addresses disaster relief, humanitarian assistance and community renewal and sustainability.


Laboratory for Social Science Research: International Hurricane Research Center, Florida International University
Miami, Florida
The Laboratory for Social Science Research: International Hurricane Research Center seeks to mitigate the impact of hurricanes on people, property and the environment. Studies conducted by the Laboratory aim to strengthen natural, built, economic, and social environments against natural or man-made disasters, which the centre views as inherently social events. The Laboratory identifies and engages in research that will improve the ability of individuals and families, neighbourhoods, communities, and social institutions to prepare for, respond to and recover from natural disaster events.


Center for Disease Control and Prevention/International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch
Atlanta, GA
This program targets university students, UN and United States agencies and NGOs in multi-disciplinary approaches related to complex humanitarian emergencies. Courses include Nutrition in Complex Emergencies and Health in Complex Emergencies.


Center for Refugee and Disaster Responses (CRDR), John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Baltimore, MD
CRDR partners with NGOs and other research institutes on field-based humanitarian research initiatives with an emphasis on training, research and response. The centre works to create and implement response systems for vulnerable populations in crisis.


Feinstein International Center, Tuft’s University
The Fletcher School: Institute for Human Security
Boston, MA
the Feinstein Center focuses on the evolution of the global environment of crisis and crisis response and offers a variety of research streams, including an MA in Humanitarian Assistance.
the Fletcher School offers 13 different courses on Humanitarianism as well as an array of other courses addressing human security issues.

School of Public Health, Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, Harvard University
Boston, MA
The program features research streams on international humanitarian law, conflict management and human security and collaborates with other research centres. Harvard has also developed Critical Issues in Humanitarian Response Discussion Group in response to interest in the topic by staff and students.

New York

Certificate in Disaster Emergency Management, Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, NY
RIT’s Disaster Emergency Management courses offered part-time and target emergency personnel across various professions. The curriculum includes emergency response planning, and analysis of disaster threats.

The Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation (CIHC), Fordham University
New York, New York
CIHC aims to stimulate interest in humanitarian issues through innovative programs and training models, publications and symposia. Courses focus on mental health issues, disaster management, and negotiation techniques, among other topics. CIHC also offers a six-day intensive course in humanitarian logistics.

Program on Humanitarian Affairs, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
New York, New York
Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs offers courses on humanitarian affairs, UN studies and other topics. See here for course listings.

Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, Graduate Center of the City University of New York
New York, New York
The City University of New York hosts the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies which engages in projects such as the Consortium on Security and Humanitarian Action and the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. the Consortium is also affiliated with Humanitarian Emergencies and Action Resource and Tools (HEART), which seeks to provide access to research on humanitarianism for practitioners and students in thematic areas such as the Politics of Humanitarian Action and Humanitarian Action and US Foreign Policy.

South Dakota

Disaster Mental Health Institute (DMHI), The University of South Dakota, College of Arts & Sciences
Vermillion, SD
DMHI offers undergraduate Minors and Specializations in Disaster Response, a Doctoral Specialty Track in Clinical/Disaster Psychology, and Graduate certificates in Disaster Mental Health and Disaster Psychology. DMHI faculty work on disaster preparedness and response, crisis intervention, refugee mental health, and service to Native American communities.


School of Public Policy, Peace Operations, George Mason University
Arlington and Fairfax, VA
George Mason University’s School of Public Policy offers a Master’s level program addressing humanitarian assistance, repatriation, resettlement of refugees, elections assistance, and support for rule of law, as well as demobilization, disarmament and reintegration of ex-combatants.

Washington, D.C.

Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, American University
Washington, D.C.
The Center provides unique training opportunities for legal practitioners, academics, activists and students to explore cutting-edge issues in the development of human rights and humanitarian law.

The Elliott School of International Affairs, International Affairs and Development, Concentration on Humanitarian Assistance, The George Washington University
Washington, D.C.
The Elliott School takes 350 students annually to begin graduate level studies. The Concentration in Humanitarian Assistance features courses such as Crisis and Emergency Management, Humanitarian Assistance, and Violence, Gender, Humanitarian Assistance. The university also hosts an Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management which features classes in Healthcare Emergency Management Competencies.

United Kingdom

Department of International Development (DESTIN), The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
London, UK
The Deparment of International Development offers/co-offers nine Masters programs. The two largest programs are the MSc in Development Studies and the MSc in Development Management.

Humanitarianism and Conflict Response MA, The University of Manchester
Manchester, UK
This is a new, multidisciplinary masters program focused on responses to crises originating from both conflict-zones and natural disasters. The program brings together the study of medicine and humanities to mirror aid operations.

MSc Humanitarian Action, University College Dublin (UCD)
Dublin, Ireland
UCD offers an Interdisciplinary MSc in Humanitarian Action. Courses include Geopolitics, International Humanitarian Law, Anthropology, Epidemiology, and Management. UCD is a member of the Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA), and one of seven European Universities located in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden that offers this program with support from the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO).

MSc. in Humanitarian Studies, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM)
Liverpool, UK
The program reviews historical and current policies and practice in humanitarian assistance and analyzes the effect of war, natural disasters and the international economy on social dislocation, health and well-being, while exploring novel approaches in humanitarian response.

Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG)
London, UK
Human Policy Group is one of the world’s leading independent research groups focused on humanitarian policy and practice. HPG works on transitional programming, food security, civilian protection, displacement and migration and the international humanitarian aid system.

Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford University
Oxford, UK
The Refugee Studies Centre offers a multi-disciplinary approach to refugee studies with an emphasis on forced migration, displacement and managment of displacement in affected communities.

Centre for Disaster Management, Coventry University
Coventry, UK
The Centre for Disaster Management brings together leading practitioners and specialist academics to support the development of professionals in the Disaster, Risk and Emergency Management field. They offer CPD courses, masterclasses, Diploma, Degree and MSc courses, and specialist conferences and workshops.



Master of Disaster Management
Copenhagen, Denmark
The Master of Disaster Management programme provides skills for disaster management at a national and international level in areas of natural and man made disaster, climate change, and terrorism.


M.A. in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution, and Civil Society Development, The American University of Paris
Paris, France
The American University of Paris offers M.A. courses and programs in humanitarianism and aid organizations, international law and conflicts.

Urgence, Réhabilitation, Développement (URD)
Paris, France
URD is a non-profit research institute that works on thematic areas such as crisis management, food security and aid in crisis and post-crisis situations as well as international mechanisms for humanitarian aid. The group works on evaluations, methodology and training with the aim of improving practices within humanitarian action and also publishes a newsletter called Humanitarian Aid on the Move.


International Institute of Humanitarian Law
Sanremo, Italy
The Institute promotes international humanitarian law, human rights, refugee law, training and research. The organization offers a variety of courses and works in collaboration with international agencies such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).


War and Peace Journalism, University College Oslo
Oslo, Norway
The aim of the course is to stimulate critical journalism on issues like wars, international conflicts, mediations and peace efforts in conflicts, and globalization. War and Peace Journalism is part of the Faculty of Journalism, Library and Information science at University College Oslo.


Center for Public Health in Humanitarian Assistance (PHHA), Uppsala University
Uppsala, Sweden
The Center for Public Health in Humanitarian Assistance is a multi-disciplinary research institute with a concentration on public health emergencies and responses within humanitarian crises.


Geneva Center for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action (CERAH), Université de Genève
Geneva, Switzerland
CERAH offers a Masters degree in Humanitarian Action, addressing the factors that trigger crises and the vulnerabilities and difficulties that follow, as well as different types of intervention, management and evaluation.


Joint European Master’s in International Humanitarian Action, Network on Humanitarian Assistance (NOHA)
Various countries
NOHA is a collaborative program between European NOHA Network members (Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium; Université d’Aix-Marseille III, France; Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany; University College of Dublin, Ireland; Universidad de Deusto, Spain; University of Uppsala, Sweden; and University of Gröningen, The Netherlands)
The program has graduated over 1500 individuals working in the fields of humanitarian assistance and relief and international co-operation. NOHA offers a joint Masters program centred around complex humanitarian crises. Each university involved offers separate specializations in different aspects of humanitarianism.


South Africa

African Centre for Disaster Studies, North-West University
Potchefstroom, South Africa
The African Centre for Disaster Studies offers a Masters degree in Sustainable Development with an emphasis on Disaster Studies and a new PhD program in Development and Management.

Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM)
Liverpool, UK
University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
LSTM offers a month-long diploma program “to provide humanitarian workers with the awareness, understanding and skills essential for effective action” in the field. Students take three core courses before selecting one of three “Specialist Options” focusing on health, technical issues, or policy. The diploma requires a university degree or equivalent professional qualification or experience. Applicants from government, NGO, media and donor agencies can apply; applicants from South Africa are particularly welcome.


M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies or Human Rights, Makerere University
Kampala, Uganda
Makerere University’s School of Graduate Studies offers a Master of Arts in Peace and Conflict and Human Rights Studies.


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