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Key information
University University of San Diego
Country United States
Learning mode Online
Pace Part-time
Duration 20 months
Tuition fee $ 21300
Application deadline(s) December 2, 2022
Official Website Click here

The Master of Science in Humanitarian Action is a career-building advanced degree within the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies. This program is designed for both recent graduates and experienced professionals and provides the opportunity for students to learn from executive-level directors, experienced consultants and regional coordinators who work directly for humanitarian-related organizations.

The M.S. in Humanitarian Action takes a multidisciplinary approach to prepare students to become the type of critical thinkers and humanitarian leaders who will help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. This innovative program blends conflict analysis, transformation and social innovation with peacebuilding practices and intentionally dissolves the barriers between international humanitarian and domestic emergency management.

This program is intended for professionals and leaders with experience or background in humanitarian aid, international affairs, political science, social justice, sustainability or related areas. It is also ideal for military personnel, veterans and volunteers looking to pursue a career in humanitarian or disaster relief, but the program also accepts candidates with little to no background in humanitarian or disaster relief but have an interest in pursuing a career in these impactful areas.

The 20 month program admits candidates throughout the year to begin their degree in either the Spring, Summer or Fall. Students will take two courses during each 14-week term, focusing on one 7-week course at a time. Course curriculum includes topics such as assessing humanitarian needs, aid delivery, management and logistics, leadership, effective communication, and more. The program culminates in a capstone simulation exercise where students will tackle a complex humanitarian emergency where they will demonstrate their learned skills and knowledge in order to design, implement and evaluate creative solutions in a real-time scenario.

Start Date: January 10, 2023
Duration: 20 months

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale (official transcripts required).
    • Candidates with a GPA under 3.0 will be asked to provide an essay in support of their candidacy. It is recommended that candidates with a GPA under 3.0 complete a standardized test such as the GRE or GMAT, but it is not required.
  • One personal statement comprised of four short essays each addressing a different prompt provided in the application
  • Resume or CV
  • One letter of recommendation from the candidate’s professional supervisor or professor or two letters of reference
  • For international applicants:
    • A TOEFL exam score of 83 or higher
    • A course-by-course transcript evaluation and report by an approved agency

Fees and funding

Information about tuition and financial aid can be found here.

Apply now