Our certificate in humanitarian assistance provides the theoretical and practical underpinnings for humanitarian work that is technically sound, engages affected communities, responds to diverse needs, and sets the stage for sustainable and inclusive development efforts. Through this certificate, you'll be able to bolster your professional skills in humanitarian program management, monitoring and evaluation, and advocacy and policy.
Only a limited number are admitted to the program each year. Students are selected based on focus and motivation. Once admitted, you'll receive specialized attention from faculty members, practical skills training, and exclusive networking and internship opportunities. Graduates pursue careers abroad and in the US working with international organizations, government, and non-governmental organizations.
Two courses that introduce students to key aspects of humanitarian assistance (one focused on humanitarian systems and the other on field operations) are required, as well as two additional courses directly relate to humanitarian assistance.
You must complete three elective courses in one of three tracks:
- Management & Operations
- Monitoring, Evaluation & Analysis
- Policy & Advocacy
Personalized tracks are also possible with the program director's permission.
You're required to devote 150 hours to an organization that focuses on international humanitarian assistance or advocacy. Typically, students complete their internships over the summer between the first and second years of their MA.
At Korbel, we emphasize experiential learning, providing students with skills that immediately apply to careers in government, business and non-profit sectors. With internship opportunities, dedicated resources and simulated learning environments, you actively learn to locate and pursue solutions to real-world challenges.
Humanitarian Assistance Applied Research Group
The Humanitarian Assistance Applied Research Group (HAARG) provides students with supervised opportunities to be involved in needs assessment, program evaluation and other forms of applied research with humanitarian organizations.
Annual Crisis Simulation
During Spring quarter, the Humanitarian Assistance Program offers students from the program and other selected graduate programs at DU an opportunity to engage in a two-day international humanitarian crisis simulation. This unique two-day voluntary immersive exercise helps students prepare for humanitarian careers.
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Brinser Award for Humanitarian Assistance
Josef Korbel School of International Studies' students completing the Certificate in Humanitarian Assistance are eligible for consideration for The Chester Lee Brinser III Endowed Scholarship Fund. Recipients are selected from Humanitarian Assistance Certificate students based primarily on their contributions toward and demonstrated commitment to humanitarian service.
Chester Lee Brinser III is a well regarded alumnus of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies (formerly Graduate School of International Studies) who was devoted to a life of helping others. He completed a master's degree, emphasizing development issues, and graduated with honors in 1997. After completing his studies, he spent the next four years working in Nicaragua.
Upon Chester Lee's unfortunate and untimely passing (in March of 2006), his mother, Joann Upchurch, and sister, Allison Jeffords, graciously created a fund in his honor. Although the Program in Humanitarian Assistance was not in existence at the time of his matriculation and graduation, he very much exemplified the principles of humanitarianism throughout his life.
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