Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

international diploma in the Management of Humanitarian Action (IDMHA)

Students must select and complete ONE of the following week-long elective courses in order to complete the IDMHA module of the MIHA.  If interested in pursuing the MIHA, please apply here.

For those not enrolled in the MIHA, but interested in attending our courses, each course may also be taken individually, as a stand-alone course and apart from the Masters.

Students can take each of our one-week courses for academic credit, or they can choose to receive no academic credit for their participation.

For those who wish to receive academic credit, the cost remains the same discounted rate of $1,893.00 US Dollars. Upon successful completion of the program participants are entitled to two academic credits through Fordham University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  These credits are accepted towards our Master of Arts in International Humanitarian Action, if you choose to apply at a later time, and maybe to other academic institutions.  Students seeking academic credit will be required to submit a research paper (1,400-1,600 words) due roughly one month after the conclusion of the course in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Course Director.

For those who do not wish to receive formal academic credit, the cost has been reduced to $913 US Dollars.  Participants will receive a certificate of attendance for the program but will receive no formal academic recognition.

The choice must be made before the course begins and cannot be upgraded at a later date.

The program cost includes the tuition and coffee breaks. It does not include accommodation, meals, or transportation costs.

How to Apply

In response to requests for a more manageable application process, we have made the following administrative changes:

For students who are interested in taking an elective as a stand-alone course, please submit the following at the time of application:

  • New Student Application
  • Resume
  • Please indicate which course you are interested in attending
  • Most recent college or university transcript (for academic credit students only).  For students who are not seeking academic credit, submission of your academic transcripts is voluntary, however, it will allow for faster processing of your application.

Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered. Kindly submit all materials to


If you have any questions or to submit an application, please email


Elective Courses

Forced Migration
2 credits

Migration, whether forced displacement or economic migration of the poorest, is often a major factor in either escaping from poverty, persecution and danger and/or moving into yet more dangerous situations. In search of livelihoods and safety, people often become victims of smugglers or traffickers. Students are given an enhanced awareness and understanding of the complex interaction between migration and humanitarian interventions from the point of view of the migrant, the authorities of the host be it the national or recipient region or country, and the humanitarian worker. This course is held in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Human Rights In Humanitarian Crises
2 credits
This course explores the origins, principles, and applications of human rights and humanitarian law, providing participants with a framework for understanding the legal aspects of delivering humanitarian assistance. It introduces applicable conventions and protocols, explores ways through which the law can enhance humanitarian assistance, and gives students an opportunity to analyze case studies and develop a thorough understanding of the applicability of human rights and humanitarian law to their daily work.  This integration of academia with the participants’ field experience provides practical implications of this ever-evolving field. The aim of the course is to enhance students’ ability to monitor violations of respective rights and determine effective ways of advocacy, while also integrating international norms and standards into their individual field of work.

Topics covered include:  Human Rights Law (Introduction, history, concepts, (non-) state actors; civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights, child rights); Tools for Humanitarian workers (Natural Disasters and Human Rights); Humanitarian Law (Introduction, history, Geneva Law, The Hague Law, rules of engagement, combatant status, determining conflicts); The Human Rights based approach (integrating a human rights based approach into programming and projects), Human Rights monitoring and advocacy; The Right to Humanitarian Assistance (legal concepts and current developments); Humanitarian Intervention and the responsibility to protect; International Criminal Law (History, concepts, tribunals and the ICC, practical implications for humanitarian workers); International Disaster Response Law.

Mental Health in Complex Emergencies
2 credits
The technical standards of a humanitarian intervention have considerable importance in achieving short-term results, including maximizing survival rates. However, a clear understanding of the psychosocial context in which the intervention is being undertaken is essential if longer-term goals are to be properly set and achieved. Much of the psychosocial training currently being undertaken is based on remedial action to counter psychosocial dysfunction resulting from disaster. There is observational and anecdotal evidence thatindividuals and communities can show enhanced psychosocial functionality during and following some disasters. If dependency is to be avoided and a smooth, rapid return to independence from humanitarian assistance is to be encouraged, then the factors at work must be clearly understood.

Students are exposed to both the most recent academic thought on these matters as well as the experience of field practitioners.  Students are also sensitized to the non-material aspects of humanitarian assistance and achieve an understanding of the importance of clearly planning assistance within its psychosocial context. This module emphasizes the well-being of the beneficiaries as considered in the recent 'IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings' developed by WHO, UN and local and international agencies working in the field of psychosocial assistance.

Communications and Media in Humanitarian Affairs
2 credits

This course examines the history of representation of humanitarian crises, and considers the impact of media accounts on the potential for humanitarian action. The role of photojournalism and the images and narratives of broadcast and press reporting are evaluated in the context of humanitarian goals and necessities. The dynamics between depiction and public perception, image and empathy, and narratives of compassion and inclusion are articulated within the larger context of global security and human rights. As conflict, suffering and issue of life and death remain significant global realities, this course details the conditions, practices, messages, obligations, ethics, and limits of telling the stories of those in crisis.

Civil Military Cooperation
2 credits
This course gives students an understanding of the practical workings, opportunities and constraints of engaging in the cooperation between military and humanitarian organizations in the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The course begins with the study of the legal, political and structural bases for civil military cooperation, focusing on its practical application.  Faculty and students have the opportunity to share personal experiences working in civil military situations. The course culminates in a series of case studies where the actual workings of civil military cooperation in an array of military deployments are compared.  Students participate in a half-day simulation exercise in which they will gain experience in the practical work of civil military cooperation in the context of a prepared scenario.

Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs
33 West 60th St., Suite 804 New York, NY 10023
Phone: 212 636 6294 Fax: 212 636 7060 Email:

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