Master's Degree in International Humanitarian Action

The MIHA Difference: In a Disaster, Good Intentions are not Enough.

Fordham University’s Masters of Arts in International Humanitarian Action provides an unparalleled opportunity for humanitarian professionals to develop the comprehensive knowledge and on-the-ground skills needed to deal with the world’s most pressing challenges and disasters. Offered by Fordham’s Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the MIHA program combines the experience of seasoned humanitarian professionals with the academic strength of Fordham faculty from the School of Law and the Graduate Schools of Business and Social Service, who provide students with the political, historical, legal and ethical contexts of past, present and future emergencies. The IIHA has trained over 2,500 participants worldwide, many of whom are still working in situations of complex emergencies, and do not have the luxury of time to take a year or two from their professional lives. The MIHA is designed in response to their requests for a flexible yet academically rigorous degree-granting program that combines a theoretical basis with applied knowledge.

The program is made up of four advanced modules, which are flexible enough to fit a humanitarian professional’s schedule. Courses are offered in one-, two- and four-week intensive sessions in various locations around the world, including Barcelona, Geneva, Goa, Kuala Lumpur, Nairobi, Dublin, Rome, Penang, New York, and Berlin. Two credits are attributed to each week, and participants must complete eight total credits in each of the program’s four topic modules. Humanitarian professionals can complete the 32-credit program in 18 months or as long as five years, depending on individual schedules and resources.

Program Overview

  • 32 credits offered in 1, 2, and 4 week intensive sections
  • 2 credits per week — the equivalent of 35 - 40 instructional hours
  • Pre-meeting readings, discussions, post-meeting assignments and research projects
  • 4 modules of 8 credits each

**Many of the MIHA courses can also be taken independently by individuals not pursuing the Masters. For more information, visit the individual course pages.

Learning Goals

Upon completion of the MIHA program, students will be able to:

  • Conduct independent research, using appropriate methodology, on a current challenge or thematic specialization within humanitarian response;
  • Analyze data regarding trends within disaster and crisis management in order to formulate recommendations for best practices in humanitarian interventions;
  • Demonstrate a deep understanding of how their chosen specialization can inform strategic initiatives to improve the analysis, response, and delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Required Modules

  • Module 1: International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance
  • Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

    • Articulate a nuanced understanding of the concept of humanitarian crises;
    • Identify the roles and interactions among key actors in humanitarian response;
    • Evaluate interventions and identify examples of good practice;
    • Understand the dynamics of working effectively as part of a team in a high stress environment. 
  • Module 2: International Diploma in Operational Humanitarian Assistance
  • Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

    • Distinguish phases and opportunities for humanitarian intervention;
    • Understand the practical implementation of humanitarian response, including effective methods to address security and access challenges;
    • Identify strategies to build capacity and mobilize local response to crises.

Admission Requirements

Admission consideration includes review of GSAS admissions materials plus proper work experience.

  1. Successful completion of the International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance (IDHA).
  2. GREs are accepted but not required, and candidates should have at least five years experience in humanitarian assistance or a related field.
  3. Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university is required.
  4. Three letters of recommendation
  5. Resume/CV
  6. A statement of interest connecting the student's goals for the program with the expertise and activities of the IIHA. Students must provide evidence of training, education, or practical experience in an area related to the fields and topics encompassed by the Master's program.
  7. $35 Admission Fee

Apply Now!

View the program cost for each course.