Master of Arts in International Humanitarian Action

In a disaster, good intentions are not enough. To care for people at their most vulnerable, humanitarian aid workers need to take swift and mindful action. That makes on-the-ground skills and best practices absolutely critical.

At Fordham’s Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs, where we’ve trained more than 2,500 humanitarian professionals from 133 different countries, we understand that as an aid worker responding to crises around the world, you don’t have the luxury of time to commit to a traditional two-year residential degree program. That’s why our Master of Arts in International Humanitarian Action (MIHA) is designed in one-, two-, and four-week intensive sessions that are held in various rotating locations around the world including Addis Ababa, Amman, Barcelona, Berlin, Dublin, Geneva, Goa, Kuala Lumpur, Nairobi, New York, Penang, and Rome.

Made up of four modules, our master’s program combines the experience of seasoned humanitarian professionals with the academic strength of Fordham faculty. Building on your area of interest, you’ll conduct independent research that culminates in a master’s thesis. Modules 1, 2, and 3 are each certified by the New York State Education Department as advanced certificates. Our one-week courses also can be taken as stand-alone training sessions outside of the master’s program.

Module 1: Humanitarian Assistance

  • Acquire a foundational and nuanced understanding of the basic skills, knowledge, and principles required for effective humanitarian action
  • Learn how to identify the roles and interactions of key actors in humanitarian response and how to work effectively as a team in a high-stress environment
  • Evaluate interventions and identify examples of best practices

Module 2: Operational Humanitarian Assistance

  • Distinguish phases and opportunities for intervention
  • Learn how to implement humanitarian response while addressing challenges of security and access
  • Identify strategies to build capacity and mobilize local response

Module 3: Management of Humanitarian Action

  • Identify ethical issues that arise in humanitarian action
  • Analyze the different dimensions of accountability in humanitarian response
  • Develop effective management skills

Module 4: Humanitarian Leadership

  • Analyze case studies of past disasters
  • Develop strategies for responding to and mitigating complex emergencies in light of current trends and key issues within the humanitarian sector
  • Research and write a master’s thesis

As a student in the program, you’ll learn to conduct independent research on a current challenge or thematic specialization, and to analyze data and trends in disaster and crisis management.

Program Basics

  • Curriculum requires four modules for a total of 32 credits all offered in one-, two-, and four-week intensive sessions
  • Program can be completed in 18 months or up to five years
  • Modules 1, 2 and 3 can be completed separately for an advanced certificate
  • Many courses can be taken independently of the master’s program


All of the IIHA's course fees have been discounted significantly from the usual cost of Fordham University's tuition in order to accommodate the financial situations of our diverse and international student body. The Master’s of International Humanitarian Action costs $23,700, but does not include Fordham University fees, transportation, room and board or visa costs.