Master of Science in Humanitarian Action 

Admission Requirements

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Make an impact with your humanitarian career

Please review the standard admissions expectations below as you prepare your application for the MS in Humanitarian Action degree program. 

You can find additional information and guidance on preparing your application by visiting our Starting Your Application page.

Are you an International Applicant?

International applicants must meet additional requirements for admission, including: 

No Humanitarian Experience? No Problem.

We’re looking for degree candidates who are action-minded individuals ready to make a difference. If you don’t have a background in humanitarianism or disaster relief but you do have some volunteer experience — and you’re interested in pursuing a career in these impactful areas — we encourage you to apply.

If you do not meet the technical admission requirements for the MSHA program, please speak with an Enrollment Advisor or use the chat feature on this page.

At a Glance

The MSHA degree is a 30-unit program designed for recent graduates and working professionals looking to advance their humanitarian career.

20 months
30 Units
September 3
August 2


Our borders are open to international students of all regions.

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Ideal Program Candidates

Potential candidates for this program include: 

Admission to the MSHA program will require a bachelor’s degree with strong academic credentials, preferably in a humanitarian-related discipline.  

academic calendar

Degree candidates are admitted on a rolling basis throughout the year during one of three semesters — spring, summer and fall. Students take two courses during each 14-week semester, focusing on one 7-week course at a time. This degree program can be completed in 5 semesters (20 months).

Frequently Asked Questions

Are any standardized tests required for admission?

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required. International students whose primary language is not English must submit official scores from the TOEFL (minimum of 83) or IELTS (minimum band score of 7).

Can I work full-time while completing the program?

Yes! In fact, the MSHA program was designed specifically for individuals working full-time. Classes are delivered online asynchronously, so you can complete your coursework at your own convenience wherever you have access to the internet.

What is the tuition for the MSHA degree program?

Tuition for the MSHA program is $710 per unit. With a total of 30 units, the full cost of tuition for the program is $21,300.

Tuition amounts shown on this website, or in other university publications or web pages, represent tuition and fees as currently approved. However, the University of San Diego reserves the right to increase or modify tuition and fees without prior notice and to make such modifications applicable to students enrolled at USD at that time as well as to incoming students. In addition, all tuition amounts and fees are subject to change at any time for correction of errors. Please note that the displayed tuition covers only the cost of courses, and additional expenses such as books and other fees are not included.

What if I don’t have any humanitarian-related experience? Do I still have a chance of being accepted into the program?

Absolutely! We also seek applicants who may not have background or experience in humanitarian-related areas but are action-minded individuals with volunteer experience who are interested in pursuing a career in the humanitarianism or disaster relief sector.

Are the University of San Diego’s online master’s degree programs considered full-time or part-time?

All of the University of San Diego’s online graduate degrees provide 6 units per term, making them part-time, or 3/4 time, programs.