Take Your humanitarian skills to the next level with a degree you can earn online

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Make a Lasting Impact as a Humanitarian Leader

Study at Top-Ranked University of San Diego

Are you ready to respond to the world’s greatest humanitarian challenges? Do you want to cultivate the skills and knowledge needed to help prevent, respond to and recover from complex global humanitarian emergencies? 

If so, here is a way to take action. Ideal for experienced humanitarian action professionals and disaster responders as well as recent college graduates and other aspiring leaders, the Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego invites you to explore a transformative learning experience that will give you the skills, knowledge and tools to make a positive impact in the world.

Welcome to our innovative degree program — the Master of Science in Humanitarian Action (MSHA).

Program Snapshot

Application Deadline
August 2

Program Length
20 Months

Total Units

100% Online

Innovative, Flexible Program with High-Caliber Faculty

We understand that many of those interested in this program will be working full- or part-time — possibly with unpredictable, shifting schedules and demands that tend to accompany humanitarian or disaster relief efforts.

Our innovative, 100% online MSHA program offers all the benefits of a highly rated academic institution, plus the ability to complete your assignments when you can each week and from wherever you have an internet connection.

Our knowledgeable and experienced faculty offer a rigorous, hands-on curriculum that emphasizes an action-based multidisciplinary approach rather than focusing on one humanitarian discipline. 

This includes humanitarian intervention, conflict analysis/management, social innovation and resilience, and program monitoring and evaluation. Degree candidates will explore prevention, preparedness, recovery and restoration in the context of global humanitarian and disaster emergencies. 

Who Would Benefit from the MSHA Degree?

The MSHA program is a career-building advanced degree experience for:

  • Professionals with experience or background in:
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • International Affairs
    • Political Science
    • Social Justice or Social Impact
    • Anthropology
    • Sustainability
  • Leaders
  • Changemakers
  • Recent graduates
  • Military personnel and veterans
  • Volunteers looking to pursue a career in humanitarian or disaster relief

What You’ll Learn

  • Assessing humanitarian needs
  • Managing complex global emergencies 
  • Data visualization and analytics
  • Human rights advocacy and social justice
  • Aid delivery, management and logistics 
  • Field research, monitoring and evaluation
  • Theory and practice in conflict resolution and crisis management 
  • Ethical reasoning
  • Critical inquiry 
  • Social innovation 
  • Importance of diverse perspectives
  • Effective communication
  • Leadership skills 

Program Structure

  • 20-month program
  • Earn your degree wherever you have internet access 
  • Enroll for spring, summer or fall semester 
  • Focus on one 7-week class at a time
  • Access your coursework anytime, day or night
  • Convenient and flexible 

Why Choose University of San Diego?

High-caliber faculty with extensive knowledge and experience

The MSHA program includes current USD professors and external experts, all of whom have a comprehensive first-hand understanding of humanitarian-related and disaster relief efforts. 

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Accredited Institution 

The University of San Diego is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. 

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Capstone humanitarian simulation exercise

The MSHA program culminates in a capstone course featuring a simulation exercise in which students apply everything they have learned to tackle a realistic complex humanitarian emergency.

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Flexible scheduling with 100% online classes

No matter where you are located across the world, our 100% online MSHA program enables you to complete your studies on your schedule each week.

Academic excellence from a top-ranked university 

Students will enjoy all the benefits and advantages of attending a highly rated institution that regularly earns accolades and honors from academic websites and publications such as The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and Business Insider.