Frequently Asked Questions

  • What type of degree is the Master's in Disaster Management?

    Upon successful completion of 30 credits, FIU’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work will confer a Master of Arts in Disaster Management.

  • Is this an accredited program?

    Yes, as an accredited university by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the Master's in Disaster Management is one of 91 Master's degrees offered through FIU’s numerous colleges, schools and centers.

  • Is this an online degree?

    A fully online degree is available. Applications are accepted for the Fall and Spring semester. At the end of the program, students will meet in Miami for the Disaster Operations Field Course Exercise, which will be held in mid-July. This will require students to travel to Miami for a 3-day, 2-night disaster field operations exercise, which will commence early Friday morning and conclude on Sunday afternoon. To simulate an actual international disaster, the exercise will require you to spend Friday and Saturday night in an undisclosed Base-of-Operations, sheltering in 19x35 Western Shelter (military-grade tents).

  • When and where are the classes held?

    Our Miami face-to-face program is held on Saturdays on the Modesto Maidique campus. Please visit Google Maps for location and directions. Class starts at 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Each class is approximately 4 hours in length.


  • What is the length of the graduate degree?

    Each cohort will take less than 12 months to complete 30 credits (10 courses). The program consists of 5 mini-semesters whereupon students will take 2 courses every 8 weeks until all 10 courses are completed.

  • Who should apply for this program?

    College graduates who are seeking an exciting and rewarding career in disaster management and working professionals who have backgrounds or work related duties in emergency management and disaster response. These professions include first responders in fire, law enforcement and EMS, public administrators, local, state and federal emergency management employees, members of the armed forces, veterans, policy makers and program directors, urban planners, NGOs, public health workers and private sector professionals. This program is also an excellent choice for international students who are looking for an opportunity to learn from disaster professionals who have responded to disasters around the world and can share the intricacies of both US and international disaster management systems and best practices.

  • How much is tuition and what does it include?

    The face-to-face Master in Disaster Management is the second most affordable market rate graduate degree offered at FIU. Tuition ($24,990) includes: university fees, books*, parking and meals, which will be served prior to each class.

    *Effective July 1, 2016, the US Department of Education now requires academic institutions to allow students to purchase their own textbooks at their own expense. If students chose the opt-out path, tuition will not include the cost of textbooks. If students opt-in, however, the program may include the cost of textbooks as part of tuition.

    The cost of the online program is $19,990. 

  • Is the Master's degree a cohort program?

    Yes, our Master's in Disaster Management program uses the cohort model. The students in the program begin with the same group until graduation. The students benefit from sharing their learning experiences, and support each other throughout the program.

  • How many students will be accepted into the program?
    Our face-to-face cohort will seat no more than 45 students. Our online cohort will admit no more than 25 students.
  • What are the admission requirements for the program?

    Admission requirements require a four-year bachelor degree from an accredited university, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and a copy of your resume. A GRE/GMAT score is not required. International students are required to submit a TOEFL score and complete a number of forms. Please check here for TOEFL exempt countries.

  • What happens if my GPA is below 3.0? Can I still apply?

    We require a minimum 3.0 GPA, however if the applicant does not meet this criteria he or she can still apply. We have the ability to admit a limited number of individuals who do not meet the GPA requirement. The Admissions Committee will evaluate all the documents submitted (resume, working experience, etc.) on a competitive basis to determine which individuals will be admitted under this provision. The committee takes into account myriad factors, including work experience and professional responsibilities, writing ability, strength of recommendations, undergraduate performance, exam scores and performance in any graduate-level courses.

  • Is a thesis or internship required?

    The program does not require either a thesis or internship to graduate. For those students looking for an opportunity to gain some experience, the Academy offers an open competitive paid internship program at the beginning of each cohort. The internship is designed to strengthen fundamental disaster management concepts and develop the confidence and skills set needed in an emergency management agency. Again, this will not be a requirement to graduate, rather another benefit of the program.

  • What are some other benefits/features of the Master's in Disaster Management program?

    In order to receive recognition of educational achievement and professional competence, the Academy has taken great lengths to assist students who seek to obtain Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) certification through the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). The graduate program will help students obtain 95% of the requirements to become IAEM CEM certified. This includes meeting the emergency management experience requirement by participating in a full-scale disaster exercise, meeting the education requirement by completing your graduate degree in disaster management, meeting 100 contact hours in emergency management training and the majority of the 100 hours in general management training through assignments embedded in each graduate course, meeting the comprehensive emergency management essay requirement, proctoring the 100-multi-choice exam at FIU, and assisting students with the reference requirement. For students who cannot yet meet the emergency management work requirement of three years, IAEM permits applicants to apply for the Associate Emergency Manager (AEM) certification. Additional information about the AEM/CEM programs.

  • Can international students enroll in this program?

    Yes, enrollment is not based on US citizenship. Please visit here for information about admission requirements, deadlines and forms for international students.

  • How can I apply for this graduate program?

    You may now apply online through FIU’s University Graduate School by simply completing an online admissions application here. The application admission deadline for Fall is June 1. For Spring (only Online) is October 1.

    Once the page opens, please select the “Graduate Application” button located in the middle right of the page.

    Once selected, you will be redirected to a page that asks you to “Sign In.” If you haven’t already created an “Application User Account,” please select the “Create User Account.” Once you’ve created a user account you can now log in; therefore, please return to the “Sign In” page and enter your User ID and Password.

    Once you’ve logged in, you will be redirected to Application Center. Please select “Create New Application.” The application process will require you to answer four areas of information—1) About You; 2) Your Intended Major; 3) Your Background and 4) Recommendations. When you advance to the “Your Intended Major” page, please select “Fall 2019” from the “Start Term” drop box window and “Disaster Management – MA” from the “Intended Major” drop box window. If applying for the online format, please select "Disaster Management – MA Online.” When you advance to the “Your Background” section, please upload a PDF copy of your resume in the “Supporting Documents” section. Recommendations are not required for admission consideration at this time.

    Your application will be completed after you have filled out the areas of information and confirmed and submitted payment of a non-refundable $30 USD application fee.

  • Do I submit my undergraduate transcripts with the application?

    No, FIU requires that a certified copy of your undergraduate transcript be mailed directly to the University Graduate School. Please mail your certified copy to: Graduate Admission Office, 11200 SW 8th Street, PC320, Miami, Florida 33199. *Some universities and colleges offer the service of electronically transmitting a certified copy.

    If you are a graduate of FIU, there is no need to have transcripts sent. If, however, you attended a university outside the US and the transcripts are not in English, they must be translated by a certified translator. The translation and an official copy of the transcripts must be submitted.

  • Who is required to submit TOEFL?

    Applicants whose native language is not English or who did not obtain a degree in the US need to take the TOEFL test. They will need to score at least 550 on the paper-based, 80 on the internet-based test, or 6.5 on IELTS examination. Please visit TOEFL, or call 1-800-468-6335 for more information. Additionally, some countries are exempt from this requirement. Please visit here to determine if your country is TOEFL exempt. FIU’s English Language Institute offers two types of TOEFL preparation courses for those individuals seeking admission to American universities, including FIU. Please visit FIU ELI for more information.

  • Do I have to register and pay for the entire program at one time?

    No, once you elect to enroll in the program, our program administrator will register you for classes each semester. Tuition for each semester will be due in accordance to the University's tuition payment deadlines. For example, tuition for the fall semester will be due on or before September 1. If you are receiving financial aid, the Registrars Office will deduct that amount from your financial aid package to cover tuition for that semester. The total cost of tuition will be divided into three semesters (fall, spring and summer).

  • Is there a residency requirement for in-state tuition or admission?

    Tuition is the same whether you’re an in-state or out-of-state (or country) resident. In addition, Florida residency status is not used when making admissions decisions. However, a completed residency affidavit demonstrating your current status as a Florida resident, non-Florida resident or international student is required to complete your admissions file. Failure to provide this documentation may result in a delayed admissions decision. Please be prepared to upload residency documents when submitting your application online.

    You can also download a copy of the Florida Residency form here.

    Chapter 1009, Florida Statutes mandates the acceptable documents that can be accepted to prove Florida residency for tuition purposes for students applying for either Initial Classification or Residency Reclassification. It is recommended that you submit as many required documents as possible to justify your claim of Florida residency for tuition purposes. Please visit FIU Onestop for acceptable documentation.

  • How may I apply for financial aid?

    Please visit FAFSA to apply online for financial aid. In general, students are eligible for $10,250 per semester. If you apply for financial aid, the Federal School (FAFSA) Code for FIU is 009635. The graduate programs will cover three semesters (Fall, Spring, and Summer); therefore, you may eligible for up to $30,750 in financial aid.

    You can receive federal student aid if you an "eligible non-citizen". For example, a U.S. permanent resident with a Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as an Alien Registration Receipt Card or Green Card) may be eligible for financial aid. For more information, please visit FAFSA noncitizen eligibility.

    For city, county, state and federal employees, please check with your Human Resources Office for information about their tuition assistance program. For FIU employees, the University will reimburse up to 7 credits per semester, however, you will be responsible for the difference between the program’s per credit rate (now $833.17 per credit) and the University’s per credit graduate rate (now $453.66 per credit).

    For specific information regarding financial aid, please visit FIU Onestop. We strongly recommend that you begin the process as soon as possible.

  • Are there any scholarships available?

    The Academy now offers several scholarships: including the Paul C. Bell Non-Governmental Organization Scholarship; Major Phil May Excellence in Leadership Scholarship, and the R. David Paulison Exceptional Student Scholarship. Please visit here for more information and how to apply.

    Please visit here for information about scholarships through the University Graduate School.

  • What education benefits are available for military personnel and veterans?

    If you’re a member of the armed forces or a veteran and you’re unsure if you qualify for the education benefits through the Montgomery GI Bill or Post-9/11GI Bill, please contact FIU’s Veteran and Military Affairs office at 305-348-2838 or visit FIU Military to determine what type of education benefits may be available to you.

  • Do I need to be immunized?

    FIU requires all students to comply with the immunization policy regulations set forth by the Florida Board of Governors regarding MMR, Hepatitis B and Meningitis. If you have not yet scheduled an appointment with your health provider, you may visit FIU’s Student Health Services (SHS) for immunization boosters. No appointment is needed. You may walk-in at anytime between the hours (8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.). If you have any questions, please contact them at 305-348-2688. Also understand that you may elect to waive the Hepatitis B and Meningitis vaccine. See hyperlink for Waiver Forms. The cost for MMR is $60 per dose. You will need two doses (the second dose will be scheduled 28 days later). If you have already received your MMR injections but lost the records, you may elect to draw a blood panel (titers), which cost $37.50, plus a $7.50 lab fee.

    If you have already received your immunization shots, please scan your records and email them to If you are a recent graduate of FIU, then you need not be concerned with this item.

  • Where can I find a description of each course?

    Course descriptions are provided in FIU’s Graduate Course Catalog. A new catalog is reissued every summer for the upcoming academic year. Please visit FIU Graduate Course Catalog and search under Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work.

  • Can classes be waived if I took some related classes in another university?

    There is no comparable disaster management coursework. However, if you have already completed SYG 6932 and/or PHC 6374 at FIU you may qualify for an exception and not be required to complete the coursework again. In order to qualify, you must have a minimum grade of a “C” to qualify for this exception. If you do, tuition will be adjusted to reflect completion of this coursework prior to enrollment in the Professional Master’s in Disaster Management.

  • Can I fit this program into my schedule?

    One of the primary objectives of this graduate program was to design a class schedule that was convenient for working professionals, including members of the armed forces. The graduate program in Miami will be offered on Saturdays only from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The online program provides maximum flexibility.

  • Can I pursue two graduate degrees at the same time?

    No, you cannot pursue two degrees at the same time at FIU.

  • What are my options if I have to miss a class due to work, including military obligations?

    As with any graduate program attendance is required. We recognize, however, that members of the armed force may not be able to commit to a class on a particular Saturday. As a military friendly graduate program, the Academy has installed course capture technology to digitally record each class for review at a later time. If you are a working professional, we strongly suggest that you speak with the professor of record and identify the day you may not be able to attend class.

  • What is course capture?

    Course capture is a web-based audio and high-definition video system that allows our faculty to record each class and make it available digitally. Following each class, you will receive an email through your Blackboard FIU email account with the hyperlink to that day’s classroom presentation of material. This is extremely beneficial to students who may want to re-review material or couldn’t attend class due to work-related commitments. Keep in mind that this technology does not excuse your absence from class.

  • Can I remain in the program if I’m in the military and deploy?

    Yes, but a student who may be subject to a military deployment must formally request a leave of absence from the graduate program. Leave time must be requested prior to the beginning of the anticipated leave time and must be approved by the executive director. You may take a leave of absence for up to one year.

  • What is the expertise of our professors?

    All of our professors are disaster management experts and have responded to disasters around the globe. Here’s a list of some of the positions they’ve held or are currently holding:

    • State Emergency Management Director
    • State Deputy Emergency Management Director
    • Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Specialist
    • City Emergency Management Director
    • County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Chief
    • FEMA Division Director, Grants Management
    • University Assistant Vice President of Disaster Management
    • FEMA National Preparedness Director
    • County Health & Health Service Branch Manager
    • United Nations International Search & Rescue Advisory Group
    • Tribal Nation Emergency Management Director
    • County Planning & Preparedness Bureau Chief
    • FEMA Federal Preparedness Coordinator
    • County Emergency Management Director
    • State University Emergency Management Director
    • Emmy Award Winning Journalist
    • Distinguished Researcher and Scholar
    • American Red Cross, Disaster Program Officer
    • FEMA Logistics Chief
    • Homeland Security and Emergency Management Consultant
    • FEMA Deputy National Preparedness Director
    • Public Speaking and Leadership Educator and Coach
    • Member, Department of Justice Joint Terrorism Task Force
    • FEMA Assistant Administrator for Disaster Assistance
    • Assistant Fire Chief of Large Metropolitan Fire Department
    • Battalion Fire Chief of Large Metropolitan Fire Department
    • State Coordinating Officer
    • Deputy State Coordinating Officer
    • Broadcast Executive
    • FEMA Incident Support Team Leader and Operations Chief
    • FEMA Urban Search & Rescue Task Force Leader-Instructor
    • United Nations Senior Humanitarian Coordination Advisor

    In these numerous capacities, our professors have responded to dozens of disasters throughout the world involving catastrophic earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, famine, civil conflict, typhoons, tornadoes, migration, drought, hurricanes, terrorist attacks, virus outbreaks and air plane disasters. They've also been part of the planning and response team to major events, such as, the Superbowl, Olympics, Presidential Inaugurations, Political Conventions and Economic Summits.

  • Does FIU offer on-campus housing?

    Yes, for more information about on-campus housing options, please visit FIU Housing.