Ph.D. in Disaster Science and Management


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Program Description

The Ph.D. in Disaster Science and Management program at the University of Delaware  approaches disasters from an interdisciplinary point of view. The program emphasizes theories, research methodologies, and policies related to emergency preparedness, mitigation, management and response. 

Download a the Ph.D. in Disaster Science and Management brochure. Doctorate in Disaster Science and Management graduate degree program brochure

Program Policy Statement

The Program Policy Statement documents the policies and procedures for the graduate program in Disaster Science and Management. 

Program Administration

Degrees are awarded by the School of Public Policy and Administration. Admissions, curriculum and other administrative matters are handled by Disaster Science and Management Program Director and the Program Committee.

Curriculum and Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy in Disaster Science and Management requires 42 credits of graduate-level coursework beyond the master’s degree including 9 credits of dissertation. Students are expected to choose a thematic area such as one of the following:

  • Organizations, management, and leadership – focus on management and leadership in all phases of a disaster. Includes knowledge of institutional structures and tools to support decision making.
  • Built and natural environment, and society – focus on the interfaces among the three infrastructures (built, natural and social) with an emphasis on the opportunities to control, influence, accommodate, and understand changes and needs during and after catastrophic events.
  • Vulnerability and resilience – focus on how systems are impacted by and respond to catastrophic events. Includes how systems can be modified or adapted to reduce vulnerability and improve resilience.
  • Policy and planning – focus on response to disasters including continuity of operations.
  • Simulation and modeling – focus on decision support tools and the modeling of impacts to support disaster planning, mitigation, response, and recovery.
  • Health systems leadership: public health disaster planning and response – focus on the role of health professionals and systems in planning for and responding to disasters.