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SPPA ALUMNI IN ACTION
  • Alex Greer
    M.S. and B.A. '15 - Experience in quick response fieldwork, teaching emergency management.
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  • Andrew Haines
    MPA '03 – An accomplished local governmental leader and elected official.
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  • Chunjing Liu
    M.S. '14 – On the front lines of marine disaster mitigation through effective policy planning in China.
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  • Cimone Philpotts
    MPA '13 - Experience in assistantships and Legislative Fellows supports career growth assisting legislators.
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  • Gwen Angalet
    Ph.D. '00 - Ensuring programmatic and research opportunities for the promotion of children's health.
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  • Hira Rashid
    M.A. '15 – Fulbright scholar now in the Ph.D. program studying global health economics and urbanization.
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  • Hsien-Ho (Ray) Chang
    Ph.D. '15 - Utilizing his knowledge of disaster science to educate students on fire and emergency management.
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  • James B. Goetschius
    Ph.D. '14 - Serves in the U.S. Army improving health care facilities in the eastern United States.
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  • Jenna Bucsak
    B.A. and MPA '14 - Provides support for legislative and external affairs.
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  • John Carney
    MPA '86 – Newly elected Governor of the State of Delaware
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  • Kelsey Edmond
    M.S. '14 - OCL program prepared her for success in the MPA program in pursuit of an interdisciplinary career.
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  • Lindsey Interlante
    MPA '07 - Advocates for enriched, hands-on learning experiences at higher education institutions.
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  • Mark Rucci
    B.A. and MPA '15 – Continuing his public policy education internationally.
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  • Meredith Rubin
    B.A. '11 - Practicing leadership and collaboration in the financial services sector.
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  • Paige Gugerty
    B.A. '15 - Coordinating electronic connections bewteen healthcare providers and resources.
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  • Paul Ruiz
    B.A. and M.A. '13 - Advocating for alternative fuels and reducing America's depencdence on oil.
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  • Stephanie Ottino
    B.S. '11 - Executing leadership skills in higher education.
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  • Tom DeWire
    MPA '04 - Developing strategies for education systems to improve student achievement.
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  • Yuliya Brel
    M.A. '15 - Continuing her public policy education and assisting with research at the University of Delaware.
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  • Megan Wakelee
    B.S. '11 - Executing leadership in a corporate setting.
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  • Zack Adinoff
    M.S. '13 - Experience in coordinating public safety, logistics, planning, and general disaster continuity.
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  • Jissell Martinez
    MPA '10 - Manages fiscal affairs and serves as a liaison for the Dept of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
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  • Scott Beale
    MPA '07 - Successful nonprofit entrepreneur with experience in diplomacy and national politics.
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  • Matthew Garlipp
    B.A. '13 - Measuring perfomance and running analyses for a federal government agency.
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  • Merritt Burke IV
    MPA '98 - Various experiences in town management and community involvement.
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  • Ryan Burke
    Ph.D. '15 - Vast experience with military strategy and conducting military research.
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  • Allison Becker
    B.A. '13 and M.A. '15 - Experienced and published media policy researcher.
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  • Serita Porter
    M.A. '15 - Continuing her behavioral health education at the University of Delaware.
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  • Kirsten Jones
    M.A. '16 - Contributing to policies that strengthen transportation and trade in New York and New Jersey.e
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  • Elizabeth Burland
    M.A. '15 - Studying for a doctoral degree in Sociology and Public Policy at the University of Michigan.
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  • Elizabeth Lockman
    M.A. '15 - Education policy and equity in the urban landscape; improving advocacy efforts in Wilmington.
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  • Thomas Martin
    Ph.D. '14 - Directing the M.S. in Health Informatics program in the College of Public Health at Temple Univ.
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  • Angela Gladwell
    M.A. ’98 – Instrumental in environmental planning and federal emergency management decision making.
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  • Mark D. Stevens
    MPA '09 – Integral in the leadership and financial management of federal agencies.
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  • Courtney Mogavero
    B.S. '12 – Translating leadership education into a successful early career path in major tech corporations.
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  • Melanie Ross Levin
    B.A. and MPA '05 – Developing education and advocacy campaigns on public policy relating to women's issues.
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  • Dená Brummer
    MPA '05 – Successful private sector business partner drawing upon public sector experiences.
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  • Eric Johnson
    Ph.D. '03 – Revitalizing a community through the application of theory and practical experience.
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  • David Rudder
    Ph.D. '03 – Practicing effective leadership to academic programs that promote service to the community.
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  • Erin Kennedy
    MPA '06 – Drives health care organizations towards improving quality of patient care and clinical outcomes.
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  • Tom Friedman
    MPA '07 – Manages government relations, strategic & financial plan, and policy analysis for State Health Plan.
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  • Mike Morton
    MPA '86 – Oversees budgetary analysis and legislative information systems for the Delaware General Assembly.
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  • Jonathan Kirch
    MPA '07 – Advocating for public policy that promotes better health for all Americans.
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  • Albert Shields
    MPA '07 – Developing strategies to best communicate Governor Carney's positions on diverse policy issues.
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  • Kim Gomes
    MPA '04 – Strategically lobbying for client interests on a number of policy issues.
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  • Erika Farris
    M.A. '09 – Developing policies to better manage water drainage and promote environmental sustainability.
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  • Mike Fortner
    MPA '02 – Overseeing city planning for housing, land use, economic development, and transportation.
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  • Emily Gonce
    MPA '02 – Leading lobbying efforts to show members of Congress the value of life insurance to constituents.
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  • Bill Clark
    MPA '03 – Supervising a team of consultants to support projects for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
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  • Anastasia Kuzmina
    MPA '02 – Supporting two general managers with product and employee management in 14 countries.
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  • Barrett Edwards
    MPA '06 – Assisting municipalities with legal issues including planning, human resources, and finance.
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Ph.D. in Disaster Science & Management Curriculum

42-credit research-focused emergency management degree

​Courses from a thematic area (at least 9 credits):

  • Organizations, management, and leadership
  • Built and natural environment, and society
  • Vulnerability and resilience
  • Policy and planning
  • Simulation and modeling
  • Health systems leadership: public health disaster planning and response

See examples of elective courses available in various thematic areas of study.

Research methods – qualitative and​ quantitative (at least 6 credits):

  • CIEG641 – Risk Analysis
  • EDUC665 – Elementary Statistics
  • EDUC850 – Qualitative Research in Education
  • ECON877 – Advanced Benefit-Cost Analysis
  • MAST664 – Decision Tools for Policy Analysis
  • ORES601 – Survey Operations Research I
  • ORES602 – Survey Operations Research II
  • ORES603 – Simulation Modeling and Analysis
  • ORES801 – Optimization Models and Methods
  • ORES802 – Operations Research Applications
  • POSC816 – Philosophy of Science and Research Design
  • SOCI607 – Data Collection and Analysis
  • STAT800 – Estimation and Statistical Inference I
  • UAPP691 – Quantitative Analysis in Public and Non-Profit Sectors
  • UAPP704 – Statistics for Policy Analysis
  • UAPP808 – Qualitative Methods for Program Evaluation
  • UAPP815 – Public Management Statistics
  • UAPP816 – Advanced Social Statistics
  • UAPP827 – Program and Project Analysis (cost-benefit analysis)

PhD Dissertation (9 Credits)


Seminar (3 credits)

Students must register for and attend three semesters of seminar (DISA680). Students are expected to participate in seminar as a listener for other semesters that they are on campus.

Electives (15 credits)

Electives are intended to enhance and broaden a student’s scholarly involvement in the program. Students in the doctoral degree program are allowed to take a maximum of 6 credits of independent study (DISA 866) and a maximum of 9 credits of research (DISA868). However, the combined number of credits from research and independent study courses may not exceed 12.

Plan of Study

​Students are required to work with their advisor during their first semester of study and develop a plan of study. The plan of study must first be approved by the advisor and then by the Program Committee by the end of the first semester of study for the Ph.D. View sample plans of study for students in the Ph.D. Disaster Science & Management program.

Qualifying Exam

​The objective of the DSEM Qualifying Examinations is to assess the student's ability to do interdisciplinary analysis, based on sound knowledge of core themes, good analytical methods, and the ability to structure and analyze disaster problems in a way that appropriately integrates the required knowledge, methods, and judgment. The levels of synthesis and evaluation to be demonstrated in these examinations go beyond those expected in most courses, although each student’s plan of study is aimed at developing and exercising this level of problem solving. After 18 credits of coursework have been graded, the student must pass a written and oral qualifying examination prepared by the Qualifier Exam Committee for the cohort of students seeking Ph.D. student candidacy. All core faculty are encouraged to participate in the oral exam. The qualifying examination must be passed before the student proceeds to candidacy.

Dissertation Proposal

A copy of the dissertation proposal must be available to Disaster Science & Management faculty at least one week prior to the proposal defense. A copy of the dissertation proposal must be delivered to the members of the dissertation committee at least two weeks in advance of the proposal defense.

Dissertation Defense

The format of the dissertation must adhere to guidelines specified in the University's Thesis and Dissertation Manual. The manual is available electronically at http://www.udel.edu/gradoffice/current/thesismanual.html or it may be purchased at the University Bookstore. A copy of the dissertation must be made available to Disaster Science & Management faculty at least two weeks prior to the proposal defense. The dissertation defense will be scheduled only after the advisor of the dissertation committee has determined that a defense is appropriate.

The dissertation defense will be open to the public, and invitations will be sent to all Disaster Science & Management faculty and students at least two weeks prior to the defense date. The candidate will present a summary of the completed research, and will then field questions from the committee, attending faculty, and invited guests. After all questions have been fielded, the dissertation committee will meet to decide whether the dissertation is accepted, rejected, or accepted pending revisions. Results of the meeting will then be presented to the student. The student may not receive more than one dissenting vote from members of the committee to receive a passing grade.

Residency Requirement

​At least three academic years of graduate work are normally required for the Ph.D. degree. At least one continuous academic year must be devoted exclusively to full-time study (9 credit hours per semester) in the major field in residence at the University of Delaware. This residency requirement may be fulfilled using a fall and spring semester combination or a spring and fall semester combination, but summer or winter sessions do not meet the qualification. Course credit earned in a Master’s program at the University of Delaware may be applied toward the doctoral degree residency requirement if the candidate is receiving both degrees from the University in the same major field.

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Ph.D. in Disaster Science & Management doctoral program curriculum at the University of Delaware.
disaster preparedness Ph.D., emergency management doctorate, disaster management doctoral degree
  • School of Public Policy & Administration
  • 184 Graham Hall
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-1687
  • sppa@udel.edu
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