Global Master of Arts in
Humanitarian Assistance & Crisis Management (Full-Time)

Gain the skills and on-the-ground experience needed to respond to humanitarian crises around the world.

At a Glance

For programs beginning in 2023





Application Deadline for U.S. & permanent residents

January 31, rolling thereafter until June 1

International students

January 31, no rolling admission


1 Year

Instructional Sites

Jordan, Uganda

Program Excursion Countries


Critical Global Issue of Study

Identity & Human Resilience

Identity & Human Resilience Icon

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, like COVID-19, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.


Political upheaval, natural disasters, forced displacement, public health emergencies, and other major events have resulted in humanitarian crises on a massive scale. Through excursions, fieldwork, and experiential learning across at least three continents, this program gives you hands-on, graduate-level training in humanitarian assistance and crisis management.

Spend your first two semesters in Amman, Jordan, and Kampala, Uganda, which together host nearly 3 million refugees, observing humanitarian crises in starkly different geographical, political, and cultural environments. Interact with aid workers, NGOs, and refugees, as you witness humanitarian assistance and advocacy in action.

Along the way, you will design and implement crisis management plans and humanitarian programs that will aid and protect populations affected by disaster. You will also learn how to create contingency plans to assess and approach risk to ensure the safety and well-being of yourself and others in high-conflict environments and emergency situations.

On a 10-day field study trip to Istanbul, Turkey, a country that hosts the largest population of refugees in the world, you will gain expertise in humanitarian policy, diplomacy, and advocacy. Meet with the United Nations refugee agency, National NGOs, the Turkish Red Crescent, and other key organizations engaged in relief, protection, advocacy and humanitarian diplomacy.

In your final semester, you will put your learning into practice during a 12-week field practicum at a humanitarian aid organization in Jordan, Uganda, or a place of your choosing. You will also complete a capstone paper reflecting on the experience.

Designed to prepare the next generation of leaders in humanitarian assistance and crisis management, this unique master’s degree gives you the skills and on-the-ground experience you need to stay ahead of critical issues stemming from the world’s rising number of humanitarian crises.

Career Paths

Students who have graduated with this degree have worked in careers such as:

  • Humanitarian program and project manager

  • Monitoring, evaluation, and learning officer or manager

  • Health officer or manager

  • Human rights advocacy officer, coordinator, or specialist

  • Women’s protection and empowerment coordinator or manager

  • Crisis and emergency manager or director

  • Humanitarian aid officer or coordinator at a UN agency or NGO

  • Community organizer

  • Humanitarian policy analyst or researcher

Visit the SIT blog to read more about SIT Graduate Institute alumni careers.

Program Sites

Amman, Jordan

Spend the fall semester in Jordan, home to millions of refugees and displaced persons from Palestine, Iraq, and Syria. Jordan currently hosts 2.2 million Palestinian refugees, whose displacement constitutes the longest-standing refugee crisis in the world; and 661,000 Syrian refugees registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), although it is estimated that the total number is closer to 1.5 million. You will get firsthand exposure to the humanitarian response and program of various NGOs, INGOs, and UN agencies, most notably, UNHCR, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nation’s International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), during emergency, post-emergency, and resettlement phases, in collaboration with the host government.

Click here for a description of the SIT center in Jordan.

Kampala, Uganda

You will spend the spring semester learning from Uganda’s approach to refugees and comparing its refugee policies with Jordan’s.  

For more than five decades, Uganda has provided asylum to people fleeing war and persecution. When renewed conflict broke out in South Sudan in July 2016, an unprecedented number of refugees came to Uganda, doubling the refugee population in less than seven months. Uganda has since become the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, with refugees making up 3.5 percent of the country’s total population of 39 million. Uganda currently hosts more than 1.35 million refugees, the majority from South Sudan (75 percent), the Democratic Republic of Congo (17 percent), Burundi (3 percent)and Somalia (3 percent).  

With an open-door policy, Uganda maintains one of the most progressive approaches to refugee protection. The government grants refugees freedom of movement and the right to seek employment, establish businesses, and access public services such as education on par with nationals. Uganda is also party to key refugee conventions and international human rights treaties.

Click here for a description of the SIT center in Uganda.

Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.


Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of humanitarian aid and crisis management as an interdisciplinary field encompassing legal, political, ethical, and professional standards and frameworks as well as a critical practice.
  • Demonstrate professional competencies and leadership skills needed in the field of crisis management and humanitarian action, including the competencies to plan, deliver, and advocate for humanitarian assistance in collaboration with all stakeholders in the context of emergencies.
  • Apply ethically sound methods to identify, study, and innovate solutions to plan, respond, and advocate for humanitarian aid and human rights of forcibly displaced and disaster-affected populations.
  • Articulate global and comparative perspectives on the humanitarian sphere relating to causes of the humanitarian crisis; social, health, and political impacts; and responses across different environmental, socioeconomic, and geopolitical contexts.
  • Apply fundamental research skills to conceptualize, design, and develop a unique capstone project in the form of a research-based paper, a policy advocacy paper, or an evidence-based recommendation that addresses gaps or needs in a humanitarian crisis.
  • Design a risk analysis and crisis management plan.

Read more about Program Learning Outcomes.


With SIT’s experiential curriculum, you will learn how to put theory into practicefocusing on topic areas that will help you meet your career goals. 

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information.

This is SIT

  • We value active togetherness, reciprocity, and respect as the essential ingredients for building a sustainable community.
  • With open minds, empathy, and courage, we facilitate intercultural understanding and respect for the commonalities and differences between people.
  • We champion social inclusion & justice in all that we are and all that we do, from ensuring our community and our programs amplify the voices, agency, and dignity of all people to deliberately instilling the principles and practices of inclusion in all of our work.
  • We are committed to human and environmental well-being through sustainability and contributing to a better world for all living and future generations.

Semester One, Fall: Jordan and Turkey (15 Credits)

  • Issues in Humanitarian and Refugee Studies  
  • Crisis Management and Leadership in Humanitarian Response 
  • Practitioner Inquiry  
  • Program Planning and Management  
  • Humanitarian Policy, Diplomacy, and Advocacy

Semester Two, Spring: Uganda (12 Credits)

  • Developing and Maintaining Collaborative Relationships  
  • Safety and Well-being Challenges in Emergency Contexts
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning: Concepts and Practices  
  • International Humanitarian and Refugee Law, Standards, and Principles 

Semester Three, Summer: Field Practicum in Jordan or Uganda (9 Credits)

  • Field Practicum
  • Capstone Paper
  • Capstone Seminar


The practicum is central to the SIT MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis ManagementYou will apply learning from the classroom directly to real-world settings, while getting hands-on, professional experience you can put to immediate use after you graduate. 

Get valuable experience and enhance your skills in an international professional environment. In the final semester of the program, you’ll put your learning into practice during a 12-week practicum. SIT will support you in finding an approved practicum with an institution providing humanitarian assistance and development aid to refugee and local communities for your final semester. 

The organization and your practicum activities must be approved by the program’s director. You’ll attend regular reflection and assessment meetings to review the progress of the practicum and learning associated with it. 

Faculty & Staff

Humanitarian Assistance & Crisis Management (Full-Time)

Bayan Abdulhaq, PhD
Chair and Affiliated Faculty, Jordan, MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management • Chair and Affiliated Faculty, MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management
Charlotte Karungi Mafumbo, PhD
Co-Chair and Assistant Professor, Uganda, MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management
Asem Tahtamouni, PhD
Affiliated Faculty, Jordan, MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management • Affiliated Faculty, MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management
Manal Tahtamouni, MD
Affiliated Faculty, Jordan, MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management • Affiliated Faculty, MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management
Helen Nambalirwa Nkabal, PhD
Affiliated Faculty, Uganda, MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management
Ronald Kakungulu-Mayambala, PhD
Affiliated Faculty, Uganda, MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management
Nelson Wajja-Musukwe, PhD
Affiliated Faculty, Uganda, MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management
Ashad Sentongo, PhD
Affiliated Faculty, Uganda, MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management


You will be supported by the SIT staff on location in arranging housing during your time abroad. Typically, students will rent a flat close to the SIT program base or city center. There may also be the option of living with a homestay family for immersion in the local culture, language and customs.

Discover the Possibilities