Master of Arts in
Humanitarian Assistance & Crisis Management (Part-Time Hybrid)

Study for your hybrid master's degree online and in-person to develop the knowledge and skills needed to respond to humanitarian emergencies around the globe.

At a Glance

For programs beginning in 2023




Part-Time Hybrid

Application Deadline for U.S. & permanent residents

January 31, rolling thereafter until April 1

International students

November 1, no rolling admission


2 Years


United States

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.


Humanitarian action and crisis management professionals are needed now more than ever. Natural disasters are worsening with climate change and have compounded with violent conflicts, famines, and other global crises to produce complex emergencies and an unprecedented number of displaced and vulnerable communities worldwide.

Geared toward working- or aspiring-humanitarian professionals who seek to advance their career without leaving their jobs and community commitments, this interdisciplinary hybrid online master’s degree program includes brief but important in-person residencies to provide you with the knowledge and practical skills to lead principled and effective humanitarian responses.

You will begin with a two-week summer residency on SIT’s Vermont campus, where you will meet your cohort and faculty, and begin your coursework.

For the rest of the summer and into spring, you will study for your hybrid master’s degree online, alongside your cohort, building a critical understanding of humanitarian principles, standards, and the emerging trends in humanitarian action and refugee studies. You will learn the theoretical frameworks and practical skills for leading a crisis response; designing, implementing, and monitoring programs in a variety of humanitarian sectors; and conducting a field-based inquiry.

During the fifth semester, you will conduct a virtual or in-person practicum project at a community-based organization, non-governmental organization or international non-governmental organization to gain hands-on experience in humanitarian assistance and crisis management.

In your final semester, you will study international human rights and humanitarian law and complete a capstone project to master ethically and culturally appropriate field practice and research, enabling you to provide evidence-based recommendations and interventions in a range of humanitarian sectors.

By the conclusion of the program you will be equipped with the critical knowledge and practical tools needed to succeed as a future humanitarian professional and confront human-made and natural disasters in an increasingly complex world.

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

Part-Time Hybrid Format

Courses take place virtually, with summer residencies in Vermont.

Brattleboro, Vermont

Vermont is at the forefront of sustainability, education, and regeneration. New England is a haven for start-ups, transition towns, community-owned forests, artisanal food and beverage companies, sustainable farming, eco-architecture, green energy, and many environmental and social-justice organizations. SIT’s beautiful southern Vermont campus offers woodland trails, hiking, running, and cycling, as well as a private library, study rooms with mountain views, and an entertainment space where students often gather at the end of the day to socialize. You will also be a few miles from downtown Brattleboro, which offers an array of shops, restaurants, and eateries. During your year one residency, housing and meals will be provided at SIT’s campus in Brattleboro, Vermont.

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 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 learning curriculum, you will learn to put theory into practice using case studies, comparative analysis of humanitarian crises and response across the globe. The online courses will provide opportunities for synchronous and asynchronous sessions and learning.

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, Summer: Residency at SIT in Vermont and Online (6 credits)

  • Issues in Humanitarian and Refugee Studies
  • Crisis Management and Leadership in Humanitarian Response

Semester Two, Fall: Online (6 credits)

  • Program Planning and Management
  • Safety and Wellbeing Challenges in Emergency Context

Semester Three, Spring: Online (6 credits)

  • Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning: Concepts & Practices
  • Practitioner Inquiry

Semester Four, Summer: Residency in Vermont

Summer residencies and capstone presentation typically take place on SIT’s Vermont campus or online virtually.

Semester Five, Fall: Practicum (6 credits)

  • Field Practicum

Semester Six, Spring: Capstone Paper and Seminar (3 credits) and Online Coursework (3 credits)

  • International Humanitarian and Refugee Law, Standards, and Policies
  • Capstone Paper
  • Capstone Seminar

Faculty & Staff

Humanitarian Assistance & Crisis Management (Part-Time Hybrid)

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
Manal Tahtamouni, MD
Affiliated Faculty, Jordan, MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management • Affiliated Faculty, 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
Orli Fridman, PhD
Chair and Affiliated Faculty, Serbia, MA in Social Justice and Advocacy • Affiliated Faculty, MA in Diplomacy and International Relations • Affiliated Faculty, MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management • Affiliated Faculty, MA in Sustainable Development Practice

Discover the Possibilities