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 the program beginning fall 2021





Priority Deadline

January 31

After January 31

Rolling admission until full

Final Deadline

August 1


1 Year

Instructional Sites

Jordan, Uganda

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, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.


Political upheaval, natural disasters, forced displacement, public health emergencies, and other major events have displaced people worldwide 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 responses 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 security of yourself and others in high-conflict environments and emergency situations.

On a 10-day excursion to Geneva, Switzerland, a global hub for humanitarian assistance, you will gain expertise in humanitarian policy, diplomacy, and advocacy. Meet with the United Nations refugee agency, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and other key organizations.

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 assistance program manager

  • Humanitarian policy and practice analyst

  • Humanitarian policy director

  • Humanitarian affairs officer

  • Humanitarian aid worker, manager, or administrator

  • Humanitarian policy analyst or researcher

  • Senior program manager or officer

  • Community organizer

  • Human rights officer

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 houses 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. Here, you will get firsthand exposure to the humanitarian responses of various NGOs, INGOs, and UN agencies, most notablyUNHCR, 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. 

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. 

Geneva, Switzerland

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



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. 

In this program, you will: 

  • Understand the legal and professional principles, standards, laws, and frameworks governing humanitarian action as well as the theory behind it 
  • Learn ethically sound qualitative research methods and practice identifying needs and gaps and providing evidence-based recommendations for interventions and response in the various humanitarian sectors 
  • Grapple with the major critiques of humanitarian action and its ensuing reform and review process 
  • Design and implement a crisis management plan and humanitarian response that will aid and protect populations affected by disaster and forge collaborative relationships that will create more successful responses 

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 (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 • , Doctorate in Sustainability
Charlotte Karungi Mafumbo, PhD
Co-Chair and Assistant Professor, Uganda, MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management
Manal Tahtamouni, MD
Affiliated Faculty, 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. Please note that homestayare less expensive but also less independent. 

Discover the Possibilities