Refugees and relief helicopter

Who Benefits from the Program?

The program is open to civilians, active military and veterans in health care and emergency response fields. Originally developed to recognize and give academic validity to the training and experience of Special Operations medics from across the department of defense, this program draws heavily from both the civilian and military challenges and successes experienced during natural as well as man-made disaster and crisis events, both domestically and abroad. 

Why Choose GW?

While bachelor’s programs are common across emergency services and disaster management, an undergraduate program that offers a global focus supported by applied science coursework provides a unique option for those seeking to build on their existing academic, military and other training experiences. All of our courses are offered online in a flexible, asynchronous format allowing students to pursue their degree, regardless of time zone, station, or overseas assignment. Students are called upon to work individually as well as collaboratively in the development of broadened view of and holistic approach to delivery of aid and relief to the people, families and communities impacted by catastrophic events beyond their control.

What Will I Learn?

Upon completion of this program graduates will:

  • Develop disaster response plans and humanitarian outreach programs that coordinate health services across various international aid organizations in diverse settings.
  • Integrate telemedicine and related technologies into domestic and global humanitarian responses.
  • Apply principles of health promotion, disease prevention, and leadership to identify strategies for mitigating health risks associated with disasters and humanitarian crises.
  • Communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders, individually and in group settings, using verbal, written, and electronic modes of communication.

What Career Opportunities Await Our Graduates?

Graduates of this program will be well positioned to provide leadership and expert counsel in all matters of disaster and crisis related healthcare issues for myriad agencies at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Graduates will also be prepared to continue their education in graduate or professional programs in such fields as physician assistant (PA), public health, and health services administration. Please note that most PA programs require additional science courses (e.g. Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology) not required in our program. You should refer directly to each PA program to which you intend to apply for specific admission requirements.


GW recognizes the importance of maintaining accreditation by appropriate academic and professional agencies and organizations. We believe that ongoing accreditation of the University, its schools, departments, and programs enhances our reputation as a center of academic excellence and as a trusted provider of educational and professional preparation. This is important to prospective and current students, as well as to our alumni.

The George Washington University is:

  • Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the regional accrediting agency
  • On the approved list of the American Association of University Women
  • Member of the College Board

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