Online MPH in Disaster Management

The MPH in disaster management program develops the skills to prepare for, respond to and manage the public health aspects of natural and man-made disasters - locally to globally. The program prepares professionals in disaster preparedness, response and management, crises communication, population issues associated with disasters, psychosocial aspects of disasters and epidemiology and biostatistics.

Students in the program come from a wide-range of experiential and educational backgrounds in public health, environmental health, biological sciences, behavioral health, and many others. Characteristics of successful disaster managers have leadership qualities and are the ability to apply scientific and management principles in response to rapidly changing situations, work within the chain of command, multitask, make decisions based on evolving information and communicate accurately and succinctly.

Program Competencies

Upon completion of the MPH degree in disaster management, graduates will have the following competencies:

  • Apply scientific principles to prevent, detect, respond to, and mitigate local and global threats to public health associated with natural and man-made disasters.
  • Integrate public health strategies in each core component of disaster management: prevention, preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery.
  • Implement population-based interventions to protect communities and particularly vulnerable populations from natural, accidental, and intentional disasters.
  • Evaluate the capacity of public health systems to effectively respond to natural and intentional disasters.
  • Apply international, federal, and state regulatory policies, guidelines, and authorities to address public health needs during disasters.
Admission Requirements

The online environmental health programs general application requirements include:

  • Bachelor's degree with grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • The application includes documentation of a bachelor’s degree and GPA (official transcript), a written statement of Purpose and Objectives, and a minimum of two letters of recommendation.
  • Please apply using SOPHAS

Online Program Admissions

Degree Program Requirements

The  MPH Degree in Disaster Management requires a total of 42 credits that include:

SPHTM Core/Foundational Courses (15 Credits)

  • SPHL 6020 Foundations in Public Health (3)
  • SPHL 6050 Biostatistics for Public Health (3)
  • SPHL 6060 Epidemiology for Public Health (3)
  • SPHL 6070 Health Systems, Policy and Management (3)
  • SPHL 6080 Design Strategies for Public Health Programs (3)

MPH in Disaster Management Required Courses (21 Credits)

  • ENHS 6030 Survey of Environmental Health (3)
  • ENHS 6430 Disaster and Emergency Communication (3)
  • ENHS 6600 Principles of Toxicology (3)
  • ENHS 6910 Environmental Aspects of Disaster Response (3)
  • ENHS 6930 Population Issues During Disasters (3)
  • ENHS 6950 Psychosocial Aspects of Disasters (3)
  • ENHS 7620 Health Risk Assessment (3)

Elective Courses (6 credits)

Selected from courses offered within the department or school in consultation with an academic advisor.

Applied Practice Experience (SPHL 9980)

The Applied Practice Experience (APE) (formerly practicum) is a supervised practice experience conducted in an agency or organization external to the university to gain practical experience. The APE allows students to demonstrate attainment of program and public health competencies, and will include at least three from the foundational public health competencies (CEPH Criterion D2) and two competencies from their program of study. The APE is conducted after completion of the foundational courses. Mid-career students may do a Leadership applied practice experience, a Quality Improvement applied practice experience, or a Workplace applied practice experience.

More information can be found in the APE Handbook.  Students should contact Kathy Carneiro to discuss APE requirements the semester before they intend to graduate.

Integrated Learning Experience (SPHL 7950)

ll students must complete an Integrated Learning Experience (ILE) (formerly culminating experience) that demonstrates the synthesis of foundational and concentration competencies. Students in the MPH in Disaster Management program will conduct a public health analysis (PHA). Students will select a topic in consultation with their academic advisor.

More information can be found in the ILE Handbook. Students should contact Kathy Carneiro to discuss the ILE requirements the semester before they intend to graduate.

Contact Us

Department Chair: Melissa Gonzales, PhD

Program Director: Stephen Murphy, PhD


Program Manager: Benjamin Bratcher


Phone: 504-988-3786 or 800-862-2122