University of Wisconsin–Madison

Diploma Requirements

Please note: UWDMC is no longer accepting new candidates in the Diploma Program.  

For successful completion of the Disaster Management Diploma Program, students were required to  earn 60 Continuing Education Units (CEU)–equivalent to 600 study hours– within a five-year timeframe. There were no residency requirements. Students could study from anywhere in the world.

There were three basic educational components required by the diploma: Core Courses, Professional Electives, and the Professional Study Project. The CEU requirements for each component of the curriculum are listed below.

1. Core Courses (25 CEU)

Students completed this requirement using self-study courses offered through the UWDMC. Only the Aim and Scope of Disaster Management (AA02) and the Principles of Management (AA04) courses were required. Students could choose from more than 20 courses on a variety of topics to complete the core course requirement.

2. Professional Electives (25 CEU)

Continuing Education Units for professional electives could be earned from workshops seminars and courses conducted by other institutions, colleges, government agencies, UN agencies, and other non-profit organizations. Students could propose as an elective any course taken no more than five years before registration in the Diploma Program.  University courses were allowed if not already part of a completed degree program.

After completing the core courses, students submitted an elective form with courses they proposed to meet the elective requirement. Along with the form they provided proof of completion and an official course description. UWDMC reviewed all of this information and awarded an appropriate number of CEU.

Electives were in two categories:

Disaster Management Electives (15 CEU required)

Students gained credit for training and coursework from other disaster management organizations on specific disaster management topics. It was also possible to enroll in additional UWDMC courses to fulfill this requirement.

General Electives (10 CEU required)

Language training, communication courses, leadership workshops, and more could be applied toward completing this requirement. UWDMC reviewed courses that students submitted for this category and awarded the appropriate number of CEU.

Both evaluated and non-evaluated courses could apply toward the UWDMC Disaster Management Diploma. An evaluated course included a written or oral examination, report, project, graded lessons, or other personal evaluation. A non-evaluated course could be a continuing education seminar, workshop or short course.

3. Professional Study Project (10 CEU)

The Professional Study Project (PSP) was meant to be a practical paper rather than an academic thesis. The goal of the PSP was to combine what students learned from core courses and professional electives into a practical, field-oriented document that could even be part of actual work activities.

The PSP involved 100 hours of research and writing and could be on whatever subject students chose as the culmination of their individualized study program.  Some candidates prepared a detailed case study based on a particular disaster or emergency experience. UWDMC provided guidance for the PSP after all coursework was completed.