Frequently Asked Questions

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


UWDMC Disaster Management Diploma FAQs

How long did students have to complete the Diploma?

Students needed to complete the required 60 CEU for the diploma within five years of registration as a diploma candidate. Sixty CEU is the equivalent of 600 hours of study.

Was it possible to complete all requirements of the Diploma without traveling to Wisconsin?

Students could complete all diploma requirements through a combination of self-study, correspondence, and independent study courses. They could combine courses available from UWDMC with courses from universities or disaster management institutions located near them.

What about applying courses that were already completed toward the Diploma?

The Professional Electives requirement provided the opportunity to earn CEU for courses completed previously. Any UWDMC self-study course already completed could be automatically credited toward the Diploma. Students could also earn CEU from courses completed from other institutions and organizations, if each course:

  1. met students’ individual learning objectives
  2. was not applied to another degree, and
  3. met the five-year time limitation.

Which courses could students study?

Students could design a curriculum that met their educational needs. As part of the application process, they set their own learning objectives.

UWDMC recommended starting with the required Aim and Scope of Disaster Management and Principles of Management courses.

What did the Diploma Program cost?

The total costs varied depending on the courses selected. At the time of the program closing, basic program fees that were the same for all candidates included:

Diploma Program registration fee: $395

UWDMC required core courses: $435 (5.5 CEU)

Professional Study Project: $500 (10 CEU)

The individual course fees for the remaining 44.5 CEU depended on the choice of UWDMC self-study courses and how many previously completed courses were accepted toward the diploma by UWDMC. UWDMC self-study courses cost $200 – $235 per course and awarded 2.0-3.5 CEU.  UWDMC provided a special 10-course discount.

Has the Diploma been recognized as an academic degree?

The UWDMC Disaster Management Diploma has been considered a professional development educational program and not a traditional academic degree.   The Continuing Education Units (CEU) students earned for each course and for the UWDMC Diploma do have equivalencies with traditional academic credits. Many colleges and universities accept these credits, but the final decision is up to each organization.

How did students earn CEU for the Professional Elective Requirement?

Professional Electives were broken down into two areas: 10 CEU of coursework on general topics and 15 CEU on disaster or emergency topics. General topics could include accounting, project management, leadership, communication, team building, language studies, and more.

Students earned electives from seminars and conferences from universities, private organizations, government agencies, NGOs, and/or the UN that they completed no more than five years before registration as a Diploma candidate.

Students could use additional UWDMC self-study courses as Professional Electives for the Diploma.

Could students apply credit courses toward the Diploma?

Students could include completed credit courses if each course (1) met their diploma learning objectives, (2) was not applied to another degree, and (3) met the five-year time limitation.

The University of Wisconsin has used the following formula to convert semester and quarter credits to CEU:

Semester Credit

1 undergraduate credit = 4.8 CEU

1 graduate credit =6.4 CEU

Quarter Credit

1 undergraduate credit = 3.2 CEU

1 graduate credit =5.0 CEU


How long did students have to complete a course?

For individual courses, students had a year from the enrollment date to complete the course. If they  enrolled on October 3, 2015, they would have until October 3, 2016 to take the exam and complete the course. It was also possible to request additional time if needed.

Could students review courses before enrolling?

Students were welcome to download and study our course materials online at no cost.

Before we could send the exam, grade it, and award the Continuing Education Units, however, we required enrollment in the course and payment of the course fee.

Did students have to take an exam?

Completing a UWDMC self-study course required that students take an exam that was graded by UWDMC. The exam was a combination of multiple choice, true/false, and short essay questions. It typically took one to two hours to complete the exam, but there was no time limit. Students were not allowed to use the study guide or other course materials.

There was no additional fee for the final exam.

Was the exam online?

Typically we mailed or sent via DHL delivery service a paper copy of the exam directly to a proctor of students’ choice in their location. The proctor and student agreed on a time and place to take the exam. The proctor verified the student’s identity and then stayed in the room with the student while he or she completed the exam. Both the student and the proctor signed and dated the completed exam. The proctor then returned the exam via mail or other delivery service to the Disaster Management Center for grading. We tried to grade the exam within a few days of receiving it and notified students of the results via email. Students learned only if they passed or failed and did not receive a numerical score.