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Humanitarian Health

Educational Objectives

This certificate program focuses on humanitarian assistance in the international health context. The program is a major educational activity of the Center for Humanitarian Health. The Center receives technical assistance from the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Pan American Health Organization, the UN High Commission for Refugees, and various humanitarian agencies and organizations. Graduates will be able to:

  1. Assess an emergency situation to identify immediate and longer-term assistance needs and additional resources required.
  2. Identify specific health (including psychosocial and mental health) needs of populations affected; plan and implement activities to meet these needs, and monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of assistance provided.
  3. Understand the principles of organization and administration of relief services in collaboration and cooperation with local and international non-governmental organizations, host governments, military forces and United Nations agencies.
  4. Use epidemiologic skills to collect, analyze, and use information about natural and man-made disasters.
  5. Plan and implement disaster preparedness, response and mitigation activities.
  6. Identify disease outbreaks and to know how to contain them in a timely manner.
  7. Know the public health consequences of natural disasters and their management.
  8. Outline the basic requirements for a food and nutrition program for a disaster-affected population.
  9. Use the basic principles of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and human rights principles to understand the protection needs of displaced populations and to identify and document abuses.
  10. Have a basic understanding of the political environment and use this to explain the various forces that affect population displacement.

Course of Study

Students should review the JHU e-catalogue for full information about courses and requirements. 


The certificate program is open to masters and doctoral students currently enrolled in a degree program at the Bloomberg School of Public Health who may be working to improve the health of displaced populations in the future. MAS degree students are not eligible to apply. MPH students who have a major career interest in humanitarian emergencies and human rights are encouraged to pursue the MPH Health in Crisis concentration. The concentration is more extensive and includes a seminar and regular discussion opportunities.

Admissions Process

Applicants must submit declaration of intent form prior to starting coursework.

Start terms: It is possible to begin the certificate program only in these terms: Summer, 1, 2, 3, & 4.

Requirements for Successful Completion

The student should review the section of the website that addresses completion before completing certificate program requirements.  The student's transcript will not indicate that the certificate was earned until the Notification of Completion has been submitted and verified by the certificate program and processed by the Registrar. In addition, students completing the certificate must submit this form via e-mail to the certificate faculty sponsor.

Contact Information

Sponsoring Department 
International Health

Contact Person for the Certificate Program
Name Makieba Duff

Faculty Co-Sponsors

Name Gilbert Burnham
Name Courtland Robinson