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  • Alex Greer
    Alex Greer
    M.S. '12 and Ph.D. '15 - Experience in quick response fieldwork, teaching emergency management.
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  • Andrew Haines
    Andrew Haines
    MPA '03 – An accomplished local government leader and appointed official.
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  • Chunjing Liu
    Chunjing Liu
    M.S. '14 – On the front lines of marine disaster mitigation through effective policy planning in China.
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  • Cimone Philpotts
    Cimone Philpotts
    MPA '13 - Assistantship and Legislative Fellows experiences enrich doctoral student's blossoming career
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  • Gwen Angalet
    Gwen Angalet
    Ph.D. '00 - Ensuring programmatic and research opportunities for the promotion of children's health.
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  • Hira Rashid
    Hira Rashid
    M.A. '15 – Fulbright scholar now in the Ph.D. program studying global health economics and urbanization.
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  • Hsien-Ho (Ray) Chang
    Hsien-Ho (Ray) Chang
    Ph.D. '15 - Utilizing his knowledge of disaster science to educate students on fire and emergency management.
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  • James B. Goetschius
    James B. Goetschius
    Ph.D. '14 - Serves in the U.S. Army improving health care facilities in the eastern United States.
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  • Jenna Ahner
    Jenna Ahner
    B.A. and MPA '14 - Provides support for legislative and external affairs.
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  • John Carney
    John Carney
    MPA '86 – Newly elected Governor of the State of Delaware
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  • Kelsey Edmond
    Kelsey Edmond
    M.S. '14 - OCL program prepared her for success in the MPA program in pursuit of an interdisciplinary career.
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  • Lindsey Interlante
    Lindsey Interlante
    MPA '07 - Advocates for enriched, hands-on learning experiences at higher education institutions.
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  • Meredith Rubin
    Meredith Rubin
    B.A. '11 - Practicing leadership and collaboration in the financial services sector.
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  • Paige Gugerty
    Paige Gugerty
    B.A. '15 - Coordinating electronic connections bewteen healthcare providers and resources.
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  • Paul Ruiz
    Paul Ruiz
    B.A. and M.A. '13 - Advocating for alternative fuels and reducing America's dependence on oil.
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  • Stephanie Ottino
    Stephanie Ottino
    B.S. '11 - Executing leadership skills in higher education.
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  • Tom DeWire
    Tom DeWire
    MPA '04 - Developing strategies for education systems to improve student achievement.
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  • Yuliya Brel
    Yuliya Brel
    M.A. '15 - Continuing her public policy education and assisting with research at the University of Delaware.
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  • Megan Wakelee
    Megan Wakelee
    B.S. '11 - Executing leadership in a corporate setting.
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  • Zack Adinoff
    Zack Adinoff
    M.S. '13 - Experience in coordinating public safety, logistics, planning, and general disaster continuity.
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  • Jissell Martinez
    Jissell Martinez
    MPA '10 - Manages fiscal affairs and serves as a liaison for the Dept of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
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  • Scott Beale
    Scott Beale
    MPA '07 - Successful nonprofit entrepreneur with experience in diplomacy and national politics.
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  • Matthew Garlipp
    Matthew Garlipp
    B.A. '13 - Enabling federal transparency and accountability via open, accessible, and standardized budget data
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  • Merritt Burke IV
    Merritt Burke IV
    MPA '98 - Various experiences in town management and community involvement.
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  • Ryan Burke
    Ryan Burke
    Ph.D. '15 - Vast experience with military strategy and conducting military research.
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  • Allison Becker
    Allison Becker
    B.A. '13 and M.A. '15 - Experienced and published media policy researcher.
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  • Serita Porter
    Serita Porter
    M.A. '15 - Continuing her behavioral health education at the University of Delaware.
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  • Kirsten Jones
    Kirsten Jones
    M.A. '16 - Contributing to policies that strengthen transportation and trade in New York and New Jersey.
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  • Elizabeth Burland
    Elizabeth Burland
    M.A. '15 - Studying for a doctoral degree in Sociology and Public Policy at the University of Michigan.
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  • Elizabeth Lockman
    Elizabeth Lockman
    M.A. '15 - Delaware state senator with roots in advocacy.
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  • Thomas Martin
    Thomas Martin
    Ph.D. '14 - Directing the M.S. in Health Informatics program in the College of Public Health at Temple Univ.
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  • Savannah Edwards
    Savannah Edwards
    MPA '17 - Planning for sustainable and complete communities in Delaware and Maryland.
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  • Scott Murphy Eisenhart
    Scott Murphy Eisenhart
    MPA '17 - Legislative aide credits SPPA experience for helping him excel in the world of politics and policy.
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  • Taylor Hawk
    Taylor Hawk
    MPA '17 - Graduate's policy analysis and research aims to improve education funding.
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  • Evan Miller
    Evan Miller
    MPA '17 - Local Government Management Fellowship kickstarts graduate's professional career.
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  • Natasha R. Nau
    Natasha R. Nau
    MPA '12 - Advocating for efficient resource allocation and streamlined service delivery in local government.
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  • Katelyn Andrews (Hosey)
    Katelyn Andrews (Hosey)
    MPA '16 - Research assistant and Legislative Fellow experience help inform grad's career trajectory.
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  • Emma Odren
    Emma Odren
    MPA '18 - From IPA fellow to research analyst, grad attributes workplace success to grad school experience.
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  • Fratern Masika Tarimo
    Fratern Masika Tarimo
    MPA '09 - Supports nonprofit efforts to help communities in many African countries.
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  • Laura Keeley
    Laura Keeley
    Laura Keeley found success working as an Architectural Historian after graduating from the Public Planning and
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  • Jeremy Rothwell
    Jeremy Rothwell
    M.A. '14, HP Cert '15 - Technical review of all city site-plans, subdivision and building permit applications.
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  • Alexandra Tarantino
    Alexandra Tarantino
    Alexandra Tarantino is a University of Delaware Alumni who graduated from the Historic Preservation Master's p
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  • Mark D. Stevens
    Mark D. Stevens
    MPA '09 – Integral in the leadership and financial management of federal agencies.
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  • Angela Gladwell
    Angela Gladwell
    M.A. ’98 – Instrumental in environmental planning and federal emergency management decision making.
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  • Courtney Mogavero
    Courtney Mogavero
    B.S. '12 – Translating leadership education into a successful early career path in major tech corporations.
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  • Janet Sheridan
    Janet Sheridan
    M.A. '07 - Providing heritage preservation services, and cultural landscape research in southern New Jersey.
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  • Melanie Ross Levin
    Melanie Ross Levin
    B.A. and MPA '05 – Developing education and advocacy campaigns on public policy relating to women's issues.
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  • Dená Brummer
    Dená Brummer
    MPA '05 – Successful private sector business partner drawing upon public sector experiences.
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  • Eric Johnson
    Eric Johnson
    Ph.D. '03 – Revitalizing a community through the application of theory and practical experience.
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  • David Rudder
    David Rudder
    Ph.D. '03 – Practicing effective leadership to academic programs that promote service to the community.
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  • Erin Kennedy
    Erin Kennedy
    MPA '06 – Drives health care organizations towards improving quality of patient care and clinical outcomes.
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  • Tom Friedman
    Tom Friedman
    MPA '07 – Manages government relations, strategic & financial plan, and policy analysis for State Health Plan.
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  • Mike Morton
    Mike Morton
    MPA '86 – Oversees budgetary analysis and legislative information systems for the Delaware General Assembly.
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  • Jonathan Kirch
    Jonathan Kirch
    MPA '07 – Advocating for public policy that promotes better health for all Americans.
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  • Albert Shields
    Albert Shields
    MPA '07 – Developing strategies to best communicate Governor Carney's positions on diverse policy issues.
    Read More
  • Kim Gomes
    Kim Gomes
    MPA '04 – Strategically lobbying for client interests on a number of policy issues.
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  • Erika Farris
    Erika Farris
    M.A. '09 – Developing policies to better manage water drainage and promote environmental sustainability.
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  • Mike Fortner
    Mike Fortner
    MPA '02 – Overseeing city planning for housing, land use, economic development, and transportation.
    Read More
  • Emily Gonce
    Emily Gonce
    MPA '02 – Leading lobbying efforts to show members of Congress the value of life insurance to constituents.
    Read More
  • Bill Clark
    Bill Clark
    MPA '03 – Supervising a team of consultants to support projects for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
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  • Anastasia Kuzmina
    Anastasia Kuzmina
    MPA '02 – Supporting two general managers with product and employee management in 14 countries.
    Read More
  • Barrett Edwards
    Barrett Edwards
    MPA '06 – Assisting municipalities with legal issues including planning, human resources, and finance.
    Read More
  • Benjamin Attia
    Benjamin Attia
    MEEP'16 - Research and consulting on market trends in solar photvoltaics markets in Africa and the Middle East
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  • Wei-Ming Chen
    Wei-Ming Chen
    Conducting renewable energy and electricity market researches
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  • Michelle Kung
    Michelle Kung
    PHDUAPP'14 - Promoting innovation and technology through mentoring and investing technology startups
    Read More
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Ph.D. in Disaster Science & Management Curriculum

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42-Credit Research-Focus Emergency Management Degree

Student must demonstrate expertise in below 4 core areas:

Social Science of Disaster
(9 credits) at least 3 credits must be beyond introductory level

DISA650 - Overview of Disaster Science & Management

DISA670 - Issues in Disaster Response

SOCI670 - Disasters, Vulnerability & Development

CIEG607 - Risk Analysis

DISA690 - Natural Hazards

Science and Engineering of Disaster (6 Credits)

CIEG607 - Risk Analysis

DISA690 - Natural Hazards

Management, Planning and Leadership (3 credits)

BUAD870 - Leadership and Organizational Behavior

UAPP613 - Planning Theory and Urban Policy

UAPP673 - Governing Non-Profit Organizations

UAPP697 - Leading Organizations in Public & Nonprofit Sectors

Methods and Tools (9 credits) one course from each category:


      1. UAPP808 - Qualitative Methods
      2. EDUC850 - Qualitative Research in Education
      3. SOCI606 - Qualitative Methods
      1. SOCI614 - Advanced Data Analysis
      2. SOCI625 - Advanced Social Statistics
      3. UAPP691 - Quantitative Analysis in Public and Nonprofit Sectors
      4. UAPP704 - Statistics for Policy Analysis
      5. HLPR632 - Health Science Data Analysis
      6. CIEG667 - Advanced Data Analysis


      1. GEOG670 - Geographic Information Systems
      2. MAST663 - Decision Tools for Policy Analysis
      3. UAPP801 - Processes of Social Inquiry
      4. UAPP865 - Dissertation Proposal Practicum

PhD Dissertation (9 credits)

Seminar (3 credits)

Students must register for and attend DISA680 for 2 semesters.

Professional Development (0 credits)

Students are required to take DISA681 Professional Development (non-credit): to be taken each semester prior to taking DISA880.

Qualifier Preparation (1 credit)

Students are required to take DISA880 Qualifier Preparation in advance of the Qualifying Exam.

Electives (3 credits)

Electives are intended to enhance and broaden a student’s scholarly involvement in the program. Students in the doctoral degree program are allowed to take a maximum of 6 credits of independent study (DISA 866) and a maximum of 9 credits of research (DISA868). However, the combined number of credits from research and independent study courses may not exceed 12.

Plan of Study

​Students are required to work with their advisor during their first semester of study and develop a plan of study. The plan of study must first be approved by the advisor and then by the Program Committee by the end of the first semester of study for the Ph.D. View sample plans of study for students in the Ph.D. Disaster Science & Management program.

Qualifying Exam

​The objective of the DSEM Qualifying Examinations is to assess the student's ability to do interdisciplinary analysis, based on sound knowledge of core themes, good analytical methods, and the ability to structure and analyze disaster problems in a way that appropriately integrates the required knowledge, methods, and judgment. The levels of synthesis and evaluation to be demonstrated in these examinations go beyond those expected in most courses, although each student’s plan of study is aimed at developing and exercising this level of problem solving. After 18 credits of coursework have been graded, the student must pass a written and oral qualifying examination prepared by the Qualifier Exam Committee for the cohort of students seeking Ph.D. student candidacy. All core faculty are encouraged to participate in the oral exam. The qualifying examination must be passed before the student proceeds to candidacy.

Dissertation Proposal

A copy of the dissertation proposal must be available to Disaster Science & Management faculty at least one week prior to the proposal defense. A copy of the dissertation proposal must be delivered to the members of the dissertation committee at least two weeks in advance of the proposal defense.

Dissertation Defense

The format of the dissertation must adhere to guidelines specified in the University's Thesis and Dissertation Manual. The manual is available electronically at or it may be purchased at the University Bookstore. A copy of the dissertation must be made available to Disaster Science & Management faculty at least two weeks prior to the proposal defense. The dissertation defense will be scheduled only after the advisor of the dissertation committee has determined that a defense is appropriate.

The dissertation defense will be open to the public, and invitations will be sent to all Disaster Science & Management faculty and students at least two weeks prior to the defense date. The candidate will present a summary of the completed research, and will then field questions from the committee, attending faculty, and invited guests. After all questions have been fielded, the dissertation committee will meet to decide whether the dissertation is accepted, rejected, or accepted pending revisions. Results of the meeting will then be presented to the student. The student may not receive more than one dissenting vote from members of the committee to receive a passing grade.

Residency Requirement

​At least three academic years of graduate work are normally required for the Ph.D. degree. At least one continuous academic year must be devoted exclusively to full-time study (9 credit hours per semester) in the major field in residence at the University of Delaware. This residency requirement may be fulfilled using a fall and spring semester combination or a spring and fall semester combination, but summer or winter sessions do not meet the qualification. Course credit earned in a Master’s program at the University of Delaware may be applied toward the doctoral degree residency requirement if the candidate is receiving both degrees from the University in the same major field.

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Ph.D. in Disaster Science & Management doctoral program curriculum at the University of Delaware.
disaster preparedness Ph.D., emergency management doctorate, disaster management doctoral degree
  • Biden School of Public Policy & Administration
  • 184 Graham Hall
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-1687
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