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The M.S. in disaster science and management program approaches disasters from a distinctly interdisciplinary, research-based point of view. The program emphasizes theories, research methodologies, and policies related to emergency preparedness, mitigation, management, and response.
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Two master's degree options are offered in the disaster program – a non-thesis M.S. and an M.S.
with thesis. The non-thesis M.S. is considered to be a terminal,
professional degree. Students interested in research or continuing for a
Ph.D. should consider the thesis option.
All M.S. students must complete 30 credits of course work. The non-thesis masters includes three core courses, one analysis course, one public policy and organizational decision making course, seminar, internship, and electives. The master's with thesis follows the same core curriculum but with 6 credits of thesis, one additional analysis course, and fewer electives.
The thesis option is intended for students more focused on research. The following table summarizes the difference between the two degrees: