Disaster Studies

The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Social Work offers a certificate in Disaster Studies as an elective option in the Master of Social Work curriculum. This certificate is designed for the master’s level social work student who is interested in working with disaster response agencies. The training is focused on Gulf South issues in preparing, responding and recovering from disasters. This curriculum will use a biopsychosocial model of disaster recovery.



Master’s-level students admitted to the School of Social Work can choose four elective courses focused on disaster studies. In addition, the student will complete his/her final field internship in a disaster-focused agency. Students may be eligible for national certification in disaster response by taking additional national tests related to course content. Students who select this disaster studies elective option will take 12 credit hours in disaster studies courses along with six credit hours for the field internship. The certificate requires 18 credit hours, all of which are offered through the Southern Miss School of Social Work. The courses include:

  • Introduction to Disaster Studies
  • Disaster and Mental Health
  • Disaster Response and Social Welfare Policy
  • Facility Management for Displaced Persons
  • Field Education III*

* Must be placed in a disaster-focused agency



The certificate in Disaster Studies is taught on the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast at The University of Southern Mississippi School of Social Work’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach. This location affords students access to numerous disaster relief agencies, emergency operations personnel and facilities affected by Hurricane Katrina. Students who choose this elective option within the School of Social Work will have traditional classroom instruction and numerous experiences in the field or in the community, as well as lectures by emergency operations and emergency response personnel.



Contact The University of Southern Mississippi School of Social Work at 601.266.4168, 228.214.3262 or tom.osowski@usm.edu.