College of Public Health Catalog 2013/2014

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Disaster Management (Online Graduate Certificate)

The Graduate Certificate in Disaster Management will enhance the knowledge base of public health professionals, as well as other disaster management personnel in the management, preparedness, response, and recovery from natural and man-made disasters. The design of the Certificate engages the student in critical thinking skills that enable them to reduce the health complexities of disasters. The Certificate is also intended to increase the managerial and leadership skills of public health professionals working with international refugees and displaced populations after a disaster.

The applicant must have an earned Bachelor's degree from an accredited academic institution. For international students a copy of their degree that is equivalent to the Bachelor's degree (as per the USF admissions requirement) along with a certified copy of their transcript and a letter of reference from a supervisor are required.

Required Courses

Fifteen (12 - 15) credit hours are required for completion of the Certificate Program

    • PHC 6183     Overview of United States and International Emergency/Disaster Management (3 credits)
    • PHC 6185     Emergency/Disaster Preparedness and Planning (3 credits)
    • PHC 6184     Emergency/Disaster Recovery (3 credits)
    • PHC 6186     Public Health Emergencies in Large Populations (3 credits)
    • PHC 6945     Supervised Field Experience (3 credits)
      Note: By departmental discretion, this may be waived if a student has completed a previous field experience or has at least one year experience in the field of study.

Application Process
Please visit to access the application. In addition, to the application forms please submit:

  1. Official transcripts showing attainment of the bachelor's degree if from other than USF. International applicants must provide original transcripts certified as equivalent to the U.S. bachelor's degree.
  2. A 250-word letter of interest stating why you wish to pursue this course of study
  3. A resume
  4. A letter from a supervisor if a waiver of the field experience is being considered.

Standardized Test Requirements
There are no specific test requirements.

Registration Process for Individual Courses
Follow the accepted procedure for graduate level courses.

Time Limit for Completion of Certificate
This certificate must be completed within three years..

Tuition and Fees
Standard graduate tuition rates and fees apply for graduate students who also pursue this graduate certificate and for non-degree graduate certificate students taking these courses on campus. Please visit for tuition information.

Course Location
This Certificate is offered only on-line with computer-specific requirements. For information on accessing the university web portal, myUSF, please visit:

Department contact information
Dr. Wayne Westhoff at (813) 974-6621 or
Dr. Boo Kwa at (813) 974-6635 or

New Student Advisor
Pre-Admission Counseling and Advising (813) 974-6505 or

Special Notes

  • This graduate certificate does not require that you submit GRE scores with your application
  • You may apply any semester as a certificate-seeking student, however, the course sequence begins in the fall semester with two courses, the spring semester with two courses, and then ends in the summer semester with the field experience.
  • The College of Public Health graduate certificate website is

USF College of Public Health
13201 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
Tampa FL 33612-3805
Toll Free 888-USF-COPH (press 1 for Student Advising)

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