International Disaster Psychology
The MA in international disaster psychology builds upon core training in master’s level clinical psychology with coursework and practice experiences to develop expertise to work with individuals and communities affected by trauma and disaster in the US and globally. Preparation in this emerging field allows graduates to provide mental health services to those affected by traumatic events, acute and chronic civil conflict, natural disasters, social disparities and health-related pandemics. All coursework integrates trauma, diversity and cross-cultural perspectives, and includes specific classes in crisis intervention, disaster mental health, gender-based violence, applied program evaluation, global and public mental health and trauma interventions.
A community clinic for the Denver area, our program’s Trauma and Disaster Recovery Clinic, is a local resource for trauma services, refugee mental health, professional vicarious trauma and burnout, program evaluation and community consultation. Providing opportunities to integrate knowledge and practice, students train in our Clinic, Denver-based field-placements and complete an 8-week international internship. Current international partner sites include Bosnia, Nepal, Liberia, Cambodia, Philippines, India, Peru, Malawi, Serbia and South Africa. Graduates work in a variety of professional settings providing direct services, training and consultation to promote psychosocial wellness, developing emergency preparedness plans, and monitoring and evaluation.
The master of arts in international disaster psychology program trains highly competent and committed mental health professionals who go on to work—domestically and worldwide—with individuals and communities who are affected by traumatic events, acute and chronic civil conﬂict, natural disasters, and health-related pandemics. Students work directly with populations affected by trauma, train and consult with agencies, develop emergency preparedness and response plans, and monitor and evaluate psychosocial interventions.
Our program is recognized for Innovative Graduate Training by both the American Psychological Association and the National Council of Schools in Professional Psychology and is the ﬁrst master’s degree program of its kind in the nation.
We maintain connections with a large array of fieldwork opportunities, within Denver and internationally. Many of these connections work directly with underserved and marginalized populations
We host an in-house training clinic, the Trauma and Disaster Recovery Clinic, as well as the Colorado Resilience Collaborative (CRC)—an interdisciplinary initiative addressing identity-based violence due to radicalization and discrimination based on race/ethnicity, nationality, faith and ideology.
International Disaster Psychology: Foundations
About this Course
This is the first course in a three course sequence designed to provide the entering M.A. student with a fluent understanding of the area of International Disaster Psychology. The course will cover the evolution of IDP from its beginnings to its present status. It will review the different innovations in the area. Potential subject areas include the treatment of refugees, torture victims, child soldiers, internally displaced persons and complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Trauma and its Aftermath
About this Course
Conceptual model for treating trauma; incidence and specific treatment techniques for various types of trauma (e.g. combat vets, survivors of natural disaster and victims of childhood abuse); professional issues relating to trauma (e.g. secondary PTSD and ethical issues). Students exposed to a variety of reading and expected to integrate current research into clinical application. For advanced students who have both a clinical and conceptual background.
International Disaster Psychology Internship
About this Course
Students will spend one quarter in various international locations working in full time internships with international nonprofit organizations applying the principles and knowledge obtained during their study in the IDP program. Students will work under faculty and professional supervision.
Peace Corps Fellows
The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program supports returning Peace Corps volunteers to continue their dedication to community service while developing essential professional skills. Returned volunteers who enroll in the International Disaster Psychology program will receive a $6,000 tuition scholarship per year, over the 2-year duration of the program.
More information about The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program can be found on the Peace Corps website.
Degree and GPA Requirements
- Bachelors degree: All graduate applicants must hold an earned baccalaureate from a regionally accredited college or university or the recognized equivalent from an international institution.
- Grade point average: The minimum undergraduate GPA for admission consideration for graduate study at the University of Denver is a cumulative 2.5 on a 4.0 scale or a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits (approximately two years of work) for the baccalaureate degree. An earned master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution supersedes the minimum standards for the baccalaureate. For applicants with graduate coursework but who have not earned a master’s degree or higher, the GPA from the graduate work may be used to meet the requirement. The minimum GPA is a cumulative 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all graduate coursework undertaken.
- Program GPA requirement: The minimum undergraduate GPA for admission consideration for this program is a cumulative 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
Applicants without a psychology background (major or minor), must meet the department's psychology prerequisite prior to matriculation. The psychology prerequisite can be met either through psychology coursework or by obtaining a score of at least 660 or higher on the psychology subject GRE exam. Applicants should state how they plan to meet the psychology prerequisite in their application. For the psychology coursework prerequisite, applicants must complete four (4) psychology courses earning a 'B' or better in these classes from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants offered admission should be aware that all psychology classes must be completed before registration in September.
Standardized Test Scores
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required. Scores must be received directly from the appropriate testing agency by the deadline. The institution code for the University of Denver is 4842.
English Language Proficiency Test Score Requirements
The minimum TOEFL/IELTS/CAE test score requirements for this degree program are:
- Minimum TOEFL Score (Internet-based test): 80
- Minimum TOEFL Score (Paper-based test): 550
- Minimum IELTS Score: 6.5
- Minimum CAE Score: 169
English Conditional Admission: No, this program does not offer English Conditional Admission.