Masters in Humanitarian Engineering

Humanitarian engineering uses the applied sciences of engineering and technology to assist people affected by disasters, conflict or poverty. Studying a masters in humanitarian engineering provides the skills needed to use design and construction of structures, shelters, sanitation facilities and other crucial infrastructure for populations in need. Humanitarian engineering also often critiques how engineering has affected global development as well as how best it can be used in humanitarian emergencies.

Completing a masters in humanitarian engineering builds on top of an undergraduate degree or previous work experience and provides a specialisation in the technical area of engineering in disaster zones, conflicts and international development. Graduates with a masters in humanitarian engineering can go on to work in humanitarian NGOs on shelter or water and sanitation programmes. They can also work on longer-term development projects influencing how engineering can be best used to reduce global inequality.

Humanitarian Engineering MSc – Warwick University

Warwick University’s masters in Humanitarian Engineering aims for students to develop new engineering solutions to a wide range of humanitarian challenges. The full or part-time master’s degree allows students to create, critique, build and test technologies, systems, structures and buildings to assist those affected by humanitarian crises. The masters in Humanitarian Engineering at Warwick University combines students and practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds to work together to address real world humanitarian problems. On the master’s course students pick from one of three pathways, either humanitarian engineering, humanitarian engineering with management or humanitarian engineering with sustainability. Modules on the course can include humanitarian engineering: ethics, theory and practices, water and environmental management and urban resilience, disasters and data.

Entry requirements for the MSc Humanitarian Engineering masters at Warwick University is an upper-second class degree at undergraduate level. The undergraduate degree needs to be in either one of the sciences, a social science, natural science, law, health, management, business and economics or engineering. However, the university says serious applicants with other backgrounds can also apply. Applicants need to provide one academic reference and submit a statement of purpose of around 1 -2 pages. English language requirements are an IELTS score of 6.5 with no part with a score below 6.0.

Fees for the MSc Humanitarian Engineering masters at Warwick University are around 9,460 GBP for UK/EU full-time students and 4,730 a year for UK or EU part-time students. Overseas students pay 21,280 GBP for full-time study and 10,640 GBP a year for part-time. Warwick University has a wide range of scholarships, including means tested awards for students from lower incomes.

MSc Engineering for Natural Risk Management – University of Genoa

The masters in Engineering for Natural Risk Management at the University of Genoa in Italy trains students on planning, preventing and predicting natural disasters so as to reduce the negative effects on populations. Students develop skills in analysing environmental and societal systems and learn to create emergency plans for the management of natural disasters. The course also covers modelling, evaluating and assessing industrial accidents and their impacts.  The master’s degree in Engineering and Natural Risk Management at the University of Genoa teaches the legal impact of natural disasters and how these can affect the management of crises situations. The course also allocats credits to internships and work placements, encouraging students to gain practical experience. Graduates from the course may find work in international organizations focused on emergencies and disasters, international development agencies, humanitarian NGOs, private sector companies working in insurances or professional services.

Applicants to the University of Genoa to study the MCs in Engineering for Natural Risk Management need to complete an entry exam, although applicants with 90% or higher on their undergraduate are exempt from this. There is also an interview process for applicants. Language requirements can be got from the University directly.

The costs of the MSc in Engineering for Natural Risk Management vary depending on family income. Fees can range from 176 EUR to 3,000 EUR. However, this is likely to be for Italian students and possibly EU students. For detailed information on fees contact the university.

MSc Construction Management and International Development – University of Reading

In the UK, the University of Reading has a master’s course in Construction Management and International Development. The post-graduate degree investigates the links between sustainable development and structural engineering. The course aims for students to learn how to oversee construction projects in humanitarian settings, as well as assist with international development through engineering knowledge. The masters covers different scales of engineering and construction, from buildings to local areas and neighbourhoods, to city and town designs.  The MSc in Construction Management and International Development at the University of Reading contains modules such as international development in construction, urban sustainability, infrastructure development and international construction labour. The course can be done full-time over one year or on a flexible module basis over several years.

Entry requirements for the masters in Construction Management and International Development at the University of Reading are normally a strong undergraduate degree of 2.1 or above or the international equivalent. English language requirements are a IELTS score of at least 6.5 with no elements below 5.5.

Tuition fees for the MSc Construction Management and International Development at the University of Reading are 9,500 GBP a year for UK and EU students. International students pay 20,600 GBP per year. There can also be additional costs for accommodation, living expenses and study resources. The University states some students may be eligible for scholarships or tuition fee loans.

Humanitarian Engineering and Science – Colorado School of Mines

The Colorado School of Mines has a post-graduate course in Humanitarian Engineering and Science. Taken online, the graduate certificate teaches sustainable development combined with engineering expertise and knowledge of applied sciences. On the course students conduct research and projects into communities in need of development or affected by humanitarian crises as well as develop a deep understanding of how engineering and science can be used to improve development outcomes.  The course offers collaborations with organisations working in the field of humanitarian engineering, including the Peace Corps and Engineers Without Borders. After completing the course, students can go on to work for humanitarian NGOs, in corporate social responsibility, or in international development and government agencies.

Admission requirements for the post-graduate certificate in Humanitarian Engineering and Science at the Colorado School of Mines is the completion of an undergraduate course with grade B or above. Experience in interdisciplinary research or community-based projects is a benefit.

Fees for courses at the Colorado School of Mines are charged per credit hour. The cost per semester for the qualification in Humanitarian Engineering and Science is around 8,660 USD. Full details of fees can be obtained from the school. The Colorado School of Mines has financial aid available. They advertise that around 33.5 mission USD is awarded each academic year with up to 85% of students receiving some form of financial aid.

Peace Engineering Master’s Degree Program – Drexel University

Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA, has a master’s degree in Peace Engineering. The online post-graduate degree aims to combine innovation and technology with peacebuilding and conflict resolution. The master’s course is developed in collaboration with the US Institute of Peace and PeaceTech Lab, an NGO based in Washington D.C. On the course students learn methods and practices to decrease violence and the impact of conflict that incorporates engineering, infrastructure, technology and the applied sciences. Through teaching and research students on the Peace Engineering Master’s Degree Program at Drexel University are able to address the needs of societies, especially those affected by conflict, on a grand scale. Graduates of the program can go on to work as electrical, environmental, mechanical or civil engineers well as working as hydrologist or computer systems (network) engineers in zone of conflict or humanitarian disasters.

The entry requirements for the Peace Engineering Master’s Degree Program at Drexel University are an undergraduate degree in applied or social sciences or relevant previous work experience. Applicants need to submit an application form, official transcripts of previous qualifications, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement of 500 – 700 words and an updated CV. There are additional requirements for international students.

Tuition for the Peace Engineering Master’s Degree Program at Drexel University costs around 1,000 USD per credit. The program is not eligible for financial aid, however there are fee discounts for previous students of Drexel University, as well as members of the military.