Certificate in Community Preparedness and Disaster Management (PHDM)

Health Policy and Management

Provides community leaders in public health, health services, emergency management, local and state government, the military and volunteers with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of management systems used to mitigate and prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural and man-made disasters, including terrorism. Three courses are offered to each cohort, covering the administrative structures of disaster management at the local, state and federal levels; the science of disasters; methods to plan for and to analyze disasters; and planning and implementation of disaster management programs.

General Information

Minimum Credit Hours

9 9 credit hours that may be utilized as approved electives for undergraduate or graduate degrees.

Expected Duration

3 semesters

Learning Environment

Online + campus visit(s)

Application Cycle

Spring See application details page for more info.

Application Deadline 1

December 8, 2020 See application details page for more info.

Applicant Information

Who Should Apply

Disaster management professionals, contractors, military, volunteers or students.

Enrolled Student Demographics

  • Total Enrollment 1620
  • Female 72%, Male 28%
  • Underrepresented Minority Students 16.3%
  • International 11%

Program Costs & Funding

Admissions Information

Prior Degree Required

Undergraduate degree preferred, but, not required.

Standardized Test(s) Accepted

None required

Standardized Test Scores

  • GRE scores are neither required nor typically recommended for applicants to the Master of Public Health program.
  • UNC Graduate School Institutional School Code: 5816
  • International applicants must submit official TOEFL or IELTS standardized test scores.

Letters of Recommendation Required

Not required

Faculty-Student Match Required

Not required

Interviews Required

Not required

Work Experience Required

Preferred Disaster experience is preferred, but, not required.

Visit Opportunities

Learn about opportunities to come to UNC Gillings to meet faculty, staff, and current students. If you are unable to come to campus – don’t worry – our representatives attend a variety of recruitment events around the United States as well as host virtual fairs and webinars.

During the Program

Required Courses

For a detailed description of all the requirements for this degree program please click here for the Student Handbook.

Comprehensive Exam Type(s)

Assignments per course modules

Capstone, Thesis or Dissertation

None required

Practicum, Internships & Fieldwork

Not required

Global Options Available

The UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health strives to integrate global content and approaches across the School’s courses, programs and degrees. We believe that every student should emerge from our School with an understanding of global health issues. Some courses are focused largely on global issues, others are designed so that global and local issues are intertwined and some still are evolving. Learn more about these options.

NOTE: Certificate students don’t have opportunity for global study outside courses comprising program.

After the Program

Employment Opportunities

Directors of local, state and federal disaster programs. Public health preparedness positions. Contractor, volunteer and non-profit disaster related positions.

Example Job Responsibilities

Response management; plans development and review; operations management; program evaluation

  1. Complete online application
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    • Application Deadline: December 8, 2020
    • Fee: 0
    • Step Link

    (The Graduate School Application is a common application system for UNC-Chapel Hill programs.)


      See program details in GPS for requirements such as prequisites, prior degree, work experience, any test score waivers, as well as a tuition estimate and program overview.

    2. Faculty interest(s)/mentor(s)

      • We do not require that you list faculty who support your application. Such information is not considered in the admissions process. You are asked to list faculty with whom you'd like to work; this information can be helpful to the admissions committee.
    3. Applicant information,  including North Carolina residency information.

    4. Area(s) of interest

      • Select one area of interest from the dropdown.
    5. Educational history

      • Please upload a copy of your most recent transcript(s), including your current term grades, if applicable. (If grades are not yet available, send them to the UNC Gillings program contact as soon as they become available.) Be sure the transcript reflects the name of the institution and any degrees you received.
      • We advise that you order two copies of your transcript(s) to be sent to you.
        • Open the first copy to help you complete the SOPHAS application (and later to upload via the ApplyYourself system).
        • If you are admitted and choose to enroll, UNC will require official transcript(s) showing degree(s) awarded.
    6. Community standards

      You will be asked about honor code, crime, academic sanction, military discharge, etc.

    7. Upload your personal statement.

        • Why are you applying to this degree?
        • How will this program at UNC-Chapel Hill contribute to your projected career?
        • What is your experience working in teams and what can you contribute to a team?
        • Please provide any additional information that you think will help us to evaluate your application.
    8. Upload your resume or CV.

    9. Upload Letters of Recommendation.

    10. Enter names of recommenders. UNC will then send them an email with instructions for submitting a letter on your behalf. We encourage references from professors or teachers (or teaching assistants) or work/research supervisors who have worked directly and closely with you and who can speak about you with specificity.

        • Not required
    11. Report test scores to UNC via the Graduate School Application

      • GRE code 5816. TOEFL/IELTS information above. GRE test scores must be official, no more than 5 years old and reported directly by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). See our program details page for information regarding test scores.
    12. Document submission (check legibility of uploads)

    13. Pay the Graduate School application fee.

  2. FYI: application review process
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    1. SPH application review:

      • Interview
        • No interview required.
      • You will be notified via email regarding program decision.

The Gillings Program Search is a tool for exploring academic programs at the School. It is a prospectus for the current year to be used in consultation with an academic adviser and does not constitute the complete degree or program requirements for graduation or program completion.

Health Policy and Management
Credit Hours:
  • Kim Sieler
  • Academic Coordinator
  • krsieler@email.unc.edu
  • (919) 966-7364
  • 120-A Rosenau Hall
    CB 7411
    Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7411
  • Bill Gentry
  • Associate Professor
  • wgentry@email.unc.edu
  • (919) 966-4228
  • 115 Rosenau Hall
    CB 7411
    Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7411