DePaul University Catalog > Degree Requirements > Graduate > College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (MS)

Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (MS)

The MS in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies is the first program of its kind in the United States. It offers students the chance to study the causes and consequences of forced migration and gives them hands-on experience of working with area organizations like Refugee One and the Heartland Alliance. Forced migrants – including refugees, internally displaced people and climate refugees – are growing in numbers; the UNHCR estimates that there are 45.2 million people displaced all over the world. Syria, Colombia, Pakistan, Turkey, Uganda, Somalia, Afghanistan – these are all familiar news stories. But how do you move beyond the statistics to actually making a difference? This degree places forced migration and refugee studies in concrete historical, global and human contexts and seeks durable responses to the protracted and harrowing crises of forced migration.

The MS in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies aims to train committed individuals in academic and practical skills relevant to a career related to refugee and forced migration. The degree will be enable you to work at on-field refugee organizations, government and non-governmental institutions, pursue further research, or engage with community development, social justice, immigration issues, trauma and health providers, among many others. 

We aim to help students:

  • Develop rigorous understanding of the causes and consequences aspects of refugees and forced migration;
  • Apply conceptual methodologies and legal frameworks for analyses and application of refugee protection regimes and human rights law;
  • Carefully understand health issues related to refugees and other forced migrants;
  • Acquire skills to work for and manage non-governmental agencies;
  • Pursue further research

The MS in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies may also be expanded to include select graduate certificate programs covering particular areas of interest.  Students participating in a combined MS/certificate program should consult with their academic advisor to determine what coursework might count toward both programs.  A separate application process for the certificate is required.  Students who are interested in any of the following combination programs should contact the Graduate Student Services Office for additional information.

  • Refugee and Forced Migration Studies + Global Health Certificate
  • Refugee and Forced Migration Studies + Public Health Certificate
  • Refugee and Forced Migration Studies + Social Research Certificate
  • Refugee and Forced Migration Studies + Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certificate
  • Refugee and Forced Migration Studies + Women’s and Gender Studies Certificate
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Core Requirements 32.5 hours
Open Electives    8 hours
​Practicums    8 hours
​Total hours required     48.5 hours