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Programs in International and Comparative Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University
IED Professional Specializations > International Humanitarian Issues

International Humanitarian Issues

Liaison: Professor Susan Garnett Russell

The International Humanitarian Issues (IHI) Concentration is an interdisciplinary specialization within the Program in International Educational Development. It is designed for students interested in conducting research on humanitarian issues or in providing humanitarian assistance in regions experiencing conflict, post-conflict recovery, or natural disasters. Through courses offered at Teachers College, the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), the School of Social Work, the Earth Institute, and the Mailman School of Public Health, students will examine the social, political, environmental, and economic dimensions of humanitarian emergencies and the impact of these emergencies on the education sector. Coursework in these different departments and programs will allow students to explore from an interdisciplinary perspective the role of formal and non-formal education in periods of conflict and crisis, and to consider the limitations of education in resolving different kinds of humanitarian emergencies. Students in the IHI concentration will plan an appropriate course of study with their advisors, but they are required to take courses from at least one program outside the Program in CIE/IED. Additionally, at the doctoral level, students are recommended to complete an internship with an organization involved in humanitarian issues, such as the African Services Committee or the International Rescue Committee with whom standing internship programs exist. In addition, master's and doctoral students are advised to take foreign language and area studies classes to help them obtain familiarity with cultural, historical, and linguistic contexts in which they plan to work.