​​​​The CMHA program consists of four semesters (14 weeks each) offered over a span of two years. 

To successfully complete the program, a student is required to take 36 credit hours. Normally, courses are 3 credit hours each. 

A. Core Courses (21 credit hours)
B. Electives (9 credit hours) 
C. Thesis (6 credit hours) 

The primary teaching and research language in the DI is Arabic.  However, to make best use of the international opportunities offered by the CHS and its partners, candidates are required to have excellent command of English. Students can choose to write their assignments and dissertations in either English or Arabic.

A. Core Courses (21 credit hours)

The program requires students to take seven core courses (18 credit hours in taught courses, 3 credit hours as a field trip) during the first academic year as follows:​

  1. CMHA 610 Understanding Conflict (3 credit hours)
  2. CMHA 611 Ethical and Legal Aspects of Humanitarianism (3 credit hours)
  3. CMHA ​612 Examining Humanitarian Policy and Practice (3 credit hours)
  4. CMHA 613 Conflict Transformation and Peace Processes (3 credit hours)
  5. CMHA 614 Post-war Reconstruction and Development (3 credit hours)
  6. CMHA 615 Research Methods and Fieldwork Training (3 credit hours)
  7. CMHA 616 Field Study Visit (3 credit hours)  

About the Field Study Visit

Led by field experienced faculty and staff, the field study visit gives students first hand, ground-level understandings of recovery and reconstruction in the aftermath of war and natural disaster. Students will have the opportunity to engage with communities on the ground, and gain insights into culture and context that are not possible in a purely theory-based course.


B. Electives (9 credit hours) 

Students choose electives (totaling 9 credit hours) from courses offered by CHS or from other departments in the DI as below:

Electives offered by CHS

  • CMHA 672 Independent Study: Work Placement (3 credit hours)
  • CMHA 673 Applied Negotiation and Mediation Skills (3 credit hours)
  • CMHA 674 State Fragility and State-building (3 credit hours)

Sample electives offered by the School of Social Sciences and Humanities

  • POL 622 Comparative Politics in the Middle East (3 credit hours)
  • POL 632 Foreign Policy in the Arab World (3 credit hours)
  • POL 671 Theories of Democratic Governance (3 credit hours)
  • POL 672 Mass Violence, State Failure and International Intervention (3 credit hours)
  • POL 673 International Organizations and Global Governance (3 credit hours)
  • POL 674 International Conflict and Negotiations (3 credit hours)
  • POL 675 Women, War and Violence in the Middle East (3 credit hours)
  • SOC 671 Migration and Citizenship (3 credit hours)
  • SOC 673 Colonialism and Neo-Colonialism (3 credit hours) 

Sample electives offered by the School of Public Administration and Development Economics 

  • MDE 615 Political Economy: Institutions and Development Issues (3 credit hours)
  • MDE 621 Introduction to Development Practice by International Organizations (3 credit hours)
  • MPA 631 Managing Non-Profit Organizations (3 credit hours)
  • MPA 656 Transformational Leadership (1 credit hour)
  • MPA 657 Budget Management Skills (1 credit hour)
  • MPA 658 Strategic Management of Media Relations (1 credit hour)
  • MPA 659 Strategic Communication Skills (1 credit hour)
  • MPA 660 Strategic Economic Redevelopment (1 credit hour)

C. Thesis (6 credit hours, CMHA 699)

Completion of the CMHA program entails researching and writing a thesis on a relevant topic. The thesis is the opportunity for students to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and research capabilities acquired during the taught parts of the program. 

Students will receive academic supervision, normally by a CHS faculty member, throughout the duration of researching and writing up of the thesis to ensure they are appropriately guided to produce the quality of work that meets international standards. In consultation with an academic supervisor, the student will choose a thesis topic and program of research by the end of the second semester of the first year of study. The thesis will normally be submitted by the end of the second semester of the second year of study. 

The thesis examination consists of two parts; a marked assessment of the thesis (12,000-18,000 words) by two internal examiners, including the academic supervisor; and an oral defense in front of an examination panel comprising the same two examiners. 

​A maximum of 10 students from the CMHA program may be chosen to spend 6-8 weeks at one of the international universities collaborating with the CHS for the purposes of researching and writing their thesis.