BRAC University: It is well known that Bangladesh is a highly disaster-prone country and particularly in the context of widespread poverty, disasters often assume great proportions; both risk and vulnerability to various disasters are extensive. Some disasters, such as floods and drought, are annual and cause national loss at a regular frequency. Others, such as cyclones and earthquakes, are waiting in the offing, and it is not hard to imagine the destruction that could occur in a severe earthquake in the rapidly growing and densely populated urban areas. There is thus an important need for disaster management in this context where disasters are a part of life.
Therefore, the Postgraduate Programs in Disaster Management comprising of diploma and master’s degree programs are being conducted at BRAC University. It runs as a semi-autonomous program within BRAC University with a link under the Department of Architecture. The diploma is a 2-semester course; on completion of another two semesters, there is an option of obtaining a master’s degree by completing a dissertation. Besides, tailor-made theme-based certificate courses (1-5 days) are offered, if requested by any organization.
This postgraduate program targeted at active professionals allows contributing to this nationally significant practice-oriented field. Such a course to supplement profession-based education of graduates of various disciplines also serves to further post-professional qualification and allows career development. Because this course is largely targeted for development organizations, it is relevant within the BRAC organizational framework.
The programs satisfy the need for training staff members of national and international NGOs involved in disaster management. Other sources of students are government departments relating to disaster management.
Because the programs are multi-disciplinary in nature, students are drawn from a broad range of disciplines that produce graduates working in the field of disaster management in various capacities and roles, including the social sciences, public administration, armed forces, law, engineering, architecture, planning, geology, geography and meteorology. Additionally, as the course is practice-oriented, in lieu of academic qualifications, professional and practical experience of prospective students is taken into consideration for admission.
The course conforms to BRAC University’s academic system consisting of semesters, courses, credit hours, continuous evaluation and letter grading, given below.
Semesters and Class Schedule
There are three semesters (Spring, Summer, and Fall) in an academic year. There are 15 working weeks in each semester. Class starts in Spring semester commencing in January. The summer semester starts in May, and the Fall semester in September. Classes are held in weekdays in the evening from 6.00 to 9.00 pm.
A student initially enrolling for a diploma or master’s degree is required to register for at least 5 credits and maximum 12 credits per semester. To be considered full-time, a student has to register for at least 12 credits per semester. The diploma has to be completed within 3 years and the master’s degree has to be completed within 5 years after the original date of admission.
Visit program web page for details.