MA International Disaster Psychology: Trauma and Global Mental Health

The Master of Arts in International Disaster Psychology: Trauma and Global Mental Health program trains graduate students who become highly competent and committed mental health professionals. In addition to providing master's-level training in general clinical psychology, the program meets a clear need for specialized knowledge and experience to work in the trauma, disaster and global mental health fields. Our students provide mental health services, train and consult with agencies, develop emergency preparedness and response plans, and monitor and evaluate psychosocial interventions domestically and abroad. Students also develop a background in global mental health, a field that focuses on methods for increasing the mental health workforce in low-resource communities, addressing stigma regarding mental illness and mental health care and expanding beyond treatment models that are based on a Western understanding of disease and recovery.

Our students and alumni go on to provide quality, culturally-informed care, domestically and worldwide. They work with individuals and communities who are affected by traumatic events, acute and chronic civil conflict, natural disasters, health-related pandemics, and longstanding socioeconomic disparities. 

Our program is recognized for Innovative Graduate Training by both the American Psychological Association and the National Council of Schools in Professional Psychology and is the first master’s degree program of its kind in the nation.

A Statement from Our Program: Black Lives Matter

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Areas of Instruction & Training

Students take courses consistent with a Clinical Psychology Master’s Program, including:

  • Ethics
  • Clinical Interviewing
  • Psychopathology & Diagnosis
  • Lifespan Development
  • Group Interventions
  • Psychotherapeutic Models
  • Substance Abuse
  • Psychobiology
  • Family Therapy
  • Research Methods
  • Statistics
  • Multiculturalism and Diversity

In addition, students have specialized coursework in the following areas:

  • Trauma interventions
  • Disaster Mental Health
  • Gender-Based violence
  • Crisis intervention
  • Grief and Loss
  • Program Evaluation
  • Global Mental Health
  • Cross-Cultural Analysis
  • Intercultural Practice
  • Public Policy
  • Assessment
Students at Internship Presentations

Program Structure

The program includes an integrated academic and practicum curriculum that provides students with expertise to pursue a variety of career options in the mental health field domestically and abroad. 

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    Designed to be completed in 7 quarters over 2 years

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    Includes 90 quarter hours of course work

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    Local field placements & an international internship

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    Experience in our campus-based community clinic

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International Internship

Global Mental Health

During the summer between their first and second year, students spend eight weeks applying theory to practice in the global context. International internships are arranged by MAIDP with organizations whose missions focus on a variety of mental health and psychosocial issues relevant to individuals and communities affected by disaster and trauma. We collaborate with local and international non-governmental organizations.

Explore Our Impact
Field Placement Map

Field Placements

Our program offers more than a hundred field placement options in the Denver metro area and greater front range.

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"Both of my supervisors have been attentive, trauma-informed, knowledgeable, and willing to take the time to help me learn and grow." MAIDP Student - 2019
"I provided therapy to refugee clients and their families [during field placement]. I was also given the opportunity to work with community navigators and provide support, consultation, and mental health training. There was also additional opportunities to work with research, on a radio program, and in schools with kiddos. It was amazing!" MAIDP Student - 2018

Community Resources

Trauma & Disaster Recovery Clinic

Students provide clinical services to clients in the Trauma & Disaster Recovery Clinic at DU, which provides help to those affected by trauma including accidents, crime, abuse, natural disaster and refugee status. The TDRC offers comprehensive psychological services to alleviate the effects of traumatic experiences and foster resilience as well as personal, family, and community growth.

GSPP Clinics

The Colorado Resilience Collaborative

The Colorado Resilience Collaborative (CRC) is an interdisciplinary initiative promoting insight, healing and action to support survivors of identity-based violence and to prevent and interrupt radicalization and violent extremism. We achieve this by developing partnerships and convening community members, as well as consulting with local communities and referring for needed mental health services. 

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Peace Corps Fellows

We are proud to partner with the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program to support returning Peace Corps volunteers to continue their dedication to community service while developing essential professional skills.

Benefits for returned Peace Corps volunteers:

  • Application fee waiver 

Scholarship Information:

GSPP has one Coverdell Fellowship to award per year.  Thus, not all RPCV students receive this scholarship.  Please email to inquire.

Eligibility and requirements:
Please indicate on your application to the program that you are a returned Peace Corps volunteer and wish to be considered for a Coverdell Fellowship and upload a copy of your official Description of Service from the Peace Corps.

More information about The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program can be found on the Peace Corps website.

Please contact with questions. 

Program Requirements

  • Degree & GPA Requirements
    • Bachelor's degree: All graduate applicants must hold an earned baccalaureate from a regionally accredited college or university or the recognized equivalent from an international institution.
    • Grade point average: The minimum undergraduate GPA for admission consideration for graduate study at the University of Denver is a cumulative 2.5 on a 4.0 scale or a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits (approximately two years of work) for the baccalaureate degree. An earned master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution supersedes the minimum standards for the baccalaureate. For applicants with graduate coursework but who have not earned a master’s degree or higher, the GPA from the graduate work may be used to meet the requirement. The minimum GPA is a cumulative 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all graduate coursework undertaken.
  • Prerequisites

    Applicants without a psychology background (major or minor) must meet the department's psychology prerequisite prior to matriculation. The psychology prerequisite can be met either through psychology coursework or by obtaining a score of at least 660 or higher on the psychology subject GRE exam. Applicants should state how they plan to meet the psychology prerequisite in their application. For the psychology coursework prerequisite, applicants must complete four (4) psychology courses earning a 'B' or better in these classes from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants offered admission should be aware that all psychology classes must be completed before registration in September.

  • English Language Proficiency Test Score Requirements

    The minimum TOEFL/IELTS/CAE test score requirements for this degree program are:

    • Minimum TOEFL Score (Internet-based test): 80
    • Minimum TOEFL Score (Paper-based test): 550
    • Minimum IELTS Score: 6.5
    • Minimum CAE Score: 169

    English Conditional Admission: This program does not offer English Conditional Admission.


Take the Next Step

Learn more about our admissions process and resources before you apply. 

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