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Program on Forced Migration and Health


The Program on Forced Migration and Health works to train the next generation of refugee health and humanitarian response workers.

The Program on Forced Migration and Health is committed to professionalizing the field of humanitarian response. The Program pursues its mission by training the next generation of public health and humanitarian response workers, leading innovative research, training, and advocacy initiatives, and by offering technical assistance to international organizations.

Forced Migration students come with at least two years of related work experience, elevating classroom discourse and learning. Teaching and research are closely intertwined, allowing students to actively participate in many of our faculty's field work.

The Program on Forced Migration and Health is committed to professionalizing the field of humanitarian response.

The Program pursues it mission through:

1. Graduate-level training in public health. The Program offers a Masters in Public Health (M.P.H.) through the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. The Curriculum includes the public health core and several required forced migration and health courses.

2. Research, advocacy and partnerships. Program faculty lead innovative research projects and participate in global partnerships to improve the health and well-being of people affected by conflict and forced migration.

3. Support to international organizations. The Program assists United Nations organizations and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) by offering technical assistance, training and capacity building to improve the quality and efficacy of humanitarian response in complex emergencies.

The Program's teaching and research components emphasize pragmatic, inter-disciplinary, and human rights-based problem-solving in the health and social sectors. Upon completion of the Program, graduates will be able to:

  • Lead the field of humanitarian response in the 21st century
  • Define the nature, impact, and determinants of health and social sector problems in complex emergencies
  • Develop effective policies to alleviate problems in the health and social sectors
  • Design, manage and evaluate health and social sector programs
  • Undertake population-based research to improve humanitarian response policies and practice

The Program connects in countless ways with New York City and its extensive health, human rights and humanitarian networks that span the globe.

Students have access to United Nations agencies and INGOs and are encouraged to engage with Columbia University's other world-class training and research institutes focused on international health, human rights, conflict resolution, education and journalism.


  • Henrik H. Bendixen Professor Emeritus of Clinical International Nursing, Professor Emeritus of Clinical Population and Family Health, Special Lecturer in the School of Nursing