The undergraduate minor in disaster response provides skills useful in any career and to any citizen, as well as skills that will be useful to students hoping to pursue a career in mental health. This minor is not available to psychology majors (see Specialization in Disaster Response for Psychology Majors below).
Three of these courses are also acceptable psychology electives for psychology majors:
The undergraduate minor in disaster response is a psychology minor, psychology majors may not use it as a minor. The Department of Psychology will allow undergraduate psychology majors to complete a specialization in disaster response. This specialization requires six hours beyond the 31 hours, which is the minimum requirement for psychology majors.
Within the USD American Psychological Association-accredited doctoral clinical psychology program in psychology, a doctoral specialty track in clinical/disaster psychology is offered.
If a student chooses all their elective courses from this pool of disaster courses, they only need to take nine hours beyond the minimum courses required for the doctoral clinical degree. Students in the specialty track are required to complete all requirements for the clinical doctoral degree as well as the requirements for this track. Doctoral students pursuing this specialty track are required to complete their thesis and/or their dissertations in a trauma- or disaster-related field of psychology.
This graduate certificate prepares mental health professionals to serve their communities in preparing for, responding to and recovering from disaster, terrorist attacks and public health emergencies. It is intended both for existing mental health professionals and as a supplement to graduate training in the approved mental health professions.
The graduate certificate is also available to civic officials, emergency managers, first responders and disaster relief workers, as recommended by the National Biodefense Science Board. Participants in this category, however, cannot receive the American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Services certificate.
A grade of "C" or lower in any course required for the doctoral specialty track in clinical/disaster psychology will be unacceptable and will necessitate the student repeating the course if they wish to complete the specialty track.