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Prepare to serve your community.

The Disaster Mental Health Institute (DMHI) at the University of South Dakota is one of the leading agencies in the world in the field of disaster psychology. The DMHI has been involved in the cutting edge of education, research, and response in the field since 1993.

The Graduate Certificate in Disaster Mental health has been offered through the DMHI at the University of South Dakota since 1997. It is now offered as an online graduate level certificate, making it more accessible across the nation and throughout the world. This graduate certificate is intended to prepare 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 intended for civic officials, emergency managers, first responders (fire fighters, law enforcement officers, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians), and disaster relief workers to advance their knowledge of this critical field, as recommended by the National Biodefense Science Board. Participants in this category, however, cannot receive the American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Services Certificate.

Admission Requirements

Application requirements can be found at Graduate School Admission Requirements and include:

  1. Completed Graduate Application
    Apply Online
  2. $35 application fee
  3. One official transcript verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and previous graduate credit earned
  4. Three letters of recommendation
    Letter of Recommendation Form
  5. Statement of Purpose
  6. Additional requirements exist for international applicants.  For more information, visit International Admission Requirements

For more detailed admission requirements, please refer to Psychology in the current graduate catalog.

For more information about the Graduate Certificate in Disaster Mental Health, contact USD Online at 605-658-6200 or by e-mail at

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