Aug 21, 2019  
2007-2008 Academic Catalog 
2007-2008 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Forced Migration and Refugee Studies (Graduate Diploma)

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Today, there are at least fifty million people forcibly uprooted by war, persecution, civil disorder, and development displacement. The vast majority of these people live in the poorest countries and at least one third of these displaced persons are found in he Middle East and Africa. Egypt stands at the crossroads of both regions. The one-year, multi-disciplinary graduate diploma is designed to meet the needs of persons who currently work in the field of forced migration, are planning to enter it, or whose research interests are issues of forced migration in Africa, the Middle East or the Mediterranean region. In a world of growing economic inequality, aggression and turmoil, the demand for trained professionals and independent researchers will not diminish.


The ‘humanitarian regime” in its macro setting involves many actors: donors, host and  receiving governments, foreign and local humanitarian organizations, and the affected populations, both refugees and their hosts. Policy-makers, humanitarians and researchers need to understand “the politics of the causes” as well as “the politics of policies” of both the host and donor states. Those working in this field also must have a thorough knowledge of international human rights standards and refugee law.

Additionally, they must appreciate the unique psychological dimensions of experiences of persecution, torture, loss, flight and adaptation. To meet these educational challenges, specialized courses in sociology, anthropology, human rights/refugee law, political science and psychology are offered. To ensure a broad comparative understanding of forced migration, students must demonstrate that they have examined issues in the Middle East and Africa. Students are also strongly encouraged to pursue internship.

The FMRS Diploma program may be completed in one year and can accommodate part-time students. Students can concurrently study for and acquire an MA in Political Science with specialization in International Human Rights Law, Middle East Studies, Professional Development, and an MA in Anthropology, provided they are registered and duly accepted there as well. See “Graduate Academic Requirements & Regulations”

Governance of the Diploma

A Joint Steering Committee (JSC) governs the graduate diploma. The JSC makes decisions concerning the diploma program including, but not limited to, admission of students, curriculum planning, approval of research proposals and elective courses.


Applicants seeking admission to the Graduate Diploma in Forced Migration and Refugee Studies must meet the requirements for graduate admission to AUC and must meet the University’s language requirements. Information concerning these can be found under “Graduate Admissions” in the AUC catalog. Special consideration may be given for professional experience.


The diploma comprises six courses - four required courses of three credit hours each (twelve credit hours) plus two elective courses (six hours) for a total of eighteen credit hours.


Diploma students also take two electives chosen from a list of approved courses, and are expected to complete a major research project within each elective that focuses upon forced migration and refugee studies. Every year, the FMRS cross-departmental Joint Steering Committee will review the list of electives, adding and dropping courses as appropriate to ensure sufficient forced migration and refugee studies content. The current list of approved Diploma elective courses is available from FMRS, and can be found at

Learning by Doing

In addition to the taught diploma, FMRS offers opportunities for hands-on learning through involvement in research and community service activities.

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