UWDMC is no longer accepting new candidates in the Diploma program or new students in courses.  Those already registered and active will be able to complete their studies.

UWDMC Disaster Management Diploma FAQs

How long will I have to complete the Diploma?

You must complete the required 60 CEU for the diploma within five years of your registration as a diploma candidate. Sixty CEU is the equivalent of 600 hours of study.

Is it possible to complete all requirements of the Diploma without traveling to Wisconsin?

Most definitely. You may complete all diploma requirements through a combination of self-study, correspondence, and independent study courses. You may combine courses available from UWDMC with courses from universities or disaster management institutions located near you.

What about applying courses toward the Diploma that I’ve already completed?

The Professional Electives requirement gives you the opportunity to earn CEU for courses you’ve completed previously. Any UWDMC self-study course already completed will be automatically credited toward the Diploma. You may also earn CEU from courses you have completed from other institutions and organizations, if each course:

  1. meets your diploma learning objectives
  2. was not applied to another degree, and
  3. meets the five-year time limitation.

Which courses can I study?

You can design a curriculum that meets your educational needs. As part of the application process, you will set your own learning objectives.

We recommend starting with the required Aim and Scope of Disaster Management and Principles of Management courses.

What will the Diploma Program cost?

The total costs will vary depending on the courses you select. At this time, basic program fees that are the same for all candidates include:

Diploma Program registration fee: $395

UWDMC required core courses: $435 (5.5 CEU)

Professional Study Project: $500 (10 CEU)

The individual course fees for the remaining 44.5 CEU will depend on your choice of UWDMC self-study courses and how many courses that you’ve previously completed are accepted by UWDMC toward your diploma. UWDMC self-study courses cost $200 – $235 per course and award 2.0-3.5 CEU.  For more information and to learn about a special 10-course discount, visit the Diploma Program cost page.

Is the Diploma recognized as an academic degree?

The UWDMC Disaster Management Diploma is considered a professional development educational program and not a traditional academic degree.   The Continuing Education Units (CEU) you earn for each course and for the UWDMC Diploma do have equivalencies for traditional academic credits.

Many colleges and universities accept these credits, but the final decision is up to each organization. Beyond the UWDMC, there are many places that offer programs in disaster/emergency management, some of them also online.

With our program, you have the opportunity before enrollment to review (at no cost) any of our online self-study courses to see if our program fits your needs before you pay.

How do I earn CEU for the Professional Elective Requirement?

Professional Electives are broken down into two areas: 10 CEU of coursework on general topics and 15 CEU on disaster or emergency topics. General topics can include accounting, project management, leadership, communication, team building, language studies, and more.

You can earn electives from seminars and conferences from universities, private organizations, government agencies, NGOs, and/or the UN that you completed no more than five years before your registration as a Diploma candidate.

You may definitely use additional UWDMC self-study courses as Professional Electives for the Diploma.

Can I apply credit courses toward the Diploma?

You may include credit courses you have completed, if each course (1) meets your diploma learning objectives, (2) was not applied to another degree, and (3) meets the five-year time limitation.

The University of Wisconsin uses the following formula to convert semester and quarter credits to CEU:

Semester Credit

1 undergraduate credit = 4.8 CEU

1 graduate credit =6.4 CEU

Quarter Credit

1 undergraduate credit = 3.2 CEU

1 graduate credit =5.0 CEU


How long do I have to complete a course?

For individual courses you have a year from your enrollment date to complete the course. If you enrolled on October 3, 2015, you would have until October 3, 2016 to take the exam and complete the course. It is also possible to request additional time if you need it.

Can I review courses before I enroll?

You are welcome to download and study our course materials online at no cost.

Before we can send the exam, grade it, and award the Continuing Education Units, however, we require enrollment in the course and payment of the course fee.

Do I have to take an exam?

Completing a UWDMC self-study course requires that you take an exam that is graded by UWDMC. The exam is a combination of multiple choice, true/false, and short essay questions. It typically takes one to two hours to complete the exam, but there is no time limit. You are not allowed to use the study guide or other course materials.

There is no additional fee for the final exam.

Is the exam online?

Typically we mail or send via DHL delivery service a paper copy of the exam directly to a proctor of your choice in your location. The proctor and you agree on a time and place to take the exam. The proctor verifies your identity and then stays in the room with you while you complete the exam. Both you and the proctor sign and date the completed exam. The proctor then returns the exam via mail or other delivery service to the Disaster Management Center for grading. We try to grade the exam within few days of receiving it and notify you of the results via email. You will learn only if you passed or failed and will not receive a numerical score.

Are there UWDMC workshops or seminars that I can attend in person?

Currently, all UWDMC courses are distance learning courses in a self-study format.  There are no UWDMC sponsored workshops or seminars held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison at this time. While the UWDMC still delivers special custom training for organizations in many countries, those are by invitation only and not open to the public.