Disasters affect people across all walks of life, and creating resilience and restoring communities requires collaboration among experts across a wide range of different disciplines.

The graduate program in DRRM promotes this collaboration through a transdisciplinary experience designed to train business analysts, educators, engineers, scientists, and urban planners to help better prepare for, respond to, and recover from the devastating natural disasters that now regularly ravage communities and ecosystems across the globe. The program brings together faculty and students in civil and environmental engineering, urban affairs and planning, public and international affairs, geosciences, business information technology, and other disciplines to develop modes of thinking and problem solving that take us beyond outdated approaches based exclusively/solely on the perspective of a single discipline. As a DRRM scholar, you will engage in hands-on work with researchers, community members, and government agencies to develop proactive solutions grounded in the needs of local communities.

With generous support from the National Science Foundation, we are able to offer several different opportunities to graduate students interested in DRRM. Note: To participate in any DRRM component, you must be accepted into a Virginia Tech Masters or PhD program in business information technology, civil and environmental engineering, engineering education, geosciences, public and international affairs, urban affairs and planning, or other discipline as approved.

Students accepted in the program as DRRM Scholars are eligible for the following opportunities:

  1. Fellowships: The DRRM programs offers two types of fellowships:
    • National Science Foundation (NSF) DRRM Fellowship: US citizenship required.
    • Virginia Tech Interdiscipinary Graduate Education Program (IGEP) fellowship: Open to all students.
    Graduate Assistantships: Other funding in the form of graduate assistantships is also available.
  2. DRRM Graduate Certificate: All DRRM Scholars earn this certificate as part of the required program coursework. The graduate certificate is also available to other graduate students and professionals who would like to strengthen their disaster resilience and risk management credentials.
  3. Graduate internships: All DRRM Scholars will apply for and complete an internship as a required part of their program.
  4. Graduate travel grants: DRRM Scholars may apply for funding to support DRRM-related travel (e.g. to conferences or research sites).

The DRRM curriculum includes course-based and experiential opportunities to help train you to better understand the physical and social science associated with disaster resilience. Equally important, you will develop transdisciplinary competencies required to work effectively with both disaster resilience professionals and community members to address the complex real world problems posed by natural disasters. Important features of the program include:

● Courses in disaster and risk management to develop a big-picture perspective;

● Transdisciplinary thinking seminars;

● A workshop with community members, local governments, non-profit agencies;

● Elective courses in infrastructure management, earthquake engineering, computer-based decision support, community resilience, natural hazards mitigation, and more.