This unique 30-credit Masters of Science program uses online and in-person facilitation to help advance your career in the field of Vulnerability and Violence Reduction.
Explore critical approaches to the understanding of vulnerability and risk within communities challenged by violence. Studying violence and solutions from a comparative perspective is critical to appreciate the impact of multiple determinants on the evolution of violence and an expanded range of solutions to address violence. The Vulnerability and Violence Reduction MS and certificate progam provides a framework to understand the factors that lead to violence, the role of power and structure, the importance of place and population, and different approaches that have been used to address violence using case studies. Students will use this basis to develop interdisciplinary and innovative strategies to address violence in their communities.
This degree program provides students with an understanding of how the exposure and exploitation of vulnerabilities can lead to violence. While individual academic fields, such as public health and criminology, have studied violence extensively, there is little cross-disciplinary research and understanding of why communities fail to remain peaceful given that violent conflict is not normal or necessary. This program was created to bridge a serious gap in the understanding of violence.
The MS and PBC in Vulnerability and Violence Reduction will prepare students from diverse personal and professional backgrounds to organize, lead, and support effective violence and vulnerability reduction initiatives in their own communities. Depending on their individual academic profile, students will have a wide range of career options in agencies and programs providing support to vulnerable communities across the state and country and beyond.
To meet the high demands of employers searching for candidates that have the skills needed to reduce vulnerability and violence in communities, we have strategically aligned our courses to coincide with the current needs. Students will examine vulnerability and violence from various levels and analyze the root causes, learn practices to reduce violence and improve patterns of interaction. Thus, our graduates will be well-prepared for professional success in a number of fields that may include:
- Non-profit Organizations, examples include Women Against Violence, youth violence prevention organizations, the National Center for Prevention of Community Violence, National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, and Cure
- Human Rights and Humanitarian Relief in organizations like the Red Cross, Amnesty International, Oxfam International, and Cooperative Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE).
- Research in organizations like the Brookings Institution, USIP, RAND Corporation, Futures Without Violence, American Institutes for Research,
- Multi-lateral Agencies like the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Health Organization
- Educational Institutions like public schools, universities, Integral Peacemaker Institute
- Security and Intelligence Agencies like local police forces, FBI, USAID, Department of State, Department of Defense, and the prison
The M.S. in Vulnerability and Violence Reduction is a 30-credit graduate program offered in an asynchronous online environment with 4 in-person credit hours. This means that we offer maximum flexibility to meet the needs of working professionals. There are no online meetings or set times when you'll need to log in; just submit your coursework before the posted deadline, and check back in for feedback from your instructors and classmates.
Program Completion Timeline
- All courses will be offered at least once each year to enable you to complete the program within 2 years.
- Although most students complete the program 2 years, you will be allowed up to 5 years to complete the program.
Upon completion of the MS in Violence and Vulnerability Reduction, the student will be able to:
- Explain some of the root causes of many types of vulnerability, aggression, and violence.
- Evaluate the multiple theories of vulnerability in relation to specific cultural communities/contexts.
- Apply reflection to evaluate and explain violent behavior.
- Analyze variations in violent crime using relevant research findings.
- Develop prevention strategies using theories related to causation of violence and aggression.
- Evaluate developments and dominant paradigms in contemporary crime control and community safety.
- Develop specific area of expertise within the field of crime control and community safety using self-reflection and critical analysis.
- Analyze the efficacy of policy and practice aimed at crime control and community safety using relevant research findings.
- Develop advanced knowledge of 'best practices' in relation to crime control and community safety.
- Describe the types of childhood experiences associated with vulnerability, trauma, and the risk of offending.
- Discuss the social environmental factors affecting vulnerability and risk.
- Evaluate the evidence on what works in early intervention.
- Analyze early intervention and public protection policies drawing on theory and research on risk.
- Critique examples of empirical research in criminology and criminal justice.
- Demonstrate broad knowledge of research concepts, terminology and methods; and an enhanced knowledge of the methodological literature.
- Apply criminological research methodologies to their own research practice.
- Apply ethical principles and methodologies within social-behavioral and / or community-based research.
Violence affects a significant proportion of the population but it manifests differently in different settings. It threatens the lives and physical and mental health of millions of people, overburdens health systems, undermines human capital formation, and slows economic and social development, and Maryland is no stranger to this phenomenon. The 12-credit graduate certificate in Vulnerability and Violence Reduction prepares students from diverse personal and professional backgrounds to organize, lead, and support effective violence and vulnerability reduction initiatives in their own communities. Offered exclusively online, this certificate offers non-traditional students with the option of balancing educational objectives with the competing demands of family and work.
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