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NATO Crisis Management and Disaster Response (CMDR)


Responding to the need for increased interoperability and effectiveness in the face of crisis management and disaster response worldwide, UCI DCE’s collaborative offering brings the 12-week NATO Crisis Management and Disaster Response (CMDR) specialization program online. The CMDR program aims at building basic knowledge and awareness on NATO Crisis Response fundamentals, the NATO Crisis Response System (“NCRS”), and its complementary elements. The program will incorporate subject matter experts and be in coordination with NATO content, requirements, and Centre of Excellence (COE) support.

Crises and disasters take place throughout the world on a daily basis, and take many forms, from earthquakes to viral outbreaks to threats of armed conflict. In a globalized world, these often have implications beyond their immediate locales and even their nation. Moreover, effectively responding to them requires not only traditional emergency management (EM) expertise, but also the capability to employ this in an international context with different systems, organizations, and expectations. The CMDR program prepares professionals for such scenarios by aligning with NATO core concepts to offer a unique learning opportunity based on the alliance’s own training program. Those in the CMDR program will benefit from learning about NATO’s norms, standards, and practices in dealing with both events and peer institutions. This is an invaluable experience for those who are interested in developing knowledge and skills, both hard and soft, for careers in today’s global emergency management environment.

As the global market is expanding, the need for highly skilled individuals in the field of CMDR is growing. There is a need for new leaders who understand strategically how to tackle crisis and disasters within the international landscape. Utilizing skills already in practice from NATO, this specialization targets key practices already established to prepare individuals for advanced career opportunities internationally within crisis management and disaster response.

Who Should Enroll

The CMDR program will greatly enhance one’s understanding of and ability to respond to crises and disasters in today’s globalized world. It is an ideal option for those just starting their career track, those transitioning into a new career, or those simply wanting enhanced credentials and applicable skills in their current careers. For EM professionals working in, or aspiring to work in related capacities at national and international levels, it will offer practical skills and professional certification, as well as a new and useful perspective on the field. Current and future military personnel will gain practical skills and insights in dealing with potential crises and disasters they may face in deployments as well as insight into working within a military alliance structure. For those in or considering an international career with governmental or non-governmental entities, it will have the added benefit of an introduction to this career track and life, along with insight into working in an international context.

Career Insight

Occupational summary for emergency management directors. Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Intl.

Annual Job Openings
Projected Growth
Median Salary
(Highly experienced workers can earn up to $103k)

Program Benefits

  • Evaluate EM in an international context, notably its conceptualizations, processes, standards, issues, and norms, and how these are manifested in NATO.
  • Identify the concepts and approaches to collaboration, both within and between the diverse teams and institutions in the international EM context.
  • Earn UCI professional development credit and a dual certification of knowledge covering the only NATO concepts in EM offered in the United States.

Course Schedule

Required Courses

NATO Crisis Management & Disaster Response Part 1 (2.00 Units)
  to be scheduled   Online
NATO Crisis Management & Disaster Response Part 2 (2.00 Units)
  to be scheduled   Online

Course schedules are subject to change. Individual courses may be taken without enrolling in the full program.

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Academic Calendar

Event Fall 2021 Winter 2022 Spring 2022 Summer 2022
Registration Begins (after 2pm PT) Jul 15 Oct 21 Jan 20 Apr 21
Courses Begin* (week of) Sep 20 Jan 3 Mar 28 Jun 20
Courses End* (week of) Dec 13 Mar 14 Jun 6 Sep 6
Parking Permits Expire Dec 31 Mar 31 Jun 30 Sep 30
Administrative Holidays Nov 11, Nov 25-26, Dec 23-24, Dec 30-31 Jan 17, Feb 21 Mar 25, May 30 Jul 4, Sep 5

*Actual dates may vary by program.

Learn How To Earn Your Certificate

Specialization Requirements

A certificate is awarded upon completion of two required courses for a total of 4 units. Students must earn a grade of “C” or better in each course, in order to be eligible for the certificate. To receive your digital certificate, submit a Request for Certificate with a non-refundable $35 application fee after completing all program requirements. Students must complete both Part 1 and Part 2 as a complete 12- week program in the same quarter (Fall and/or Spring). All requirements must be completed within five (5) years after the student enrolls in his/her first course. Students not pursuing the certificate are welcome to take as many individual courses as they wish.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does the program cost?
  • Fees for each course is $485. Note that you pay for each class as you enroll, as opposed to the entire tuition sum at once. The total cost of the entire program is $1,005. This amount includes the course fees and the request for certificate fee. To receive your digital certificate, submit a Request for Certificate with a non-refundable $35 application fee after completing all program requirements.
  • How long will it take me to complete the entire program?
  • The certificate program is composed of two courses for a total of four units. To be eligible for this Specialization Certificate, students must complete both NATO Crisis Management & Disaster Response Part 1 and Part 2 as a complete 12- week program in the same quarter (Fall and/or Spring), earning a letter grade of C or better. Both courses are two units and will run for six weeks each. Students not pursuing the certificate are welcome to take as many individual courses as they wish.
  • Do I have to apply and be accepted before I start?
  • No. This is an open-enrollment program, and you will not have to provide transcripts or prove prerequisites before you begin.
  • Where can I find the course schedule? Do I have to take the classes in order?
  • The course schedule can be found here. It is recommended that each course be taken in sequence. Students must complete both NATO Crisis Management & Disaster Response Part 1 and Part 2 as a complete 12- week program in the same quarter (Fall and/or Spring. Students not pursuing the certificate are welcome to take as many individual courses as they wish.
  • Can I complete the entire program online?
  • Yes, this is a fully online program.
  • I’ve never taken an online class. How does it work? Is it self-paced?
  • No, the classes are not self-paced. Our online classes take place in an asynchronous online environment, meaning there will not be a day of the week or time of day that you will need to be online. Typically, instructors post new material Monday morning of each week and students will have that week to log on, read any assigned articles or readings, respond to forum posts, and submit homework assignments. This format does allow for some flexibility. However, if you will miss a week or more of coursework for any reason, you should wait to enroll during another quarter. Some instructors may hold optional synchronous sessions, which happen in real time. These sessions will be recorded and posted in the course for all students to access.
  • I am an international student / I am located overseas – am I able to enroll?
  • Yes. As an open-enrollment program, international students are welcome in the program. Please note that if English is not your native language, enrollment in this program assumes that you have a working proficiency in English to allow you to engage in high-level academic discourse without any additional language coaching. If you are interested in taking the program fully online, you may enroll in courses via the Continuing Education website at your convenience and on a quarter by quarter basis. You are not required to have a student visa while taking online courses from your home county.

    If you wish to apply for an F-1 student visa to study in person at UC Irvine Division of Continuing Education (DCE), you must formally apply to UC Irvine DCE’s International Programs and request an I-20. Please keep in mind that not all evening certificate programs are available to F-1 student visa holders based on the availability of classes that meet on campus. We cannot issue an I-20 for fully online programs. Please visit International Programs or email for more information.
  • Do you offer job placement at the end of the program?
  • No. While UCI DCE does not offer placement services, our certificate certainly puts you in a good position to find employment. Additionally, the networking to be done in the class can also be invaluable. Our advisors, instructors, and a good number of our students, are current professionals in the industry, and are an excellent resource for hiring trends and opportunities.
  • Is UC Irvine Division of Continuing Education an accredited institution?
  • Yes. We are affiliated with the University of California system of schools, and are accredited through WASC. DCE programs are all approved by the respective school within UCI. For more information, please visit UCI Accreditation.
  • Are there scholarships or financial aid available for this program?
  • Since UCI DCE is the continuing education unit of the university, we do not offer/accept any federal financial aid or scholarships. If you take courses through us, you may apply directly to private lenders for funding. It is recommended that you begin the loan application process early as UCI DCE does not enroll students in courses until payment is received, and applying for a loan does not reserve a space in the course. For more information, please visit Student Loan Programs. If you have any questions regarding student loans, please contact Student Services at 949-824-5414. For more financial information, please go to Financial Information.
  • Do you offer benefits for US Veterans?
  • Veterans, current service members, retired, active duty, are eligible or 20% discount on one DCE UCI course per quarter. For more information and to provide your verification please contact Student Services at 949-824-5414.
  • I can’t find the answer to my question.
  • If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Kadie Heck at or (949) 824-7648.

On-site Training Available

Our Corporate Training specialists can deliver this program or customize one that fits your organization’s specific needs. Visit Corporate Training or call (949) 824-1847 for information.

English Proficiency Requirement
All certificate programs at UCI Division of Continuing Education (classroom and online formats) require professional-level English language proficiency in listening and note-taking, reading comprehension and vocabulary, written expression, and oral presentation.

When a Crisis Hits Home: Insights from NATO about Crisis Response
Recorded 9/10/20
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Living (and Working) in the COVID-19 Age - Insights from NATO about Crisis Response
Recorded 4/16/20
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