Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction—Graduate Certificate

Online Education for Working Professionals

Apply hazard analysis and effective communication to lessen the impact of hazard events on communities.

Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction

Photo by Jose Fredy Cruz Centeno.

Add geophysical and social aspects to your hazard mitigation toolkit.

Learn causes and mitigation strategies for a range of natural hazards and their impacts on society. This interdisciplinary certificate introduces cultural complexities in dealing with geological hazards. Formulate hazard maps, warnings, and strategies for communication and planning. Explore electives in geoinformatics, volcanology, volcano seismology, or anthropology in international development. This certificate provides training to those with backgrounds in physical sciences, geosciences, social sciences, computational sciences, civil engineering, and environmental engineering. The average annual salary for geological engineering jobs is $105,460 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

  • Figures from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), dated May 2023.

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How to Apply

3 courses in 3 semesters.

Department Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences
Admissions requirement BS degree.
Contact Luke Bowman
Length 3 courses in 2-3 semesters
Effort 3 hours per credit per week
Each course 3 credits
Total credits 9
Course type Online or on-campus
Modality Watch class recordings on demand
Cost Based on credits and course type
Already enrolled? Speak with your advisor


Progress quickly with a compact curriculum. Work with the program advisor to select courses that fit your interests and pre-requisite skills.

Required Courses

Take 6 credits of required courses.


Take a 3-credit elective course.

Typical Schedule

The minimum completion time is two semesters. Here is a typical schedule.

Fall Spring
GE 5150
SS 4120
GE 5660
GE 5180
GE 5195
GE 5515

Application Process and Admissions Requirements

Applications are reviewed on an individual basis using a holistic approach. Fill out our free graduate application online to apply to any of our programs. Official transcripts and scores are not required for the initial application, although you will need to upload them later.

Interested in taking a single, online course? Enroll as a non-degree seeking student.

Upon completion of the Certificate the student should be able to:

  1. Identify geophysical as well as sociocultural aspects pertaining to natural geological hazards.
  2. Compose a complete hazard mitigation plan that includes appropriate physical hazards and social vulnerabilities/risks that pertain to real settings and demonstrate the sharing of the plan to various stakeholders appropriate to the chosen settings.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in using computational tools commonly used for hazard mapping.

Michigan Tech was founded in 1885.

The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and widely respected by fast-paced industries, including automotive development, infrastructure, manufacturing, and aerospace. Michigan Tech graduates deliver on rapid innovation and front-line research, leaning into any challenge with confidence.

The College of Engineering fosters excellence in education and research.

We set out as the Michigan Mining School in 1885 to train mining engineers to better operate copper mines. Today, more than 60 percent of Michigan Tech students are enrolled in our 17 undergraduate and 29 graduate engineering programs across nine departments. Our students and curriculum embrace the spirit of hard work and fortitude our founders once had. Our online graduate courses are the same, robust classes taken by our doctorate and masters candidates, taught directly by highly regarded faculty, with outstanding support from staff. We invite working professionals to join these courses, bring their own experience and challenges as part of the discussion. Leverage the national reputation of Michigan Tech to advance your career in tech leadership.

Online Certified Instructors

Meet the online certified instructors. Students have the flexibility to review class recordings later.

Luke Bowman

Luke Bowman

Assistant Teaching Professor Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Teaching Statement

Dr. Bowman teaches social dimensions of natural hazards.

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Greg Waite

Greg Waite

Professor, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Teaching Statement

Dr. Waite teaches on topics of natural hazards, earthquake seismology, and time analysis in geosciences.

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