Refugee and Forced Migration Studies


The Refugee and Forced Migration Studies graduate program is an interdisciplinary Master of Science program that trains students to work as practitioners in the field of refugee resettlement and advocacy. The degree is inherently interdisciplinary as students take a variety of courses in fields such as law, history, public service, public health and international studies. Each cohort is admitted in the autumn quarter and takes two courses per quarter to graduate in two years. Additionally the program takes a practical approach to curriculum such that students will have already gathered experience in the fields of refugee advocacy and resettlement by the time they graduate. This is ensured by the requirement of two distinct practicums with refugee-focused non-governmental organizations (NGOs) domestically and overseas.


The Refugee and Forced Migration Studies Program incorporates faculty in two primary functions; the administration of the program and instruction of courses. Since it is an academic program and not a department, RFMS does not house any faculty of its own but instead is run and taught by professors from all over the University. This not only gives the curriculum a distinctly interdisciplinary flavor but allows for the integration and synthesis of administrative techniques formulated by several departments and schools. Our faculty are drawn from such departments such as International Studies, Anthropology, and History as well as several freestanding schools in the University such as the Law School and the School of Public Service. While all of our faculty have experience in the study of forced migration, they all approach the study from different academic angles and schools of method to give the program a truly robust curriculum. You can find a list of the members of our Curriculum Committee and other associated faculty below.

Curriculum Committee

Kathleen R. Arnold, PhD
Senior Professional Lecturer
Director (Refugee and Forced Migration Studies)
University of California, Los Angeles

Shailja Sharma, PhD
Professor (International Studies)
SUNY Stony Brook

Ogenga Otunnu, PhD
Professor (History)
York University

Rajit Mazumder, PhD
Associate Professor (History)
University of London

Tom Mockaitis, PhD
Professor (History)
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Clement Adibe, PhD
Associate Professor (Political Science)
Queens University, Canada

Nezih Altay, PhD
Associate Professor (Operations Management)
Texas A&M University

Anne Saw, PhD
Associate Professor, Psychology
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Shana Wills, MA
Part-Time Faculty
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign