College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Refugee & Forced Migration Studies > Graduate Program > Refugee & Forced Migration Studies (MS)

Refugee & Forced Migration Studies (MS)

Refugee & Forced Migration Studies (MS)
Refugee & Forced Migration Studies (MS)

Navigate this complex global issue and become an effective advocate

DePaul’s MS in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies—the first graduate refugee studies program in the U.S.—will give you the right mix of theory and practical experience to prepare you to help immigrants, migrants and refugees around the world. You’ll gain a broad-based understanding of the legal, political and humanitarian resources to address the issues created by these situations. As part of our refugee studies program you’ll take courses in law, history, public health, public service and international studies and gain extensive hands-on training with the agencies and institutions assisting displaced people.

This program is designed to be completed in two years, and most courses are offered in the evening at the Loop or Lincoln Park campuses.

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Fieldwork experiences in Chicago and internationally

Chicago is one of the largest immigrant hubs in the nation and has a network of agencies large and small that help refugees settle in the city. You’ll have opportunities to work with organizations like Refugee One, Heartland Alliance, the American Red Cross, and DePaul’s Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic. You can also gain international experience in Germany through internships with Caritas, Kiron University, Migration Voter and SINGA Deutschland.

Application Deadlines

The Refugee and Forced Migration studies program has rolling admissions through July 1 for the following academic year.

Admission Requirements

Submit an online application, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, résumé or curriculum vitae, personal statement and writing sample.

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Required Courses

You’ll take 10 courses and complete two practicums.

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Students receive 300 hours of on-site experience as part of the program.


of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies graduates were employed, continuing their education or pursuing other goals within six months of graduation.

Your mentors are innovators in their fields

Gain a full understanding of the causes and consequences of forced migration from experts like Professor Kathleen Arnold, director of the Refugee & Forced Migration Studies program. You’ll be mentored by faculty members across the university, many of whom are involved in supporting and developing structures and policies to support refugees and forced migrants.

“This coursework gave me the knowledge necessary to pursue a career with USCIS. I was at a fantastic advantage for the training needed to become an asylum officer. I was very familiar with case law and knew how to apply the refugee definition to adjudicating asylum claims. This is a very unique and specialized program for a very important component of social justice work in our world.”

Emily (MS ’19)

Asylum Officer, USCIS

Alumni Network

You’ll join a network of 180,000 DePaul alumni in Chicago and all over the world, including more than 27,000 College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences alumni working across a variety of industries and disciplines.

Scholarships & Aid

Graduate school is an investment in your future. Learn more about the financial aid and scholarship opportunities available to you.

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Contact Information

For more information about applying, contact The Office of Graduate Admission at (773) 325-7315 or

Take the next step

We’ll send you information about the degree, admission requirements and upcoming info sessions. Let’s get started.

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