International Development

Learn how to make change happen

By exploring these and other topics, you will gain the knowledge and the analytical skills needed to effectively design, implement, and evaluate international development programs. In short, you’ll learn—in very real and practical ways—how to change the world.

13MPA students focused on International Development (Spring 2021)

1:4Faculty:Student ratio (2021)

86%All O’Neill MPA placement rate (2018)

Description of the video:

the International Development
concentration is a series of course
works that allow students to think on a
global level and it also allows students
to analyze domestic policy by comparing
and contrasting it with foreign policy
in the International Development
concentration there are people who are
trained in political science in
economics and policy analysis in lick
management Republic Administration we
have faculty representing at least half
a dozen countries and so we we bring
experience but personal experience and
also expertise from around the world the
International Development concentration
definitely prepares its students to work
in many different parts of the world so
whether I'm in America or whether I'm in
Africa or Asia or any country in the
world I can be confident that I can use
the acquired tools I learned within the
International Development concentration
and apply them to the nonprofit sector

A broad base, plus depth and detail

You’ll begin by mastering the fundamentals reflected in our MPA program's core competencies. These five courses (15 credit hours) will give you well-developed analytical skills and a broad understanding of policy issues and government processes. You'll then build on this foundation with three other required courses specific to international development.

  • Development Economics (D 573)
  • Introduction to Comparative and International Affairs (D 578)
  • Economic Development, Globalization, and Entrepreneurship (D 669)

The remainder of your course work (9 credit hours) will come from a wide range of elective courses. These will allow you to tailor your International Development program to your own specific interests. At least one of these electives must come from the list of methods courses. These are sample lists. To see all options, go to course descriptions, below. 

Methods electives

  • Vector-based Geographic Information Systems (E 518)
  • Data Analysis and Modeling for Public Affairs (P 507)
  • Benefit-Cost Analysis (P 541)
  • Public Program Evaluation (P 562)
  • A graduate level area studies or language studies course with approval

Other electives

  • U.S. Foreign Policy and Third World Regimes (D 548)
  • Approaches to Development (D 576)
  • International Economic Strategy and Development Policy (D 577)
  • Conflict and Development (D 583)
  • International Environmental Policy (E 535)
  • Public Program Management and Contracting (M 654)
  • Civil Society in Comparative Perspective (N 524)
  • NGO Management for International Development (N 534)
  • Sustainable Development (S 596)
  • Principles and Practices of Social Entrepreneurship (V 559)


Combining your International Development concentration with another MPA concentration—such as Economic Development or Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management—can offer you unique advantages in pursuing a particular career. As they help you design your program, our faculty will work to accommodate your specialized professional interests.


The above are examples of your course options. For a complete listing, see the official Indiana University Graduate Bulletin and work with your advisor as you make your schedule.

Experiential learning

Our MPA program offers far more than traditional lectures and lessons. You'll also get the benefit of experiential learning—typically through an approved internship. What's more, your concentrations course work will culminate in a project-oriented course—a Capstone—that lets you apply the knowledge you gained throughout the program.

  • American Security Project
  • Atlantic Council
  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Center for Civilians in Conflict
  • European Parliament
  • Office of the President, KAUST (Thuwal, Saudi Arabia)
  • U.S. Agency for International Development
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Embassies

Get involved

International Public Affairs logo

You can join the O’Neill International Public Affairs Association, one of many professional student organizations that offer networking and current information on events in the industry.

Get involved in other organizations

Learn from faculty with expertise in international development

Jennifer N. Brass
Associate Professor
(812) 855-1460

  • African Politics
  • Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs)
  • Energy and International Development
  • Comparative Public Administration
  • Governance
  • Civil Society
  • Political Economy of Development

Sameeksha Desai
Associate Professor
(812) 856-4647

  • Entrepreneurship, innovation and economic development policy
  • Political economy and allocation of entrepreneurship in areas of political instability, conflict, and disaster
  • Postconflict reconstruction
  • Social entrepreneurship

Anh Tran
(812) 855-0563

  • Institutions and behavior of bureaucrats, entrepreneurs, and workers in developing countries

Marigona Shabiu, MPA’17

Executive Director, Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Kosovo

“A remarkable academic experience!”


Vladimir Klyuev, MPA’95

Deputy Unit Chief; Strategy, Policy, and Review Department; International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C.

“Studying International Development expanded my horizons and gave me the tools to be an international public servant.”


Aderonke Olayee, MPA’13

Senior Associate, PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector LLP, Washington, D.C.

“The experiential learning requirement allowed me to apply classroom themes into real life international development contexts.”