A concentration in International Development will provide you with a policy-focused understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing those who work to promote advancement in developing countries. You'll focus on such topics as economic programming and planning, political development, conflict and post-conflict recovery, sustainable development, international organizations, and the role of NGOs.
Think and act globally
We’re ranked #13 in International Global Policy and Administration by U.S. News and World Report.
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.
22MPA students focused on International Development (Fall 2018)
86%All O’Neill MPA placement rate
Description of the video:
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.
The following is an example of courses. Please work with your advisor as you make your schedule.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
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
Learn from faculty with expertise in international development
Jennifer N. Brass
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.”