The accelerated master’s degree in International Development and Social Change (IDSC) program helps students to develop innovative solutions to development problems by building understanding of the complex causes, influences, and implications of poverty, social injustice, and conflict. Rooted in the belief that effective approaches draw on many disciplines, the IDSC Accelerated M.A. employs a cross-disciplinary focus, with faculty from anthropology, economics, environmental sciences, gender studies, geography, history, and political science.
Through action-oriented and critical studies linking theory and practice, the IDSC Accelerated M.A. offers opportunities to specialize in such topics as political economy, conflict and development, culture and development, resource management, community-based development, or gender and development. The program also focuses on cultural, gender, and social justice issues and addresses these issues in development as well as in relief and conflict/post-conflict contexts. Courses and research identify ways of building alliances among institutions and making room for the voices of marginalized people.
Course work introduces both alternative and traditional theories and provides practical skills to advance professional goals in development. The unique blend of theory and practice enables students to link local planning and action to policy making at different levels.
Departmental Eligibility Requirements
This program is open primarily to ID majors who have successfully met departmental and University requirements. A student must declare her/his intention to register for honors work no later than the end of spring semester of the junior year and achieve a 3.5 GPA in the ID major. Students from other majors can apply to the IDSC ADP program but they must meet the same criteria, mentioned above - in their respective major - in order to be considered eligible.
Students are required to meet with the International Development and Social Change Accelerated Degree Program advisor as a formal part of the admissions process. This meeting is intended to assist prospective students in assessing the appropriateness of the degree to their professional aspirations. The student applies to the MA program by completing the Online Application no later than May 1 of the junior year. Please note that application deadlines differ for students who are graduating off cycle (either a semester early or late) or who have advanced standing; such students should contact Graduate Admissions for alternative dates.
Program of Study
The IDSC Master’s degree requires 12 graduate course units. Students enter the fifth year with two graduate units that transfer from the undergraduate degree into the graduate year-these are the two upper-level (300 level) courses required for the major - which count both toward the ID undergraduate major and toward the ID Accelerated MA degree.
In the senior year, students take two graduate-level (300-level) International Development and Social Change (IDCE) courses - and taught by core IDSC program faculty - related to their interests in international development and which are credited toward the Accelerated M.A. degree. Students must have a 3.5 grade point average in the ID major - and complete an honors thesis in their senior year, and graduate with honors.
Graduate (MA) Year
In the graduate year, students take eight additional courses, including the five required courses (listed below) and three elective courses:
The remaining three elective courses become the student’s focus or ‘area of specialization’, along with the two graduate level IDCE courses taken in the senior year.
Two course units must be also taken as graduate internships - IDCE 398 - after completion of the senior year. A year-long (two course units) academic internship - may also be taken after completion of the senior year and can be counted as two graduate course units toward the master’s if that internship is part of a funded academic fellowship through Clark, such as year-long Fulbright or Boren Fellowships. This year-long academic internship must have prior approval from the University’s Graduate School for the returning student to remain eligible for the fifth year free scholarship.
Students in this program may take longer than the fifth year (two semesters) to complete the requirements for graduation. Students must register as a non-resident if they do not complete the requirements in time for August degree conferral. Students have up to one year of non-residency status (fall and spring following the completion of the two ADP semesters) to complete all requirements for the master’s degree.
Students will pay a one-time program fee of $1,000 in the first semester of graduate study. Students also pay a $15 graduate activity fee and a $25 IDCE student activity fee in the fall and spring semesters as well as a one-time enrollment fee of $100. Students are responsible for paying for housing, food, books, and other personal items.
Students in the Accelerated Degree Program are allowed one year of non-residency status after the fifth year presumably to complete research and the practitioners report or master’s paper. Please note there is a $200 fee (per semester) associated with the non-residency status registration.
Students are required to meet with the designated degree advisor and have them sign the Accelerated Degree Program Advisor Form. The signed form confirms the student and program advisor have discussed the requirements of the program. This form is also available on the Graduate Admissions website.
The designated program advisor is:
Professor David Bell
*Once you have started your fifth year, you may be assigned a different academic advisor.
Any students considering applying to the Accelerated Degree Program should read and understand the Accelerated Degree Program Policies and Procedures.
Advice for prospective students
Students in the MA program benefit from field experience in international development. Students are encouraged to do field work abroad. Students can identify appropriate internships, work abroad, and other opportunities through Career Services or consult with their major advisors and the Accelerated BA/Master’s Degree Program advisor in ID. Students may contact IDCE Career Development for more information about internships.