2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
    Apr 12, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

International Development, BA/MA

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The accelerated Master of Arts degree in International Development (ID) emphasizes the connection between critical thinking and effective action. It is designed for scholars of international development, as well as for present and future practitioners of grassroots and community-based development.

The challenge for the 21st-century is to promote just and equitable development and sustain environmental resources through critical thought and reflection, planning, and action. The IDCE Department and the ID Program stress approaches that foster alliances and partnerships between local institutions and broader stakeholders such as external development agencies, universities, and state and non-governmental organizations.

This master’s program helps students conceptualize innovative approaches to development problems by building an understanding of the complex causes, influences and implications of poverty, inequality, social injustice, and conflict. Rooted in the belief that effective approaches merge many disciplines, the ID MA employs a trans-disciplinary focus, with faculty from anthropology, development studies, economics, environmental sciences, women and gender studies, education, geography, history, government, and management.

Departmental Eligibility Requirements

This program is open primarily to ID majors who have successfully met departmental and University requirements. A student must declare an 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 and achieve the university requirement of an overall 3.4 GPA. They must complete an honors thesis or honors research project and graduate with honors. Students from other majors may apply to the ID ADP program, but they must meet the same criteria, mentioned above - within their respective major - in order to be considered eligible for the ID ADP.

Students are required to meet with the International Development Accelerated Degree Program adviser 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 ID Master’s degree requires 10 graduate course units. Students enter the fifth year (ADP) having completed two graduate IDCE course units (taken in the senior year of the undergraduate major) that transfer from the undergraduate degree into the graduate year transcript. These are the two upper-level (300-level) IDCE courses required for the major, which count both toward the completion of the ID undergraduate major and toward the ID Accelerated MA degree. See below for stage-by-stage programmatic guidance:

Senior Year

In the senior year, students take two graduate-level (300-level) International Development (ID) courses (taught by core ID program faculty) related to their interests in international development and which are credited toward the Accelerated M.A. degree. Students must achieve a grade of a B- or better for each of these two graduate courses and earn a 3.5 grade point average (GPA) in the ID major, and complete an honors thesis or an honors research project in their senior year, and graduate with honors.

Graduate (MA) Year

In the graduate year (two semesters), students take eight additional course units, including the three required core courses and two elective concentration courses, two methods/skills courses, and a final course unit as outlined below:

Core courses

Two elective courses

Along with the two graduate level IDCE courses taken in the senior year, these elective courses taken in the graduate year form the area of specialization or concentration (see the ID MA degree program for the IDCE concentration options and courses). ADPs may also choose to do internship(s) to gain additional field-based experience; this internship experience could be used as course units or credit(s) to help satisfy their concentration requirements with permission of the ADP coordinator to ensure that the internship content aligns with the concentration content. In cases where ADP students are awarded year-long fellowships such as Fulbright or Boren Fellowship after the completion of their senior year, they may use these fellowships as internship course units or  credits towards their concentration with prior approval of the ADP coordinator. Such year-long academic internships must have prior approval from the University’s Graduate School for the returning student to remain eligible for the ADP program.

ID ADP students may, with the approval of their academic advisor, elect to ‘self-design’ their area of specialization or concentration, however, only official concentration designations will appear on academic transcripts and not self-designed concentrations.

Two methods/skills courses

See the ID MA degree program (Handbook) for the IDCE list of methods/skills courses.

Culminating Course Unit There are several options:

  1. Research Paper (one Reader): Typically based on secondary data analysis.
  2. Practitioner Paper (one Reader): A deliverable based on the student’s professional experience (e.g. consultancy).
  3. Collaborative Final Project (led by faculty): Tackling larger problems and issues, and providing students with team-based experience that reflects the professional setting.
  4. A 3rd Methods/Skills course related to the student’s concentration or self-designed course of study.

In rare cases, students in this program may take longer than the fifth year (2 semesters) to complete the requirements for graduation. In such circumstances, students must register as a non-resident if they do not complete the requirements in time for August degree conferral (following their two ADP semesters). Students have up to semesters of non-residency status (fall and spring following the completion of the two ADP semesters) to complete all requirements for the IDSC ADP Master’s degree.


This program is eligible for up to 100% tuition remission rate for a student’s fifth year graduate program.  There is a one-time program fee in the first semester of graduate study.  The student continues to be responsible for paying other enrollment and activity fees as well as their housing, books and personal items.  Tuition and fees are set annually by the Board of Trustees. 

Students in the Accelerated Degree Program are allowed two semesters 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.

Program Adviser

Students are required to meet with the designated degree adviser and have them sign the Accelerated Degree Program Adviser Form.  The signed form confirms the student and program adviser have discussed the requirements of the program. This form is also available on the Graduate Admissions website.

The designated program adviser contact info can be found online under Degree Contacts.

*Once you have started your fifth year, you may be assigned a different academic adviser.

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.

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