International Development Studies
The course of studies for the specialization in International Development Studies is open to all IPED students accepted into the program, but has two tracks depending upon your prior training in economics. This specialization is designed to prepare individuals for work with relief and development organizations as project managers in both the non-profit and government sector. The specialization has three important components.
- Development Overview
All students should take IPED’s two core courses in development: Economic Development Policy and Political Economy of Development. These two courses should give you an advanced interdisciplinary overview of some of the most important issues we face in development.
- Managerial Skills
Those who lack practical project management skills are strongly advised to take our trio of project management courses: Project Accounting, Project Design, and Project Proposal Development in the fall as well as Project Assessment which is conducted in the Philippines during our winter inter-session.
- Programming Areas
And finally we offer a number of electives designed to give you added depth in the various areas where most relief and development organizations focus their programming, namely rural development, health (HIV/AIDS), small business development (micro-finance), emergencies, peace building (conflict resolution), and the environment. It is recommended that students cover several of these areas with their choice of electives. The following three (3) electives are highly recommended: Agriculture and Development, Community Economic Development & Conflict Resolution. Other important electives in development that we regularly offer are Epidemics & Development, Gender & Development, Environmental & Resource Economics, and Foreign Aid and Development.
Foreign Language and Overseas Experience
Most development organizations require professional proficiency in a foreign language as well as overseas experience. Students in this specialization should use their summer after their first year of study to intern overseas in a developing country with an appropriate non-profit or government agency. Please be aware of IPED’s Language Immersion Study Awards, Summer Internship Stipends and International Peace and Development Travel Scholarships.
Entry Level Positions
Traditionally students seeking an entry level position in this field have used Catholic Relief Services’ International Development Fellows Program as their starting point after graduation. In addition to the MA, successful candidates must have professional proficiency in French, Spanish, or Arabic and overseas work experience. French is the preferred language and domestic community development work can occasional substitute for overseas work experience. US students who lack language proficiency as well as work experience in a developing country should strongly consider the US Peace Corps or a similar experience before beginning their IPED studies.