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Launch a career in international policy: resolving conflicts, addressing human rights abuses, and promoting global development.

Learning on the Move

The wraparound, it’s a full, year-long project where you take a class in the fall, you do a three-week field work in January, and then you come back for spring semester and analyze the data.

When you’re in the field, you’re doing your interviews, I want you to be focusing on what they say, verifying, validating what they say.

And so we have a cohort of students and they’re not necessarily going to one place this year they were planning for three. So we had Nepal, Peru and Salinas. And they’re trying to develop the tools they’re gonna need to actually be down there. So that means they develop a survey, they meet with clients.

And so, that’s a long process. In the meantime, we’re learning about semi-structured interviews. We’re learning about being in the field and having little impact other than getting the information we’re getting.

A lot of my undergraduate courses were purely theoretical. So we talked about development, and how you can build up the middle class.

These are very abstract constructs, whereas here at the Middlebury Institute, they ground everything in experiential learning. So we not only theorized about development, we were actually able to go in the field, work with a local client, and see what it was like to actually design programming to solve real issues.

So in this case, our survey would inform their programming and waste management in the Dun region of Nepal. So it was very specific, it was very tangible. And in that sense it, gave us a better idea of what we could do as development workers.

When they come back, they’re taking advanced policy analysis.

And we call it advanced because it’s kind of the next level. You’re not just learning about policy analysis, you’re doing the analysis. They’re taking all those data that they got, and they’ve got to clean that stuff up and they’ve got to get it ready for analysis and then analyze it, make sense of it, and then get a product out to their client.

This is working with real data, so it’s not like one of those canned episodes where you say, okay here’s this transcript of a pretend interview where you’re gonna analyze it and try and see what you can get out of it. Instead it’s messy, and there’s a lot of things they didn’t even anticipate, that they should have gotten but didn’t.

And they’re gonna rue the day that they ignored what somebody was saying, or they’re gonna really wish that they just pushed a little bit harder and gotten ten more interviews or surveys. So they see the holes, and they see the things they would have liked to do. And they see where the tool fails.

And they’ll see what they would have liked to do better the next time they go in. And so what they are doing is, they’re getting a good look at why they designed the stuff the way they did in a field methods course, at the problems they had once they got into the J-term, and what they can still make of this stuff, even then.

For me it’s really satisfying to see the data all the way through, to go from the design process to analyzing and then submitting a deliverable to our client. So not many universities have programs like this, and I think that’s something that’s unique to MIIS.

They’re really preparing themselves to be future leaders in the field.

And we don’t expect anybody to be a seasoned field specialist when they get out there. But they’re a lot closer than they would have been if we had just done a regular research methods course.

The Middlebury Institute Master of Arts in International Policy and Development (IPD) prepares you for a rewarding career researching and creating effective policy responses to the world’s most pressing development problems.

Find out if IPD is right for you

Guaranteed $10K Scholarships

We guarantee a $10,000 scholarship per year (prorated by program length) if you request scholarship consideration in your online application. You may also receive additional merit and need-based scholarships. Learn more about scholarships, grants, and other aid.


You will take courses in policy and data analysis, development paradigms and theories, economics, and more. You will learn to effectively engage in all facets of the policy process by engaging in intimate discussions, hands-on projects, and fieldwork that may take you as far as Kenya or as close as the challenges of Salinas, California. Your classes will often feature work with real clients, allowing you to develop practical skills before you graduate. 

To open up your global career opportunities you will take content courses in a second language and/or courses in intercultural competence.

Earn this 60-credit degree over four full-time semesters at our Monterey, California, campus. If you have relevant course work and/or experience, you may be able to complete the degree in two or three semesters.

See the curriculum for more details.

4 -semester, 60-credit master’s
$10K guaranteed annual scholarships
96% employed within one year of graduation

Customize Your Degree

The flexibility in our curriculum gives you opportunities to customize your degree through studying a second language or intercultural competence, professional practica, accelerated programs, joint degrees, our MPA program, and Peace Corps connections. Check out the degree overview for your options.

Faculty: Professors and Practitioners

While other graduate schools rely on teaching assistants, our students have direct access to our faculty, who combine academic expertise with years of professional experience in major international organizations, including UNCHR (the UN Refugee Agency), USAID, the World Bank, and the U.S. State Department.

Your professors are genuinely committed to your success and, together with your career and academic advisor, will become your mentors and colleagues throughout your career. Meet your faculty.

Launch Your Career

Career and Academic Advising

Your career and academic advising are integrated, ensuring you align your course work with your career goals. The same advisor will guide you from course registration to preparing for interviews and negotiating your employment offers.

The D.C. Advantage

Many of our students plan to work in Washington, D.C., after they graduate. Our large and influential alumni network in the capital is eager to help you prepare you for your next steps. Our Middlebury in DC office is centrally located and provides the entire Middlebury community with a wealth of resources. Furthermore, our annual Career Exploration Week in the nation’s capital gives you facilitated and direct access to D.C.-based employers. 


The Middlebury Institute is an excellent place to launch your career, whether your path leads to D.C. or another center of international activity. Our graduates are working at organizations like Oxfam, Accion, and the International Organization for Migration. Explore careers in international development.

Research and Practice

Build valuable professional experience while earning your degree and be ready to make an impact in your career as soon as you graduate. You’ll benefit from our research centers, labs, and initiatives. Enhance your education with a graduate assistantship and attend events and conferences with leading experts.

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IPD Career Outcomes

Our graduates find rewarding careers in policy, development, and human rights organizations around the world.

Career Outcomes

Employed within one year of graduation
Countries in which recent graduates are employed
Industries entered by recent graduates

How will you change the world?

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What makes us different?

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Next Application Deadline: Nov. 1

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