Launch a career in local and global development, leveraging expertise in conflict resolution, migration, data analysis, and program management.

Our Master of Arts in International Policy and Development (IPD) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Social Change are two separate but related degrees. You will gain real-world experience through your final semester practicum working for an organization like the United Nations or the U.S. State Department.

Start Term

Credits

Duration

On-Site

Online

Fall or spring 42 3 semesters
(12–16 months)
Monterey, California Live

Find Out if IPD or MPA Is Right for You

Program Highlights

MA in International Policy and Development

Launch a career in local and global policy and development leveraging expertise in conflict resolution, migration, and development economics, bolstered by widely transferable skills like data analysis and program management. Learn more.

MPA in Social Change

Launch a career designing and managing local and global development initiatives that address critical issues where social change is sorely needed like poverty, disaster relief, education, and health. Learn more.

Study On-Site and/or Online

Your courses are available in person and online in a live (synchronous) format. You may start and complete your entire degree program remotely or easily switch between the two experiences as your personal and professional needs allow.

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.

Launch Your Career

Career and Academic Advising

Your career and academic advising are integrated, ensuring you align your coursework with your career goals.

Alumni Network

Our large and influential alumni network in Washington, D.C., and other centers of international policy are eager to help you prepare for your next steps.

Careers

Our graduates are often hired before they complete their program, leveraging real-world projects from their classes, internships, and practicum to showcase their relevant professional experience. They are thriving in careers at organizations like Human Rights Watch and the International Rescue Committee.

42 -credit master’s programs
12 -month option
16 -month option

Curriculum

Policy and Management

Learn to address critical social issues like poverty, disaster relief, education, and health from policy and management perspectives.

Practical Experience

Your classes will often feature work with real clients, allowing you to develop practical skills before you graduate.

Language Studies and Intercultural Competence

Bridging cultural and linguistic barriers is key to a successful global career, so you will take content courses in a second language and/or courses in intercultural competence.

Joint Master’s Degrees

Earn two master’s degrees in just four semesters and 60 credits:

Customize Your Degree

The flexibility in our curriculum gives you opportunities to customize your degree through career-related electives, a professional practicum, internships, studying a second language and/or intercultural competence, joint degrees, optional specializations in financial crime management and other in-demand fields, and Peace Corps integrations.

Working Toward Social Good

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 USAID and the World Bank.

Research and Practice

Build valuable professional experience in areas like conflict studies and data analytics through our research centers, labs, and initiatives.

Financing Your Education

We offer a variety of resources to make your program more affordable, including merit, need-based, partner, and external scholarships for both U.S. and international students. Learn more about scholarships.

How to Apply

We take a holistic approach when considering your application, looking at your academic background, international exposure, professional experience, and career goals.

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MPA Career Outcomes

Our graduates find rewarding careers around the world in development, education, democratic governance, and human rights organizations, as well as program design and evaluation.

Career Outcomes

95%
Employed or continuing education within one year of graduation
18+
Countries in which recent graduates are employed
58%
Using a second language at work
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Next Application Deadline: May 15

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