Bring positive change to some of today’s most critical social problems—hunger, poverty, conflict, and human rights abuses. 

Practical Skills for Positive Change

My name is Beryl Levinger and I have the great privilege of chairing the Development Practice and Policy Program. The Development Practice and Policy program or DPP as we call it has something for anybody who’s serious about a career in development.

One of the great things about the public administration program, and all of the DPP programs really, is that they give you the opportunity to use the skills you learn.

A lot of classes are built around consultancies with real clients. So, we’ve had a lot of practical opportunities to use what we learn in classes, and to get mentorship in using them in the context of working with real clients.

You’ve identified the policy issue. But I want you to do one more thing.

I want you to generate one recommendation. It’s a fairly comprehensive analysis. What we’re gonna do, by the way, is the same thing we’ve been doing in the past. You’ll get a chance to look at each other’s.

Several courses each semester will require students to prepare a client deliverable.

And therefore, students develop skills very quickly in how to communicate with the client. How to listen carefully, how to develop products that actually meet real client needs.

I got to go to Peru for a month with an entire class and a professor. And we got to work with an organization that was founded by MIIS Alum.

To gain that kind of experience out in the field for entire month with these other aspiring professionals was so valuable and something I can’t image having had the chance to do in any other context.

In all of the work that our students do, we strive to ensure that they’re applying the skills that they’ve gained in a classroom environment, in a real setting, in a setting that closely mirrors the one they hope to be working in as soon as they graduate.

I’ve had many opportunities to use my skills that I’ve learned at MIIS in the field. Both in the classes themselves, because a lot of them are built around student consultancies with real clients. And also, through immersive programs like IPSS and DPMI.

The thing that appealed to me about MIIS is that it was a smaller campus.

Big enough to have many opportunities internationally and professionally, but small enough to feel that I can have lunch with a professor. See them in office hours almost any time, if I didn’t make their office hours I could schedule an appointment with them and it was very easy.

At the end of the day you are who you hang out with.

And the people you’re going to be hanging out with are going to be your long-lost posse. People like you, who are curious about the world, who are excited about the role of language, and want to make a difference.

We know that there’s oil in Monterey Bay. And there’s oil off the coast of Santa Barbara.

Why aren’t there oil rigs that are pumping that oil and taking it to market and selling it?

The students we have and the faculty we have are the kindest, most compassionate, most caring, most committed people you’ll ever meet. And when I say committed I mean to a world of social justice equality, sustainability, and mutual responsibility.

I wanted somewhere that was thinking of: how do we take all the tools at our disposal and work toward social good? And it attracts students who all have a shared commitment to working for something larger than themselves. The end result for me is a really integrated experience where I feel like I’m gaining all the tools and skills that I need.

All focused on what I want to be doing. And in a community that’s so supportive and has been so important to me in helping figuring out what I want to do next.

You’re going to be a skilled communicator. You’re going to be a gifted listener. And you’re going to be a great leader.


The Middlebury Institute’s Master of Arts in International Policy and Development (IPD) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) are two separate but closely related degrees that will prepare you for worldwide careers in the growing fields of development practice and policy. Learn to research and create effective policy responses to the world’s most pressing problems, and to lead project teams, departments, or organizations that work for social change. Both degrees are four-semester, 60-credit programs that include a final professional practicum.

Find out if IPD or MPA is right for you

Development Practice and Policy

The IPD and MPA degrees are part of our Development Practice and Policy program. They share a common faculty and core curriculum with a specific focus on international development practice and policy. These separate but related skill sets reflect real-world collaboration and make for a more effective model of communication between policy development and practice. You’ll have the flexibility to actively explore both degree areas and then choose one to complete at the start of your third semester.

Guaranteed $10K Scholarships

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we guarantee a minimum $10,000 per year scholarship (prorated by program length) to all MPA and IPD students who request scholarship consideration in their online application. You may also receive additional merit and need-based scholarships depending on the strength of your application and your financial situation.

If you qualify for multiple guaranteed scholarships, please visit our tuition page for details on how your scholarship will be awarded.

The D.C. Advantage

Many of our students are planning to work in Washington, D.C., after they graduate. Our large and influential alumni network in the capital highlights how well we prepare you for this step. Dr. Beryl Levinger, former chair of the International Policy and Development and MPA degrees, explains why the Middlebury Institute is an excellent place to launch your career, whether your path leads to D.C. or another center of international activity. Watch the video.

Career-Oriented Course Work

Our master’s curriculum is specifically designed to give you professional experience before you graduate so that you’re better prepared for your career. You will work closely with professors on real-world consulting projects and field projects.

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. Together with career advisors, they mentor each student to provide the academic and professional experience that will help them realize their career goals. 

Bridging cultural and linguistic barriers opens up global career opportunities, so MPA and IPD students take several content courses in their chosen language of study and/or courses in intercultural competence.


Students may choose an optional career-oriented specialization from the options below:

Professional Practicum Options

Put theory into practice through a professional practicum in the field or a related research course:

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

Employed or continuing education within one year of graduation
Countries in which recent graduates are employed
Secured internships in 2019

How will you change the world?

We can help.

What makes us different?

See for yourself.

Why the Institute?

Find out what we can do for you.

Next Application Deadline

December 5