Both the Master of Public Administration and Master of Arts in International Policy and Development are four-semester, 60-credit programs.

Start Credits Practicum Language Competency Program Chair
August or January 60 Required Optional Fernando DePaolis

A Learning Environment Focused on Development Practice and Policy

Our Master of Public Administration and Master of Arts in International Policy and Development share a common faculty, the same core courses, and a passion for policy and social justice. You will acquire the professional skills to lead social change and shape international development and policy.

  • All of the core courses and specializations are available to students in both degree programs. Students take classes across a broad range of disciplines.
  • Students work closely with faculty and advisors to select the degree that is most closely aligned with career goals.
  • Both degrees share an emphasis on immersive learning, curriculum flexibility, teamwork, and strong engagement between theory and practice.
  • All students work frequently on real-world problems with external clients and learning partners, both within specific classes and through semester-long internships.

Requirements

Both degrees require the following 26 or 28 credits:

Introduction to Policy and Data Analysis (4 credits)

Development Paradigms, Discourses, and Theories (4 credits) sample courses:

  • Development, Theory, and Practice
  • Introduction to Conflict Resolution
  • Politics of Development
  • Power, Social Change, and Organizations

Economics (4 credits) sample courses:

  • Development Economics
  • Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
  • International Trade: Theory and Practice

Seminar and/or Applied Practice Workshops (6 credits) sample courses:

  • Proposal Writing for International Development (3 credits)
  • Behavior Changing Strategies in Public Health (2 credits)
  • Negotiating Global Development Policy (4 credits)
  • Qualitative Data Analysis (4 credits)

Practicum (4 or 6 credits)

Language Studies and Intercultural Competence (4 credits)

  • 4 credits of language studies or intercultural competence (ICC) are required. Electives may be used to take additional language or ICC courses.

To complete the IPD master’s, the following credits are required:

Seminar (4 credits) sample courses:

  • Latin America: Development Challenges and Public Policy
  • Foreign Policy, Trade, and Development in East Asia
  • Integrated Theory, Research, and Practice
  • Note: IPD students may apply four credits from their IPD seminar requirement to their specialization if it is listed as an approved course for that specialization

Electives

  • 28 to 30 credits, which students may use to take language studies courses, additional intercultural competence courses, IPD courses, MPA courses, specialization courses, and/or courses from other degree programs (assuming prerequisites met).
  • Electives by advisement build on your expertise in areas that can benefit your career.

To complete the MPA, the following credits are required:

Management and Leadership (4 credits) sample courses:

  • Leading a Social Change Organization (SCO)

Finance and Administration (4 credits) sample courses:

  • Finance Function of Nonprofit and Social Change Organizations
  • Organizational Sustainability for Social Change Organizations

Program Evaluation for Social Change Organizations (4 credits)

Electives

  • 20 or 22 credits, which students may use to take language studies courses, additional intercultural competence courses, IPD courses, MPA courses, specialization courses, and/or courses from other degree programs (assuming prerequisites met).
  • Electives by advisement build on your expertise in areas that can benefit your career

Specializations

Students may choose an optional specialization from the options below:

Professional Practicum

Put theory into practice through a semester long 4-credit capstone research course or 6-credit practicum in the field:

International Professional Service Semester Field Project (6 credits)

An immersive learning experience, the International Professional Service Semester integrates academic work with professional opportunities. Students serve as junior professional staff members in an international organization while producing specific deliverables for academic credit.

Practicum Project Seminar (4 credits)

This four-credit Practicum Project Seminar helps students demonstrate, integrate, and apply competencies central to their degrees. The course is designed to support customized projects depending on your interests and career aspirations. You are required to produce high-quality deliverables related to the issues you explore, either with client organizations or in nonclient-based research projects.

Independent Practicum (4 or 6 credits)

The independent practicum is self-directed and requires independent academic planning and responsibilities. You can choose to complete an internship or field-based research. Both require you to engage a faculty sponsor, develop a work plan with that sponsor, submit the specified deliverables to be evaluated at the conclusion of the project, and present the deliverables in a final colloquium.

Language and Intercultural Competence

Courses taught in your chosen language combine language skills development with topics related to your degree work and professional interests. Our intercultural competence (ICC) offerings provide the cross-cultural communication skills needed to pursue global careers.

Before you apply, we encourage you to speak to your enrollment advisor to discuss whether language studies align with your career goals so that you can complete the online application appropriately. If you enroll, you will work closely with your career and academic advisor to determine whether language studies and/or intercultural competence will best benefit your evolving career plans.

Sample language studies courses:

  • Arab-African Relations (in Arabic)

  • Citizenship, Security, and Development in Latin America (in Spanish)

  • Challenges in Peacebuilding—Congo (in French)

Sample ICC courses:

  • Intercultural Group Dynamics

  • Multilingual Communication in Multicultural Settings

Sprintensive

Sprintensive is a pedagogical approach that is all about hands-on learning. It is relationship-rich and feedback-rich and involves a great deal of peer-to-peer and faculty-student interaction. Students take one class at a time, four hours a day, five days a week, covering an entire semester’s worth of material in just three weeks. The process is repeated three more times, so by the end of the semester students complete a full academic load, one class at a time. Focusing on a single subject offers many advantages. In addition to reducing the distractions and competing priorities of a standard schedule, the intensive schedule ensures that the student cohort develop deep and lasting bonds that translate into a vibrant professional support network.

Internships/Study Abroad

Gaining professional development experience during the course of your academic program is essential. The Institute helps support student opportunities to apply their skills, build their résumés, expand their connections, and advance their international careers through innovative real-world learning experiences.

Additional Program Options

Joint MPA/MA in International Education Management

Earn a Joint MPA/MAIEM in five semesters. This integrated curriculum features four semesters of course work and a one-semester professional practicum in the international education development field. It offers a multidisciplinary approach to education as a tool for development.

Joint IPD/MA in International Trade and Economic Diplomacy

Students interested in a professional career at the intersection of trade and development can choose a Joint IPD/MAITED.

Joint MPA/MA in International Trade and Economic Diplomacy

Students interested in a professional career addressing trade and management agendas in order to achieve breakthroughs on both fronts can choose a Joint MPA/MAITED.

Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) are encouraged to apply for the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program.

Options for Peace Corps Service

Interested students can integrate Peace Corps service into their degree.

Accelerated Entry and Advanced Entry

Students who meet our requirements for accelerated entry or advanced entry may be eligible to complete the degree in two or three full-time semesters. See How to Apply for details.

IPD Sample Course Schedule

Fall Start, Full Time, Four Semesters

Term Course Credits
Fall 1 Policy and Data Analysis 4
Fall 1 Development Paradigms, Discourses, Theories 4
Fall 1 Economics 4
Fall 1 Language Studies OR Intercultural Competence 4
Spring 1 Seminar / Applied Practice Workshop 4
Spring 1 Specialization Course 4
Spring 1 Specialization Course 4
Spring 1 Specialization Course 1
Spring 1 Elective Course 4
Fall 2 Seminar / Applied Practice Workshop 2
Fall 2 Specialization Course 1
Fall 2 Elective Course 4
Fall 2 Elective Course 4
Fall 2 Elective Course 4
Spring 2 Practicum 6
Spring 2 IPD Seminar* 4
Spring 2 Specialization Course 2
TOTAL   60

* In this sample schedule, the student applies the 4 credits from the IPD seminar to their specialization to meet the 16 credits required for the seminar.

MPA Sample Course Schedule

Fall Start, Full Time, Four Semesters

Term Course Credits
Fall 1 Policy and Data Analysis 4
Fall 1 Development Paradigms, Discourses, Theories 4
Fall 1 Management and Leadership 4
Fall 1 Language Studies OR Intercultural Competence 4
Spring 1 Finance and Administration 4
Spring 1 Program Evaluation for Social Change Organizations 4
Spring 1 Elective Course 4
Spring 1 Elective Course 4
Spring 1 Elective Course 1
Fall 2 Economics 4
Fall 2 Seminar / Applied Practice Workshop 4
Fall 2 Elective Course 4
Fall 2 Elective Course 3
Fall 2 Elective Course 2
Spring 2 Seminar / Applied Practice Workshop 1
Spring 2 Seminar / Applied Practice Workshop 1
Spring 2 Practicum 6
Spring 2 Elective Course 2
TOTAL   60