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Customize your master’s degree based on your interests and career goals.

Connect with Your Advisor

Your personal enrollment advisor is ready to help you navigate the application process, understand admission requirements, customize your program (see options below) to meet your career goals, explore options for financing your education, and connect with current students, alumni, career advisors, and faculty. Connect with your enrollment advisor.

Learning Goals

The International Policy and Development curriculum is based on distinct learning goals that provide students with an in-depth knowledge of policy processes and systems in a variety of contexts. 

Language Study and/or Intercultural Competence

Bridging cultural and linguistic barriers is key to a successful career in international policy, so you will take several content-based courses in your chosen language and/or courses in intercultural competence (ICC).

If you plan to work with, or in, a region where English is not the primary language of communication, you will want to develop your language skills at the Institute. In your language classes, you will have the opportunity to develop specialized vocabulary and content knowledge for your field of interest, give presentations, and improve your professional writing skills.

If English will be your primary language of communication, you may wish to focus on intercultural competence courses—and you can still take language studies if your schedule allows. ICC courses give you the opportunity to learn about managing global and cross-cultural teams, addressing issues of power and identity, and improving communications and outcomes.

If you are not sure, we encourage you to plan on taking both, and we will work with you to align your courses with your evolving career goals.


You may pursue an optional career-oriented specialization:

You will also have numerous opportunities inside and outside of the classroom to build your expertise in areas like conflict resolution, social change, evaluation and analytics, and migration. 

Practicum Options

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

Development Practice and Policy

Our IPD and Master of Public Administration (MPA) degrees are related programs that reflect real-world collaboration between development policy and implementation. You’ll have the flexibility to actively explore both degree areas in your first year—at the start of your third semester, you can finalize which degree you will complete.


“Sprintensive” is an optional 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.

Accelerated Entry and Advanced Entry

  • Students with a relevant master’s degree (with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale) may be eligible for the accelerated entry option, allowing you to complete your degree in three full-time semesters.

  • Students with relevant professional experience (at least seven years) and a relevant master’s degree (with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale) may be eligible for an advanced entry option, allowing you to complete your degree in two full-time semesters.

  • Please indicate that you would like to be considered for accelerated or advanced entry on your online application.

Joint BA/MA in International Policy and Development

If you have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree but you have completed the equivalent of two years of college, you can earn a Joint Bachelor of Arts in International Policy/Master of Arts in International Policy and Development in just three years.

Joint Master’s in Development and Trade

The Joint MA in International Policy and Development/MA in International Trade and Economic Diplomacy is a five-semester, 70-credit program that offers a multidisciplinary approach to international development and practical global trade.

Peace Corps Connections

  • Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) are encouraged to apply for the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program, earning yourself a guaranteed scholarship.

  • You can integrate Peace Corps service into your degree through our Options for Peace Corps Service, earning yourself a 50 percent tuition scholarship for your final semester.

Career Development: Internships, Fellowships, Immersive Learning

Students gain professional experience through internships, prestigious fellowships, and other real-world, immersive programs.

Our graduates work with some of the most prestigious organizations around the world. Learn how they are thriving in their careers.

Tuition and Fees

Visit our tuition and fees page for detailed information.