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The Middlebury Institute Master of Arts in International Policy and Development (IPD) program provides our diverse community of students with an in-depth knowledge of policy processes and systems in a variety of contexts.


  • Understand linkages among policy, programs, projects, and people (i.e., primary target groups, secondary target groups, and those affected by unintended consequences of policies)

  • Understand the intertwining roles of actors from government, the private sector, and civil society in solving complex challenges

  • Understand contested development paradigms, theories, and practices

  • Understand why wicked problems exist, obstacles to their solution, and the trade-offs embedded in proposed policy responses

Specific Abilities

  • Effectively engage in all facets of the policy process (i.e., problem definition; policy research; goal setting; policy option generation; preferred option selection; policy implementation; and policy evaluation)

  • Build networks and partnerships with diverse actors to meet policy-related goals and optimally address complex problems

  • Communicate and negotiate effectively with diverse, multicultural stakeholder groups to achieve policy-related goals

  • Appropriately use a variety of social science research methods, both quantitative and qualitative, to inform policy-related decisions

  • Apply concepts and theories drawn from economics to policy-related decision-making to lead individuals, teams, and social change organizations (SCOs)

General Skills

  • Systemic planning to achieve policy-related goals

  • Political and power analysis

  • Research using primary and secondary sources

  • Data generation and analysis (quantitative and qualitative)

  • Critical self-reflection

  • Evidence-based decision making

  • Application of lessons learned and preferred professional practices to all facets of the policy process

  • Collaborative, productive engagement with colleagues and stakeholders