The Joint MPA/MA in International Policy and Development (MPA/IPD) is a four-semester, 60-credit program.

Start Credits Practicum Second Language Program Chair
August or January 60 Required Optional Toni Thomas


Core Course Work (24 credits)

Language Studies and/or Intercultural Competence (8 credits)

Practicum (6 credits)

Electives (22 credits)

Core Course Work (24 credits)

MPA core coursework (15 credits)

  • Organizational Management (3 credits)
  • Policy and Data Analytics (3 credits)
  • Program Evaluation (3 credits)
  • Budget and Finance: Public and Nonprofit Organizations (3 credits)
  • Power, Social Change, and Organizations (3 credits)

IPD core coursework (9 credits)

  • Choose one Economics course
    • Economics of Inequality (3 credits)
    • International Finance (3 credits)
    • Environment and Natural Resource Economics (3 credits)
  • Choose one Research Methods course
    • Qualitative Data Analysis (3 credits)
    • Advanced Data Analytics (3 credits)
    • Intro to Network Analysis (3 credits)
    • Research Methods for Program and Proposal Development (3 credits)
  • Choose one Development/Policy course
    • International Politics and Development (3 credits)
    • Development Theory and Practice (3 credits)
    • Education and Development (3 credits)
    • International Education Policy (3 credits)

Language and Intercultural Competence (8 credits)

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

In 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. ICC courses give you the opportunity to learn about managing global and cross-cultural teams, addressing issues of power and identity, and improving communications.

We will work with you to align your courses with your evolving career goals.

Sample language studies courses:

  • Arab-African Relations (in Arabic)
  • Citizenship, Security, and Development in Latin America (in Spanish)
  • Challenges in Peacebuilding—Congo (in French)
  • Japan: Soft Power (in Japanese)
  • Business Chinese (in Chinese)

Sample intercultural competence courses:

  • Intercultural Group Dynamics: explore why global and multicultural teams often struggle and conversely how you can manage diverse teams to outperform homogenous groups.

  • Communication in Multicultural Settings: gain the knowledge and tools needed for effective participation in multilingual and multicultural communication as you examine the related social, cultural, and linguistic factors.

You may use electives to take additional language studies and/or intercultural competence courses. Having already completed the 8 credits requirement, you will be close to completing the 12-credit specialization in Language Studies for Professional Purposes specialization or the 16-credit specialization in Intercultural Competence specialization.

Practicum (6 credits)

Your final semester practicum can be completed remotely allowing you to transition to your preferred location before you graduate and gain professional experience in a context that closely aligns with your career goals. Your 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 projects, and present the deliverables in a final colloquium.

Electives (22 credits)

You may use electives to take additional language studies and/or intercultural competence courses, MPA courses, IPD courses, specialization courses, and/or courses from other degree programs (assuming prerequisites met).

Career-Related Modules

Through electives, you will have the opportunity to take additional courses grouped around specific, high-demand, and transferable career competencies:

  • Data Analytics
  • International Migration Management
  • Global Governance
  • Social Change and Long-Term Impact
  • Program and Project Management
  • Organizational Management and Leadership

Sample Course Schedule

Term Course Credits
Fall 1 Organizational Management 3
Fall 1 Program Evaluation 3
Fall 1 Economics course 3
Fall 1 Language Studies/Intercultural Competence 4
Fall 1 Elective course 3
January 1 Elective course 3
Spring 1 Research Methods course 3
Spring 1 Development/Policy course 3
Spring 1 Policy and Data Analytics 3
Spring 1 Language Studies/Intercultural Competence 4
Spring 1 Elective course 3
Fall 2 Budget and Finance 3
Fall 2 Power, Social Change, and Organizations 3
Fall 2 Elective course 3
Fall 2 Elective course 4
Fall 2 Elective course 3
January 2 Elective course 3
Spring 2 Practicum 6
TOTAL   60