icon-arrow-down icon-arrow-left icon-arrow-right icon-arrow-up icon-calendar icon-check icon-close icon-compass icon-email icon-facebook icon-instagram icon-linkedin icon-map icon-play icon-plus icon-search icon-twitter icon-vimeo icon-youtube

The Middlebury Institute Joint MPA/MA in International Trade and Economic Diplomacy is a five-semester, 76-credit program.

Start Credits Practicum/Capstone Language Competency Program Chairs
August or January 76 Required Required

Beryl Levinger
Wei Liang
Robert Rogowsky

Core Course Work

The core interdisciplinary course work and integrated professional experiences will prepare you to launch a career at the intersection of trade and development.

Policy and Data Analysis

Sample course:

  • Introduction to Policy and Data Analysis


Credits that provide a fundamental understanding of international economics and economic diplomacy. Sample course:

  • International Trade: Policy and Practice

Development Paradigms, Discourses, and Theories

Credits that focus on development, practice, and policy. Sample courses:

  • Development, Theory, and Practice

  • Negotiating Global Development Policy

Foundations of Trade

These courses focus on developing critical content knowledge and skills on trade:

  • International Trade Policy and Institutions

  • International Trade Negotiation Simulation

  • International Trade Law and Dispute Resolution

  • Comparative Business-Government Relations

Management and Leadership

Credits that focus on management of nonprofit or governmental organizations. Sample course:

  • Leading Social Change Organizations

Finance and Administration

Credits that build competence in organizational administration. Sample courses:

  • Finance Functions of Nonprofit and Social Change Organizations

  • Organizational Sustainability for Social Change Organizations


Sample course:

  • Program Evaluation for Social Change Organizations

Seminars and Applied Practice

Research seminars and applied practice course work focused on development knowledge and skills in relevant areas of policy careers. Sample courses:

  • 21st-Century Trade Issues    

  • Foreign Policy, Trade, and Security in East Asia

  • Evaluation of Small Arms Reduction Programs

  • Trade and Development

  • Human Rights Protection: Strategic Practices

  • Policy Writing


Students may choose electives from an ITED-approved list. Electives, selected with guidance from your advisor, deepen your expertise in areas that can benefit your career.

Capstone Project

Students complete an economic diplomacy capstone project. This is an intensive writing project directed by ITED faculty and aimed at improving research, analysis, and writing skills; demonstrating knowledge and abilities; and building connections and networks in the community in areas of students’ specialization. An oral exam concludes the project.

Professional Practicum

Put theory into practice through a semester-long practicum in the field:

Design, Partnering, Management, and Innovation PLUS

Design, Partnering, Management, and Innovation PLUS includes a three- to nine-month internship applying degree-area skills to benefit a host organization. You’ll also create a case study examining DPMI-related issues confronting the organization. These issues may include project design, project monitoring, training, stakeholder participation, strategic partnering, social entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Independent Practicum

The independent practicum (four credits) 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 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 offerings provide the cross-cultural communication skills needed to pursue global careers. Sample 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)

  • Intercultural Group Dynamics

  • Multilingual Communication in Multicultural Settings


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.

Semester in Washington, D.C.

In the third semester, students can take courses in D.C. on business–government relations and economic statecraft and conflict resolution, and a seminar on advanced trade topics. Evening classes allow students to pursue internships, which are encouraged but not required. Students who intern in D.C. in the summer prior should consider continuing the internship during the semester.


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

Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program

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

Sample Course Schedule

Fall Start, Full Time, Five Semesters

Fall 1 16 Credits
Intro to Policy and Data Analysis 4
Introduction to Trade Policy and Institutions 4
Development Paradigms, Discourses, Theories 4
Language Studies 4
Spring 1 18 Credits
MPA Seminar 4
Development Economics 4
Development Theory and Practice 4
Language Studies/Intercultural Competence 4
Applied Practice Workshop 2
Fall 2 18 Credits
ITED Seminar 4
Leading Social Change Organizations 4
International Trade: Theory and Practice 4
Comparative Business-Government Relations 2
Language Studies 4
Spring 2 18 Credits
International Trade Law and Dispute Resolution 4
Electives (ITED-approved) 10
Organizational Sustainability for Social Change Organizations 4
Fall 3 6 Credits
Economic Diplomacy Capstone Project 2
DPMI+ or Independent Practicum 4