Master of Arts in the Field of International Development Studies

The master of arts in the field of international development studies (IDS) degree program prepare students for professional careers in the field of international development through interdisciplinary course work that includes the study of economics, research methods, policy analysis, and management. Students focus their studies by creating their own area of specialization in coordination with their faculty mentor. 

The IDS program culminates in a capstone project where students work on a real-world consulting experience with a development organization. In past years, capstone projects have addressed a broad range of topics, including private sector development, rural education, microfinance, HIV/AIDS, environmental conservation, gender-based violence, municipal planning, and many others. Teams have pursued these projects and conducted fieldwork in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. Previous capstone reports can be found on the program's capstone website.

In addition to their regular course work, most graduate students in the IDS program are employed full- or part-time in a job or internship directly related to their studies. Employers include USAID, World Bank, Organization of American States, Peace Corps, IREX, Ashoka, Management Systems International, the Woodrow Wilson Center, Chemonics International, and many others. 

Specific admission requirements are shown on the Graduate Program Finder.

Visit the program website for additional information.

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 40 credits, including:

10 credits in core courses
12 credits in analytical courses
18 credits in an area of specialization
Foreign language proficiency

International Development Studies

Language Proficiency

Students must demonstrate proficiency in a modern foreign language. The ability to communicate across cultures in more than one language is a distinguishing and expected skill of the international development professional. For that reason, completion of the M.A. in International Development Studies requires demonstrated oral and reading proficiency in a modern foreign language.

Professional Skills Courses

The Elliott School offers a series of one-credit workshops on a variety of topics and students are encouraged to explore the possibility of taking up to three of these. Offered throughout the academic year, the skills covered provide students with practical skills and knowledge they will need to perform effectively in a variety of work settings.