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Masters Degree in International Development: Program Overviews

A master's degree program in international development focuses on the economic, social and political progress of global cultures. Programs may emphasize the cultural aspects or practical applications of international studies.

Essential Information

Courses in international development vary depending on the program, but may include urban geography, anthropology, public health and international legal studies. Students may have the opportunity for international study to enhance their experience and knowledge. Students with master's degrees in international development are primed for careers in business, government, and education.

Entering a master's degree program in international development requires a bachelor's degree, personal interview and GRE scores. Once in the program, students may be required to do an internship and will likely be required to complete a thesis.


Master of Arts Degree in International Development

The Master of Arts degree in International Development degree program introduces students to advanced concepts in demographics research, ecology and social sciences. International development graduate degree programs usually require a thesis combining research in multiple academic disciplines. Successful applicants often have an undergraduate degree in a field related to international development. Students in international development graduate programs take courses in business, urban planning and public health. Topics that students can expect to study include:

  • Development theory
  • Education and national development
  • Conservation
  • Urban geography
  • Environmental politics

Popular Career Options

Many applicants to international development programs demonstrate proficiency in multiple languages, and professional experience in government, business or non-profit work can make an applicant especially desirable. Graduates with a master's degree in international development can pursue careers that include:

  • Government official
  • Policy director
  • Researcher
  • Refugee relief organizer
  • Human rights advocate
  • Proposal writer
  • Community developer
  • Teacher

Employment and Salary Prospects

Earning a master's degree in international development may qualify individuals for careers as political scientists. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that available jobs in this field are expected to decline 2% from 2014-2024. The mean salary for political scientists as of May 2014 was $99,0370, according to the BLS.

Continuing Education Information

A doctoral degree in international development can greatly enhance a career in a range of fields. Doctoral candidates are often interested in careers in research and academics. However, a Ph.D. in international development can lead to work overseas in government or with a non-profit organization.

Earning a master's degree in international development can give an individual particular insight into global issues, and may allow for increased impact on their chosen profession.

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