Masters Degree in International Development: Program Overviews

A degree in international development focuses on the economic, social, and political progress of global cultures. Some master's programs in this field emphasize the cultural aspects of international studies, while others look at practical applications, such as urban planning.

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.

  • Prerequisites: A bachelor's degree; personal interview; GRE scores
  • Other Requirements: Some programs may require an internship; most require 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. Professional experience in government, business, or non-profit charity work can make an applicant especially desirable. Graduates with 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 increase 21% from 2012-2022, which is slower than average. The mean salary for political scientists as of May 2014 was $82,670, 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.

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