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Masters in Development Studies Degree Programs

Development studies is an interdisciplinary branch of social sciences that is concerned with the economic and social development of countries. Master's degree programs in development studies have an international focus.

Essential Information

These specialized degree programs are offered at a small number of U.S. schools, but they are more widely available in developing countries and in the United Kingdom, where the field originated. Master's degree programs can usually be completed in 1-2 years. A thesis is typically required. Many programs also offer study abroad or internship opportunities to students, which allow for valuable hands-on research.


Master's Degree in Development Studies

Applicants must have at least a bachelor's degree, usually in a related field like economics, political science, international business, or history. Applicants should also expect to submit standardized test scores, college transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Coursework in master's degree programs in development studies can vary widely based on students' specializations and whether or not they choose to study, work, or do research overseas. Common courses include:

  • Global economics
  • Political issues in development
  • Leadership in developing countries
  • Statistics and econometrics

Popular Career Options

Development studies degrees can lead to a variety of careers. Many graduates choose to pursue a doctorate in a related field. Master's degree holders can find work as:

  • Development consultants
  • Independent researchers or analysts
  • Economists
  • Diplomats
  • Nonprofit executives

A master's program in development studies focuses on economics, policy, and politics in developing nations. Graduates can choose to pursue a doctorate or work as consultants and researchers.

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