Individuals who are interested in public administration and development on an international scale may want to consider pursuing a Master of Public Administration (MPA) in International Development. We will look at some of these programs in greater detail below by highlighting common course requirements, differences in degree programs, and admission requirements.
Overview of International Development MPA Programs
Students who decide to pursue an MPA in the field of international development have a couple of options when selecting a program. It is possible to find MPA/ID programs that are specifically designed with international development in mind, though it is more common to find MPA programs that offer a concentration in international development. Both of these programs expose students to a variety of pertinent topics in the public administration and development fields. Below, we will look at a few courses that are commonly found in these programs.
Economics of Development
In this course, students closely study the different economic issues and theories that are of particular concern in the ID field. Some of these topics include poverty and economic inequality as well as larger macroeconomic issues like foreign aid, debt, and the operation of financial markets. Students study how all of these factors play a role in international development.
Because MPA programs typically have a heavy economics focus, students can expect to take several courses in economics, like advanced microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. These courses provide students with an advanced understanding of various economic issues, both from a national and international standpoint, as well as provide them with a way of analyzing policy from an economic perspective.
International Organizations and Institutions
An MPA program in international development typically includes a course that focuses on the different types of non-governmental organizations and institutions that operate within the ID field. Students learn how NGOs cooperate and sometimes collaborate with governments to develop policy as well as how they secure funding, among other topics.
Management and Development
In a course that focuses on the intersection of management and development, students study different government systems and public policies, as well as all of the different groups and actors that are involved in international development. Students may focus on real-world issues as well as theories of comparative politics and management.
International Affairs and Foreign Policy
These programs often include courses that focus on international affairs as well as foreign policy. Students learn about current American foreign policy, how it is implemented, and how it affects the international development field. In addition, students learn about various issues and problems that are occurring around the world and how the American government, various international organizations, and foreign governments respond to them.
General Admission Requirements for MPA Programs in International Development
Admission requirements for MPA programs in international development will likely vary from school to school. MPA programs that offer a concentration in international development may have more generalized admission requirements, while international development MPA programs may require students to have taken a more specific set of prerequisite courses in fields like economics and mathematics. When preparing an application, students can expect to fill out an application form and submit letters of recommendation, a personal statement, academic transcripts, and standardized test scores.
In summary, there are a few options for students who are interested in enrolling in an MPA program in international development, whether they select a traditional MPA program that allows them to pursue an ID concentration or a more focused MPA ID program.