Home Graduate Master's programs MPP/MPM Specializations International Development Policy specialization

International Development Policy specialization

The International Development (IDEV) specialization focuses on the economics, political, demographic, health, and ethical dimensions of development. Our courses cover topics such as economic stagnation, poverty, unhappiness, food insecurity, political repression, ethnic/religious conflict, population displacement, and health. Students acquire the tools and skills required to identify development challenges and to measure accurately the effects of interventions on development outcomes.

International Development alumni employers

Brookings Institution; Chemonics; Development Alternatives, Inc.; Government of France; Government of India; Middle East Institute and Youth Action International; U.S. Agency for International Development; U.S Department of State; U.S. Peace Corps; United Nations, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean; University of Maryland; Baltimore City (MD) Office of the Mayor; U.S. Air Force; CNFA, Farmer-to-Farmer East Africa Program; Advocacy Project; Partners for Development; U.S. Department of Justice; Accenture; Achieve, Inc.; Africa Society; American University; Annie E. Caey Foundation; ARISE Chicago; Baltimore County (MD) Department of Health; Capital One Financial; Child Center of New York; China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation; Colon Cancer Alliance; Corporation for National and Community Service; CTC; Echoing Green; Endeavor Argentina; Financial Consumer Protection Board; FINCA International; Futures Group; Innovations for Poverty Action; International Budget Partnership; IQ Solutions, Inc.; Korean Energy Economic Institute (KEEI); Laogai Research Foundation; Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore; Maryland China Initiative; Micro Insurance Academy; MSI-US; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Riverwatch, Inc.; U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Department of Social Development and World Peace; U.S. Department of Labor; U.S. Global Leadership Coalition; U.S. Government Accountability Office; University of Francisco Marroquin (Guatamala); University of North Carolina, Water Institute; University of Southern California; World Water Forum.

International Development specialization curriculum for MPP and MPM students

In addition to meeting the core requirements of their degree program, students specializing in IDEV are required to take the following courses.

  • International Economic Policy (PLCY781)
  • International Development Economics (PLCY782)
  • Pathways to Development (PLCY699J) or Development Challenges (PLCY698R)
  • One international development elective. Popular IDEV electives include:
    • PLCY688X: Human Dignity
    • PLCY689E: Program Evaluation and Cost-Benefit Analysis 
    • PLCY689I Indonesia: Social-Ecological Systems, Environmental Policy, and Sustainable Development in Indonesia (Education Abroad course)
    • PLCY689J: Food, Economics and Health
    • PLCY698A: Poverty Measurement and Alleviation
    • PLCY784: Disease, Disaster, and Development
    • PLCY720: International Security Policy
    • PLCY744:  Environment and Development 
    • PLCY783: Development and Foreign Aid
    • PLCY798I: India: Education and Project Engagement with Delhi’s NGOs (Education Abroad course)
    • PLCY798T: Sustainable Development, Environmental Policy, and Human Rights in Peru (Education Abroad course)
    • PLCY(tbd): Morocco: Security and Development (Education Abroad course)

In addition, any ISEP elective can count as an IDEV elective.

Sample plan of study for the International Development (IDEV) specialization

Below is an example of how a student in this specialization may progress towards her MPP degree semester by semester. It does not represent the only way to sequence the courses.

International Development Town Hall

Each semester, the IDEV specialization head holds a Town Hall. At this event, students and faculty discuss course offerings for the upcoming semesters, changes to the specialization and solicit feedback for improvements. Suggestions from previous Town Halls have resulted in new courses. Student-led specialization councils also describe their current activities and efforts for student advocacy and engagement. These events are the best way for students to get a comprehensive overview of the specialization and to shape its future direction.

For more information, please contact the IDEV specialization head, Dr. Susan Parker (swparker@umd.edu).