MS in Development Management
The MSDM combines the fields of development and public administration to provide state of the art education, training, and practice in development management. The program is designed both for practitioners and students with prior field experience who plan to work on development programs and projects either within the United States or in developing countries. It provides an opportunity to focus on innovative approaches to development management that are presently being developed both in the United States and in the Third World, with particular attention to the issues of self-reliance, sustainability, and poverty alleviation. The approach emphasizes social learning, action research, institutional development, and social development management, with the objective of increasing the responsiveness of organizations to the publics they are designed to serve and enhance the capacity of these communities to further their own development.
The program also is concerned with such issues as improving management effectiveness in donor and locally funded projects and programs, public service reform, the role of non-governmental organizations, and management of both national level and decentralized institutions.
Offered by the School of International Service, the Master of Science in Development Management combines the fields of development and public administration to provide state-of-the-art education, training, and practice in development management. The program is designed both for practitioners and students with prior field experience who plan to work on development programs and projects either within the United States or in developing countries. It provides an opportunity to focus on innovative approaches to development management that are presently being developed both in the United States and in the Third World, with particular attention to the issues of self-reliance, sustainability, and poverty alleviation.
Admission to the Program
Applicants must have at least two years field experience working on development problems or projects in the United States, Western Europe, or in developing countries.
Applicants must hold an accredited bachelor's degree with a cumulative grade point average of at least a B+ (3.30 or higher on a 4.00 scale) and should have had at least 24 credit hours of social science coursework relevant to international studies. Students who do not meet these minimum requirements, if otherwise admissible, may be assigned additional coursework in excess of degree requirements specified at the time of admission.
The application deadline for fall admission is January 15; for spring admission October 1 (September 15 for international students). Admitted students may defer matriculation for no longer than two semesters provided that a written request for deferment is submitted to and approved by the SIS Graduate Admissions Office.
All applicants whose native language is English or those whose degrees are from an accredited institution where the language of instruction is English are required to submit results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Non-native English speakers are required to submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) unless they hold a degree from a US-accredited institution before enrollment at SIS. The minimum TOEFL score for full admissions consideration is 100 on the Internet-based test (iBT) or 600 on the paper-based test (PBT). The minimum IELTS score is 7.0. Applicants should plan to take the appropriate test no later than December to ensure full consideration of the application by the January deadline.
All applicants must submit two letters of reference evaluating undergraduate academic performance and suitability for graduate study in international affairs, at least one of which should be from an academic source. A resume should be included in the application. Applicants must submit transcripts from all institutions attended. Cultural factors are considered in evaluating transcripts and examination results.
Requests for the transfer of a maximum of 6 graduate credit hours from other accredited institutions to be applied to a master's degree are considered after successful completion of 9 credit hours in the graduate program at American University. A minimum grade of B in each course is required for transfer. Transfer courses must have been completed within five years of admission and must fulfill stated requirements of the degree program.
- 39-42 credit hours of approved graduate coursework with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00, including a minimum of 15-18 credit hours in the core, 12 credit hours in a related field selected from offerings in SIS or other teaching units of the university, 6 credit hours in social science methodology, and 6 credit hours of research.
- A mid-level professional who has performed successfully in a technical or managerial role before admission to the program may apply through the director of the MS in Development Management program to the dean of SIS to have the total program requirements reduced by up to 6 credit hours. This application may be made after completion of 9 credit hours and must make reference to a number of areas in which the student has acquired basic competence. Credit earned as part of an internship program does not count in this provision.
- Research requirement: 6 credit hours of practicum research with grades of B or better
- Comprehensive examination requirement completed in conjunction with practicum research
- To be eligible to take a comprehensive examination, students must have maintained at least a 3.00 grade point average (on a 4.00 scale) in all graduate coursework. The comprehensive examination requirement includes research group meetings plus an oral research presentation in conjunction with a thesis, substantial research paper, or practicum.
- Proficiency in a modern foreign language: Research competence in English and another language relevant to the student's career objectives must be certified.
Core (15-18 credit hours)
- ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory (3)
Students with a strong background in economics may have this course requirement waived without substitution with permission of the division director.
- ECON-661 Survey of Economic Development (3)
- SIS-636 Micropolitics of Development (3)
- SIS-637 International Development (3)
- PUAD-614 Development Management (3)
One of the following:
Concentration (12 credit hours)
- 12 credit hours in courses approved by the student's faculty advisor selected from one concentration. A maximum of 6 credit hours from SIS-633 Selected Topics in International Communication, SIS-638 Selected Topics in International Development Skills, and SIS-639 Selected Topics in International Conflict Resolution Skills may be included. Students may design their own concentration with the approval of the faculty advisor and the MSDM director. Examples of concentrations include:
Development Management and Information Systems
Entrepreneurship and Small Business
Program and Project Management
Social Science Research Methodology (6 credit hours)
- SIS-600 Statistics, Research Design, and Research Methods for International Affairs (3)
- SIS-619 Special Studies in International Politics (3) : Advanced Statistics, Research Design, and Research Methods for International Affairs
- Approved methodology course appropriate to the student's research interests (3)
Research and Writing Requirement (6 credit hours)
- SIS-693 Practicum: Action Research in Development Management (1-6) (6 credit hours required) (with a grade of B or better)
SIS MA/MS and MBA
Admission to the Program
- Applications are submitted to both SIS and Kogod. Students must be admitted separately to each program. While students are encouraged to apply for admission to both programs simultaneously, students can apply to the second program after admission and matriculation in the first program. Students must be admitted to the second program and begin their studies prior to conferral of the degree from the first program.
- The full-time MBA is a cohorted two-year program. During the first year of the MBA students complete 26 or 29 credit hours in Kogod, and during the second year of the MBA students, including the MBA capstone in the spring semester. Sequencing and timing of SIS coursework depends on the chosen program. Generally, dual degree students begin their academic programs at Kogod, but this is not required. The dual degree between SIS and Kogod may not be completed in conjunction with any other dual degrees at AU.
SIS Degree Requirements
- Dual degree students may count up to 9 credit hours from their Kogod degree requirements toward their SIS degree requirements with approval of the SIS program director. This typically includes the 6 credit hour methodology requirement and the 3 credit hour elective. Students must otherwise complete all requirements as listed for the SIS graduate degree. The SIS MA degrees are built around a multidisciplinary curriculum focused on preparing students for a wide variety of careers in global service, including public, private, and non-profit semesters. MA/MBA students can specialize in areas at SIS that include international development, security, global governance, conflict resolution, global environmental policy, regional studies, U.S. foreign policy, and public diplomacy. Students select a specialized concentration that allows them to tailor their studies to their individual interests. See relevant SIS degree requirements for more information.
MBA Degree Requirements
- 32 credit hours of approved graduate coursework that includes required business core courses, capstone course, and an electives course.
- Capstone experience: KSB-613 Strategic Decision Making.
- All students are required to participate in the full-time MBA orientation prior to the start of the program.
- The MBA degree will be conferred no earlier than the semester in which the SIS graduate degree is completed.
- Prerequisite knowledge in economics
Pre-Program Preparation (Noncredit)
Business Core (26 credit hours)
- ACCT-607 Financial Accounting (3)
- FIN-614 Financial Management (3)
- IBUS-618 Manager in the International Economy (3)
- ITEC-610 Applied Managerial Statistics (3)
- ITEC-617 Information and Technology (1.5)
- ITEC-618 Applied Production and Operations Management (1.5)
- KSB-609 Business at the Private-Public Intersection (3)
- KSB-653 Business Leadership and Skills Workshop (1) (taken twice for a total of 2 credit hours)
- MGMT-609 Management of Organizations and Human Capital (3)
- MKTG-612 Marketing Management (3)
Professional Skills (Noncredit)
- KSB-075 Career Management 1: First Year Foundations and Internship Search (0) (taken twice)
- KSB-081 Business Communications (0) (taken twice)
Capstone (3 credit hours)
Elective (3 credit hours)
- 3 credit hours in a business course