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Summer and Intersession Programs

Urban Development and Public Services Delivery

Mysore, India

Throughout the developing world, the delivery of public services is sometimes irregular and unpredictable. Is water available today? Will our street have electricity this evening? Will my daughter’s teacher show up for school today? This practicum will explore causes and consequences of unpredictable and intermittent public service delivery in one urban setting: Mysore, India.

Palace of Mysore, Mysore, India

Faculty Director

Mary Breeding

Academic Details

This 3-credit course will explore the political economy of urban public service provision in Mysore, India to address questions related to access, equity and quality of public service delivery. Students will have the opportunity to work with a client to help address questions related to the delivery of a specific public service (e.g. water or education). 

This work will involve: 
  • Developing an understanding of the local context, policies, challenges and concerns related to the delivery of a public service; 
  • Exploring research-evidence on international best practices related to service delivery; 
  • Developing a framework for addressing local challenges; and 
  • Working with the client toward a useful deliverable to assist them in their work. 

This course provides students with two unique opportunities: One, students will get firsthand experience working on urban development topics. Two, students will be exploring various elements related to service delivery. These include: resources and budgets, information-flows, decision-making processes, service delivery mechanisms, and accountability for service provision.

Site Visits and Field Trips

Students enrolled in the seminar will have the opportunity to visit a number of local NGO field sites including schools, water works programs and local transportation projects. Students will also have the opportunity to visit research institutions and universities. Cultural and historical site visits may include the City of Mysore Palace, Dravidian temples from the 9th and 10th centuries, coffee plantations of Coorg and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hampi. 

2017 Program Dates (TENTATIVE)

No flights should be booked until ordered to do so.

Pre-Departure DC sessions: late May/June (date TBA)

Arrival in India: July 23, Students must arrive no later in Bangalore

Program official start: Afternoon/evening of July 23

Travel to Mysore: July 24

Practicum work in Mysore and excursions: July 25 – August 4

End of program/ departure: August 5, students may travel elsewhere if desired

Program Costs

Expected student expenses include: AU tuition, program fee, international travel (flights), visa fee (if applicable), and most meals.

Program fee: $1700 $850  

Students will be charged the full program fee for their participation in the program, but all participants will receive a 50% scholarship on their student accounts to reduce this cost. The program fee reduction is provided to the students in the form of a scholarship after their initial payment of the full amount in order to avoid students paying taxes on a fee subsidization. This process has been established to be in accordance with American University and federal financial aid policies.

More information about the Summer Study Abroad Program expenses and scholarship will be provided during program specific information sessions or by emailing specific questions to the Office of International Programs (

Who Should Attend

Students from all SIS programs are encouraged to apply.

Practicum Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in any SIS Practicum, MA students must be in good academic standing (including a 3.0 cumulative GPA) and have completed 18 credits of graduate coursework by the end of the spring 2017 semester, prior to participating in the Practicum. Dual degree students (e.g. MA/MBA, JD/MA, and KU/MA) must have completed at least 9 of the minimum 18 credits to participate. Students from any MA program can apply to this practicum.

Application and Deadlines

Application deadline: February 22nd

Please visit the Practicum site to get started on your application to the Practicum Program. Be aware that applications received before the deadline will not be reviewed sooner, nor will they receive special consideration because of early submission. We strongly advise you to take your time to submit a quality application. More information on how to submit a strong application is available through the Practicum site. 

If accepted, students will be required to submit a non-refundable deposit of $250 to SIS, through a check or money order made payable to American University, to secure their place in the Program.

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Application and Deadlines

Summer 2017:  February 22, 2017 -- no applications accepted after this date.

Important Dates & Info Sessions

Funding Your Study Abroad

Graduate grants and scholarships


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