MA in International Development
The MAID is designed for students whose professional interests require a broad, multidisciplinary approach to international development theories, issues, and programs. It is particularly useful preparation for those involved in policy analysis, development and global education, and research. The program provides the opportunity for students to examine critically the most current international development theories and policies, and to gain an inside view on the Washington development community by serving as interns with development organizations. Students also have the opportunity to choose an area of concentration from a wide range of options, or to fashion an individually designed specialization relevant to their needs and interests.
Offered by the School of International Service, for over 35 years, the International Development program has trained students to participate effectively in driving socio-economic, political, and environmental change throughout the world. The program's primary focus is the improvement of opportunities for the world's poor and disenfranchised. Students have the opportunity to custom-design a particular focus or concentration to fit their interests.
Admission to the Program
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 U.S.-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. Fall 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 must be completed in the student's first semester 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 12-15 credit hours in the core, 15 credit hours in a concentration selected from offerings in SIS or other teaching units of the university, 6 credit hours in research methods, 3 elective credit hours, and a 3 credit hour capstone experience.
- Capstone experience: demonstration of critical thinking, research and writing skills through completion of a master's thesis, substantial research paper requirement, or practicum. All courses taken to fulfill this requirement must be passed with a grade of B or better.
- Thesis: 6 credit hours of thesis credit and submission of the thesis
- Substantial research paper requirement: 3 credit hours
- Practicum: 3 credit hours
- Evidence of professional experience in the field:
- Relevant internship or work experience must be certified.
- Proficiency in a modern foreign language:
- Research competence in English and another language relevant to the student's career objectives must be certified.
Core (12-15 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)
One of the following:
- SIS-533 Population, Migration, and Development (3)
- SIS-624 Children in International Development (3)
- SIS-626 Social Policy and Development (3)
- SIS-635 Advanced Topics in Development Management (3)
Community Development (3 credit hours required)
Rural Development (3 credit hours required)
Urban Development (3 credit hours required)
- SIS-650 Global Economy and Sustainable Development (3)
Concentration (15 credit hours)
- 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. Examples of concentrations include:
Community Development and Basic Needs Development Finance and Banking Development Education Development Management Development Policy Economics and Finance and International Economic Policy Entrepreneurship and Small Business Environment and Development Gender Studies and Development NGOs and Development
Elective (3 credit hours)
- 3 credit hours selected from skills workshops, internship for credit, master's thesis requirement, or other elective courses
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
Methodology or Professional Skills Coursework
- Methodology or professional skills coursework appropriate to the student's research and career interests (3)
Capstone Experience (3 credit hours)
- SIS-797 Master's Thesis Supervision (1-6) (may include 3 elective credit hours)
- Substantial research paper or practicum requirement
International Development (MA) and Master of Theological Studies
A dual master's degree program is offered by the School of International Service and Wesley Theological Seminary. Graduates receive both the MA in International Development and the Master of Theological Studies.
Admission and Requirements
- Applications are submitted to both SIS and Wesley. Students must be admitted separately to each program.
- Students may count up to 9 credit hours from Wesley toward the related field/concentration requirement for the MA in International Development, and an additional 3 credit hours toward the research requirement if they select the thesis option.
Please refer to the Wesley Theological Seminary catalog for a description of the degree requirements for the Master of Theological Studies, or call the Admissions Office at 202-885-8659.
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