Department of International Development and Social Change

Accelerated IDSC BA/MA Degree Program

Program of Study

The IDSC MA degree requires 12 course credits:

• 2 credits transferred from the BA/MA program
• 2 internship credits, usually taken in the summer before and the summer after the spring semester of the fifth year
• 8 credits taken during the fifth year, including:

1. Required: IDCE 360 – Intro to Development Theory
2. Required: IDC 361—Project Management and Social Change
3. Required: IDCE 314—Research Design and Methods
4. Required: IDCE 30213—MA paper, thesis or technical report
5. Recommended: IDCE 30217: Economic Fundamentals for International Development (if the student has not already taken ECON 228); any other upper level 200/300 course in international economics or management economics; or an elective course
6. Skills course
7. Skills or elective course
8. Elective course

To meet these requirements and prepare themselves intellectually for this rigorous fifth year of study, BA/MA applicants are encouraged to these steps:
While completing the BA:

 First year and sophomore year. Students should try to fulfill their requirements as early as possible so as to be eligible to take advanced level seminars in their junior and senior year. Also, with the exception of the internship or field research, accelerated BA/MA students are strongly advised not to count any Study Abroad courses as part of the 14 units required for the IDSC major.

 Students must complete the Application to the Accelerated BA/Master's Degree: Part 1 and return it to the ACADEMIC ADVISING CENTER by April 1 of the junior year (November 1 for those who are out of sequence). The application form is available on-line at

If necessary, a student can submit the form while studying abroad. Prior to leaving, however, he/she must discuss plans with the faculty advisor and the IDCE BA/MA coordinator. Note: The Academic Advising office will not accept the application form unless signed by the IDCE BA/MA Coordinator.

The Academic Advising Center will inform you by letter at the end of your junior year if you remain eligible for the program.

 In the junior or senior year, prospective BA/MA applicants should take two upper-level courses (cross-listed as graduate courses) related to their interests in international development to be credited toward the MA. Prospective BA/MA students should try to register for these classes with the 300-level CRN number or seek approval from the BA/MA coordinator for having a 200 level count.

 In October of the senior year, the BA/MA applicant must formally apply to the same graduate program he or she selected on the first part of the application (spring, junior year). This includes letters of recommendation, so plan ahead.

Acceptance into the graduate program is provisional until the end of the senior year and is determined by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research based on the recommendation of academic program.

 Seniors must complete an Honors Thesis and give early thought to what new topic they might choose for their MA paper.

 While fieldwork experience is not required for the program, BA-MA tend to perform better their fifth year if they have acquired some significant international experience during their undergraduate years. Career Services and faculty advisors can help students identify appropriate internships, work abroad, and other opportunities. IDSC majors are also welcome to view the IDCE Career Database at:

In the summer or year following award of the BA degree:

BA/MA students typically pursue one graduate-length internship in the summer before and another in the summer after the fifth year (registering for the credits in the fall and spring semesters of the fifth year, respectively, when the student typically completes the academic or written component). Occasionally, students may undertake a lengthier internship between the BA and the start of the fifth year, in which case, both credits would be awarded in the fall semester of the fifth year.

Graduate-level internships require 210+ hours, plus submission of an appropriate written academic component (15-20 pages) to be determined in conjunction with the faculty internship supervisor.

Any student awarded a Compton Mentor, Boren, or Fulbright scholarship may petition the Graduate School (not IDSC) to defer their entrance to the MA program by one year. Otherwise, per university regulations, all students admitted to the BA/MA program must begin the MA program in the fall semester following their graduation (whether in December or May).

Those participating in one of these year-long academic scholarships must petition the Graduate School to remain eligible for the fifth year free scholarship. Many participants in these programs also request transfer credit for two internship units.
After graduation and before returning in the fall, BA/MA students may also want to begin thinking about topics for the MA paper, practitioner paper, or thesis. Many students choose to do something related to their summer internships. As soon as possible (but no later than the end of September in the fifth year), they should approach a faculty member to serve as a first reader.