Accelerated Master of Arts in International Development and Social Change program information


The master's degree in International Development and Social Change (IDSC) emphasizes the connection between critical thinking and effective action. It is designed for scholars of international development, as well as for present and future practitioners of grassroots, community-based development.

Offering alternatives to centralized planning and implementation, the IDSC M.A. program has been a pioneer in participatory development and a leading force in creating tools for social change. A major challenge for 21st century development is to promote development and sustain environmental resources through local planning and action. The IDCE participatory approach creates ownership of development initiatives on local levels and fosters partnerships between local institutions and external agencies.

The IDSC M.A. program helps students to reach innovative solutions to development problems by building understanding of the complex causes, influences, and implications of poverty, social injustice and conflict. Rooted in the belief that effective approaches draw on many disciplines, the IDSC M.A. employs a cross-disciplinary focus, with faculty from anthropology, economics, environmental sciences, gender studies, geography, history, political science and management. Links with collaborating institutions in countries such as Kenya, Nepal, Ghana, India, Senegal, Somaliland and Mexico provide important real-world perspectives and fieldwork opportunities.

Through action-oriented and critical studies linking theory and practice, the IDSC M.A. offers opportunities to specialize in such topics as political economy, conflict and development, culture and development, resource management, community-based development or gender and development.