Curriculum - M.P.A./M.P.P.
Field II - Development Studies
"Development Studies explores factors that can create political, economic, and social benefits for people, especially those who live in impoverished or oppressive situations. Field II students graduate with better understandings of alternative theories and practical options that they can use to promote development locally, nationally, and globally"
Lynn T. White
Field II Coordinator; Professor of Politics and International Affairs
Field II is concerned with the problems confronting low-income countries and transition economies as they pursue development strategies under a wide range of political regimes and economic conditions. Since the process of development is influenced by international political and economic forces, Field II both overlaps and complements Field I.
In response to the wide scope of development issues, Field II students are encouraged to draw from many relevant academic disciplines. The School offers these students opportunities to develop their special strengths, whether in political and social analysis of the development process, more quantitative economic analysis, or through cultural and area studies.
Incoming Field II students have worked for domestic and foreign governmental organizations and nonprofit organizations. They have worked in numerous capacities as researchers, analysts, economists, community organizers, human rights observers, election monitors, and Peace Corps volunteers. This breadth of experience brings a variety of perspectives to the classroom and the community of the School. Master's degree candidates who choose this field are expected to have prior international work experience abroad, and M.P.A. candidates usually spend the summer between their first and second years of study working as interns in a developing country. On occasion, the summer internship can be extended to a full year of practical experience and language acquisition. Both the summer and possible "middle-year out" immersion in applied development settings enrich the coursework of the second year and provide strong support for placement after graduation.
M.P.A. students in this field are required to take WWS 561 The Comparative Political Economy of Development and WWS 562b or 562c Economic Analysis of Development. Material from these courses figures prominently in the second-year qualifying exam (QE2). Other comparative and regional studies round out the field, as do courses in economics, politics, sociology, health and health policy, and demography. Recent development-related graduate policy workshops include the following:
- Building Councils and Legislatures in Fragile States
- Managing Elections in Fragile States
- Millennium Challenge Corporation and Recipient Country Absorptive Capacity
- Pension Reform for Transition Economies and Developing Countries
- Property Rights Reform in Urban Latin America
- Rights-based Approach to Universal Primary Education
WWS has no formal language requirement, but students who are interested principally in development studies are strongly urged to acquire the ability to use relevant languages effectively before entering the program. With the approval of their faculty advisors, M.P.A. candidates may count up to two language courses toward their degree requirements. In addition, the School provides a subsidy to students who choose to undertake more language study concurrent with a full-time summer internship.
Internships and Careers
The M.P.A. program requires students to complete a summer internship between their first and second years. The internship portion of the curriculum is managed by the School's Office of Graduate Career Services; please visit the Career Services web site for a list of internships taken by Field II students, as well as a list of careers that Field II graduates have gone on to.