Masters in Development Studies Degree Programs
Learn about the field of development studies. Find out about prerequisites and coursework required for master's degrees in this field, as well as career options for graduates.
Development studies is an interdisciplinary branch of social sciences that is concerned with the economic and social development of countries. Master's degree programs in development studies have an international focus. These specialized degree programs are offered at U.S. schools, but they are more widely available in developing countries and in the United Kingdom, where the field originated.
Master's degree programs can usually be completed in 1-2 years. A thesis is typically required. Many programs also offer study abroad or internship opportunities to students, which allow for valuable hands-on research.
Students must have at least a bachelor's degree to be considered for admission to these programs; many programs prefer students with bachelor's degrees in a related field, like economics, political science, international business, or history. Applicants should also expect to submit standardized test scores, college transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose.
Coursework in master's degree programs in development studies can vary widely based on students' specializations and whether or not they choose to study, work, or do research overseas. Common courses include:
- Global economics
- Political issues in development
- Leadership in developing countries
- Statistics and econometrics
Popular Career Options
Development studies degrees can lead to a variety of careers. Many graduates choose to pursue a doctorate in a related field. Master's degree holders can find work as:
- Development consultants
- Independent researchers or analysts
- Nonprofit executives
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