Masters in Development Studies Degree Programs
Development studies is an interdisciplinary field that includes the social sciences, economics, and history. Students explore the economic and social development of countries and communities.
Master's Degree in Development Studies
Development studies is a branch of the social sciences that concerns itself with the economic or social development of countries. The field is interdisciplinary because economic and social development relies on multiple factors.
The degree is a specialized degree. Although it is offered at U.S. schools, it is more widely available in third world countries that have a history of colonization. The degree is also more common in the United Kingdom, where the field originated.
Degrees programs can usually be completed in one to two years. Students complete coursework in the first year and spend the second year working on a thesis, which should include original research. The thesis is usually overseen by an advisor or advisement committee. Because the focus of development studies programs often lies overseas, research and study is often combined with the field of international studies. Many programs also offer study abroad or internship opportunities to students, which allows 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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