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International Development Policy

© Aaron Barker

About the international development specialization

The development specialization focuses on the economics, political, demographic, health, and ethical dimensions of development. Our courses cover topics such as economic stagnation, poverty, unhappiness, food insecurity, political repression, ethnic/religious conflict, population displacement, and health. Students acquire the tools and skills required to identify development challenges and to measure accurately the effects of interventions on development outcomes.

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International Development Alumni Employers (2006-2012)

Brookings Institution; Chemonics; Development Alternatives, Inc.; Government of France; Government of India; Middle East Institute and Youth Action International; U.S. Agency for International Development; U.S Department of State; U.S. Peace Corps; United Nations, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean; University of Maryland; Baltimore City (MD) Office of the Mayor; U.S. Air Force; CNFA, Farmer-to-Farmer East Africa Program; Advocacy Project; Partners for Development; U.S. Department of Justice; Accenture; Achieve, Inc.; Africa Society; American University; Annie E. Caey Foundation; ARISE Chicago; Baltimore County (MD) Department of Health; Capital One Financial; Child Center of New York; China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation; Colon Cancer Alliance; Corporation for National and Community Service; CTC; Echoing Green; Endeavor Argentina; Financial Consumer Protection Board; FINCA International; Futures Group; Innovations for Poverty Action; International Budget Partnership; IQ Solutions, Inc.; Korean Energy Economic Institute (KEEI); Laogai Research Foundation; Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore; Maryland China Initiative; Micro Insurance Academy; MSI-US; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Riverwatch, Inc.; U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Department of Social Development and World Peace; U.S. Department of Labor; U.S. Global Leadership Coalition; U.S. Government Accountability Office; University of Francisco Marroquin (Guatamala); University of North Carolina, Water Institute; University of Southern California; World Water Forum.

International Development Town Hall

Each semester, the IDEV director holds a Town Hall. At this event, students and faculty discuss course offerings for the upcoming semesters, changes to the specialization and solicit feedback for improvements. Suggestions from previous Town Halls have resulted in new courses. Student led specialization councils also describe their current activities and efforts for student advocacy and engagement. These events are the best way for students to get a comprehensive overview of the specialization and to shape its future direction.


IDEV Council

IDEV Council is a student group dedicated to promoting the topic of international development at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. Elected by by the MPP-IDEV student body, the IDEV Council advocates for students' interests and concerns regarding the specialization program. In addition, IDEV Council organizes academic, professional, and social events related to the field of international development. The flagship program is Development Circle, a bi-weekly luncheon that features presentations from top thinkers and practitioners of development policy.


Development Circle

Development Circle is a forum on development challenges featuring faculty, students, and special guests from outside the School. It is usually held on Wednesdays in VMH1203 or VMH1207.


Academic information for PhD students

Students are also required to pass exams in their chosen specialization. Full-time students usually take these exams at the end of the second year; part-time students at the end of the third or fourth year. Faculty members associated with each specialization determine requirements and procedures. Students should inform the specialization faculty of their intention to take the exams at least six months in advance. Faculty in turn will inform students of exam requirements and procedures and provide any additional reading lists at least three months before the exams are administered.

IDEV Specialization PhD exam reading lists

Academic information for master students

International Development Specialization Curriculum

In addition to meeting the overall requirements of their degree program, students electing to specialize in international development must complete four requirements.


Students must complete both International Economic Policy and International Development Economics:

International Economic Policy (PUAF 781)

International Development Economics (PUAF 782)


Students must complete either Development Challenges or Pathways to Development:

Development Challenges in the Globalization Process - (PUAF 698R)

Selected Topics Public Policy: Pathways to Development - (PUAF 699J)


At least one international development elective.  Popular IDEV electives include:

PUAF 688T:Transitional Justice and Development (Crocker)

PUAF 689J: Food, Economics and Health (Bhargava)

PUAF 689V: Public Policy Topics: Forecasting and Anylzying Political Violence (Jones)

PUAF 698O:Ethics, Development and Foreign Aid (Crocker)

PUAF 699D:Disease, Disaster, and Development (Sprinkle)

PUAF 699K:Civil Conflict (Steinbruner)

PUAF 699Q:Demography, Development and Social Policy (Haaga)

PUAF 720:International Security Policy (Gallagher)


Other courses of interest for IDEV students:

PUAF 798T: Morocco: Political and Social Development

International Development Specialization Director

For more information on the IDEV specialization, contact :

Dr. David Crocker