MPA/ID candidate Lucila Arboleya


The MPA/ID Program is a rigorous, economics-centered program designed to train the next generation of practitioners and leaders in the field of international development. In the context of a multidisciplinary core curriculum, MPA/ID students take microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics sequences that are taught at the same level as first-year course in top PhD programs in economics, but with an emphasis on policy applications to development over pure theory. In addition, MPA/ID students complete core courses in legal and political institutions, governance, management, and the history and theory of development.

The demanding set of core courses includes:

  • Advanced Microeconomics
  • Advanced Macroeconomics
  • Advanced Statistics and Econometrics
  • Economic Development: Theory, Evidence and Policy Design
  • Management in a Development Context
  • Institutions in Development
  • Good Governance
  • Applications and Cases in International Development
  • Second Year Policy Analysis (SYPA)

Students gain professional expertise through the case workshop, a required summer internship, a substantial second-year policy analysis, and elective coursework in specific fields of development.

In short, the MPA/ID Program is built on three pillars:

  1. PhD-level training in economics and quantitative methods
  2. Multidisciplinary approach through coursework on institutions, politics, and management
  3. Professional orientation through the case workshop, a summer internship, and other integrative work

More specific information about the MPA/ID curriculum can be found on the core courses page and the Office of the Registrar's list of MPA/ID Degree Requirements.

Teaching and Learning at HKS

Classes at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (Harvard Kennedy School/HKS) are taught by the case method, the more traditional lecture format, or a mixture of both. Students work together in small groups on projects and will have assistance from course assistants, teaching fellows, and faculty members in a collaborative working environment.

Methodological Areas at HKS

The HKS curriculum is built around the concept that future leaders and policy makers need to be adept in analytical, management, and leadership skills in order to serve the public good. The three foundational methodological areas at HKS are:

  1. Quantitative Analysis
  2. Strategic Management
  3. Leadership and Advocacy

Whether as distribution requirements for graduation or as a part of core curriculum, these three areas are the foundation upon which the HKS education is built. HKS graduates depart the school with a powerful complement of skills to increase their effectiveness in working in their chosen fields.


Faculty Highlight

Professor Matt Andrews

“Public sector reforms are commonplace in developing countries. Much of the literature about these reforms reflects on their failures. This paper asks about the successes and investigates which of two competing theories best explain why some reforms exhibit such positive deviance,” writes Associate Professor Matt Andrews in his recent paper Explaining positive deviance in public sector reforms in development.

Originally from South Africa, Matt has worked with the provincial government of Kwa-Zulu Nata and as a Public Sector Specialist working in the Europe and Central Asia Region of the World Bank. He brings this experience to the MPA/ID core course, Getting Things Done: Management in a Development Context.

Collaborative Learning

Students are encouraged to work in study groups.

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