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 courses 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 institutions, governance, management, and the theory of development.

The demanding set of core courses includes:

Students gain professional expertise through the case workshop and speaker series, a required summer internship, a substantial capstone paper, 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, governance, 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 Harvard Kennedy School 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 the core curriculum, these three areas are the foundation upon which the HKS education is built. HKS graduates depart from the school with a powerful complement of skills to increase their effectiveness in their chosen fields.

Faculty Highlight

Professor Dani Rodrik

Dani Rodrik is Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy. He has published widely in the areas of economic development, international economics, and political economy. His current research focuses on the political economy of liberal democracy and economic growth in developing countries. Professor Rodrik's most recent book is Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science (Norton, 2015).

Dani Rodrik co-teaches the MPA/ID core course PED-101 Economic Development: Theory and Evidence (with Asim Khwaja and Rohini Pande) and an elective, API-525 Ideas and Interests.

Collaborative Learning

Students are encouraged to work in study groups.

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