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Home > Degree Programs > Master's Degrees > Master in Public Administration/ International Development > Curriculum > Core Courses
The MPA/ID Program requires two years (four terms) of full-time study at HKS. The first year is dedicated to courses especially designed for this program, which introduce students to the main economic, quantitative, political, and managerial tools needed by analysts and leaders in the area of development. A chronological listing of the MPA/ID core courses and degree requirements is available from the Office of the Registrar.
MPA/ID core courses are taught by our top professors. In the first year, MPA/ID students can expect to be taught by an experienced team including professors Abadie, Campante, Frankel, Khwaja, Levy, Pande, Pritchett, Rodrik, and Walton. The rigorous core of required courses includes the following course sequences:
The course on applications and cases has two objectives: to illustrate the application of concepts and techniques learned in other MPA/ID core courses and to introduce the variety of issues and challenges facing low- and middle-income countries. In the context of case studies drawn from a range of countries and sectors, each week will involve both a specific application of a case and a visiting speaker from the worlds of ideas and practice in development, drawing both from Harvard faculty and outside the university. Case studies and seminar topics include such diverse issues as growth diagnostics, the management of financial crises, climate change, education, gender issues, trade policy, pension reform, managing common property resources, and the design of decentralization.
These complementary courses enable students to combine high-level economic and empirical analysis with a sophisticated understanding of institutional realities and possibilities.
It starts with the best of intentions. When policymakers push a new strategy or program, they usually do so believing their efforts will solve a problem or improve some vital aspect of life for the community. But when the rubber meets the road, things don’t always go as planned, especially in the developing world where administrative capacity, along with access to information and training, is weak.
Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) launched six years ago at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) with the belief that using economic insights to inform the design, implementation, and recalibration of policy solutions and working in close collaboration with local policy actors is the key to building governments that benefit all citizens. EPoD now runs research and policy partnerships in 13 countries, including India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia, around important issues such as public health, education, labor, and finance, among others.