MPA/ID Student

Electives and Policy Tracks

The goal of the second year of the MPA/ID is to broaden the students' knowledge in the field and to deepen their understanding of a major area of development practice. Students choose their six electives from the broad array of courses available at HKS or through cross-registration with other graduate schools at Harvard University or MIT. They apply the theoretical and empirical tools learned in their first-year core courses to a policy area which they have chosen based on their professional and career interests.

National and International Economic Policies

Students interested in careers in this area should focus on courses on macroeconomic policies, international trade and finance, financial sector policies, and public finance (taxation and public expenditures) with an eye to also deepening knowledge in the institutional, political, and administrative aspects of policy reform.

Sectoral Policies and Programs

Students interested in this area should keep in mind two aims in choosing their courses:

  1. Developing the general public sector management skills that are relevant across a range of sectors
  2. Deepening their knowledge of specific sectors of interest such as:
    • Sustainable development
    • Social policy (including poverty, health, education, and community development)
    • Global governance, conflict and human rights
    • Science, technology and development

Private Sector Development and Its Regulation

Students in this area should focus on courses in finance and financial policies, the regulatory environment (including privatization), competitiveness and industrial policies, and policy related skills such as leadership and negotiation.

Additional Electives

Additional electives may be chosen from the broad array of courses available at HKS or through cross-registration with other graduate schools at Harvard University or MIT.

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Faculty Feature

Professor Nicholas Burns

Professor Burns served in the United States Government for twenty-seven years. As a career Foreign Service officer, he was Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2005 to 2008; the State Department's third-ranking official when he led negotiations on the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Agreement; a long-term military assistance agreement with Israel; and was the lead U.S. negotiator on Iran's nuclear program.

Faculty Feature

Professor Ricardo Hausmann

“Countries do not become rich by making more of the same thing. They do so by changing what they produce and how they produce it. They grow by doing things that are new to them; in short, they innovate. Many countries have been altering their growth strategies to reflect this insight. But, they are being distracted by some of the greatest - but atypical - examples of success,” writes Ricardo Hausmann in All Africa

Ricardo Hausmann is Professor of the Practice of Economic Development and Director of Harvard's Center for International Development, the intellectual home of the MPA/ID Program. He teaches the popular elective PED-309: Development Policy Strategy.