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The MPA/ID Program is a rigorous, economics-centered program designed to train the next generation of practitioners and analysts 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.
The demanding set of core courses includes:
In short, the MPA/ID Program is built on three pillars:
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 project and will have assistance from course assistants, teaching fellows, and faculty members in a collaborative working environment.
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:
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. No matter what policy area students focus on while studying, HKS graduates depart the school with a powerful complement of skills to increase their effectiveness in working in their chosen fields.
When do elections meet international standards of electoral integrity? When do they fail to do so? And what can be done to mitigate these challenges? Pippa Norris, the Paul F. McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics, is a political scientist focusing on democracy and development, public opinion and elections, political communications, and gender politics. Her new course DPI-416: Global Challenges of Electoral Integrity, which explores issues such as these, is one of the array of good governance options available to MPA/ID students.
Many of the MPA/ID courses encourage or require group work on problem sets and presentations. Some students choose to co-write their Second Year Policy Analysis (SYPA) with another student. The collaborative learning environment is an important part of the MPA/ID experience.