Training for development practitioners

The Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) Program is a rigorous, economics-centered program designed to train the next generation of practitioners and leaders like you in the field of international development.

Within a multidisciplinary core curriculum, as an MPA/ID student you will 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. You’ll also complete core courses in institutions, governance, management and the theory of development.

In your second year, you'll choose from a broad array of elective options at HKS, at the other graduate schools at Harvard—such as Business, Design, Education, Law and Public Health as well as the Faculty of Arts and Sciences—and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. 

“Almost 20 years ago, we decided to devote substantial resources to a new kind of development training that wasn’t available anywhere else. And what was that development training? It was, essentially, providing all of the economics and all of the skill sets that economists had so that our graduates would be able to sit down at the table with economists in any setting and hold their own. We wanted a training that was economics, but grounded in the realities of development, and tailored for practitioners. And that’s what we do.” - Lant Pritchett, MPA/ID Faculty Chair

Core courses in the MPA/ID curriculum
  • 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 Seminar 

You will gain professional expertise through the case workshop and speaker series, a required summer internship and an integrative capstone paper. Read about our degree requirements for more about the MPA/ID curriculum.

Program Experience

"What I love about the MPA/ID is that it is truly a practitioner's degree. It is a highly quantitative curriculum but the technicality is not an end in itself. The rigor of the program is designed to equip us with the tools and confidence to engage both the academic and political worlds as you go about designing effective policy and development programs." - Shammi Quddus MPA/ID 2018 (Bangladesh)

Shammi Quddus MPA/ID 2018 (Bangladesh)
Program Experience

"The uniqueness of the MPA/ID Program comes from the integrated nature of the subjects. Core classes fit together as a full narrative, with the whole greater than the sum of its parts. We do not study economics for the sake of solving the model but for the sake of solving a real life, complex development problem." - Adil Ababou MPA/ID 2017 (Morocco/France)

Adil Ababou MPA/ID 2017 (Morocco/France)
Program Experience

"One of my main reasons for deciding to invest in a graduate degree was to become a better problem solver of large-scale issues. I wanted to improve my understanding of the complex global problems that we face today and my ability to help design and drive appropriate solutions. I chose the MPA/ID Program because it promised high analytical rigor along with world-class faculty and peers." - Vince Jeong MPA/ID 2017 (South Korea)

Vince Jeong MPA/ID 2017 (South Korea)
Program Experience

"Matt Andrews' course Getting Things Done: Management in a Development Context taught me a humble approach to development: to avoid assuming that we as specialists have the answers, but rather to empower local agents and elicit solutions to development problems from developing countries themselves." - Rafael Proenca MPA/ID 2018 (Brazil)

Rafael Proenca MPA/ID 2018 (Brazil)