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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 politics and governance, management and the theory and practice 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. 

Core courses in the MPA/ID curriculum
  • Advanced Microeconomics (API-109, API-110)
  • Advanced Macroeconomics  (API-119, API-120)
  • Advanced Statistics and Econometrics (API-209, API-210)
  • Economic Development: Theory and Evidence (DEV-101, DEV-102)
  • Applications and Cases in International Development (DEV-401)
  • Normative Principles of Governance in Development (DPI-401)
  • The Politics of Development (DPI-410)
  • Getting Things Done: Management in a Development Context (MLD-102)
  • Second Year Policy Analysis Seminar (DEV-250)

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.

Dulguun Baasandavaa MPA/ID 2018 (Mongolia)

"While the highly rigorous curriculum of the program ensures building capacity and confidence to explore existing development challenges, interactions with professionals in and out of classrooms proved priceless in understanding how to work with the grain. In the MPA/ID program, I have been most appreciative of the year-long course “Economic Development: Theories and Evidence” that truly provided the bigger picture of both big and small development and instilled the importance of evidence-based policy." - Dulguun Baasandavaa, MPA/ID 2018 (Mongolia)

Shammi Quddus MPA/ID 2018 (Bangladesh)

"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)

Adil Ababou MPA/ID 2017 (Morocco/France)

"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)

Yacoub Shomali MPA/ID 2019 (Jordan)

"My favorite course is DEV-401 Applications and Cases in International Development. The year-long course was designed to give us exposure to a wide array of topics in development such as macroeconomic crises, infrastructure finance, migration, and education. It also allowed us to engage in discussions with leaders and practitioners in the development community, hone our writing skills, and learn through in-class simulations. - Yacoub Shomali MPA/ID 2019 (Jordan)

Ratnika Prasad MPA/ID, MBA 2020 (India)

"The lessons from the curriculum proved invaluable to me in multiple ways over the summer when I began my internship with the World Bank’s Climate Change Group. The climate change space is a classic example of a tragedy of the commons where the equilibrium is not a stable one and incentives to deviate are high for individual actors. So a lot of the game theory we studied is actually seen in action here.” - Ratnika Prasad MPA/ID, MBA 2020 (India)

Rafael Proenca MPA/ID 2018 (Brazil)

"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)