About the Program
Reducing world poverty and promoting growth and development in poor countries are among the major challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. Bringing about this change has never been more urgent or more prominent in public discourse on international relations, or in the priorities of graduate students considering their future careers.
Two billion people today -almost a third of the world's population-- live in severe poverty.
Their poverty is a moral challenge to a world of great riches. Since the early 1990s, development practitioners and policy makers have significantly evolved in their views of what constitutes "development" -- from an exclusive focus on metrics of economic growth and poverty reduction to a more holistic sense of "human development." Nobel laureate Amartya Sen is best known for his pioneering work on the need for a more inclusive framework that promotes human flourishing in the fullest sense, including broadening people's choices, allowing them the freedom to achieve what they value and the development of their individual capacities to achieve human dignity.
The goal of the Master of Arts in Global Human Development program is to prepare students - through coursework, extra-curricular activity and a practical field work experience - to understand the challenges of development and provide them with the tools and experience to address those challenges as successful professionals.
Experts and seasoned practitioners in development today confirm that the field of international development requires professionals with a basic knowledge of development, strong analytic skills, specialized knowledge of particular areas of development and relevant skills that come from direct experience working in development.
Successful professionals in development must be trained in a variety of relevant disciplines. They must have basic quantitative and analytical skills. They must have a familiarity with one or more specialized areas of development, such as health, private enterprise or environment/climate change. They must be flexible and able to work in a variety of types of organizations, which is what they will surely do in the course of their careers. And they must understand, both through their studies and their practical experience in development realities, the complexities and the challenges - as well as the rewards - of operating as a development professional. This degree seeks to provide its graduates with all of these competencies and more.