The undergraduate Certificate in International Development (IDEV) will provide students with the training and background needed to understand the dimensions, challenges, and processes of global poverty and prosperity. The certificate aims to expose students to a broad, multidisciplinary range of courses as well as to core methodologies and requisite analytical tools needed to identify, measure, and assess the determinants and effects of international development.

Students will acquire analytical tools and substantive expertise through a foundational course on international development, as well as through exposure to methods courses that focus on issues such as the determinants of economic growth, political change in lower- and middle-income countries, rural poverty, or global health or environmental policy. Students will also specialize in various development topics through additional electives.  Finally, all students will apply the tools and knowledge gained to a particular issue in global development through the completion of a research paper.

Certificate requirements draw upon various courses from the different majors within the School of Foreign Service that cover a range of topics within the field of international development, from the changing landscape of foreign aid, to problems of fragile states and state-building, to the global challenges of infectious disease and climate change. The multi-disciplinary tools, as well as the substantive knowledge gained through the certificate, will serve students who pursue graduate work or careers in international development, whether in bilateral or multilateral aid organizations, global philanthropy, international or “frontline” NGOs, or the private sector. The IDEV certificate encompasses six required courses, a global experience/internship requirement, and a final capstone. Up to two courses can be double counted.

Please note: The International Development Certificate is an undergraduate certificate that can only be earned by undergraduate students enrolled at Georgetown University.

Learning Goals

As the study of international development encompasses a number of sub-fields and disciplines, the certificate will prepare students to:

  • Assess and debate the world’s most critical developmental challenges
  • Recognize the economic, political, and social dimensions of global poverty and prosperity
  • Understand, interpret, and apply quantitative methodologies to the study of development
  • Analyze and critique development issues in clear written and oral presentations
  • Develop substantive and theoretical expertise necessary to understand, interpret, and explain the determinants and effects of developmental processes
  • Develop the substantive and analytical expertise necessary to anticipate new challenges and opportunities in international development
  • Apply key concepts and relevant methodologies in original research in international development


  • INAF 252 – Introduction to Economic and Political Development*
  • One introductory methods course from the approved course list
  • One advanced topics methods course from the approved course list
  • Three IDEV electives from the approved course list
  • Capstone: an original, non-recycled 15-20 page paper that includes data analysis
  • Global experience/internship: at least one 8-10 week internship/global experience related to development. Students must then submit a 3-5 page paper connecting this internship or experience to their academic study.

*Beginning with the class of 2021, students must have taken or be enrolled in INAF 252 prior to applying to the Certificate.

Approved Courses

Click here for a list of approved courses by semesterPlease note: You must be logged into a Georgetown University account to view this document.

Course Petition Process

Certificate students may petion for courses taken while abroad, at Consortium institutions, or at Georgetown to count as electives. Please have a copy of the syllabus ready and click here to access the course petition form. For courses taken in a language other than English, please provide a translation. Course petition requests are processed every two weeks.

Application Process

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with a final deadline of the end of the student’s junior year.

Click here to access the Online Application.

Applicants will be notified of a decision within one week of applying.

For questions, please contact