The Master of International Development Policy offers three program options: a traditional two-year program, an accelerated one-year program, and a non-degree certificate in International Development Policy.

The MIDP program is set apart by its interdisciplinary, flexible curriculum, which allows fellows to self-design a course of study. All fellows are required to take a set of core courses and can select additional courses from the MIDP program, the Sanford School of Public Policy, other schools across Duke, and nearby universities including NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill. To help with the design of your curriculum, you may select an area of focus. Then, you are paired with an academic advisor who assists with course selection each semester.


ProgramClassesInternshipMaster’s ProjectLength
Two-year MIDP16 courses (48 credit hours): 8 MIDP seminars and 8 electivesRequiredRequiredTwo academic years
The MIDP’s Accelerated
30 credit degree program(one-year)*
10 courses (30 credit hours): 4 MIDP seminars and 6 electivesOptionalRequiredCompleted over 3 semesters:

Fall, Spring, and Summer or 

Fall, Spring, and Fall with Summer off
Non-degree certificate**8 courses (24 credit hours): 4 MIDP seminars and 4 electivesNot requiredNot requiredOne academic year

*To be eligible for the accelerated 30 credit degree, applicants must have completed at least 5 years of professional experience and the equivalent of one-year of previous graduate level coursework in a relevant field.

**If you are currently a graduate student in another department with an interest or focus in international development policy, we encourage you to review information about our concurrent graduate International Development Policy Certificate

MIDP Core Courses

Policy Analysis for Development examines the role of policy analysis in solving important international development problems and hones the analytical and communication skills needed to undertake effective policy analysis.

Economic Foundations for Development provides an overview of microeconomic and macroeconomic principles related to development. Fellows gain analytical tools for the study of economic policies and problems in developing countries.

Empirical Analysis for Development (Statistics) provides an introduction to basic concepts of quantitative and empirical analysis and enables fellows to read and assess the quality of the empirical data and results that are used in reports. Fellows learn basic applied tools using statistical software.

Economic Growth and Development examines the basic principles and policy issues in the study of economic growth and development. Fellows learn about the roles of various sectors in explaining patterns and causes of variations in countries’ growth and development performance.

Master’s Projects A culminating hands-on experience, the Master’s Project allows students to apply the professional skills and knowledge they’ve acquired in the classroom to projects that tackle real-world policy challenges, often in service to the industry, government, or nonprofit external partners. All Master’s Projects are written for clients.  The Master’s Project is a client-focused project or paper required of all candidates for the master’s degree and guided through 2 seminars taken over two semesters for a total of 3 credits. It is intended to demonstrate mastery in defining a policy problem, analyzing it in an interdisciplinary manner, and recommending a specific course of action to the client to address that problem. More specifically, the master’s project must measure up to the standards of good analysis, including a precise definition of the problem, careful evaluation of the evidence from an interdisciplinary viewpoint, review of other countries’ experiences, identification of important costs and benefits, and features a clear presentation of the results and recommendations for the client. Additional guidelines on the master’s project are issued annually.

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