Our cross-disciplinary master's program in international development is designed to prepare you for a career in improving economic, social and political conditions on a global level. The program emphasizes the need for broad-based, environmentally and socially sustainable economic growth that generates meaningful employment opportunities. You'll build a holistic understanding of how economic, social, political, environmental and human biological factors influence sustainable development efforts and outcomes.

We equip you with key practical skills in communication, financial analysis, project management, field research, cultural awareness, technological competency and networking. The overwhelming majority of our graduates find work in government, multilateral and bilateral development agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. Alumni consistently report achieving high-level decision-making positions within five years.

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Program Training Core

This degree requires specialization in one of the following disciplines, allowing you to acquire the knowledge necessary to succeed in your desired career field. Focus areas include economic development, microfinance and sustainable development, environmental security, education, health, population, and gender.


Skills Courses

Skills-based courses provide you with the expertise to effectively interpret data, skillfully communicate and manage challenging issues that you will encounter throughout your career.

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    Statistics for International Affairs

    This is a fast-paced course which serves as an introduction to basic and intermediate concepts in statistics and probability, as well as the primary methods of statistical inference. Topics include data collection, presenting data in tables and charts, summarizing and describing numerical data, basic probability, discrete probability distributions, normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence interval estimation, single-sample and two-sample hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, chi-square goodness-of-fit tests, chi-square contingency analysis, simple regression and multiple regression. Emphasis will be on statistical reasoning, problem solving, computer applications (using Stata), and interpretation of results. This course is offered in the Fall quarter only. 

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    Applied Field Methods

    An introductory course for students planning to conduct research in developing countries. Practical information is presented on transforming hypothesis into a fieldwork setting, questionnaire construction and administration, and interviewing techniques.

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    International Futures, Global Change and Development

    Futures forecasting involved decisions about priorities. Decisions require forecasting the trajectory of a society with and without interventions of various kinds. This course involved students in the forecasting and analysis process. In the lab, students learn to use the International Futures (IFs) forecasting system. That system represents multiple issue areas (demographics, economics, energy, agriculture, education, health, socio-political, and environment subsystems) and is supported by a very large database. Students study the structure of each of these modules, learn how they represent the underlying subsystems, how they are linked to other subsystems, and what they tell us about the processes of change globally and in countries and regions around the world. Students use the system for forecasts and analyses of their own.

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    Project Management

    It can be beneficial for graduate students planning careers in multilateral and bilateral development agencies, non-profit organizations, private-sector companies, and professional services organizations to have an understanding of how to develop a project proposal, implement it, and evaluate its results. These are useful skills for entering or reentering employment with these organizations. The Josef Korbel School of International Studies currently offers a trilogy of courses in international project cycle management—international project design and monitoring, project management, and international project evaluation. The three courses are delivered in sequence during the academic year in conformance with the project cycle, but they can be taken out of sequence without prerequisite or need to take them all.

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    Financial Management and Fundraising for Non-Profits

    This course will introduce students to the legal, governance and financial structures that enable non-profit organizations to function effectively. It will also provide a practical orientation to financial management issues, such as budgeting, financial reporting, and independent audits. Finally, a comprehensive presentation will be given of the fundraising methods needed to sustain the viability of non-profit organizations. These methods include: annual campaigns, direct mail, special events, major gifts, corporate fundraising, foundation grants, and planned giving. The course combines exploration of the general conceptual issues with an emphasis on practical "how-to's" and skill building.

Internship Highlights

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    Mercy Corps

    Many Korbel students have found internships with the Mercy Corps, an organization that acts globally to mitigate the effects of war and combat hunger, poverty and disease.

    See Opportunities

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    African Community Center

    The African Community Center works to help refugees and immigrants in the Denver community find housing, counseling, employment and other essential services.

    Help Your Neighbors Succeed

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    Pathfinder International

    An internship with Pathfinder International gives students the opportunity to participate in the global fight against sexual abuse and reproductive oppression.

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Career Highlights

Graduates have pursued careers within government, multilateral and bilateral development agencies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Examples of where our alumni are working include USAID, Elephant Energy, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Catholic Charities, World Wildlife Fund, and Engineers Without Borders.

We’re committed to offering a holistic approach to understanding international development with courses rooted in theory and practice. You have the flexibility to design your specialization and learn professional skills that are immediately applicable in your chosen field.

Featured Faculty

Aaron Schneider

Aaron Schneider

Professor and Leo Block Chair; Director, ICRS; Degree Director, Development

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Rebecca Galemba

Rebecca Galemba

Associate Professor

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Singumbe Muyeba

Singumbe Muyeba

Assistant Professor

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Application Information