Skip to main content

International Development Certificate

Visitors to this page, please note: The International Development Certificate is an undergraduate certificate that can only be earned while a student is enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service program. The School of Foreign Service does offer full master's degrees in Global Human Development ( and Foreign Service with an International Development Concentration (, but no stand-alone certificates.


Goals of the Certificate

The 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 a quantitative methods course. Students will gain further expertise in specific areas by selecting more specialized, intermediate level development 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.

Learning Objectives

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

Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service301 Intercultural CenterWashington D.C. 20057-1016Phone: (202) 687.5696Fax: (202)

Connect with us via: