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M.A. in International Development
Applicants for the M.A. in International Development must complete the application procedures and meet the requirements for graduate study at Gallaudet University. Visit the Graduate Admissions website for more information and a checklist of application requirements. The International Development program has additional application requirements which are the following:
Program Specific Requirements
A basic understanding of economics is necessary to complete coursework in Economic Development and Micropolitics. Therefore applicants must have passed an introductory course in economics.
The ability to communicate across cultures in more than one language is both a distinguishing and expected skill of the international development professional. Therefore, novice ability in reading and writing another language or willingness to obtain novice ability in the first year.
A videotaped response in American Sign Language to one of two questions asked by the department for review to demonstrate the ability to participate in discussion in a classroom setting.
Three current letters of recommendation
Interview with the Department
Summary of Requirements
Year One - Fall
MPA elective: or equivalent course as approved by academic advisor
Students are introduced to significant topics in international relations that affect economic and social development. Among the topics to be included will be: theories of the nation-state; theories of peace and war; theories, perspectives and measures of economic and social development; the role of international organizations and international law related to conflict resolution and development; Case studies of development reflecting various perspectives; and the role of women and disabled people as both participants and subjects of the development process.
This course introduces students to the field of International Development by examining the history, theories, and models of development. Drawing on a range of case studies, students gain an understanding of development as a set of institutions and networks that emerged in the post WW II period and proliferated primarily throughout the Global South, facilitated by neoliberal policies. Critically analyzing the role of development organizations from the Global North in foreign assistance, as well as their influence on social policies and political decision-making, students will apply their insights to current development issues, controversies, and debates.
This course explores how micropolitical factors shape individual experiences and social relations within and between groups. Understanding human experiences and practices connected to gender, race, ethnicity, language, disability, sexuality (and so on) as changeable, contradictory, and often situation-specific, we will examine personal choices, identities, and community formations as legacies of and responses to the ways power is organized under late-modern capitalism and post-colonial international relations. Drawing from a wide range of social scientific materials, we will pay especial attention to intersections of race and class, as well as local, national, and global affiliation in the formation and transformation of people's lives. Course activities focus on the project level in which development takes place, allowing students to examine those social categories that most impact development outcomes, associated political processes, and individual and group action of the group or groups selected for the semester project.
This course introduces students to standard practices of professional communication, conduct, and preparation of documents and presentation materials and types commonly used in the international development field. Course activities include: technical writing, creating persuasive messages in formats and media appropriate to a variety of audiences (e.g., specialist, non-specialist, targeted groups). Course activities will also address professional communication and conduct, and guide students in preparing their IDMA portfolios for submission at the end of the semester (required for continuing to the second year of IDMA graduate study, practicum and internship experiences)
Year One - Spring
This course will be a survey of the major issues in economic development. There will be an overview of the central questions in economic development, including the very definition of development itself; the problem of how to measure economic development; the causes and consequences of differenced in economic growth rates among countries; and a review of the history of international development policymaking. Topics covered will include international trade policy, international capital flows, exchange rate policy, inflation, public finance, monetary policy, agriculture, population, and the environment. The class will end with a synthesis of these diverse fields into the theory of development economics as a tool for promoting growth and reducing poverty.
This course expands upon IDP 770: Introduction to International Development by exploring human rights frameworks currently reshaping the field of international development, particularly with respect to sustainable development goals. IDP-771 applies human rights theories and models to case studies from Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing, signed language communities, and persons with disabilities around the world to analyze human rights indicators in the context of sustainability, as well as social movements, grassroots activism, and other forms of non-governmental organizing work. This course also examines the impact of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), assistance projects/programs, international laws, and social protection policies for communities at the local, regional, national and international level.
IDP-775 introduces students to the design, planning, and implementation of community development projects with Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing people, signed language communities, and people with disabilities with a focus on disaster and humanitarian contexts. Theoretical frameworks address the nature of social change in societies around the world, the interrelationship between inequitable social conditions and efforts such conditions, and the value of local constituencies’ involvement in shaping change. Students will develop essential skills for designing projects, as well as training in collaborative team-building and facilitation of projects that are sensitive to local communities’ viewpoints, social interests, and leadership in local and international development networks.
Year Two - Fall
This course builds upon IDP 770 and 772 by focusing on the intersections between race, gender and sexuality in international development agendas emphasizing the role of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing people and people with disabilities. Drawing on theoretical and practical cases, students will explore the ways that race, gender and sexuality shape individual and group identities including diverse practices, perspectives and creative development action. Through critical analysis of the course's core concepts, students will develop insight into the social issues faced by particular groups around the world, as well as the ways that others forms of categorization further impact social inequalities, such as: socioeconomic class, social hierarchies, disability, ethnicity, family structures and expectations, language and communication, and religion.
International development activities place a heavy emphasis on the ability to skillfully interact with and to generate many types of data. This course introduces students to the most common types of research methods and strategies currently used in the international development field, and explores the ethical implications of research planning, methodological decision-making, and research fieldwork. Course activities include: introduction to research formulation and design; literature review; quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods; data collection and analysis; rapid assessment methods; and participatory community assessments. Course activities also highlight the elements of a good argument and provide opportunities to analyze, construct, and to refine research arguments.
Professional service and direct action are core features of international development work, and therefore a critical aspect of graduate-level preparation. The IDMA¿s supervised practicum is designed to offer practical field experience observing and working in an international development assistance organization, federal agency, for- or non-profit organization, or other development-related venue. The supervised field practicum provides students with a critical first opportunity to integrate didactic interdisciplinary study of international development with professional interaction and engagement in an international development organization, federal agency, non-profit organization, or other international development entity (think tank, policy institute). An on-site supervisor and a university-based supervisor (practicum instructor) provide supervision and guidance to promote students¿ professional development, and application of theoretical knowledge to real-world international development situations, issues, and opportunities.
Year Two - Spring
This course builds on IDP-780 Supervised Practicum for International Development. As in that course, field experience working in a development assistance organization, federal agency, or nonprofit organization is an essential part of graduate training in and preparation for professional careers in the international development field. The supervised internship placement adds to the practicum experience by expanding the scope of professional activities and outputs expected of students, and by increasing students¿ level of responsibility and accountability to partnering organizations and collaborating communities. As with IDP-780, students engage in practical experiences guided by the supervision of an on-site supervisor and a university supervisor (internship instructor). The supervised internship requires a minimum of 360 clock hours.
Building on IDP-779 Professional Seminar I, this course is designed to deepen students understanding of standard practices of professional communication, conduct, and preparation of documents and presentation materials, as well as their understanding and advocacy of human rights, with an emphasis on language, and visible and invisible disabilities. In addition to preparing students for entry into professional international development work (e.g., professional rapport and alliance-building, developing CVs and cover letters for various types of job postings, job search skills), IDP-782 activities guide students in critical reflection on the impact of cross- and intercultural power dynamics for professional interaction, collaborative engagement, and ethical practice.
1. Students will engage in critical study of international development theories and methods with an emphasis on collaborative advocacy, program and project development, and research to address social inequalities and promote social justice efforts pursued by Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing communities and people with disabilities.
Completed application form. See Application Instructions to learn how. A non-refundable application fee of $75. A minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a four-point scale) in all previous undergraduate and graduate study. (Occasionally, applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0 may be admitted conditionally upon...
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