MPA/ID candidate Lucila Arboleya

Master in Public Administration/ International Development

"Never before in history has the dream of eliminating global poverty been so attainable, yet seemed so elusive. We live in a world where the reach of technology and markets are global, and yet more than a billion men, women, and children live in abject poverty, devoid of their benefits. How can that possibly be? In an age of plenty, what deprives people of adequate food, shelter, clean water, education, good health and enough income to live on with dignity? What can governments, international agencies, and non-governmental organizations do to make the dream a reality? The study of international development is about finding answers to questions like these."

- Dani Rodrik
Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy
and co-founder of the MPA/ID Program

The two-year Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) Program, Harvard Kennedy School's newest degree, is designed to prepare the next generation of leaders in international development. It is an economics-centered, multidisciplinary program, combining rigorous training in analytical and quantitative methods with an emphasis on policy and practice.

Each academic year, a class of about 68 students enrolls in this selective program. Although the MPA/ID curriculum is intensely rigorous and provides a solid foundation for applied research, the program is geared to future practitioners in the field of international development rather than future academics.

In the MPA/ID Program, three-quarters of our students and many of our faculty come from countries other than the United States. We especially encourage applications from citizens of developing and transitional economy countries. Applicants must demonstrate competence in economics and quantitative analysis and the potential for leadership in international development. The MPA/ID Program rarely accepts applicants directly from undergraduate colleges and universities; most admitted candidates have at least three years of development-related work experience in government, central and regional banks, international development institutions, non-profits, research organizations, or private businesses.

The MPA/ID Program has course prerequisites to ensure that students will be adequately prepared for the rigor of the core curriculum. The prerequisite course requirements are one university-level course in each of the following:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Multivariable calculus (usually the third course in a university-level calculus sequence)

For more information on prerequisite course requirements and admissions criteria, please visit the MPA/ID Admissions pages.

Information Sessions

This spring, MPA/ID students and alumni will be hosting information sessions in a number of locations around the globe. These will serve as an opportunity for prospective students who live in locations that we do not often reach in our admissions travels to learn more about the MPA/ID Program and HKS in an informal, relaxed setting.

We invite you to come by, buy your coffee, and pull up a chair for some great conversation.

Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria - May 20, 2016

Coming soon:

Amman, Jordan
Caracas, Venezuela
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Delhi, India
Kigali, Rwanda
Mexico City, Mexico
Nairobi, Kenya
Seoul, South Korea


Training for Development Practitioners

Lant Pritchett

"Almost twenty years ago, we decided to devote substantial resources to a new kind of development training that wasn't available anywhere else. And what was that development training? It was, essentially, providing all of the economics and all of the skill sets that economists had so that our graduates would be able to sit down at the table with economists in any setting and hold their own. We wanted a training that was economics, but grounded in the realities of development and tailored for practitioners. And that's what we do." - Lant Pritchett, Faculty Chair of the MPA/ID Program

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