Nov 28, 2021  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2009-2011 
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2009-2011 [Archived Catalog]

International Development Studies

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International Development Studies emphasizes flexibility with opportunities to build a program tailored to individual needs and interests. Students build upon a core curriculum by specializing in one of four disciplinary concentrations: International Development and Social Sciences; International Development and Gender; International Development and Health; International Development and the Environment

Through the Center for International Studies, Ohio University offers a program leading to the Master of Arts degree awarded by the Center for International Studies. The program is designed for those who have background and interest in the Natural Sciences (including Biological, Health, and Environmental) or the Social Sciences, and who wish to incorporate one or more of these disciplines into the field of international development.

The program provides a broad  perspective examination of issues related to growth, change, and globalization in developing countries and poor regions of the world. A multi-disciplinary approach focuses on combining theory, practical application,  research, and implementation skills to produce graduates who are catalysts for international development.

International Development and Social Sciences

There are numerous economic, environmental, social, and political challenges facing developing countries today. International development becomes a vast multidisciplinary area of concern and action and embraces a multitude of approaches. The International Development and Social Sciences concentration prepares students to study and analyze a broad scope of issues facing developing nations and poor communities today within the conceptual framework of economics, political science, sociology, anthropology, and geography. Particular attention is paid to courses and development approaches that are designed to serve and enhance the capability of communities to further their own social, political, and economic goals.

International Development and Gender

Gender equality and empowerment of women is a third millennium development goal and a primary component of poverty reduction and improved social welfare and well-being. Research shows that gender inequality continues to be a major impediment to economic development while women’s empowerment and access to resources are directly linked to community and family and well-being with immense payoffs for all members of society. The gender concentration provides an opportunity to examine development issues through a gender lens from a variety of theoretical, regional, and disciplinary perspectives. There is also opportunity to work with the women’s studies program and to gain a women’s studies certificate. A mix of topics and approaches prepares students to understand gender and development and to develop professional skills to work in this field.

International Development and Health

As expressed in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, health is a basic human right that resides within the context of human and social development. Because it reflects wider social, economic, and political influences, health should be approached in an integrated manner. The concentration in International Development and Health explores global health problems that affect developing nations. It provides students with an understanding of the field of health and international development while considering the important contribution that a healthy population makes to its own social and economic development process.

International Development and the Environment

Environmental problems and degradation pose a growing threat to the well being of people throughout the world. Workable solutions must focus on how humans and their social and economic interests interact with the resources of the natural environment. The concentration in International Development and the Environment is designed to provide students with an understanding of how people perceive and utilize the environment and how various processes involving the relationship between human beings and their surroundings either damage or protect the environment. This program challenges and prepares professionals to take action in response to environmental issues facing developing countries.

Degree Requirements

  1. 70 hours approved coursework
        15 hours foundation courses
        10 hours methods
        15 hours development electives
        30 hours disciplinary concentration
  2. Language proficiency
  3. Preparation of the final capstone requirement. Each student is required to complete either a grant proposal, comprehensive exam, or thesis. Candidates choosing the proposal option will develop a grant proposal addressing a need in a particular developing region of the world. Candidates who choose the thesis option are expected to complete a course of study that culminates in a scholarly work of publishable quality.

Entry is only available in the fall quarter (September).

Foundation Courses

The program foundation is structured around a pro-seminar, colloquia, and courses in development for 15 credit hours. These courses deal with concepts, issues, and methods of development and draw on the worldwide interests and experiences of students, expert faculty, and visiting scholars and specialists. The courses listed under “methods” and “development” reflect the spirit of the requirements; other courses may apply as well.

Disciplinary Concentrations

(minimum of 30 credit hours)

Social Sciences

A very large number of courses in diverse areas fall within this disciplinary concentration. Many thematic groups of courses are possible: Business, Culture, Communication, Economic Policy, Education, Gender, Politics/Public Policy, as well as area studies in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.

Certificate Programs

While pursuing the MA degree in International Studies, it may be possible to fulfill the requirements of one or more of the available certificate programs which include Conservation Biology, Contemporary History, Gerontology, GIS, Health Policy, and Women’s Studies.


Internships are strongly encouraged. Such an experience with a domestic or international development organization allows the student to put into practice what has been learned from the program. Modest funds are available, on a competitive basis, to support local internships and research travel. Five credit hours can be counted towards degree requirement.

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