Jun 25, 2021  
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2013-2015 
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2013-2015 [Archived Catalog]

International Development Studies

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IDS students come to Ohio University from all over the world … our graduates then work throughout the world to promote positive social change, with organizations such as UNICEF, UNHCR,USAID and other development organizations including non-governmental and consulting agencies.


About the program

Founded in 1977 as the Development Studies Program, the International Development Studies (IDS) Program at Ohio University offers a diverse and stimulating atmosphere for students who have a background and interest in the social, natural sciences, and health sciences, and wish to apply this interest and learning to international development. The program provides a supportive environment for examining the issues and challenges of social, economic, and human development in varied contexts. It is multi-and inter-disciplinary with flexibility to meet individual needs and interests while providing specialized training. It provides opportunities to develop new skills and perspectives that cross disciplinary and geographic boundaries and to reflect on development goals and issues with the support of a diverse community of scholars. It is international in scope with about fifty percent of students from outside the U.S. and global in reach with alumni of the program in countries from Japan to Moldova, from Indonesia to Brazil, and from South Africa to Algeria.

For program admission requirements, visit: http://www.internationalstudies.ohio.edu/app-info/faq.html

Program Goals

The goal of IDS is to produce graduates who will become development practitioners - catalysts and facilitators for change in developing contexts. We approach the study of international development from a multidisciplinary perspective, combining theory, methods, practical application, and technical concentration. Students build upon a required core while specializing in one of four concentrations: environment, gender, health, or social sciences. Additional specialization is possible with numerous certificates (gender, GIS, and environment for example). In addition, students choose one of the three tracks to complete their degree. These include (a) a thesis; (b) a professional project; or (c) the completion of a comprehensive examination.



The IDS program strongly supports and encourages internships with both domestic and international organizations. Internships offer students a chance to experience international development in a real-world setting. Students may count 5 hours of internship credit towards their concentration focus. The program has an active  and large databank of opportunities and students use it to locate appropriate prospects.


After completing their degrees, students go on to careers in government agencies (USAID, JICA, etc.), non-government organizations (CARE, CRS, etc.) or the private sector (DAI, Chemonics, etc.). Alternatively, some pursue further graduate degrees in fields such as public health or administration, law, and education.

Visit us online

For more information, visit: http://www.developmentstudies.ohio.edu/



Additional Information

To learn more about the International Development Studies program at the Center for International Studies, contact:

Bob J. Walter, Director

International Development Studies

Ohio University

Yamada International House

Athens, OH 45701-2979

Phone: 740-593-1840

Fax: 740-593-1837

Email: walter@ohio.edu


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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