Students reading in the library.

The MA in Sustainable International Development prepares you to make an impact.

The heart of our curriculum is project-based learning, achieved through a combination of coursework, an optional practicum experience with a development organization and a master's paper. This multi-dimensional approach enables students to acquire a coherent body of substantive knowledge, analytical abilities and management skills, preparing them to create evidence-based, effective solutions to complex development problems.

The two-year standard track is a 21-month program designed around coursework, research, and field-based internships. An accelerated one-year track, completed over 12 months, is available for students with 3-4 years of previous professional experience in the development sector or related field. All SID students are eligible to apply for one of SID’s dual or joint degree programs.
Learn more about all SID track options

Alumni Outcomes

Jarnail Singh, MA SID’13, India Director, The Climate Group

“The skills I gained at Heller allowed me to grow within the organization. The Climate Group wanted a strategist who could look beyond the obvious. The leadership traits I picked up during my time at Heller—coupled with technical knowledge—that’s what did the trick.” 

Ariel Magid, MA SID/WGS'14, Associate Program Health Specialist, DAI

"Heller really had a focus on sustainability and community development that really spoke to me: being able to build capacity and empower people all over the world to be able to create change in their communities."

Rodrigo Moran, MA SID'16, Technology for Development Manager, Creative Associates International

"To do my job I need a very unique mix of experiences that only a program like the SID program at Heller can provide. Youth development theory and practice, information and communication technologies for development, planning and implementation, education and conflict, and much more."

We are a community that benefits from an immensely diverse group of students and faculty who come to Heller from dozens of countries and the United States. Together, we innovate: we want to combine the best development ideas with the best research, communications and advocacy strategies and a clear social justice vision to create more sustainable, equitable societies. When you graduate, we will help you find your place in the dense network of organizations and institutions that apply the world's best ideas to its most pressing development challenges.
Learn about our career development process