Degree Requirements

The MA in Sustainable International Development program equips students with the hard skills and substantive knowledge needed to make a difference in the world.

The two-year curriculum combines academic rigor with a deep commitment to experiential learning. This unique pairing allows for various combinations of coursework and field-based internships, particularly in the second year.

First Year



  • SID electives, 8-12 credits
  • Choose one required course from the following categories: Environment and Ecology (Fall or Spring); Economics (Fall or Spring); Gender and Sexuality (Fall or Spring)

  • Professional Workshops (Fall and Spring)
  • Proseminars (Fall and Spring) 4-8 credits

  • Capstone Presentation attendance

Second Year Options

Master's Paper

Students must produce a Master’s Paper and give a Capstone presentation at Heller at the end of their second year. In Spring Semester of their first year, students select a significant development problem or issue. Whatever their second year option (practicum, advanced study, concentration with practicum, etc.), students focus on their development issue throughout the second year, examining it through a field- and/or literature-based professional paper within the context of the broader goals of sustainable international development.


  • The second year culminates in late spring with a program-wide Capstone Conference with students taking center stage.  
  • At Capstone all second-year students gather back at Brandeis for a full week of exciting talks, panels, and special events including individually presenting each of their case studies as part of a professional panel.