Students reading in the library.

The MA in Sustainable International Development is a two-year program.

The heart of our curriculum is project-based learning, achieved through a combination of coursework, a 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.

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

Alumni Outcomes

Megha Hegde, MA SID’14

Megha Hegde, MA SID’14, research associate, MIT D-Lab

“I believe in working with the people rather than working for the people, and I get to do it here because D-Lab is all about building the capacity of local communities. We involve our local partner and community members every step of the way, which is very rewarding. The SID program was all about involving the community, improving their capacity, the whole participatory approach—that is what I get to practice here, which is amazing.”

Gustavo Payan, MA SID'05

Gustavo Payan, MA SID’05, program manager, Education Development Center

“If I’m in the field, I can spend the day in an at-risk community, talk to former gang members or kids who really have nothing, and then, because this is U.S. government, the next day I might be promoting my project with the U.S. ambassador. It gives me the opportunity to work with a wide range of people.”

Mahmoud Nabulsi, MA SID'17, founder of Ezwitti in Amman, Jordan

“Ezwitti is a social solidarity restaurant… We’re trying to end hunger in Amman and in other parts of Jordan as well. Ezwitti provides a culturally sensitive way to do food handouts. Using the concept of ‘invites’ makes it easier for us and easier for the person who receives the food.”